The Legal 500 US 2017 Prominently Ranks T&K Among Leading Law Firms

Dallas – The law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP has been recognized as one of the top U.S. law firms in the prestigious 2017 The Legal 500 US directory published by Legalease. In addition, Thompson & Knight Partner Emily A. Parker is listed among the elite “Leading Lawyers” in Tax – U.S. Taxes: Contentious.

The Firm ranks among the nation’s top firms in the following 10 areas of practice, and the attorneys in parentheses are named for their specific expertise:

Industry Focus: Energy Litigation – Oil and Gas (Gregory D. Binns, Robert Vartabedian)

The Firm is described as “very good” at advising “a wide range of oil and gas industry clients, including national and international oil and gas majors, independents, and other stakeholders in litigation and arbitration.” Greg Binns is noted for leading the team, and Rob Vartabedian is highlighted for his work representing an energy client in a “lease dispute…over well ownership in the Permian Basin.” The directory concludes, “the practice receives a steady flow of royalty and drilling leasing matters alongside damage and breach of contract claims, and also has notable experience in handling class actions.”

Industry Focus: Energy Regulatory – Conventional Power (Katherine L. Coleman, Phillip G. Oldham, Rex D. VanMiddlesworth)

According to the directory, the Firm has a “wealth of experience in representing power consumers and purchasers, project and cogeneration developers, energy producers and sellers before the Electronic Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Public Utility Commission (PUC).” Phillip Oldham, Rex VanMiddlesworth, and “recently promoted Partner” Katie Coleman are called “key contacts” and “true professionals” for their work representing Texas Industrial Energy Consumers (TIEC) “before the PUC in contested rate proceedings” and in “the context of market-related matters before ERCOT and PUC.”

Industry Focus: Energy Transactions – Oil and Gas (Andrew B. Derman, Richard B. Hemingway, Jr., Sarah E. McLean, Andrew Melsheimer, Hunter H. White)

The Firm’s lawyers are described as an “outstanding team” providing “a very high level of service” with “many years of oil and gas experience.” The directory notes that “upstream M&A is a key strength.” Sarah McLean is featured for her work “in various acreage and portfolio company acquisitions and disposals…worth $4.8 billion,” and Andy Derman, Richard Hemingway, and Hunter White are noted as “recommended.” Andrew Melsheimer is highlighted for his “excellent knowledge.”

Industry Focus: Environment: Regulatory (James C. Morriss III, Ashley T. K. Phillips)

The directory praises the Firm for giving “very rapid responses to complex issues.” Practice Leader Jim Morriss is “described by clients as ‘a true leader in this area’” and as someone who “offers ‘excellent knowledge together with sound, practical advice.’” The Firm’s practice is recognized for having “very strong leadership with an excellent support team.” Partner Ashley Phillips is featured as “especially knowledgeable in audits.”

Labor and Employment: Employee Health and Retirement Plans (Russell G. Gully, Sharon M. Fountain, Neely P. Munnerlyn)

According to clients, the Firm provides “excellent services, with specialist knowledge of issues in the oil and gas industry.” Sharon Fountain, Neely Munnerlyn, and Russell Gully advise clients “on all areas of employee benefits.”

M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A – Middle-Market (Sub-$500m) (Steven Bartz, Joe Dannenmaier, Michael K. Pierce, Wesley P. Williams)

The directory applauds the Firm’s “longstanding knowledge of its clients’ business activities” and its “lean deployment of excellent Partners and Associates, [which] makes [its] service extremely valuable.” When asked about the Firm, clients respond, “always excellent, the value for money is high, and the team responds quickly and with great ideas.” In addition, clients say “the Firm is well known for its expertise in the oil and gas industry, particularly upstream and midstream matters.” Practice Leader Wes Williams has “strong business sense,” and Joe Dannenmaier and Mike Pierce “also draw high praise.” Partner Steve Bartz is highlighted for his work representing “clients in middle-market mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of securities and assets.”

Real Estate (Ashley W. Anderson, Vivian M. Arias, Bryan D. Garner, Dan J. Hopper, Andrew A. Ingrum, William M. O’Connor, Mark M. Sloan)

The Firm’s practice is praised for its “substantial Texas offering” with a team who is “busy on a broad range of mandates, including lending, leasing, disposition, and development.” The directory calls the Firm’s lender client base in the debt finance space “impressive.” Practice Leader Andrew Ingrum is featured for advising a client on a construction loan, and Bryan Garner is recognized for assisting a client on the investment side “with its acquisition of the retail portion of a mixed-use development.” Bill O’Connor is noted for handling “a number of distressed deals.” Ashley Anderson is singled out for joining the Firm, and Dan Hopper and Vivian Arias are mentioned for being promoted to Partner.

Tax: International Tax (John R. Cohn, Tyree Collier, J. Dean Hinderliter, Todd D. Keator)

John Cohn is named as “the main point of contact… for international tax issues,” and the team of lawyers is said to have “a strong focus on energy-related matters” with “many of its clients [located] in Mexico and the U.K.” Both John Cohn and Todd Keator are noted for regularly advising “clients on U.S. business, including oil and gas acquisitions, divestitures, and restructurings.” Tyree Collier is recognized for his promotion to Partner, and Dean Hinderliter is mentioned for recently joining the Firm.

Tax: U.S. Taxes: Contentious (Mary A. McNulty, Emily A. Parker)

The Firm is praised for its experience which “spans IRS audits, administrative proceedings, assessment appeals, federal and state tax refund and deficiency litigation, as well as disputes concerning foreign companies.” The practice is “noted for its strong footing in the petroleum, hard minerals, and natural resources sectors.” Emily Parker and Mary McNulty are “key figures in the practice,” and Mary McNulty is called “very highly regarded.”

Tax: U.S. Taxes: Non-Contentious (Roger D. Aksamit, Todd Lowther, Joe A. Rudberg)
Clients say the Firm “provides outstanding tax services,” and “the team is particularly adept at tax issues affecting the oil and gas industry.” The Firm is recognized for its “technical knowledge and ability to understand clients’ needs.” John Cohn is highlighted as Practice Leader and Todd Lowther, Roger Aksamit, and Joe Rudberg are named as part of the team.

The Legal 500 provides commentaries on elite law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions. Its research is based on feedback from 250,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms, interviews with leading private practice lawyers, and a team of researchers who have unrivaled experience in the legal market. For more information, please visit