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Low Oil Prices Sink 2015 Texas M&A Activity


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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.


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


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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.



Kelly Hart and Underwood Law Advise in $725 Million Waggoner Ranch Sale



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By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 9) – A state district judge this week approved the L.A. Rams owner Stan Kroenke as the buyer of the long-fought-after W.T. Waggoner Ranch in North Texas. Kroenke is buying the property for $725 million.



Hurst and Brown Leave Gruber for Lynn


hurst-brownL By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 8) – Prominent Dallas trial lawyers Michael K. Hurst and Shonn Brown, who represent Ray Hunt and Highland Capital in multimillion-dollar litigation, are leaving Gruber Hurst for crosstown rival Lynn Pinker Cox. Hurst and Brown are taking five lawyers with them. The Texas Lawbook interviewed all parties.



Dallas Lawyer Chosen to Leadership Post in Airline Antitrust Litigation


wburns1L By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 4) – A federal judge in Washington, D.C. overseeing a series of antitrust class action lawsuits against American, Southwest and other airlines has appointed Dallas trial lawyer Warren Burns of Burns Charest to a co-leadership role in the litigation. Southwest GC Mark Shaw hired Vinson & Elkins to defend the airline. American hired O'Melveny and Myers.


Houston Natural Gas Storage Company Files for Bankruptcy

prergrine1t By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 4) – Ryckman Creek Resources and its parent, Peregrine Midstream Partners filed for Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this week, following experts’ projection of an uptick in bankruptcy filings by energy companies this year as oil prices remain low.


SCOTX Denies Chesapeake's Request for Rehearing in Hyder Case


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From Media Reports – (Feb. 4) – Texas' high court has decided not to revisit its ruling last June in a royalty dispute between Chesapeake Energy and the well-known Fort Worth Hyder family.


Caldwell, Cassady & Curry Nails Apple with $625 million Patent Infringement Verdict in EDTX


jcassady1 By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 3) – A federal jury in Tyler ruled Wednesday that Apple willfully infringed on patents owned by a Nevada security software company and ordered the technology giant to pay VirnetX Holding Corp. $625 million in damages.


Texas Supreme Court Weighs Jurisdiction in ERG’s $100 Million Suit Over Failed Deal


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By Janet Elliott – AUSTIN (Feb. 3) – A series of emails and phone calls from a Canadian company to Texas concerning a hotly contested stock purchase are the focus of arguments in a $100 million contract-interference dispute under consideration by the Texas Supreme Court. The justices are e court is weighing whether ERG Resources, a Houston independent oil and gas operator, has the right to proceed in Texas courts with its claims against its Canadian rival for assets in Colombia.


Top Stories

FCPA Blog: Low Oil Prices Hurt FCPA Compliance Efforts

Energy and natural resource executives highlight specific areas of concern in a KPMG International survey.…

Simpson Thacher’s Chris May Advises in Historic Chinese Acquisition

Simpson Thacher’s Chris May Advises in Historic Chinese Acquisition

The deal marks the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company. …

<em>Chron</em>: Mother Seeks Justice from Nike and Michael Jordan in her son’s Murder

Chron: Mother Seeks Justice from Nike and Michael Jordan in her son’s Murder

A Houston mother is going after Nike and Michael Jordan after her 22-year-old son was killed by a 21-year old man, who followed him after he bought a…

Features

Click here to register for or get more details about The Texas Lawbook's Dallas and Houston Lions of the Texas Bar CLE Ethics Programs

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Bill Dawson – One of Jimmy’s Boys


bdawsonL1 By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 28) – Celebrating four decades as a trial lawyer, Bill Dawson has been involved in some of the biggest environmental lawsuits, patent infringement cases, oil and gas disputes, defamation allegations and securities and fraud cases. He’s defended Energy Future Holdings, Monitronics International and Dr. Phil McGraw. He’s sued Google and represented Delta Airlines in its case against Southwest Airlines and the City of Dallas. He successfully sued big accounting firms only to have the accounting firms hire him later for future trials.

“Trials are a lot like life itself,” he says.


Judge Royal Furgeson – A Great American Lawyer


jrfurgesonL1 By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 25) – For four decades, Royal Furgeson has been one of the most dynamic cheerleaders for the bench and bar. The Vietnam veteran spent a quarter century as a trial lawyer in West Texas defending businesses in antitrust cases and suing other companies for breach of contract. That was followed by two decades as a federal judge. Now, he is a rookie again but this time in legal education where he serves as the first dean of the UNT College of Law.

“I’m as excited about the law today as I was 45 years ago,” he says.


Rod Phelan: A Lawyer for Lawyers


rphelanL1 By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 25) – Rod Phelan remembers his early days practicing law. His billable rate was $35 an hour. Carrington Coleman paid him $1,200 a month, which meant he brought his lunch to work to save money. He was "one of Jimmy's boys" - meaning Jim Coleman, who encouraged him to take cases to trial, which he did often.

Four decades later, Phelan – now a senior litigation partner in the Dallas office of Baker Botts – has not lost his passion for trials. “I would rather watch a closing argument than a Cowboys game or Duke basketball,” Phelan says.

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


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Lawyers & Firms

SMU Dedman School of Law Recognizes Winners of Alumni Awards

SMU Dedman School of Law Recognizes Winners of Alumni Awards

Jim Baldwin, Shonn Brown, Cece Cox, Windle Turley and Judge Catharina Haynes were honored at…

WFAA Features Harold Kleinman’s Commitment to Serving Others

Kleinman, 85, founded the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.…

Alston Bird Makes Splash in Dallas, Adds Another Corporate Group

The five-lawyer team from Bracewell is the second significant corporate lateral team hire Alston &…

Dykema Cox Smith Adds Dallas Litigation Member

Gavin Hill joins Dykema Cox Smith from Bracewell.…

DMN: Strasburger Honored for Helping Veterans get Education

<em>DMN</em>: Strasburger Honored for Helping Veterans get Education

Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff,…

HBA President Jumps to Dentons

HBA President Jumps to Dentons

Laura Gibson will lead the Houston office's labor and employment practice.…

Gardere Expands in Dallas, Opens for Business in Denver

Gardere Expands in Dallas, Opens for Business in Denver

Firm Chair Holland O’Neil says the firm has been considering a Denver office in its…

Kirkland & Ellis Beefs Up Litigation Practice in Houston

Kirkland & Ellis Beefs Up Litigation Practice in Houston

Anna Rotman, formerly a partner at Yetter Coleman, is one of the firm’s first three…

V&E Deepens Corporate Finance Bench in Houston

V&E Deepens Corporate Finance Bench in Houston

Trevor Wommack focuses his practice on syndicated lending in the energy sector with a particular…

Jones Day Nabs Energy Transactions Guru

Jones Day Nabs Energy Transactions Guru

William Sultemeier said he was impressed by the cohesiveness and scale of Jones Day's energy…

Carrington Coleman Expands IP Practice

Carrington Coleman Expands IP Practice

Mark Howland and Sam Joyner join the Dallas-based law firm as partners from Jones Day…

Paul Hastings Taps Rick Burleson to Lead Oil and Gas Practice

Burleson previously led his own energy-focused law firm, which closed at the end of 2015.…

Dykema Cox Smith Strengthens IP Practice in Austin

Dykema Cox Smith Strengthens IP Practice in Austin

Bradley Coburn left Denko Coburn Lauff, a firm he helped create in 2009, to join…

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Lawyers in the News

Charles Ainsworth
Alden Atkins
R. Christopher Bunt
Warren Burns
Bradley Caldwell
Jason Cassady
Austin Curry
Claire Abernathy Henry
Jeffrey Kubin
Chris May
Justin Nemunaitis
Harriet O’Neill
Robert Parker
Mark Shaw
Johnny Ward
Bruce Wark

Firms in the News

American Airlines
Burns Charest
Caldwell Cassady
Gibbs & Bruns
O'Melveny
Parker Bunt
Simpson Thacher
Southwest Airlines
V&E
Ward, Smith & Hill

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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 were last updated on January 4. This most recent update completes the data for 2015 deal activity, and does not include any 2016 data.

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

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:

Texas M&A 2015 The Lawyers, Firms and Deals L1
Securities Offerings by Law Firms L1
M&A Deal Count by Law Firm L2
M&A Deal Count by Lawyers L1
M&A Deal Count by Sector L2
Total Deal Count by Law Firm (Securities + M&A) L2
Texas Securities Offerings 2015 - The Lawyers, Firms and Issuers L1
Securities Offerings by Lawyers Issuers Counsel Underwriters Initial Purchasers Counsel L1
Click here to view capital markets lawyers' rankings by lead issuer's counsel, and here to view capital markets lawyers' rankings by lead underwriters' counsel.
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The Securities Offerings Rush of 2015 Goes Bust


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By Mark Curriden and Natalie Posgate – (Nov. 16) – Oil and gas companies - many of them financially distressed - rushed to the capital markets during the first six months of this year. New data compiled by The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker and Bloomberg News shows that Texas and Oklahoma companies raised an astounding $127 billion through 179 securities and debt offerings.

Then suddenly, it all stopped. The number of debt offerings since July 1 plummeted. This artcle explains why and the impact it will have.

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Texas Corporate Lawyers Reach Beyond State's Borders for Business


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By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Nov. 10) – New data compiled by Mergermarket and The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker shows continued shifts in the legal marketplace. Premier M&A legal practices continue to get more of the top dollar transactional work. A smaller group of full service firms are capturing the mid-market deal activity. Wall Street law firms continue to steal away the largest Texas M&A.

But the newest trend is that Texas-based lawyers are increasingly being hired by non-Texas companies to advise them on mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

The Texas Lawbook has the exclusive report on the law firms that are doing the most M&A work so far in Texas.

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Texas M&A Deal Count Plunges, Value Skyrockets


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By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Nov. 9) – New data shows that M&A activity in Texas in has declined four consecutive quarters, but the deals that are getting done are twice as big and significantly more complex. Corporate lawyers and investment bankers now predict energy M&A could remain stagnant or plunge even more over the next year.

“This market is just brutal,” says Deloitte's William Snyder. “There’s going to be prolonged pain.”

The Texas Lawbook's Corporate Deal Tracker has every merger, acquisition and JV handled by Texas lawyers in 2015.

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Mike O’Leary: The Busiest Transactional Lawyer in Texas


moleary1L By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Nov. 9) – The Houston-based partner at Andrews Kurth was the lead legal adviser in more securities offerings than any other lawyer in Texas during the first nine months of 2015. And he was busy representing clients in the M&A market, too. The Texas Lawbook highlights O'Leary's work this year and his insights on the current state of the market.

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