Houston

Shauna Clark
Partner-in-Charge

Fulbright Tower
1301 McKinney
Suite 5100
Houston, TX 77010-3095

Andrius Kontrimas
Administrative Partner

T: +1 713 651 5151
F: +1 713 651 5246
Map

Since the founding of the firm in Houston in 1919, we have remained focused on client service and on the changing needs of our clients. Today more than 300 lawyers in the Houston location work with clients in dozens of industries. Community service is also part of our heritage. For the third year in a row and the fourth time in six years, we received the Houston Bar Foundation's large legal practice award for outstanding contribution to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program.

We also initiated a program to provide pro bono services of associate lawyers to the Office of the City lawyer of Houston on a rotating basis to try cases in Municipal Court under the supervision of City prosecutors.

In addition, the Houston location was named by the Houston Business Journal as 2004's "Best Place to Work" among large employers in Houston. This is the second year we have secured the top spot among companies with more than 500 employees. The firm has been on the top ten list for three years running.

As a full-service international legal practice, we serve clients through fifty+ integrated servi e areas. In Houston, our capabilities include:

Admiralty

  • Personal injury and non-personal injury litigation in both state and federal courts involving vessel collisions, cargo damage, dock damage, pollution, seizure of vessels, offshore oil well blowouts, and drilling and exploration failure.
  • Vessel charters and other maritime contracts and transactions.
  • Insurance coverage issues.

Alternative dispute resolution

  • Ad hoc and administered domestic and international arbitration procedures, including those of the AAA, the International Chamber of Commerce, the LCIA, and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
  • Many of our lawyers are certified mediators who act as arbitrators and advocates for domestic and international disputes and/or panel members for the AAA, CPR, International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Appellate

  • Our Appellate team, with more than 30 lawyers, is acclaimed for handling appeals at all levels in state and federal courts, covering the entire range of substantive civil law.
  • The core of the firm's appellate team is writing briefs and presenting oral arguments in appeals and other proceedings.
  • The firm's appellate lawyers also support trial lawyers by briefing and arguing complex pretrial issues, monitoring trials with a focus on preserving appellate complaints, preparing and objecting to the court's charge, and handling critical motions during and after the trial.

Bankruptcy and insolvency

  • Business restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency matters.
  • Creditor and debtor representation in out-of-court restructures, bankruptcies, and related transactions and litigation.
  • Representation of fiduciaries of insolvent companies, including creditors committees, trustees, liquidators and receivers.
  • Debtor-in-possession financing, investment in plans of reorganization, and asset purchases and sales from Chapter 11 debtors.
  • Executory contract issues relating to trading companies, intellectual property, oil and gas, real estate, construction and other industries.
  • International bankruptcy and insolvency issues, including issues of international jurisdiction.
  • Valuation litigation matters, including asset valuation (inadequate protection, fraudulent conveyance and preference litigation) and enterprise valuation (in plan confirmation hearings).

Corporate and securities

  • Corporate and securities transactions, non-equity financing and commercial transactions, and domestic and international general business transactions.
  • Mergers and acquisitions (friendly and unfriendly), spin-offs and roll-in of entities and assets, and asset and equity dispositions.
  • Entity formation structure and implementation.
  • Public offerings of debt, equity and quasi-debt/equity securities registered under the Securities Act.
  • Venture capital financing and private placements with financial institutions and other investors.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement matters.
  • Day-to-day representation of public corporations, partnerships, and other business enterprises with respect to other securities and general corporate, partnership and business enterprise law matters.
  • Agreements and related documentation involving the raising of non equity capital and the operations of businesses, including conventional term and revolving debt financing, equipment leasing, project financing, off-balance-sheet leverage leasing, asset securitization and other forms of monetization, collateralization and credit enhancement of financings.
  • Hedging activities related to business operations.
  • General contracts, distributorship agreements, licensing agreements and technology transfer agreements.
  • Executive employment contracts and consulting agreements.

Employee benefits

  • All forms of qualified retirement plans and nonqualified retirement plans.
  • All forms of welfare plans, stock options, executive compensation, golden parachute contracts, severance arrangements, and other matters relating to employee fringe benefits and executive remuneration.
  • Employee benefits issues in connection with corporate transactions, including reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions and securities transactions.
  • Audits and investigations conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
  • ERISA litigation matters for employers, plan administrators, service providers and plan trustees.
  • Our lawyers closely follow new legislation and regulations in order to assist clients in monitoring their employee benefit arrangements for compliance with applicable law.

Environmental

  • Environmental litigation, government enforcement actions and regulatory interpretations, and administrative proceedings before the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission and other similar agencies.
  • Assistance to clients in evaluating environmental impacts and liabilities pertaining to real estate and business transactions, including indemnification and other contractual terms to protect against the impact of environmental and toxic tort liabilities.
  • Assistance to clients in determining which environmental laws and regulations are applicable to their routine operations and proposed transactions.

Energy

  • Virtually all international and/or domestic transactions involving electrical power, oil and gas, refining, petrochemical and pipeline industries.
  • Development, financing, construction, and operation of energy projects, as well as acquisitions and dispositions of electric power plants, gas processing facilities, petrochemical facilities, energy storage facilities, E&P properties, pipelines, refinery facilities and gathering systems.
  • Regulatory issues related to the pipeline, oil-and-gas-production and electric power industries, including FERC, Department of Interior and state regulatory matters.
  • Ad hoc and administered domestic and international arbitration procedures before a variety of international and domestic tribunals.

Family law

  • Virtually every aspect of domestic relations law, including divorce, child custody, child support, pre- and postnuptial agreements, child support enforcement, post-divorce modifications of custody and support, adoptions and paternity determinations.
  • Litigation of complex property cases.
  • Litigation of custody disputes, including support and relocation issues.

Health care

  • Business and regulatory issues related to the health care industry, including medical-ethical questions, medical staff privileges issues and disputes, third-party reimbursement (such as Medicare and Medicaid) and indigent health care matters.
  • Litigation involving hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers, including medical malpractice defense and medical products liability cases.
  • Financing transactions involving tax-exempt bonds, taxable bonds, notes and equity.
  • Business reorganizations.
  • Our lawyers work closely with doctor/lawyers, nurse/lawyers, nurse/legal assistants and senior medical students employed by the firm to address the unique needs of our health care clients.

Intellectual property and technology

  • U.S. patent and trademark issues, including patent and trademark validity and infringement opinions.
  • Assistance in obtaining patents and trademarks under the laws of many foreign countries.
  • Preparation and negotiation of contracts involving the exploitation and protection of patented and unpatented ideas, products and services.
  • Trade secret matters, including licensing trade secrets, developing policies and litigation to protect trade secrets.
  • Copyright protection and transferring of interests in copyrighted works.
  • Franchise creation and assistance to franchisees in obtaining rights involving various types of businesses.
  • Establishment of research protection techniques for research departments of clients,advise clients on antitrust aspects of patent and trademark matters, and how various business decisions affect their proprietary information.
  • Many of our lawyers hold degrees in a wide array of scientific disciplines in addition to law and are licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

International

  • Representation of U.S. clients with international activities and of foreign clients with U.S. investments or operations.
  • Preparation and negotiation of joint venture agreements, commercial agreements, and instruments relating to international transactions.
  • Tax planning for international operations.
  • Cross-border acquisitions and divestitures.
  • Customs and immigration matters.
  • International financial and investment transactions.
  • Export/import law compliance.
  • Consultation with foreign legal counsel, international corporations, and banking and financial institutions worldwide and, in appropriate cases, with officials and agencies of U.S. and foreign governments.
  • Consultation with members of other departments and teams regarding the international aspects of various transactions.

Labor and employment

  • Compliance matters involving the increasing number of federal, state, and local laws regulating employment.
  • State and federal jury and non-jury trials and proceedings before administrative agencies.
  • Representation of management in civil rights issues, management-labor disputes and litigation, "wrongful discharge" and employment tort litigation, and issues involving affirmative action, occupational safety and health, wage-hour, family and medical leave, and other labor standards matters.

Litigation

  • Comprises one of the most diverse litigation departments in the Nation, covering virtually every area of civil law.
  • Renowned nationally and internationally for extensive trial skills and rated consistently as one of the top litigation firms in the country.
  • Represented successfully clients in thousands of jury trials, non-jury trials and arbitrations, both domestic and international.
  • Many of our trial lawyers have been selected for fellowships in such prestigious professional organizations as the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Project finance

  • Development, finance, construction, acquisition and operation of virtually all types of facilities and projects.
  • Day-to-day representation of developers and owners of virtually all types of facilities and projects.
  • Secured financings, including documenting and closing various lending arrangements, such as leveraged leases, synthetic leases, and other nonrecourse or limited recourse "off balance sheet" financings in which the cashflow of the project, rather than the credit of the borrower, forms the primary basis for extending financing.
  • Financing and monetization of minerals, pipelines and distribution systems, refineries, gas processing plants, petrochemical plants and related facilities.
  • Equipment lease financing for airlines and other equipment-intensive industries, including equity, debt and owner/operator interests.
  • Domestic and foreign infrastructure projects, including representation of private and governmental agencies in projects involving pipelines, electric power plants, toll roads and port facilities.

Public finance

  • Tax-exempt securities financings.
  • Representation of state and local governmental entities as general and special counsel.
  • Representation of corporate and other clients before the Texas legislature and other state and local governmental bodies.
  • Financed projects and programs, such as private university and public school buildings, mass transit facilities and airports, hospitals, public buildings and facilities, low and moderate income housing, roads, utilities, student loans and home mortgages.
  • Representation of governmental bodies in connection with elections (including Voting Rights Act submissions), contract negotiations, tax assessment and collection procedures, compliance with various federal and state constitutional requirements, law and regulations and various other matters.

Real estate

  • Representation of owners, developers, managers, purchasers, sellers, contractors, and architects in connection with the drafting, negotiation, administration and enforcement of contracts and agreements involving all types of income producing property.
  • Representation of landlords and tenants in connection with the drafting, negotiation, administration and enforcement of all types of commercial leases.
  • Representation of lenders and borrowers in connection with the drafting, negotiation, administration and enforcement of loans and other financing transactions.
  • Day-to-day representation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other business entities with respect to the administration of real property and related facilities and the leasing or disposition of excess property.
  • Land use matters, including zoning, platting and permitting.
  • Transactions with governmental entities, including land swaps, street abandonment and government leases.
  • Many of our lawyers are nationally recognized authorities in real estate law and serve on the faculties of seminars across the country.

Tax

  • Domestic and international tax planning for corporations, partnerships, individuals, trusts and other business entities.
  • Tax controversy matters before various governmental taxing authorities and tax litigation in federal and state courts.
  • Consultation regarding legislative and regulatory matters.
  • Consultation regarding mergers and acquisitions, exempt organizations (including private foundations and public charities), municipal finance work, public offerings and private placements, and oil, gas and real estate matters.
  • Tax planning and resolution of disputes relating to state franchise tax and state and local sales, use and property tax issues, including litigation when an acceptable settlement is not forthcoming from taxing authorities.

Technology and emerging companies

  • Representation of start-up companies, often from their very beginnings through their initial public offerings and all advanced stages of growth.
  • Assistance to small companies with innovative product and service ideas in finding the seed capital to grow.

Trusts and estates

  • Sophisticated services for individuals and private industry, including legal matters involving tax-sensitive estate planning and estate administration, trust administration, charitable organizations and related litigation.
  • Representation of individuals, charitable organizations and estate and trust departments of major banks and closely-held businesses.
  • Plans for transfers of personal wealth during life and after death and consultation regarding income, estate, gift, and inheritance taxes.
  • Representation of executors in probating decedents' wills, including a broad array of legal services relating to transactions arising during the estate administration.
  • Income tax planning for trusts and their beneficiaries and advising trustees on proper actions when questions arise during the trust administration.
  • Litigation of probate and trust matters in probate and state district courts.
  • Our Linda Addison and Mark Baker are listed as two of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by 2006 National Law Journal.
  • For the eleventh year, we were chosen as one of the top 25 corporate legal practices in the nation (Corporate Board Member, 2012).