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Lead Stories

Sheppard Mullin to Open Office in Dallas

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 23) – Los Angeles-based Sheppard Mullin, a 90-year-old law firm with more than 800 lawyers in 15 offices worldwide, is expected to announce in the next couple of weeks that it is opening an outpost in Dallas. The Texas Lawbook has learned that Sheppard Mullin will open its Texas operation with a mixture of lawyers that it is recruiting from existing Dallas law firms and lawyers it is relocating from other Sheppard Mullin offices.


Texas Appeals Court Upholds $288M Ruling for Highland Capital v. Credit Suisse

By Jon Prior of The Dallas Business Journal – (Feb. 22) – The Dallas Court of Appeals Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling for Dallas investment firm Highland Capital Management to recover nearly $288 million from Swiss bank Credit Suisse for a real estate deal gone wrong in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis. This Dallas Business Journal report has the details.


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Three Partners Depart Gruber Hail to Open New Shop

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 21) – Three partners at the 20-lawyer Dallas trial boutique Gruber Hail Johansen Shank are leaving the law firm to start their own practice. Trey Crawford, Dave Wishnew and Michael Lang have launched their own litigation shop.


Hunton Andrews Kurth Officially Announced

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 21) – The long-expected merger between Virginia-based Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon was announced publicly Wednesday. The combined firm will be called Hunton Andrews Kurth.


Massachusetts Heats up Fiduciary Rule Discussion with Cold-blooded Enforcement

By Ronak V. Patel of Winstead – (Feb. 21) – When financial services firms offer their representatives special incentives related to a specific product or service, they often draw the attention of securities regulators. But Ronak Patel of Winstead argues that a recent action by the Massachusetts Securities Division signals a shift in enforcement strategy and that financial firms in Texas should take note.


Patent Board Allows McKool Client Challenge of Immunex

By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 21) – The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board refused to deny a challenge by a French pharmaceutical company to a patent held by Seattle-based Immunex. The ruling sets the stage for a full-scale challenge to a patent on drug treatment for allergies, rhinitis and other immune system problems. Natalie Posgate has the details in The Texas Lawbook.


Corp. Deal Tracker Weekly Round-Up: 14 Firms and 111 Texas Lawyers Advise on 15 Transactions Worth $5.5B

By Claire Poole – (Feb. 19) – Transactions were all over the map last week involving a major acquisition by a chemical giant, a major oil and gas purchase by a company in pre-packaged bankruptcy, capital funding for a medical device manufacturer and a merger by two companies in the infrastructure business just as the Trump administration announced plans to pump $200 billion into public works projects. Claire Poole has deal details and weekly totals in her CDT Weekly Roundup in The Texas Lawbook.


Take-Nothing Arbitration Win Ends 10-year Hurricane Dolly Claim

By Allen Pusey – (Feb. 19) – A take-nothing arbitration ordered by the Texas Supreme Court effectively ends 10 years of litigation over a storm damaged condominium project on South Padre Island. The dispute, over insurance coverage after Hurricane Dolly, saw an endorsement of oft-cited arbitration waiver rules. The Texas Lawbook fully explains.


Analysis: Texas Corporate Law Market Sees Massive Shake-Up & Realignment of M&A Practice

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 16) – The Texas corporate legal market is experiencing extraordinary turmoil in 2018 – and the year is only six weeks old. Three large Texas-based corporate law firms are in the final stages of merger negotiations with out-of-state law firms. Five national law firms have either opened or are opening new offices in the state before the end of March. Since Jan. 1, more than 100 business lawyers have quit the law firms in Austin, Dallas and Houston where they have worked for years or even decades to join competitors.

The Texas legal market, which has been a hotbed of activity since 2010, is in the midst of a frenzied transformation not witnessed in decades. The Texas Lawbook has details.


Texas Shuts Down SourceRock Energy Securities Offering

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 13) – The Texas Securities Commission issued a cease and desist order Friday to stop Dallas-based SourceRock Energy and its two executives from further efforts to raise $4.4 million from investors for an oil and gas project. The Texas Lawbook has the details.


White & Case Officially Opens in Houston, Wants 50-Lawyer Office

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 13) – After 36 years at V&E, Jay Cuclis has officially opened the Houston office of White & Case. Two Andrews Kurth Kenyon energy transactional partners in Houston – Christopher Richardson and Charlie Ofner – are joining Cuclis. In an interview with The Texas Lawbook, Cuclis says the 2,100-lawyer global firm plans to be aggressive in building the office.


More Stories
Corp. Deal Tracker Weekly Round-Up: 17 Firms and 157 Texas Lawyers Work on 23 Transactions Worth $7.1B

Corp. Deal Tracker Weekly Round-Up: 17 Firms and 157 Texas Lawyers Work on 23 Transactions Worth $7.1B

Texas deal attorneys were active this past week, with 17 firms and 157 lawyers working on 23 deals worth $7.1 billion. The deals ranged from mergers to asset…

SCOTX Asked to Settle Retained Acreage Disputes

SCOTX Asked to Settle Retained Acreage Disputes

Advances in fracking technology and increased oil prices have helped gain significant production from oil fields once thought to be dry losers. But confusion between regulatory filings and…

UDF Investigation Heads for Conclusion As Bass ‘SLAPPs’ Back

UDF Investigation Heads for Conclusion As Bass ‘SLAPPs’ Back

Far from crumbling in the face of a lawsuit that accuses him of pushing fake news for profit, Kyle Bass is doubling down on his accusers, United Development…

Features

Mergermarket: Texas M&A Dealmaking Evolves Over a Decade

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 19) – Exclusive new data examining mergers and acquisitions during the past eight years involving Texas-based companies shows that a dramatic shift has taken place in the corporate legal marketplace. Mergermarket shows that 28 of the 40 law firms advising Texas businesses in the most M&A deals from 2010 to 2017 are based outside Texas.

Houston-based Vinson & Elkins is in a heated battle with Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins for the title of M&A lord in Texas. Jones Day has solidified its spot in the top five. The Texas Lawbook has the raw numbers for the top 40 legal advisors.


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SEC Loses Three Senior-Level Enforcers to Dallas Financial Services Firm – Updated

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 5) – SEC Associate Director Jessica Magee and two other key SEC lawyers are leaving the Fort Worth office to join the Beneficient Company Group, an alternative asset management firm led by Dallas financial titans Brad Heppner, Richard Fisher, Tom Hicks and others. The loss of the three senior SEC leaders leaves a huge void in the federal agency’s regional operations and could impact several high-profile prosecutions and investigations. The Texas Lawbook has full details, including interviews with SEC’s Shamoil Shipchandler and BEN CEO Brad Heppner.


GCs, Lawyers & Firms

Holland & Knight Adds Houston Litigation Partner

Anna Sankaran lateraled over from Greenberg Traurig.…

Former International Trade Practice Leaders at Gardere Jump to Akerman

Michelle Schulz and Elsa Manzanares have joined Akerman with three additional team members from their…

Houston Bar Foundation Announces New Chair

Barrett Reasoner is a partner at Gibbs & Bruns.…

National Trial Lawyers Names Mark Lanier President

The National Trial Lawyers honored Lanier with its “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award in…

ERISA Expert Leaves Big Law for Scheef & Stone

Jim Griffin says the idea for a “lifestyle change” entered his mind after he reached…

Winston & Strawn Bolsters Energy Litigation Practice in Houston

Hugh Tanner and Denise Scofield jumped to Winston from Morgan Lewis & Bockius, where Tanner…

Dykema Elects Four New Members in Texas

Dykema's executive board promoted 12 attorneys to member firmwide.…

Jackson Walker Adds Lateral Partners in Austin and Houston

Pamela Madere and Scott Schepps have joined from Coats Rose and Fizer Beck Webster Bentley…

Dallas Law Firm Stewart Bradbury Adds First Lateral Partner – Updated

Keron Wright is the third partner and fifth attorney overall at the six-month-old law firm.…

Jackson Walker Elevates Six to Partner

The firm's newly-minted partners are from four different offices.…

Polsinelli Shareholder John Woodruff Elected Fellow of Texas Bar Foundation

Woodruff is chair of the tax section of the Houston Bar Association. …

Beverly Godbey Joins Amy Stewart Law

Beverly Godbey Joins Amy Stewart Law

Godbey, who was Stewart's boss two decades ago at Gardere Wynne Sewell, is now coming…

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Announces New MP of Houston Office

Jennise Stubbs will lead the Kansas City law firm’s 30 lawyer Houston office.…

Former AUSA Jumps to Nossaman in Austin

Jody Rudman is also a former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney and Special Assistant Attorney…

Chris Nolland Receives Justice Frank G. Evans Award

Chris Nolland Receives Justice Frank G. Evans Award

The Justice Evans Award is given annually by the State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute…

2017 CDT Data on the Way

 

Thanks to all firms who submitted their 2017 deals to the Corporate Deal Tracker. We will be back online soon with the results. In the meantime, firms that wish to receive credit for 2018 should submit their M&A or capital markets deals through our new online form below.

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

Mike Bengtson
Michael Blaney
Randy Block
Michael Chambers
Jason Cohen
John B. Connally IV
Susan Cox
Alain Dermarkar
Mollie Duckworth
David Elder
Matthew Falcone
Tim Fenn
Andrew Gratz
Gillian Hobson
Taylor Landry
Thomas Laughlin
Geoffrey Long
Ryan Maierson
Courtney Marcus
J.J. McAnelly
Kevin McInnis
Sarah McLean
David Miller
Sarah Morgan
Mike Niebruegge
Mike O’Leary
Steve Parrott
Alfredo Perez
Jeff Schlegel
Anthony Speier
Hunter Summerford
Rahul Vashi
Trey Wood
Kent Zimmerman

Firms in the News

Akin Gump
AKK
Baker Botts
Bracewell
DLA Piper
Haynes and Boone
Jones Day
Kirkland
Latham
Locke Lord
LyondellBasell
Parrott Sims
T&K
V&E
Weil
Willkie
Zeughauser Group

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The Corporate Deal Tracker is currently undergoing a redesign. While we work on the final touches, check out our recent reports below on Mergermarket’s Texas-specific data. Corporate Deal Tracker will return with up-to-date data in mid-September.


Texas Lawbook Surpasses 9,000 Subscribers & 2,000 Corporate In-House Counsel


By Mark Curriden – (Sept. 22) – I am pleased to announced that The Texas Lawbook officially surpassed 9,000 paid subscribers in August – more than 2,000 of them are corporate in-house counsel and general counsel. The 25 largest law firms in Texas and more than 35 corporate in-house legal departments have subscriptions for all their lawyers. In addition, tens-of-thousands of more business leaders read Texas Lawbook articles that are republished in the Dallas Business Journal and Houston Chronicle. This article is an update on recent developments at The Texas Lawbook and plans for the months ahead.


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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.