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.
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 benefit from our full-service capabilities and interdisciplinary approach.
We handle complicated business torts, from business disparagement to business divorces, contract, fraud and statutory claims, RICO, class action, antitrust, intellectual property, employment, securities, financial cases and much more. As you might expect from a Texas-based firm with an international footprint and reputation, we represent businesses domestically and internationally in various energy-related sectors, as well as in the financial, insurance, technology, real estate, health care, hospitality and manufacturing industries.
No matter where our clients' problems take us, we bring the same focused, entrepreneurial, direct approach to getting to a bottom-line solution that works the best for our client – in the courtroom or out. With a one-partner-to-one-associate staffing ratio in most cases, we are lean and nimble – something our clients appreciate when markets are volatile. In addition, the majority of our recent associates are former judicial law clerks, who deliver high-quality services and know how judges think. Finally, because of our team's overall size, we can deploy more and the right kind of qualified lawyers when the case and strategy require greater bench and depth.
A Defense Win Worth $31.5 Million
Where we started: Our clients – Bassoe USA, Inc., Jonathan Fairbanks and Mike Smith – were sued because of claims involving the sale of Pride International's fleet of platform rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The plaintiffs claimed that they retained our client as its exclusive broker to negotiate the deal and to obtain financing for the approximately $70 million transaction, yet later arranged the purchase for another buyer, Blake Offshore.
Our roadmap: Our clients were facing an exposure of approximately $25 million for residual asset value in the rigs, $5 million in lost profits and $1.5 million for the brokerage fee earned in the other transaction. It was critical that we prove the plaintiffs’ claims were unfounded.
And finally: In a trial held in Harris County District Court, we overturned the plaintiffs’ claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and tortious interference.
Major Plaintiff Victory in the Oil Fields
Where we started: When our client, Longview Energy Company, a small, private equity-backed E&P company, sought to acquire leases in the Eagle Ford shale, it discovered that two of the company's board members had directed that opportunity to another company they had formed. With no disclosure to Longview, that company began to acquire leases from the broker that Longview had identified and introduced to the directors.
Our roadmap: The court determined that the two directors breached their fiduciary duties, and that an investment company controlled by those directors aided and abetted that breach.
And finally: In a record-breaking award, Huff Energy, two of its principals and two related affiliates were ordered to pay $95.5 million to Longview. In addition, a constructive trust was formed in favor of our client on over 46,000 acres in the Eagle Ford shale plus all production proceeds generated between the date the jury returned its verdict and the date the underlying properties are transferred to our client.
Defending a major insurer in one of the largest exposure cases in the U.S.
Where we started: Gardere was hired to defend one of the country’s largest insurers in a case with $250 million on the line. The lawsuit involved severe damage from Hurricane Ike to two major shopping malls in the Houston area. Although the carrier originally retained other counsel to handle the case, over time it became concerned about the direction the case was heading. So after interviewing several lawyers and law firms, Gardere was chosen to take the lead and redirect the case.
Our roadmap: Knowing that our jury lived through the pain of Hurricane Ike, and would naturally have some ambivalence towards insurance carriers, we conducted a mock jury for three days to develop a compelling narrative that would resonate with the jury. We also employed a shadow jury throughout the trial to serve as an additional navigational aid. Both initiatives provided great insights on how to package the case theme and evidence to best serve the jury’s needs.
And finally: After seven weeks of trial and deliberating for 4 1/2 days, the jury found in favor of our client, resulting in a take nothing judgment. The lawsuit has been described as the largest insurance coverage, bad-faith case to go to verdict in Texas in the last two decades.
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