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Lead Stories

Corporate Lawyers Lateral = Billions of Dollars of Legal Work on the Move

By Claire Poole – (July 19) – When star Houston corporate lawyer Sean Wheeler moved his law practice to Kirkland & Ellis last week, he likely took his book of business with him. During the past 18 months, Wheeler led or co-led 29 M&A and capital markets deals worth a combined $14.3 billion.

A Texas Lawbook analysis found that at least 84 prominent dealmaking lawyers in Texas have jumped to new law firms since Jan. 1, 2017. Those lawyers handled hundreds of deals valued at nearly $200 billion, according to the Corporate Deal Tracker. The Texas Lawbook has exclusive details.

TX Securities Board Leads Prosecution of Round Rock Real Estate Fraudster

By Mark Curriden – (July 19) – A Nueces County jury took 15 minutes last week to find a Round Rock man guilty of real estate and securities fraud. Yesterday, the judge in the case took even less time to sentence Everett Craig Williams to 20 years in state prison and pay $189,000 in restitution to investors in a fraudulent real estate program targeting victims in Nueces, Collin, and Harris counties.

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Energy Regulatory Pros Jump to Hunton Andrews Kurth

By Brooks Igo – (July 19) – Two Dallas lawyers from Vinson & Elkins have joined Hunton Andrews Kurth’s energy and infrastructure team as partners. Both lawyers were associates at Hunton & Williams together earlier in their careers.

Texas GC Forum Announces 2018 Magna Stella Recipients

By Mark Curriden – (July 18) – The Texas General Counsel Forum unveiled 10 winners of the 2018 Magna Stella Awards, including the top legal officers at Toyota, ConocoPhillips, Keurig Dr Pepper, LyondellBasell, Varsity Brands, Hanger and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. The Texas Lawbook has full details.

Justice Dept. Needs More Lawyers to Fight Legal Battles Regarding the Border Wall Lawsuits

By Gabrielle Banks of the Houston Chronicle – (July 18) – The Justice Department is seeking to fill more than 50 staff slots at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Southeast Texas, including seven lawyers to represent the United States, in an anticipated onslaught of civil challenges to President Donald Trump’s plan to build a “wall” along the country’s 1,989-mile southern border.

Winstead – Troutman Sanders Merger Talks Off

By Mark Curriden – (July 17) – Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders definitely wants to expand into Texas and Dallas-based Winstead clearly wants to partner with an out-of-state law firm, but merger discussions between the two corporate law firms are off. The Texas Lawbook has details.

CDT Weekly Roundup: 14 Deals Worth $5.37B at a Time of $1.09T in Private Equity Money Out There Looking for a Home

By Claire Poole – (July 17) – There’s a whole lot of private equity money out there. At the end of June, according to data from Preqin, alternative investment firms had $1.8 trillion in “dry powder” worldwide. All that available cash has slowed down capital raisings in the first half of this year. But investment activity continues, and a chunk of it is creating work for transactional lawyers in Texas. Last week, 14 deals worth $5.37B involved 98 Texas lawyers at 17 firms. Claire Poole details them in The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker Roundup.

More Texas Law Firms Match Associate Compensation Increases

By Mark Curriden – (July 17) – The number of large corporate Texas law firms increasing compensation for their associates continues to grow. The new pay scale for associates is likely to cost law firms anywhere from $500,000 annually for mid-sized boutiques to $5 million for the large full-service law firms.

How a Partner-Associate Duo in Houston Helped Change Alabama Tenant Law

By Natalie Posgate – (July 16) – She’s called some of America’s best-known corporations “client” – from the NFL to Krispy Kreme. But working with a newly-minted Winston associate on a landlord-tenant case from her home state of Alabama has given Paula Hinton a proud moment of a different kind. The Texas Lawbook has the story behind a very special pro bono case.

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Even in Texas, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

By Michael Logan of Kane Russell Coleman Logan – (July 16) – Mega firms have been active in the Texas market in a big way in recent years, snapping up firms, associates and media attention. In this environment, it may seem like smaller, local firms cannot compete. Michael Logan of the midsize firm Kane Russell Coleman Logan shares a contrarian view of the current merger mania in Texas.

DBJ: U.S. Government Appeals AT&T, Time Warner Decision

By Brian Womack of the Dallas Business Journal – (July 12) – According to legal filings submitted Thursday, the government is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after it lost the case last month that sought to block the tie-up of the two companies.

Updated: It’s Official – Kirkland Opens Office in Dallas

By Mark Curriden – (July 11) – Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis announced Wednesday it is opening an office in Dallas with nine corporate transactional lawyers hired from four elite Texas law firms and KPMG. In an exclusive interview with The Texas Lawbook, Kirkland partner Andy Calder in Houston said the firm will grow its Dallas operation just as aggressively as it did in Houston “if client demand is there.” Legal industry analysts say Kirkland’s decision to expand to Dallas “dramatically changes the corporate law landscape” in North Texas. The Lawbook has full details.

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Houston Chief Federal Judge Issues First TRO in Parent Deportation

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U.S. Chief Judge Lee Rosenthal of Houston issued a temporary restraining order Thursday prohibiting federal immigration officials from deporting a Honduran woman who came to the U.S. last…

Features

Texas Corporate Law Firm Steps Up on Immigration

By Mark Curriden – (July 17) – In the past two weeks, more than 140 lawyers for the corporate law firm Haynes and Boone in Austin, Dallas, Houston and beyond have volunteered thousands of hours to represent and advise detainees from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for free. The firm represents 13 mothers and fathers – all of them with young children – who fled their homelands in fear for their lives.

Haynes and Boone is also lead counsel in Jane Doe v. Homeland Security, the potentially precedent-setting case of a 29-year-old Honduran mother and her 12-year-old daughter, who fled after the mother was repeatedly being tortured, raped and threatened with her life, only to be horribly railroaded by a U.S. immigration system bent on denying due process.

Photo credit: Haynes and Boone

‘Mami, Por qué dejas que me lastimen?’ – Corp. Lawyers Help Anguished Parents & Children at the Border

By Mark Curriden – LOS FRESNOS, TX (July 2) – Corporate lawyers left the Port Isabel Detention Center exhausted Sunday evening after hearing Honduran and Guatemalan mothers and fathers describe the reasons they fled their homelands. Many were repeatedly gang-raped or forced into prostitution by gangs or beaten because they could not afford a gang-imposed tax. Others were tortured or had family members kidnapped because they witnessed a crime.

Swatting away swarms of mosquitos, the lawyers said detainees – exhausted, confused and emotionally overwhelmed – begged them for legal help and for information about their children, which were taken from them when they were arrested. This weekend, The Texas Lawbook interviewed in-person and on the telephone seven corporate lawyers who worked pro bono for detainees at Port Isabel and two other facilities in South Texas. The stories they tell are horrifying.

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GCs, Lawyers & Firms

V&E Adds Real Estate Lawyer Carrie Winkler

Carrie Winkler, who was a real estate associate at V&E from 1998 to 2004, has…

Updated – Munsch Hardt Doubles IP Litigation Practice through Acquisition

Munsch Hardt announced on Tuesday that it will acquire the four-lawyer Dallas intellectual property litigation…

Kelly Hart Partner to Receive 2018 Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award

David Keltner will be honored at the Annual Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner in…

Alistair Dawson Named Fellows Chair of Texas Bar Foundation

Beck Redden partner Alistair Dawson, who recently completed his service as president of the Houston…

Orsinger Nelson Promotes Two to Partner

Chris Oldner and Holly Rampy Baird received their law degrees at Texas Tech.…

Exall+Wood Picks Up Corporate Transaction Attorney

Ty Johnson was previously at Hall Render.…

Greenberg Traurig Grows Dallas Corporate Group

Scott Ellis and Tanya Goins have lateraled over from Winstead and Holland & Knight, respectively.…

Cantey Hanger Hires Former TCEQ Deputy Commissioner

Stephen Tatum, Jr., has joined the partnership at Cantey Hanger, where his dad practices and…

Corporate Deal Tracker

New to Corporate Deal Tracker, or need a refresher on its criteria? You can also find that below.

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Lawyers in the News

Efren Acosta
Brooks Antweil
Michael Blankenship
Randy Block
Michael Considine
Jon Daly
Michael Darden
Carmelo Gordian
Justin Hoffman
Hillary Holmes
Kristin Johnston
Jeremy Kennedy
Thomas Laughlin
Matt Lyons
Sarah McLean
Heather Palmer
Christopher Richardson
Omar Samji
Sean Wheeler
Dick Wynne
Vic Zanetti
Kent Zimmermann

Firms in the News

Baker Botts
Baker McKenzie
Bracewell
ConocoPhillips
Energy Transfer Partners
General Electric
Gibson Dunn
Gray Reed
Hanger
Haynes and Boone
Hunton Andrews Kurth
Jackson Walker
Katten
Keurig Dr Pepper
Kirkland
Latham
Locke Lord
LyondellBasell
McLain Co.
McKool Smith
Newhouse+Noblin
Norton Rose Fulbright
Performance Legal Placement
Porter Hedges
Reed Smith
Selman Munson
Shearman
Sidley
T&K
Texas State Board of Pharmacy
Toyota
V&E
Varsity Brands
White & Case
Winstead
Winston & Strawn
Yetter Coleman
Zeughauser Group

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Mergermarket: Kirkland & Ellis Continues Its M&A Winning Streak in Texas

By Mark Curriden – (April 17) – For the ninth consecutive quarter, Texas businesses turned more to national law firms instead of locally based legal operations to lead their major mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Find out who’s leading the pack in Texas and the latest trends in the market. Mark Curriden has the details in The Texas Lawbook.


‘Who Run the World?’ Beyoncé Notwithstanding, An Austin M&A Lawyer Do

By Claire Poole – (April 20) – The Texas Lawbook Corporate Deal Tracker results for 2017 are in, and the top spot is held by a woman. In a corner of the profession long dominated by white guys from Houston, this is a big deal. Claire Poole has details about the winner. One more thing: she recently moved.


Law Firm Competition Intense for M&A Deals in Texas

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (April 16) – The Texas Lawbook’s 2017 Corporate Deal Tracker results for M&A dealmaking are final and there are some major surprises. V&E still reigns No. 1, but a handful of national law firms that have moved into Texas are threatening to take its crown. The Texas Lawbook has all the numbers on M&A by Texas law firms.


Corporate Deal Tracker 2017: A Year of Market Contrasts

By Claire Poole – (March 26) – Dealmaking in 2017 was confounding: deals were up, but values were down. The deal count hit 735, but total reported value dropped below $400 billion. There are lots of reasons, of course. But maybe the best explanation is the market itself. Claire Poole sums up the year based on the 2017 annual Corporate Deal Tracker tallies exclusively in The Texas Lawbook.


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EFH, Oncor, Vistra – A Corporate Restructuring for the Decades

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 19) – In some ways, it was more saga than bankruptcy: A four-year-long, $45 billion corporate restructuring that included the elimination of more than $20 billion in debt, four corporate M&A divestitures valued at $18 billion each, heated battles with state regulators that caused two of those deals to collapse, and the $20 billion spin-off of two subsidiaries. And now the deal is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Mark Curriden describes the EFH journey through the courts in The Texas Lawbook.

Dena Stroh & NTTA’s Law Firms Finalists for Biz Litigation and M&A Deal of Year

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Dena Stroh says she had no idea that government law could be fascinating. But in 2017, she guided the North Texas Tollway Authority through one of the largest government bond issues in the U.S., as well as a potentially major class-action lawsuit. For that, and more, she and what she calls her “excellent lawyers” are nominated in two categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read the details in The Texas Lawbook.

Michael Sukenik is ‘Adept at Operating Across Diverse Markets’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Michael “Misha” Sukenik travels a lot. He’s the legal officer behind two of the best known franchise names in the Yum! Brands inventory in 120 countries. He’s also a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Trinity Industries: Their Hard-Fought Fifth Circuit Win Yields Three Outstanding Corporate Counsel Finalists

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – A 2014 East Texas jury verdict that Trinity Industries violated the False Claims Act resulted in a $663 million judgment against the Irving-based manufacturer of highway guardrails. Instead of cratering, Trinity launched a counter-offensive led by the company’s top legal officers, Theis Rice and Sarah Teachout. In 2017, the duo and their outside counsel scored an historic reversal—earning them nominations as finalists in three categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. The Texas Lawbook explains.

Chasity Henry is a ‘Recognized Problem-Solver’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – Chasity Wilson Henry had just graduated from law school in 2006 when she found herself handling nine-figure M&A deals with some of the savviest corporate lawyers in North Texas. Now Assistant General Counsel at Kimberly-Clark—and a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards—Henry is leading the legal department in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The Texas Lawbook lays out the reasons Henry is a fast-rising legal star.

Blake Rice’s Job is ‘Problem-solving with Really High Stakes’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – For Blake Rice, the work day starts early. Though he is based in Dallas, the lifelines of Neuberger Berman, the fast-rising investment services company he represents, stretch across time zones from London to Hong Kong and beyond. His grasp of complicated global transactions has earned him both respect and a nomination for a 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award. Learn about him in The Texas Lawbook.

David Hernandez Serves as Trusted Counselor & Adviser to Hunt Family

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Baltimore-born David Hernandez made his reputation in Texas as a tax lawyer and a strategic thinker. After years in the law firm trenches, he has emerged as a masterful in-house counsel at Hunt Consolidated and a trusted Hunt family advisor in a time of delicate transition. For this, and more, Hernandez is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Learn more about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Janie Perelman: ‘People Just Want to be Treated with Respect’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – A massive data breach in 2014 could have been catastrophic for Michaels Stores. The arts and crafts company had to explain what happened to regulators, notify 2.6 million customers and fend off no less than five massive lawsuits. But Michaels has recovered, and many credit the rapid and transparent response by Janie Perelman, the company’s assistant general counsel. And now she’s a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read how she did it in The Texas Lawbook.

Lennie Nicholson Wanted to be Radar O’Reilly, but Became a Great Banking Lawyer

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Lennie Nicholson has helped guide a tiny credit union into a publicly-traded company. For that, the vice president and associate general counsel of LegacyTexas Bank has been named as a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Not bad for an Upstate New Yorker who got hoodwinked by Uncle Sam. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Chris Luna Uses ‘Carrots and Sticks’ to Push for Law Firm Diversity

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Chris Luna, chief counsel at MetroPCS, has been a fixture in Dallas business and public life. He is an outspoken proponent of diversity in both the legal profession and the businesses they serve. His legal department is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Find out why in The Texas Lawbook.

Liberty Mutual Corporate Counsel Kimberly Houston “Sees the Bigger Picture”

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Kimberly Houston’s fascination with the law may have begun with “Matlock,” but it’s grown into an expertise on such weighty subjects as employment misclassification and regulatory compliance. As Corporate Counsel for Liberty Mutual, the insurance giant, Houston has wrestled with large-scale undertakings, from a class action defense to the development of the company’s new corporate campus in North Texas. And now she’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Stacie McNulty ‘Embodies the Spirit’ of the Public Service & Pro Bono Award

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – Stacie McNulty is a highly-respected authority on intellectual property. Her observations on the subject have been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. But her long-standing commitment to programs dealing with HIV and other public health issues commands something close to awe. As a result, she’s a finalist in the upcoming Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Details in The Texas Lawbook.

Award Finalist: Oncor’s Complex Asset Swap with Sharyland

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – When Oncor Electric Delivery Company and Dallas-based Sharyland Utilities swapped assets in 2017, it was more than another $400 energy distribution deal. It was a solution to a problem that had plagued and perplexed 60,000 rate payers. That’s one of the reasons the deal is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about what made it unusual and who made it happen in The Texas Lawbook.

Nicola Hobeiche Has a ‘Personal Sense of Obligation to Help Others’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Nicola Hobeiche is assistant general counsel at ORIX USA, but her office is often a minefield: of books or clothes or toys headed for a homeless shelter. Sure, she’s an experienced and respected trial lawyer, but she’s also a first-rate community servant and a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Brittany Perez ‘Crafts Unique & Custom Solutions to Complex Legal Issues Around the Globe’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Brittany Perez jumps horses in competition. As vice president and associate general counsel of Match.com, she’s also involved in issues as diverse as consumer class actions and cybersecurity. She’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards and her profile in The Texas Lawbook spells out why. Spoiler alert: She didn’t meet her husband on Match.

Keitha Wright ‘Rolls Up her Sleeves’ on Diversity

 


By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Keitha Wright was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Now the Howard University Law School grad is senior counsel at G2 Secure Staff. Because of her work inside and outside, she’s a finalist in the diversity category of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards. More in The Texas Lawbook.

Baron Oursler Offers ‘Legal Answers that Provide Business Solutions’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Baron T. Oursler decided to become a lawyer as an 11-year-old boy. Now he’s general counsel of a $1 billion trucking company. He’s also among finalists in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards for 2017. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Cross-Border Dealmaking for TX Companies Plunges in 2017

 

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (Dec. 6) – Cross-border deals in Texas are down dramatically in 2017. Aside from the usual suspects – a strong dollar and undependable oil prices – is a new one: the uncertain parameters of the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. Some transactional lawyers think a lack of policy structure breeds uncertainty among foreign investors. Others think it has no effect at all. This exclusive in The Texas Lawbook has the numbers and the story behind them.