Houston-based Tudor, Pickering, Holt and its owner, New York-based Perella Weinberg Partners, have agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for violating federal securities laws’ recordkeeping provisions, according to an administrative order filed Friday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The allegations against the Texas-headquartered boutique energy banker and its parent were announced in a blitz of charges filed Friday by the SEC as the federal government comes to the end of its fiscal year and as the agency and the government face a potential shutdown.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged San Antonio-based Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. regarding actions taken by employees at a then-Chinese subsidiary to bribe Chinese government officials to obtain outdoor advertising contracts in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In a 13-page order issued Thursday, SEC officials announced that Clear Channel and its majority-owned subsidiary in China called Clear Media Limited — a subsidiary it has since sold — had “consented” to the federal agency’s findings that it violated anti-bribery, recordkeeping and internal accounting controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The Texas legal market — just like the national economy — seems to be moving forward but at a considerably slower and more cautious pace. Lateral hiring of associates, especially transactional practitioners, is rare and six-digit signing bonuses are history. Partners with strong books of business, however, remain in demand.
Litigation partners, senior associates and counsel are more sought-after than those in the transactional practices. The DFW lateral hiring legal market is a tad stronger than Houston right now. Austin’s legal hiring has cooled considerably.
The Texas Lawbook interviewed four Texas legal industry insiders to get their insights on the Texas legal market and what they expect for the rest of 2023 and 2024.
Just a dozen years ago, a handful of lawyers in Texas breached the $1,000 hourly rate barrier. The $1K lawyers were the best of the best in their practice areas: trial lawyers Steve Susman, Tom Melsheimer, Charles Schwartz and Harry Reasoner for bet-the-company litigation, or deal lawyers like Jeff Chapman, Andy Calder, Tom Roberts or Michael Dillard to lead mega-billion-dollar transactions. This year, a handful of Texas lawyers broke through another billing barrier: $2,000 an hour. Dozens more are expected to start charging clients $2K next year.
Between 2011 and 2022, commercial real estate giant CBRE allegedly required departing employees to sign a document pledging that they had not filed any complaints with any federal agencies as a condition of severance pay. The SEC contends that requirement by the Dallas-headquartered commercial real estate investment and services firm violated federal whistleblower laws.
Prominent Dallas trial lawyer Paul Genender joined Paul Hastings as a partner Monday to be the firm’s head of litigation in Texas and co-chair of its Houston office. Genender, who had been a partner at Weil Gotshal in Dallas for the past seven years, will split his time between Houston and Dallas.
Reggie Hedgebeth has been named as the next chief legal officer at Canadian-based midstream oil and giant company Enbridge Inc.
More than 400 lawyers at more than 30 elite corporate law firms in Texas have made a total of more than $280 million in legal fees related to disputes involving Winter Storm Uri — a tab that legal industry insiders estimate will easily top a half-billion dollars before the litigation is over — even though not a single case has even been set for trial.
And those are only the lawyers representing energy companies and insurance firms. More than 80 plaintiffs’ attorneys — most of them from Houston — have filed lawsuits on behalf of tens of thousands of individuals and businesses claiming they were harmed by the actions — or lack of actions — of the energy companies during Winter Storm Uri. If successful, those lawyers could earn upwards of a billion dollars.
Lawyers for the court-appointed receiver in the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme case have asked a federal judge to order Trustmark National Bank to fork over the $100 million it agreed to pay earlier this year in its settlement with victims of the fraud.
Trustmark, according to documents, has declined to pay the receiver the $100 million because Stanford, who is in federal prison serving a 110-year sentence, has objected to the settlement agreement claiming that his conviction was unconstitutional and that the receivership should be dissolved on subject matter jurisdictional issues.
Corporate lawyers at 15 law firms operating in Texas reached elite financial status in 2022, according to the Texas Lawbook 50 data. Only two are based in Texas. Four are headquartered in New York. Four were founded in Chicago, four others in California and one in Atlanta. Eight of the elite law firms achieved revenue per lawyer of $1.5 million or more. Three topped $1.8 million. And one, for the first time in Texas history, broke the $2 million RPL barrier. Combined, the Texas lawyers at these 15 firms combined generated $3.18 billion in 2022.