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Lead Stories

Updated – Bizarre $12M Trade Secrets Case for Quantlab Finally Nears an End


By Mark Curriden – (June 25) – A decade-long legal battle between a privately-held Houston financial research firm and Ukrainian mathematician and a Wisconsin securities lawyer nicknamed Emo over secret algorithms and mathematical formulas that aid high frequency trading is finally coming to an end thanks to a decision by the Fifth Circuit. The story involves FBI raids, secret meetings at a Greek Orthodox monastery in Arizona and the patron saint of St. Petersburg. Quantlab GC Tim McInturf of Houston discusses the importance of this bizarre trade secrets case and the work of his outside counsel.

Mayer Brown, Thompson & Knight Secure Newest Winning Bids in Mexico Energy Reform


By Natalie Posgate – (June 23) – A group of Texas lawyers from Mayer Brown and Thompson & Knight led successful bids by two companies that plan to share rights gained at an auction for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in blocks the shallow water areas of Mexico.

Wilson Elser Leads $1B Sale of George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila


By Natalie Posgate – (June 22) – When is a tequila shot before noon warranted?

A. When you finish an awful, contentious deposition that began at the crack of dawn;
B. When you’re on vacation, perhaps at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, or;
C. When you sign a $1 billion sale of George Clooney’s tequila business. (#casual)

Larry Waks and a group of Wilson Elser lawyers likely rounded up the salt and lime after executing Answer C on Wednesday. The firm helped the Hollywood actor and his high-profile co-founders, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, sell Casamigos Tequila to Diageo North America.

Jennifer Ecklund Scores $65M Verdict Against Life Partners CEO & GC


By Mark Curriden – (June 22) – The long and sordid legal drama known as Life Partners took another step toward finality last week when a Fort Worth jury ruled that the company’s former chief executive officer and its general counsel committed fraud and breached their fiduciary duties to investors. The damage award: $65 million.

Federal Judge Stops Texas Radioactive Waste Disposal Merger


By Mark Curriden – (June 22) – Dallas-based Valhi’s attempt to sell its radioactive waste disposal operation in West Texas to a competitor violates antitrust laws. A federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a 52-page opinion that is under seal, that Utah-based EnergySolutions plan to buy Waste Control Specialists for $367 million runs afoul of federal laws designed to protect and promote competitive business practices.

Texas AG Paxton Shocked – Shocked – that California Official Uses Office for Political Purposes


By Mark Curriden – (June 22) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is outraged that an elected California official is using his office for political purposes and he is threatening to use Texas taxpayer dollars to sue to stop such outrageous conduct. Paxton says California Insurance Commissioner David Jones should “cease and desist from requiring insurance companies to publicly disclose investments in fossil fuels.”

Facebook to Judge Kinkeade: Tell Skadden Lawyers ‘To Go to Hell or Put Them in Hell’


By Mark Curriden – (June 20) – A federal court hearing scheduled to debate the validity of a $500 million jury verdict in a trade secrets and patent infringement case against Facebook erupted into allegations of lying to the judge, cheating and violating court-ordered discovery, and cries for $40 million in sanctions. Facebook lawyers asked Judge Ed Kinkeade of Dallas to throw out a Feb. 1 jury decision that the social media giant and a company it purchased illegally uses patented source code in its virtual reality headset technology.

Texas Supreme Court Upholds College Station Hospital’s ‘Without Cause’ Termination of Heart Surgeon


Janet Elliott – (June 20) – In a case closely watched by Texas employers, the Texas Supreme Court Friday reaffirmed the principle of “at-will” employment, upholding a hospital’s right to terminate the contract of a cardiovascular surgeon whose practice was operating at a loss.

More Stories
Haynes and Boone Closes $500M Chemical Deal

Haynes and Boone Closes $500M Chemical Deal

A group of lawyers from Haynes and Boone led by Bill Nelson on Thursday closed a $495 million acquisition for Fort Worth-based KMG. …

New Whole Foods GC Heather Stern Leads $13.7B Amazon Deal

Heather Stern has only been on the job as Whole Foods' general counsel for two months, but today she crafted the high-end grocer's most important transaction in its…

Energy Company Directors Win Corporate Loyalty Case at Texas Supreme Court

Despite warnings that doing so would undermine the responsibilities of corporate directors, the Texas Supreme Court Friday threw out a $95.5 million judgment against two Longview Energy Co.…


Vinson & Elkins Turns 100

By Natalie Posgate – HOUSTON (June 21) – William Vinson and James Elkins sat next to each other at a July 1917 memorial service for Vinson’s law partner who had died. Both men were reared in small towns: Vinson in Sherman, Elkins in Huntsville. Each needed a law partner. A century later, the law firm that bears their names is one of the most powerful in Texas and widely viewed as the most influential legal practice in the oil patch.

V&E has faced turbulent times during its 100 year history, including the Enron scandal. But the firm continues to thrive with 700 lawyers in 16 offices across the globe, $653 million in revenues last year and profits per partner at $1.8 million.


GCs, Lawyers & Firms

Oil & Gas Lawyer Jumps to King & Spalding

Oil & Gas Lawyer Jumps to King & Spalding

Houston M&A lawyer Peter Hayes is the ninth lawyer in 2017 to join King &…

Polsinelli Strengthens Dallas Labor and Employment Practice

Thomas Reddin and Theanna Sedlock jump over from Winstead as shareholder and associate, respectively.…

Kirkland Lures Houston Litigator Jamie Aycock from Prominent Litigation Boutique

Aycock, a former briefing attorney for Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, lateraled over from…

Houston Trial Lawyer Bob Schick Returns to V&E

Schick started his career at V&E in 1981. He was most recently at Schick &…

Polsinelli Builds Up Dallas Investment Funds Group with Two New Shareholders

Bullard and Lee advise investment advisers and private investment groups that sponsor a variety of…

Former Texas Appeals Court Justice Rebeca Huddle Returns to Baker Botts in Houston

Huddle authored more than 400 majority opinions during her time on the First Court of…

Wilson Elser Awards Firm Scholarship to Daughter of Dallas Legal Secretary

The Thomas W. Wilson Sr. Scholarship was established in 2010 to support the college education…

Diamond McCarthy Announces New Houston Office

The firm officially relocated to the 37th floor of Two Houston Center this month.…

Chief Justice Carolyn Wright to Receive 2017 Jack Pope Professionalism Award

Wright will receive the award at the Annual Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner on…

Bracewell Adds Houston IP Partner Douglas Rommelmann

Rommelmann, a former offshore engineer, was most recently at Andrews Kurth Kenyon. …

Dykema Cox Smith Picks Up Austin Litigation Member Michael Klein

Klein focuses his litigation practice on first-party insurance coverage, bad faith and insurance regulatory matters.…

SMU Dedman School of Law Receives ABA Professionalism Award

The law school is one of two recipients of the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award…

Dallas & Houston Federal Judges to Mediate Puerto Rico Bankruptcy

Dallas & Houston Federal Judges to Mediate Puerto Rico Bankruptcy

Two Texas judges have been appointed to play key roles in the $73 billion bankruptcy…

Financial Services Litigation Group from KRCL Starts New Firm

The new firm, led by named partners Kenneth Johnston and David Pratt, includes five partners,…


Lawyers in the News

Lawrence Ackels Sr.
Bruce Bowman
Ira Bowman
Trey Cox
Lizze Fletcher
Jonathan Frels
Kelly Frels
Michelle Hartmann
Forrest Hinton
Jimmie Hinton
Paula Hinton
Lara Hollingsworth
Jim Hudgins
Mary Emma Karam
Leslie LeGrand Jr.
Brian Mason
Wayne Mason
Bill Pannill
Heather Stern

Firms in the News

Ackels & Ackels
Godwin Bowman & Martinez
Gruber Elrod
Jackson Walker
Lynn Pinker
Rusty Hardin & Associates
Whole Foods


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 December 31, 2016.

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

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:


V&E and Latham Take Lion’s Share of 2016 Offering Work


By Natalie Posgate – (May 11) – Though the type of securities offerings that companies issued differed from 2015 to 2016, the Texas law firms and lawyers behind the offerings stayed pretty close to the same, according to new data from The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker. To no one’s surprise, most lawyers ranked at the top are all Houstonians. But one Dallasite broke the mold on the issuer’s side.

This article names the individuals dominating securities work and has a breakdown of how each firm’s capital markets work in 2016 compared to the previous year. (Spoiler alert: two firms handled 65 percent of all securities offerings in the 2016 database).

Corp. Deal Tracker: TX Capital Markets Lawyers Got off the Sidelines in 2016

By Natalie Posgate – (May 3) – Capital markets lawyers mostly sat on the sidelines through the better part of the recent energy slump, watching their M&A partners at least get some deals done. New data from the Corporate Deal Tracker, however, shows CapM practitioners are back in the starting lineup and busier than ever (particularly for the S-1 process) as oil companies rebound in a stabilizing commodity environment. They may even score more three-pointers as IPOs make a comeback. The Texas Lawbook has the details.

Corporate Deal Tracker: Mid-Sized, Private Deals Take the Cake in Deal Volume


By Natalie Posgate – (April 13) – This latest installment in the 2016 Corporate Deal Tracker series breaks down the value range that most Texas-based lawyers’ M&A work fell under. It also reveals which law firms did the most small deals, mid-sized deals, and bonus: who did the most deals with confidential values.