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Lead Stories

Physician Investments Make It Rain or Wear a Ball in Chain?

By Michael Byrd and Jay Reyero – (May 23) – RXpress, a Fort Worth compounding pharmacy facing federal scrutiny, is a cautionary tale of the intersection of physician investment opportunities, the deterioration of relationships and the significant danger when prudent structuring is ignored or deficient.

The RXpress case highlights the importance of careful, strategic planning in implementing physician-owned companies and marketing models within the health care industry.

Chesapeake and Total Settle Barnett Shale Royalty Disputes for $52.5 Million

gyoung By Mark Curriden – (May 23) – Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy and Total E&P USA agreed Monday that they will pay $52.5 million to 13,000 people who claimed their royalties have been underpaid for leases in the Barnett Shale. The lawsuits, filed in 2014 and 2015, by residents in Johnson County, Tarrant County and Dallas County accuse Chesapeake and Total of failing to pay royalties the companies agreed to in their contracts.

Wal-Mart Wins Fight with Eye Docs over Optometry Act Penalties

By Janet Elliott – (May 23) – A $1.4 million civil penalty won by optometrists who leased space in Wal-Mart stores equates to exemplary damages barred under a 1995 tort reform law, the Texas Supreme Court said Friday.

Fifth Circuit Affirms DataTreasury’s $69M Refund to JPMorgan

nreed By Natalie Posgate – (May 23) – The opinion is the first time for the Fifth Circuit to rule on the application of a most favored nations (MFN) clause in which the original license and the later, more favorable license both included lump sum payments.

Updated: Texas Lawbook Exclusive: Financial Data shows Seismic Shift Continues in Texas Legal Market

Top 35 Law Firms by Revenue Per Lawyer in Texas L1 By Mark Curriden – (May 20) – Nearly half of the 35 largest revenue-generating law firms operating in Texas are based outside the state. National law firms earned more than $1 billion in revenues from their Texas operations in 2015 - a double digit increase from 2014. Revenues for Texas-based firms increased by less than one-tenth of one percent last year.

Texas Lawbook data shows that elite, wealthy corporate law firms - those based in Texas and beyond - are achieving enormous financial success by stealing the best lawyers and the highest paying business clients away from indigenous Texas firms. The bottom line: the Texas legal market is turmoil and witnessing a shift that is radically changing the practice of corporate law in the state forever.

Updated: Texas Law Firm Report Card: Firms, Finances and Points of View

Top 35 Law Firms for Texas Revenues 1L
By Mark Curriden – (May 20) – Norton Rose Fulbright has regained the title of largest law firm in Texas. Vinson & Elkins generated the most revenues. Baker Botts generated the most profits. McDermott, Sidley, Morgan Lewis, Fish & Richardson, Kirkland, Alston & Bird and Polsinelli witnessed the most revenue growth.

Texas Justices Weigh Liability for Hospital Partner’s Conduct

dwainwright By Janet Elliott – (May 18) – Medical and business groups warn that the future of doctor-owned hospitals hangs in the balance as the Texas Supreme Court considers whether a hospital partnership could be vicariously liable for a physician-partner’s alleged negligence.

Dallas Morning News: Trump Considers TX Justice Don Willett good for SCOTUS

dwillett2 By Bobby Blanchard of Dallas Morning News – (May 18) – If elected president, Donald Trump would consider nominating Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Texas Lawbook Exclusive: Law, Truth and Sam Wyly – The World of Bankruptcy according to Judge Barbara Houser

bhouser1L By Mark Curriden – (May 18) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Houser released her much anticipated decision last week in the billion-dollar bankruptcy case of Sam Wyly and his sister-in-law Dee. Legal experts say the legal opinion, which is 459-pages long, includes 181,504 words and 1,682 footnotes, masterfully tells the highly complex story of the Wyly brothers and the web of offshore accounts they created in the Isle of Man two decades ago.

“This opinion shows that Judge Houser is a brilliant thinker and an excellent writer,” says Dallas bankruptcy lawyer Sid Scheinberg.

Litigation Boutique Launches Eminent Domain Course at Two TX Law Schools

By Erin Mulvaney of the Houston Chronicle – (May 17) – After seeing increased activity around Texas regarding issues surrounding property rights and infrastructure, the law schools at The University of Texas and University of Houston have responded by launching the state’s first eminent domain course. Lawyers at Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge are spearheading the effort.

Banking Industry M&A Stagnates; Energy Market Gets Some of the Blame

sbrown1L By Kerry Curry – (May 17) – There once was a time when Texas banks drew a price premium, and the Southwest led the country in banking M&A activity. Those days are gone. At least this year.

It’s slow out there. Low oil prices, financial regulation, depressed stock prices and mediocre economic indicators are playing a role in the region’s anemic banking merger-and-acquisition market.

Updated: $4.4B Range Resources-MRD Merger Hopefully Part of New ‘Wave’ of M&A

dpoole By Natalie Posgate – (May 16) – Fort Worth-based Range Resources broke two company records today when it announced its merger agreement with a fellow independent oil and gas company, Houston-based Memorial Resource Development.

There were a slew of Texas lawyers involved which Range GC David Poole said were "key to getting this deal done." Sidley Austin represents Range and Vinson & Elkins represents MRD, which is a portfolio company of private equity firm Natural Gas Partners. Akin Gump represents NGP, and Baker Botts is advising Barclays Capital, which is serving as NGP’s financial advisor.

Lawyer Couple Helps Free Nonviolent Drug Offender From Behind Bars

By Natalie Posgate – (May 16) – Many married couples might cringe at the thought of working together, but Houston corporate lawyers Darin Schultz and Christina Vitale treasure the opportunity. The husband-wife duo recently helped a man who was previously sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense walk out of a courtroom as a free man.

This article explains how they did it and what else they have worked on together.

How True Science Won a Dog (and Cat) Fight Against Mars

jkeville1 By Jeff Bounds – (May 16) – A Houston-based trial team at Winston & Strawn has engineered a huge victory for a small Pacific Northwest firm against food giant Mars, Inc. in a patent battle about pet treats.

More Stories
Gibson Dunn Represents Dean Foods in $155M Ice Cream Co. Acquisition

Gibson Dunn Represents Dean Foods in $155M Ice Cream Co. Acquisition

The firm is leading Dean Foods Company’s $155 million purchase of Friendly’s Ice Cream.…

Judge: Wyly Bros. ‘Committed Tax Fraud’

Judge: Wyly Bros. ‘Committed Tax Fraud’

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Houser, in a 425-page opinion, ruled late Tuesday that Dallas entrepreneurs Sam and Charles Wyly committed tax fraud when they created a series of…



Frank Branson: A Passion for Law, Life & Big Jury Verdicts

fbranson1L By Mark Curriden – (March 11) – Frank Branson has tried more than 100 cases to a verdict. His clients are ordinary people who have been horribly injured and business leaders who have been screwed over by unscrupulous partners. He’s won 20 or more multimillion-dollar jury verdicts.

The courtroom victories are the reason Branson is widely recognized as one of the great plaintiff’s lawyers in the U.S., as the combined jury verdicts and settlements he's secured for his clients approaches $1 billion.

Mike Wortley – 'A Rock in the World of Corporate Law'

mwortley1L By Mark Curriden – (March 11) – Michael Wortley represented Goldman Sachs in Dell's IPO and then he advised Dell in its purchase of Perot Systems. He was the lawyer who took Southland Corp. and 7-Eleven private. He represented real estate and investment firm Trammel Crow in its sale to CBRE. He led the merger that created Pioneer Natural Resources.

Seasoned GCs agree that Wortley is one of the best corporate lawyers to ever practice law in Texas. He advised corporations in more than 120 major mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and initial public offerings – transactions that had a combined value of more than $250 billion.

Richard Mithoff: Million-dollar Verdicts that Save Lives

rmithoffL1 By Mark Curriden – (March 11) – Richard Mithoff has won scores of million-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients in various personal injury, products liability, commercial and contract disputes. He represented families of elderly people killed in 2005 on a bus fleeing Hurricane Rita and the families of men killed that same year at the BP Texas City explosion – securing multimillion-dollar judgments for victims in both tragedies.

“He wins the old fashioned way – by out-thinking, outworking and outperforming his opposition,” said former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips.

Use your Texas Lawbook user-name and password to access articles on the Lions of the Texas Bar website.


Lawyers & Firms

Tom Vick Elected State Bar President

Nearly 18,000 lawyers in the State Bar of Texas voted to elect family lawyer Tom…

Enterprise Products Names Hap Weitzel as GC

Enterprise Products Names Hap Weitzel as GC

Houston-based Enterprise Products has named career commercial litigator Harry “Hap” Weitzel, a 1987 graduate of…

Former FleetPride GC Joins K&L Gates in Dallas

Jill Louis says her experience in-house helps her understand the pressures of being a GC…

Environmental Expert Returns to Private Practice at Gardere

Laura Whiting was most recently in-house at Occidental Chemical Corp., where she was senior counsel…

Judge Barbara Lynn to be Northern District’s Next Chief Judge

Judge Barbara Lynn to be Northern District’s Next Chief Judge

U.S. Chief Judge Jorge Solis announced Tuesday that U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn will succeed…

Barnes & Thornburg Launches Corporate M&A Practice in Dallas

Barnes & Thornburg Launches Corporate M&A Practice in Dallas

John Willding is the ninth lawyer to join Barnes & Thornburg in Dallas since the…

Greenberg Traurig Bolsters Litigation Practice in Dallas

Greenberg Traurig Bolsters Litigation Practice in Dallas

Three more lawyers from DLA Piper - including Dallas office managing partner Karl Dial -…

Porter Hedges Boosts Energy Transactional Team

Porter Hedges Boosts Energy Transactional Team

James Thompson focuses his practice on representing major and independent energy companies, oilfield service providers…

Polsinelli Adds Depth to Corporate Practice in Dallas

Polsinelli Adds Depth to Corporate Practice in Dallas

John Dickey focuses his practice on private equity, corporate finance and capital markets-related work. …

Kate Cassidy Takes You Out to The Ballgame

Kate Cassidy Takes You Out to The Ballgame

Lawyers boast about the view from their office windows, but none can match the scene…

Alston & Bird Adds More Depth to Finance Practice in Dallas

Michael Thimmig is the eighth finance partner and 13th attorney overall to join the Atlanta-based…

Kirkland Bolsters Tax Practice in Houston

Kirkland Bolsters Tax Practice in Houston

Chad McCormick, who lateraled from Baker Botts, is the third partner to join Kirkland's Houston…

Chron: New Managing Partner for Bracewell

<em>Chron</em>: New Managing Partner for Bracewell

Houston attorney Greg Bopp, who represents energy giants such as Kinder Morgan in megadeals, has…

Winstead Names New Houston Managing Shareholder

Winstead Names New Houston Managing Shareholder

Winstead said Thursday it has named commercial litigator Tom Van Arsdel as the new managing…

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Lawyers in the News

Matt Anderson
Andy Baker
Greg Bopp
Jeff Boyd
Andrew Calder
Jerry Clements
W. Eugene Davis
David George
Cary Gray
Nathan Hecht
James Ho
Richard Krumholz
Holly O’Neil
Yvette Ostolaza
Russell Post
Noelle Reed
Rob Reedy
Karl Rupp
Charles Schwartz
Mark Sloan
Rob Walters
Neil Wasserstrom
John Wilmouth
George Parker Young
Kent Zimmerman

Firms in the News

Alston & Bird
Baker Botts
Baker Wotring
Beck Redden
Circelli Walter
Gibson Dunn
Gray Reed
Kendall Law Group
Locke Lord
Mayer Brown
Norton Rose Fulbright
Porter Hedges
Wells Fargo
Zeughauser Group

The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker reports M&A activity and securities offerings handled by lawyers based in Texas, even if those transactions involve non-Texas-based companies. The Corporate Deal Tracker ranks matters by deal/offering count primarily and value secondarily. The data includes the announcement date, the names of the companies involved and the lawyers and their law firms. These charts are up to date as of April 15, 2016.

Please contact us if you see any information that is inaccurate or missing.

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:

M&A Deal Count by Law Firm (Q1 2016) L1
M&A Deal Count by Lead Lawyers (Q1 2016) L1
M&A Deal Count by Sector (Q1 2016) L1
Texas M&A 2016- The Lawyers, Firms and Deals L1
Securities Offerings by Law Firm (Q1 2016) L1
Total Deal Count by Law Firm (M&A + Securities) - Q1 2016 L1
Texas Securities Offerings 2016- The Lawyers, Firms and Issuers L1
Securities Offering Count by Lead Lawyer IC L1
Securities Offering Count by Lead Lawyer IU L1
Securities Offering Count by Lead Lawyer UU L1

Low Oil Prices Sink 2015 Texas M&A Activity

By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 9) – M&A deals involving Texas-based companies declined 23 percent last year, according to Mergermarket. The downturn was significantly more pronounced in the energy sector, which saw a near 40 percent decline in deal-making in 2015 from the year before. As a result, 16 of the top 25 corporate law firms representing companies saw a decline in their Texas-based M&A work – some by as much as 45 percent.

There is good news, however, from The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker, which shows many of the law firms that lost deal work from Texas oil and gas companies generated a sizeable amount of work – as much as 53 percent – from clients outside of Texas.


V&E: Still the King of the Oil Patch

By Natalie Posgate – HOUSTON (Feb. 11) –The Houston-based law firm has dominated M&A league tables for law firms representing Texas-based businesses for as long as such accounting has taken place, thanks to its strength in advising clients in the energy sector. As a result, V&E reported record revenues and profits in 2014, as the lawyers in its Texas offices generated more than $1 million in revenues each. But many legal industry observers and competitors privately predicted V&E’s legacy of supremacy in Texas M&A would end in 2015. V&E certainly seemed vulnerable. But the firm still remained at the top.

Find out why in this article.


Chris LaFollette: The No. 1 Texas M&A Dealmaker in 2015

clafollette2 By Natalie Posgate – HOUSTON (Feb. 11) – The Houston Akin Gump partner led more M&A deals than any other lawyer in the Lone Star State this past year. The Texas Lawbook sat down with LaFollette and heard her insights on M&A activity in 2015 and what’s in store for 2016.


Chris May: The Biggest Moneymaker in 2015 M&A

cmay By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 9) – The relatively new Texan and young partner at Simpson Thacher ranks No. 1 across the state in deal value by individual lawyer – and by a lot. New data from The Texas Lawbook's Corporate Deal Tracker reveals that May led $91.7 billion worth of deals in 2015.


Financial Advisers take Hit in Texas M&A in 2015

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 8) – Investment banks focused on oil and gas in Texas saw their M&A deal count plummet in 2015. Mergermarket shows that some financial advisers – Tudor Pickering Holt, RBC Capital, JPMorgan, Citi and Barclays – were hit harder than others. A handful of investment banks – Lazard, Credit Suisse, Piper Jaffray, BMO Capital and Lincoln International – increased the number of Texas-based deals they handled. Deloitte restructuring expert William Snyder says a few financial advisory groups are well positioned for the wave headed our way.