T&K Adds Five Attorneys in Austin Office

Austin – The law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Rex D. VanMiddlesworth and Phillip G. Oldham as Partners and Jill Carvalho, Katie Coleman, and Benjamin B. Hallmark as Associates in the Government/Regulatory Practice Group of the Firm’s Austin office.

“These attorneys offer expertise that adds a new dimension to our Austin office and to the Firm,” said James C. Morriss III, the Firm’s Government/ Regulatory Practice Group Leader and Austin Office Leader. “Their practice will complement our service to existing clients, many of which we have in common, and will expand the Firm’s client base. While we have a longstanding involvement in the energy industry and have served an industrial and manufacturing client base for many years, this group of attorneys brings these two elements together with their unparalleled experience in electricity-related regulatory matters, power market and electric project development issues, and in other related energy matters.”

VanMiddlesworth focuses his practice on commercial litigation, administrative law, energy, and alternative dispute resolution. He has tried cases in state court, federal court, before arbitration panels, and before state and federal agencies. He has also handled appeals in the Fifth Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, and various Texas Courts of Appeals. VanMiddlesworth has extensive experience representing public and private entities in breach of contract disputes, tortious interference cases, and other forms of commercial litigation and arbitration. He handles all types of contested proceedings before state agencies and the State Office of Administrative Hearings, including licensing and rate-setting disputes. He also has represented a number of clients in constitutional and voting rights litigation.

He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (1995-2014) by Woodward/White Inc., Chambers USA by Chambers & Partners (2011-2014), and Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (2003-2013). Also, he was named the 2012 Austin Energy “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America®. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. VanMiddlesworth is a frequent author and lecturer on issues including topics of evidence, ethics, constitutional litigation, and administrative litigation. Before beginning his law practice, he was awarded a Teaching Fellowship in Constitutional Law at Harvard University under Professor Archibald Cox.

“Thompson & Knight is one of the preeminent firms in the country on energy issues, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues to better serve all of our clients,” said Rex VanMiddlesworth. 

Oldham focuses his practice on regulatory and administrative law, federal and state government affairs, and project development. He has specific expertise in energy and electric power markets. His in-depth knowledge of regulatory issues in various industries makes him uniquely qualified to provide his clients with practical solutions to sophisticated legal issues. Oldham has been recognized by numerous publications for his outstanding legal career, including The Best Lawyers in America® (2006-2014) by Woodward/White Inc., Chambers USA by Chambers & Partners (2011-2014), and “Leading Lawyer” in The Legal 500 US by Legalease  (2013-2014). In addition to his legal honors, he is an active member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, and Travis County Bar Association.

Carvalho focuses her practice on administrative law and litigation. She has experience handling regulatory matters and has contested proceedings before numerous state agencies, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUC”), Texas Railroad Commission (“RRC”), Texas General Land Office (“GLO”), Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”), and the Texas Racing Commission (“TXRC”). Before becoming an attorney, she taught undergraduate and graduate level political science classes at American University.

Coleman focuses her practice on regulatory and administrative law, with an emphasis on state and federal energy regulations, energy markets, energy litigation, and government affairs and appeals. Her significant experience with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”) allows her to provide clients with practical solutions to complicated matters involving the ERCOT protocols that govern wholesale market participation. She also has expertise in administrative law matters involving rulemakings and disputes before the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Texas Racing Commission. An active participant in civic organizations, Coleman is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, Secretary/Treasurer of the State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section, and a Member of the Association of Women in Energy.

Hallmark focuses his practice on litigation and administrative law matters. He has represented clients in a wide range of matters involving antitrust, tortious interference, trade secrets, condemnation, and various other issues. He served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Nancy F. Atlas in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas from 2009 to 2010. Hallmark is an active member of the State Bar of Texas.

Prior to joining Thompson & Knight, the attorneys practiced in the Austin office of  Andrews Kurth, where VanMiddlesworth was Managing Partner.