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Of Counsel, Trial
Wells Fargo Plaza, Suite 3400
Area(s) of Expertise
Bill Matthews has successfully handled over 40 jury trials in federal and state courts in an active trial practice that focuses on business litigation, particularly lawsuits involving offshore drilling and other aspects of the oil and gas industry. He has achieved statewide recognition in the professional liability defense of lawyers, bank trustees, accountants, board members and other fiduciaries.
Mr. Matthews was named one of Houston's Best Lawyers in 2002 by Inside Houston Magazine. He has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer by Law & Politics Media Inc. each year since its first publication in 2003. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (published by Woodward/White Inc) annually for more than 10 years.
Clients and Matters
Mr. Matthews has tried and arbitrated alleged corporate fraud, mismanagement, shareholder oppression and other securities litigation issues, representing corporate officers and board members, as well as their accountants and attorneys. He has defended numerous trustees, administrators and their attorneys in contested estate matters, in addition to more than 100 legal malpractice lawsuits for Houston firms and law firms of national scope. Mr. Matthews also has handled the contested evaluation of numerous offshore properties; cogeneration pricing and gas supply contract disputes for 10 E&P concerns and five pipelines; contract disputes; and, alleged design defects in offshore drilling rigs for 14 engineering and construction companies and over 10 offshore drilling companies (both foreign and domestic). He has defended various product manufacturers, primarily in the aviation and automobile industries.
Other clients include:
- Anderson World Wide Societe General
- Bank of America
- Coopers Lybrand LLP
- CSO-Aker Marine Inc.
- Dynegy Board Member
- Energy Insurance
- EOTT Energy
- Ford Motor Co.
- Hughes Helicopter Inc.
- JPMorgan Chase
- Prudential Reinsurance
- Purvin & Gertz Inc.
- Reliant Energy and Resources Accounting Officers
Representative matters have included:
Representation of Board Members, Directors, and Executives
- Represented former director of Dynegy, defending a series of claims filed by the security class action plaintiffs and derivative suits.
- Represented former Controller of Reliant and CenterPoint in an SEC investigation (after which no charges were brought against the individual) and in continuing discovery in the ERISA and security class actions.
- Represented an officer heading up operations worldwide for an international mutual fund family in SEC investigations regarding market timing and sticky money charges. No charges were brought against him.
- Provided representation in defense of insurance brokerage firm, its officers and its foreign world wide parent from charges brought by another international brokerage firm alleging fraud, conspiracy, interference with contractual relations, unfair trade practices and breaches of non-competition agreements.
Merger/Squeeze Out of Minority Shareholders and Officers
Defended public and privately-held companies (their board members and their law firms) from fraud and conspiracy charges, asserted "squeeze outs" of minority shareholders, as well as represented shareholders in other litigation asserting minority oppression and supervised special litigation committee investigation of derivative claims.
- Amir Ahanchian, Ph.D. v. Scott D. Landow et al.
- F.C. Barney v. Mark Producing et al.
- Jan M. Troup v. Rigaku/USA Inc.
- John J. Laughlin v. David G. Wallace et al.
- McMahon v. Robert Plaster
- Peter Voscamp et al. v. Triten Engineering Inc.
- Special Litigation Committee, Kaneb Services Inc.
Estate and Probate Litigation
Successfully defended bank fiduciaries, individual executors and administrators (and their legal advisors) from attack by beneficiaries and third parties for asserted breach of fiduciary duties.
- Advent Trust Co. v. NationsBank of Texas NA
- Edward H. Thompson et al. v. Dixie Services
- Ginther v. Bank of America
- Ginther v. NationsBank
- NuCorp v. Bank of America
- Vincent Murphy Sr. v. Dottie Murphy et al.
Offshore Drilling and Other Gas Contract Disputes
Obtained injunction after a two-week trial requiring gas takes by utility resulting in additional $1 billion over life of client's contract; secured a $20 million arbitration award because of untimely termination of a drilling contract; negotiated a new multiyear contract from the government of India in an international arbitration; and defended a Finnish shipyard from breach allegations in a semi-submersible construction contract.
- Arne Larsson & Co. v. Rauma-Repola OY
- Empire Pipeline Co. v. Texas Utility Fuel Co.
- Griffin Alexander v. The O.N.G.C.
- J.L. Offshore Drilling A/S v. Occidental Petroleum Co.
Design Liability in Products Litigation
Successfully defended in jury trials and appeals assertion of product design failures, multimillion dollar helicopter crash deaths, single-vehicle turnover crashes and internal gasket explosion. A few of the representative matters include:
- Beutel, et al. v. Hughes Helicopter
- LaRocca v. Russell Smith Ford
- Lester U. Grissom v. Ford Motor Co.
- J.D., The University of Texas School of Law (1963)
- Plan II, The University of Texas School of Law (1960)
Publications and Speeches
- Co-Author with Robert M. Hoffman and Dan Scott, Conflicting Loyalties Facing In-House Counsel - Ethical Care and Feeding of the Ravenous Multi-Headed Client, St. Mary's L.J. (2006).
- Featured Lecturer, Addresses on Trial Tactics, Professional Ethics and Potential Liability for Attorneys and Accountants:
- State Bar of Texas
- South Texas School of Law
- University of Houston Law School
- Member, State Bar of Texas
- Board Certified, Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Qualified Neutral Panelist, American Arbitration Association
- Member, College of the State Bar of Texas
- Former Officer, American Board of Trial Advocates
- Former National Director
- Former President, Houston Chapter
Honors and Awards
- Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (10+ years)
- Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
- Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (2009-2012)
- Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (2010-2012)
- Bet-the-Company Litigation
- Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (2012)
- Recognized, Texas Super Lawyer, Law & Politics Media Inc. as published in Texas Monthly (2011, 2012)
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Recognized, Texas Super Lawyer, Law & Politics Media Inc. as published in Texas Monthly (2003-2010)
- Recognized, Houstonís Top Lawyers, H Texas Magazine (2006)
- Recognized, AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™
- Board Member, Covenant House, Houston
- Board Member, Galveston Bay Foundation
- Member, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Member, Development Committee
- Former Member, Executive Committee, Corporate Partners
- Member, The Houston Forum
- Active Supporter, Ronald McDonald House, Houston
- Former Chair, University of Texas Liberal Arts College Advisory Board
- Former Board Member, River Oaks Foundation
- Former Commodore, Texas Corinthian Yacht Club
- Former Member, Administrative Board, St. Luke's United Methodist Church
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March 17, 2008
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