Bracewell’s technology team utilizes a well-rounded approach to facilitate protection of technology assets to align with the long term goals of the client. We provide practical coverage in all areas of Technology and Intellectual Property, with established practitioners who file, prosecute and litigate patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and provide advice and support on an array of transactional or adversarial matters. Clients tell Chambers USA 2016 "they operate in a very team-oriented fashion, and are able to pull in people from different groups as needed." We also counsel on outsourcing, licensing, technology transfers and joint venture agreements. We are particularly active in core industries around the globe from energy, technology, finance and retail.
Our corporate and securities group acts as trusted advisors to some of the world’s leading companies, financial institutions and private equity firms, and we also have a track record of partnering with small and mid-cap companies as they grow. With a reputation for excellence, responsiveness and understanding our clients’ businesses, we provide commercial, practical and creative advice to help our clients achieve their business objectives.
We counsel clients on a broad spectrum of legal and business matters, including capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, general corporate matters and securities law compliance. We provide a comprehensive solution that includes all of the practice areas necessary to complete complex corporate and securities transactions, including tax, antitrust, environmental, energy regulatory, intellectual property, labor and employment, employee benefits and executive compensation, real estate and litigation.
With more than 50 years of experience, our benefits team has counseled public and privately held corporations in the design and implementation of various employee benefits programs and employee compensation issues. Our depth of service to clients includes qualified and non-qualified plans, legal compliance, fiduciary responsibility, executive compensation, employment relationships, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, tax and other withholding issues, fiduciary duties in plan administration, reorganization and termination, bankruptcy and golden parachute agreements. We represent companies and executives in connection with employment, consulting, severance, and retention agreements. Additionally, our attorneys are well-versed in Internal Revenue Service Code Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A and their effects on executive compensation.
We advise plan administrators and trustees with respect to the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA) fiduciary determinations and duties, potential conflicts of interest and prohibited transactions. We implement and assist in the administration of all qualified plans, such as 401(k) plans, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), cash balance plans, pension plans, and money purchase plans, as well as nonqualified plans, including Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs), phantom stock retirement programs and all other forms of deferred compensation retirement plans.
Bracewell has one of the preeminent financial institutions practices in the country. The firm is consistently ranked at or near the top of SNL Financial’s (2012-2017) rankings for both number and value of transactions in the Southwest Region, and was ranked number two in the past five year period. Over the past ten years, our team has been a part of more Initial Public Offerings for Texas bank holding companies, than any other law firm according to SNL Financial; and since 2013, we have had a role in half of IPOs that have taken place in the Southwest region of the United States.
Our financial institutions practice has been dedicated to the needs of our clients for over 70 years. In addition to our renown, results-driven capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and regulatory capabilities, we bring our client’s benefit support in areas such as tax, labor and employment, employee benefits, environmental matters, real estate and finance, restructuring (363) with seasoned practitioners who have advised extensively on numerous financial institution transactions.
Bracewell handles regulatory and governance matters, structures and negotiates mergers and acquisitions, and represents clients in shareholder and other litigation, as well as government enforcement matters. Bracewell also works with financial institutions on private and public debt and equity offerings, as well as public company reporting for our public clients.
The Policy Resolution Group (PRG) at Bracewell is a unique team of lawyers, lobbyists and strategic communications professionals with decades of experience operating in Washington, D.C. Recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm in 2015 by Bloomberg Government, PRG is the only group among its competitors to make this list for the previous four consecutive years.
PRG includes a bipartisan team of former senior officials in both the legislative and executive branches, former press secretaries and journalists, as well as nationally recognized lobbyists and strategic communications practitioners. We provide services and solutions for our clients that span legislative and regulatory advocacy, comprehensive strategic communications services including crisis communications and reputation management, coalition development and management, and support for Congressional investigation.
According to Chambers USA 2018, Bracewell’s Intellectual Property team attracts an "impressive international client base, as well as acting for leading domestic energy, retail and automotive companies," providing a comprehensive approach to intellectual property counselling, including patent prosecution and enforcement, copyrights, trademarks, outsourcing, licensing, technology transfers and joint venture agreements. Bracewell’s IP team includes patent attorneys with technical degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, industrial, and architectural engineering, as well as computer science, physics, chemistry, applied math, biology, and industrial biotechnology. Our team also includes lawyers with advanced degrees in electrical engineering, chemistry, pharmacology, and business. Prior to joining the firm, many of our lawyers built highly successful careers at research institutions, regulatory agencies, and major public and private companies.
This combination of technical, business and legal experience gives our lawyers an in-depth, first-hand understanding of our clients’ needs. We also advise clients with regard to the registration and protection of other intellectual property rights through trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, and other proprietary information. We work closely with attorneys throughout the firm to provide intellectual property solutions in connection with company formation, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution and litigation, audits, due diligence, and other business concerns.
Employers face a variety of issues, including positive and proactive employee management balanced with compliance with ever expanding and changing federal, state and local legal requirements. Bracewell helps employers create and maintain a competitive and productive workplace. Our lawyers advise clients about legal requirements, develop customized solutions to ensure compliance with applicable laws, assist in crafting policies to minimize disputes with employees, help clients avoid litigation, and aggressively defend employers in litigation.
We recognize that business objectives are the key drivers of responsible labor and employment policies and initiatives. Our lawyers represent public and private employers in numerous industries, including manufacturing, education, energy, financial services, food service health care, staffing, media and technology. We learn our clients’ industries, and frequently take the lead in developing operational solutions. Our full range of services includes drafting agreements, policies and procedures; compliance standards with federal and state statutes and regulations; compliance-related investigations; management training programs; defense of workplace claims against employers; and assisting labor/management relations.
Bracewell has one of the nation’s premier litigation practices. For more than 70 years, our lawyers have handled almost every type of commercial dispute in venues throughout the country and the world. Every case is important to us. Every issue that matters to our clients matters to us. In building our much-celebrated practice, we have earned the respect of judges, arbitrators, colleagues, and opponents.
Our outstanding courtroom advocacy, creative thinking and grit continue to receive extraordinary recognition. Chambers USA (2018) characterized us as a “fast-growing litigation bench with a reputation for creative approaches to disputes both before and in trial for a range of major corporate clients.” Texas Lawyer named our team the Large Law Firm Litigation Department of the Year in 2017. Legal 500 (2016) called us a “litigation powerhouse,” noting our “broad range of high-value disputes.” Law360 (2016) likewise recognized our leading litigation practice, naming us to its inaugural list of Litigation Powerhouses, which identified the top 50 litigation practices in the nation. Law360 (2016) further highlighted Bracewell as being part of an “elite group” of only five firms with fewer than 200 litigation attorneys included on its list of “litigation heavyweights.”
Over the last 30 years, we have designed Bracewell to be an oil and gas projects law firm. We handle a wide variety of large and small clients involved in the oil and gas value chain, including upstream exploration and development companies; oilfield service businesses; pipeline, storage and terminals companies; refining and chemicals companies; commercial banks, trading houses, investors and private equity investors involved in oil and gas; and investment banks, other intermediaries and strategic advisors to oil and gas companies and investors. Bracewell has developed targeted practices, such as regulatory, environment, tax, intellectual property, and strategic communications, to serve the oil and gas industry. Our industry focus enables us to maintain cutting-edge experience and in-depth knowledge of the commercial, legal and regulatory challenges faced by our clients, so that we can provide the most effective legal solutions to facilitate transactions and resolve disputes.
Experience counts in structuring and negotiating outsourcing contracts, and that’s why businesses choose to work with Bracewell. Our lawyers have worked on some of the largest, most complex outsourcing transactions, including ground-breaking deals that set precedent and shaped the industry. Consistently ranked in Chambers Global (2011-2018), Chambers USA (2008-2018), Legal 500 (2010-2018) and other ranking publications as among the best lawyers in the industry, we provide advice on virtually all types of outsourcings. Throughout the past decade, our lawyers acted on outsourcing deals with a combined value of over $25 billion.
We understand that we must not only resolve our clients’ legal needs, but also generate value. Drawing upon our deep understanding of industry practices and market trends, we advise clients in structuring and negotiating innovative and comprehensive contracts based on their business requirements, objectives and constraints. Working collaboratively with in-house counsel and external advisors allows us to leverage our practical experience to better understand the critical business and technical issues inherent in outsourcing transactions and offer creative and practical solutions. We have dealt with every major multinational and Indian outsourcing vendor, and understand their approaches to deal-making and execution. We advise clients across all industries, including energy, financial services, consumer products, retail, manufacturing, and commercial aviation.
One of Bracewell’s key strengths is the depth of our practice in the power sector. We represent utilities, independent power producers, retail electric businesses, commodity trading houses and investors in a wide range of transactions and regulatory and compliance matters relating to conventional and renewable power sources and transmission. In addition to our large core power team, we have a team focused on addressing the environmental, real estate, finance, regulatory and tax issues specific to generation and transmission assets. Our depth of knowledge and comprehensive coverage of the power space across the country (in all of the various ISOs and RTOs) sets Bracewell apart, enabling us to provide our clients with superior legal advice.
Our strategic communications team designs and implements comprehensive and targeted communications strategies to reach key policymakers, elected officials and the public. Our Policy Resolution Group (PRG) is one of the only government relations firms in Washington, D.C., that also provides corporate positioning, reputation management, crisis communications, financial communications services, litigation communications support and social media advocacy strategy development. Our team uses both traditional and digital media services, and utilize a variety of platforms, including social media, to enhance and amplify our clients’ messages.
Bracewell’s tax attorneys serve as counsel on public and private company mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, private equity investments, joint ventures, capital markets transactions and bankruptcies. We advise clients on federal, state and international tax issues related to structuring and documenting business transactions. In cooperation with our transactional counterparts, we provide comprehensive legal advice, with an eye toward optimizing business transactions and maximizing our clients’ after-tax returns. We are familiar with the tax considerations relevant to c-corporations, s-corporations, partnerships, MLPs, REITs, trusts, and sovereign entities.
Chambers USA 2019 commented that Bracewell has a "solid practice noted for its expertise in tax matters in the energy space” as we regularly handle tax issues arising in transactions in all aspects of the energy sector, including upstream and midstream oil and gas, oil field services, power generation and transmission, and renewables. Chambers also noted that we “possess additional strength in assisting municipalities and tax-exempt entities, and [have] a wealth of experience in handling tax concerns affecting MLPs.”
Recent Notable Matters
Houston Independent School District — represented largest school district in Texas in significant trademark infringement action resulting in a favorable district court ruling, and 5th Circuit affirmance
Saudi Aramco — over 4,000 patent prosecution matters related to upstream and downstream oil technologies as well as drilling equipment, polymers, chemicals, medical, instruments, nanotechnology and robotics
Baker Hughes — prepare and prosecute patent applications before the USPTO, while also providing direction to foreign patent counsel who handle matters overseas; prepare opinions including patent infringement, freedom to operate, patentability and patent validity and serve as IP counsel for litigation matters
The largest low-cost airline — structuring and negotiating agreements for outsourcing services, cloud offerings, software and other high technology
HTC Corporation — Trademark clearance support for all new mobile devices including cutting-edge virtual reality headset and features, as well as providing counsel and supported the launch of the company’s first multi-million dollar global advertising campaign. Recently won a ruling entitling HTC to recover $1.5 million in fees based on the exceptional nature of the case.
Xiaomi — trademark clearance for China’s largest smartphone company’s prospective entrance into US market
Lockheed Martin Corporation — drafting and prosecuting patent applications for aeronautical and aerospace improvements in addition to appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (USPTO), post grant activities, opinions and litigation support and counselling
Fortune 500 Companies — US and foreign-based clients on compliance with GDPR, assist in developing documentation required for GDPR, and work with clients to develop GDPR compliant policies and procedures, including policies and procedures for managing communications, employees, and third party contracts
Matlin & Partners Acquisition Corporation — drafting of an information security policy and an incident response plan for the publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (MPAC), in business combination with U.S. Well Services, LLC (USWS). Pursuant to a merger and contribution agreement, USWS will combine with MPAC to become a publicly listed company with an anticipated initial total enterprise value of approximately $588 million.
Apache Corporation — multiple intellectual property matters including injunction identification, patent application, clearance, prosecution, enforcement, outsourcing, data privacy, trademark clearance, prosecution and enforcements
Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars — structuring and facilitating technology agreements and transactions, as well as patent prosecution and IP related matters
Toshiba Corporation — defense of various Toshiba entities in patent infringement litigations filed across the county including current pending matters California (Central District) and Utah, and representation before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
NCI Group, Inc. — trademark counseling and prosecution for the company’s engineered metal building systems