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Lead Stories

Houston NRF Lawyer Scores Appellate Win for Phillips 66 in Toxic Tort Case

By Natalie Posgate – (April 19) – A group of Houston lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright have been on a winning streak of toxic tort cases for Phillips 66. The latest, involving a 29-year-old who claims one of Phillips 66’s refineries caused her to develop leukemia, happened in a federal appeals court in Denver. Details here.

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.

SCOTX Bumps ‘$48K-an hour’ Lawyer Back to Square One in Hill Jr Legal Fee Battle

By Natalie Posgate – (April 17) –The Texas Supreme Court last week remanded a controversial jury award on legal fees back to a Dallas court for retrial. The court decided that expert testimony instrumental in the $7.25 million ruling for Dallas lawyer Gregory Shamoun was insufficient to justify the claim. The case is the latest in what the court itself called a “spiderweb of litigation” involving Albert Hill Jr. Natalie Posgate has the details.

Corp. Deal Tracker Weekly Round-Up: 10 Firms and 44 TX Lawyers Advise on 9 Deals Worth $1.8B

By Claire Poole – (April 17) – The week’s highlights of corporate deals handled by Texas lawyers included the establishment of a $1 billion infrastructure fund advised by a lawyer in a New York law firm’s Houston office that recently launched a funds practice; a bankrupt oil and gas company selling assets to a Norwegian oil giant; and a Woodlands-based private equity firm selling a power plant to a Japanese gas company that’s expanding its energy business in North America. There also were deals in the real estate, sand and water sectors.

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Sheppard Mullin Officially Opens Dallas Office

By Mark Curriden – (April 16) – With 18 lawyers, including 10 partners culled from six law firms, Sheppard Mullin announced Monday that it is open for business on the 24th floor of Chase Tower in Dallas. The North Texas outpost is the 16th office for Los Angeles-based firm, which boasts 800-attorneys. The founding partners discuss their move and their future plans for growth in this Texas Lawbook article.

SCOTX On Retained Acreage Conflicts: Lawful Contracts Rule

By Janet Elliott – (April 16) – In two closely-watched cases decided Friday, SCOTX defended its seemingly conflicting views on state regulation of retained acreage. Chief Justice Nathan Hecht says it’s actually pretty simple: contracts mean what they say. Janet Elliott explains in The Texas Lawbook.

Litigation Boutique Pioneer Mike Gruber Joins Dorsey

By Mark Curriden – (April 16) – Prominent litigator Mike Gruber left the Dallas litigation firm that bears his name to join Dorsey & Whitney, a 106-year old Minnesota firm. Gruber, who founded Gruber Hail Johansen Shank in 2006, said decision was hard, but his reasoning is simple: “It’s hard to compete against these national law firms.” Mark Curriden has the story in The Texas Lawbook.

Private Equity Reaching Deep Into Texas



By Claire Poole – (April 12) – The number of private equity deals was down last year from 2016, but deal values were up by 42 percent. This is what happens when a surfeit of capital starts chasing deals. Using data provided exclusively to The Texas Lawbook by Mergermarket, Claire Poole explains how $1 trillion in capital has affected Texas dealmaking – and why private equity is going to make transactional markets even more competitive.

More Stories

Corp. Deal Tracker Weekly Round-Up: Eight Firms and 32 TX Lawyers Advise on 11 Deals Worth $2.5B

Stock and trade jitters may have been behind it, but last week's transactional activity was...limp. Eleven deals, eight firms and 32 lawyers firmed up $2.5 billion worth of…

Strasburger Finally Announces Merger: Third Involving a Major Texas Firm this Month

The firm will operate in Texas as Clark Strasburger, but as Clark Hill everywhere else.…

Updated – From $50 in the Bank to Tuesday’s $502M Verdict Against Apple: Meet Caldwell Cassady & Curry

Updated – From $50 in the Bank to Tuesday’s $502M Verdict Against Apple: Meet Caldwell Cassady & Curry

Meet Caldwell Cassady & Curry. They started with a $50 bank account and a dedicated client. Now they wear jeans to work, name their conference rooms after hip-hop…

Features

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.




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DLA Piper’s Big Texas Play

By Mark Curriden – (April 10) – DLA Piper has operated in Texas for two decades with small outposts in Austin, Dallas and Houston. The firm, however, has been on a lateral hiring spree lately. DLA’s recent additions show that national law firms no longer target Texas-based law firms only for talent, but also are poaching attorneys from other national law firms and even corporate in-house legal departments. The Texas Lawbook has the exclusive inside story about DLA’s big move in Texas.


GCs, Lawyers & Firms

Dallas IP Firm Changes Names

Griffith Bates Champion & Harder is now doing business as Harper Bates & Champion after…

Crowe & Dunlevy Promotes Dallas Attorney to Director

Christopher Staine is a member of a number of the firm’s practice groups.…

Spencer Fane Grows in DFW with Three New Partners

The Kansas City law firm lured attorneys from Strasburger and Kilpatrick Townsend.…

Akerman Adds Insurance Litigation Pro in Dallas

Matt Schroeder, who left Gardere, has special expertise involving coverage issues related to environmental risk…

Polsinelli Shareholder Appointed to bionorthTX Board of Directors

Jason Wietjes also serves as a mentor at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and Addison TreeHouse.…

Hunton Andrews Kurth Names Five Houston Partners to Executive Committee

One of the new executive committee members has also been named deputy managing partner of…

Foley Gardere Names Managing Partners of Texas Offices

Michael Newman, Michael Rogers and Kimberly Yelkin will lead the Dallas, Houston and Austin offices,…

John McDowell Jumps to Dallas Trial Firm

Former Andrews Kurth Kenyon litigation partner John McDowell has joined forces with longtime friends and…

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

Efren Acosta
Thom Brandt
Alain Dermarkar
Gemma Descoteaux
David Flavell
Holt Foster
Steve Fox
Robin Fredrickson
Keith Fullenweider
Paul Green
John Greer
Mike Gruber
Phil Haines
James Hayes
Glen Hettinger
Jordan Hirsch
Jim Ho
Ryan Holcomb
Wallace Jefferson
Bruce Jocz
Marc Kesselman
Neel Lemon
Josh Mandell
Alan Martin
Robert McNamara
Matt Nadworny
John Pitts
Joe Roger
Marc Rose
Steve Schortgen
Gregory Shamoun
Rahul Vashi
Sean Wheeler

Firms in the News

ADJT
Akerman
Akin Gump
Baker Botts
Baker McKenzie
Bracewell
Dorsey
Gibson Dunn
Haynes and Boone
Hunton Andrews Kurth
Jackson Walker
Jones Day
Kelly Hart
King & Spalding
Kirkland
Latham
Locke Lord
Norton Rose Fulbright
Orrick
PepsiCo
Polsinelli
Porter Hedges
Shamoun & Norman
Sheppard Mullin
Sidley
Simpson Thacher
Spencer Fane
V&E
Yum! Brands

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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.