The Legal 500 US 2018 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 2018 The Legal 500 US directory published by Legalease. In addition, Thompson & Knight Partners Mary A. McNulty and Emily A. Parker are listed among the elite “Leading Lawyers” in Tax – U.S. Taxes: Contentious.  Thompson & Knight Associate Lee Meyercord is also listed among the “Next Generation Lawyers” in Tax – U.S. Taxes: Contentious.

The Firm ranks among the nation’s top firms in the following 12 areas of practice, and the attorneys in parentheses are named for their specific expertise:

Dispute Resolution: General Commercial Disputes (Greg W. Curry, Jennifer Rudenick Ecklund, Nicole Williams, Robert Vartabedian)

The Firm is praised for its “deep knowledge”, “excellent service” and “exceptional value”. The directory highlights the Firm’s trial expertise and mentions a recent case wherein “a team co-led by Dallas-based Robert Vartabedian prevailed before the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of BP America in a case brought by Red Deer.” Greg Curry is mentioned as the head of the trial practice, and Jennifer Rudenick Ecklund and Nicole Williams are also called “key lawyers.”

Industry Focus: Energy Litigation – Oil and Gas (Hunter M. Barrow, Robert Vartabedian)

Clients applaud the Firm for its “deep knowledge, excellent attention to detail” and ability to “keep costs manageable.” The directory says the Firm is “well versed in disputes regarding leases, royalties, personal injury, toxic tort, product liability as well as environmental litigation.” Hunter Barrow is highlighted for “defending Richard and Cynthia Ridgeway in an alleged fraud and breach of contract case brought by Frontier Tubular Solutions regarding the sale of three oilfield service companies.”

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

The Firm has “a focus on the Texan energy market” and “is particularly strong in representing clients before the Public Utility Commission (PUC), Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT),” according to the directory. It also notes that the Firm handles “a steady flow of FERC proceedings and expanded its capabilities with the hire of counsel Nicolas McTyre, former trial attorney for the Office of Administrative Litigation of FERC.” Katherine Coleman, Phillip Oldham and Rex VanMiddlesworth are listed as “key points of contact.”

Industry Focus: Energy Transactions – Oil and Gas (Andrew B. Derman, Ann Marie Cowdrey, Richard B. Hemingway, Jr., Hunter H. White)

Clients say the “depth of team is outstanding” at the Firm and the team “advises on a high volume of shale play transactions.” Ann Marie Cowdrey is highlighted for her representation of “Silver Hill Energy in its $2.4bn sale to RSP Permian.” The directory notes that the team “handles offshore activities in the Gulf of Mexico” and highlights Andrew Derman as “active in this regard for BHP Billiton.” Richard Hemingway and Hunter White are also mentioned for their positions as Oil and Gas Practice Leader and Energy Industry Group Chair, respectively.

Industry Focus: Environment: Litigation (James B. Harris, James C. Morriss III)

According to the directory, client are impressed with the Firm’s “ability to discuss difficult and sensitive issues while maintaining professionalism and a friendly aura.” It notes that “the team defends clients against claims of violating environmental laws and regulations, and assists with claims that releases from manufacturing or production activities adversely impact property or cause personal injury.” James Morriss III is mentioned as the team head, and James Harris is “very business savvy and practical” according to his clients.

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

The Firm is applauded by clients for providing “a high level of service.” James Harris is commended for his ability to “find practical solutions to issues” while Ashley Phillips “works out difficult issues” as well. The team is highlighted for advising “the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America on the use of a ranch that is a habitat for the endangered Houston toad.”

Labor and Employment: Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, and Retirement Plans – Design (Sharon M. Fountain, Russell G. Gully, Jason Patrick Loden, Neely P. Munnerlyn, Elizabeth A. Schartz, Shelly A. Youree)

Clients say the “service is fantastic” at the Firm, where the employee benefits attorneys are “responsive, up to date on legal and industrial trends, and very practical.” The directory states “clients recommend the duo of ‘employment law expert’ Elizabeth Schartz and ‘tax expert’ Sharon Fountain, who together form ‘the perfect team for this field’.” Jason Loden, Russell Gully, Neely Munnerlyn, and Shelly Youree are also mentioned in the directory as “key names.”

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

According to clients, the Firm “delivers top-of-the-line work and its excellent lawyers are timely and professional.” The directory says the “practice has significant expertise in assisting clients in the oil and gas industry, particularly those with a focus on upstream and midstream activities, and its experience includes advising businesses and investors on M&A deals and dispositions, earnouts and LBOs.” Clients praise Fred Fulton for having “an excellent business sense” and handling “a wide range of subjects.” Wesley Williams, Joe Dannenmaier, and Michael Pierce are also “highly regarded practitioners” according to the directory.

Real Estate (Vivian M. Arias, Gregg C. Davis, William M. O’Connor)

Clients commend the Firm for being “always quick to respond to requests” and “always aware of current and proposed to changes to real estate law and how they could affect ongoing deals.” The directory says the Firm “has expertise across the full range of lending transactions and also advises on leasing matters, acquisitions, development projects and real estate-related capital markets offerings.” Gregg Davis is highlighted for having “significant expertise in commercial real estate issues such as conservation easements, transfer fees, zoning, and contracts with governmental entities.” Vivian Arias and William O’Connor are also mentioned as “key figures.”

Tax: International Tax (John R. Cohn, Todd D. Keator, Joe A. Rudberg)

The directory says the tax practice is “strong in mergers and acquisitions, with a specific focus on offshore oil and gas services companies and equipment providers.” John Cohn and Todd Keator are highlighted for assisting “London-based investment group Warwick Capital Partners with its US investments, including oil and gas acquisitions, divestitures and restructurings.” Joe Rudberg is also mentioned as a “key contact.”

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

Mary McNulty is highlighted for her representation of “Peregrine Group in a Tax Court suit concerning the client’s request for a refund resulting from an adjustment to the basis of property contributed to and sold by the group’s partnership.” Emily Parker and Mary McNulty are also mentioned for serving as “Energy Future’s special counsel at the District of Delaware’s bankruptcy court regarding various matters, including the resolution of certain historical and ongoing IRS controversies.”

Tax: U.S. Taxes: Non-Contentious (Roger D. Aksamit, Brandon L. Bloom, John R. Cohn, J. Dean Hinderliter)

Clients praise the Firm for its “excellent, timely service, as well as helpful and up-to-date tax advice.” Dean Hinderliter is highlighted for advising “publicly traded MLP Star Gas Partners on a potential ‘check-the-box’ tax election in order to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes.” John Cohn is also recommended and “very knowledgeable” according to clients, while Roger Aksamit is said to be “very creative in assessing issues.” Brandon Bloom is also mentioned for re-joining the Firm in August 2017.

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