Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 60 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
“To safeguard investors in public companies and restore trust in the financial markets following the collapse of Enron Corporation, Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.” Lawson v. FMR LLC, 571 U.S. __, slip op. at 1 (March 4, 2014). Among other things, a provision of the Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1514A, provides protection for whistleblowers from retaliation. For over a decade, the Department of Labor, the agency with initial responsibility for whistleblower claims, has interpreted Section 1514A as protecting employees of public company contractors. On Feb. 3, 2012, the First Circuit disagreed holding that Section 1514A only protects public company employees. On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court in a divided decision, confirmed that Section 1514A’s protection does, indeed, extend to employees of public company contractors. However, the Court’s decision exposes a variety of ambiguities in the text of Section 1514A that likely will serve as fodder for future disputes.
In particular, Lawson clarified that “an employee” for purposes of Section 1514A includes an employee of a public company contractor. Lawson, however, expressly reserved for later decision whether Section 1514A prohibited a regulated actor (i.e., a public company, its officers, employees, contractors, subcontractors, or agents) from retaliating against the employees of other regulated actors.
Lawson also calls into question the scope of the whistleblowing protected by Section 1514A. Amici warned that including contractor employees in the protected class could extend the protections afforded by Section 1514A to whistleblowing activity unrelated to investor fraud. While the Court largely dismissed this concern, a plurality of the Court seemingly endorses the Solicitor General’s suggestion that Section 1514A should be interpreted to protect contractor employees only to the extent that their whistleblowing relates to the contractor fulfilling its role as a contractor for the public company. The concurrence specifically rejects this suggestion. The dissent proposes that Congress “restrict the fraud reports that trigger whistleblower protection to those that implicate the interests of public company investors” as a means to restore “the balance struck by Congress” which the Court’s decision “upsets”.
The Court’s discussion also exposes ambiguity regarding the contractors to whom Section 1514A applies. As with the scope of protected whistleblowing activity, the plurality seems to favor Plaintiffs’ suggestion that the term “‘contractor’ does not extend to every fleeting business relationship” but only to “a party whose performance of a contract will take place over a significant period of time.” As one of its restorative measures, the dissent recommends that Congress limit covered contractors to “those professionals that can assist in detecting fraud on public company shareholders, . . .” The concurrence does not address this issue. Nonetheless, a majority of the Court would appear to be amendable to some interpretation of “contractor” that would further limit the scope of Section 1514A.
For more on these ambiguities and the views of the various Justices regarding them, see the full version of this article.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander. A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.
Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used. For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.
AND and OR may be used in a search. Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance."
The + and - sign operators may be used. The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".
To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks. For example, "Project Finance".
Searches are not case sensitive.