Amir Alavi represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation throughout the United States. He has litigated cases involving hedge funds and investment partnerships, intellectual property, securities fraud, mergers, energy trading, software development, natural gas pipelines, oil & gas mineral interests, construction defects, and the automotive industry. Since 2006, he has recovered more than half-a-billion dollars in settlements and verdicts for his clients.
Mr. Alavi is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction reserved for Texas trial lawyers with a high degree of trial experience and expertise. He has been recognized by attorneys across the country as one of the Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation, is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell and is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He has been consistently recognized by Texas Law and Politics and Texas Monthly magazines on their “Texas Super Lawyers” listing and by H Texas Magazine as a “Top Lawyer in Houston.”
Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Alavi was the general counsel of a privately-held company with over 5,000 employees. While there, he managed the mergers and acquisition department and handled several acquisitions of public and private companies.
Some of Mr. Alavi’s representative cases include:
- Brown Investment Management, L.P., et al. v. Ernst & Young LLP – Represent investors in the Parkcentral hedge funds in an audit malpractice and securities fraud case against the hedge fund’s auditors. Case is currently pending in the District Court of Harris Count, Texas.
- 2470 Cadillac Resources, Inc., et al. v. DHL Express (USA), Inc. – Represent franchisees in a breach of contact case seeking over $30 million in damages. Case is currently pending in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
- Houston v. Saracen Energy Advisors, L.P., et al – Represented a natural gas energy trader in claims for $30 million in bonus and deferred compensation. The case settled on a confidential basis.
- Mr. Alavi was a member of the AZA legal team that Versata/Trilogy hired a few months before the retrial of a significant patent case. AZA was tasked with developing the lost profits claim for Versata/Trilogy. With AZA’s help, Versata/Trilolgy secured the second largest patent verdict reported to Verdict Search nationwide in 2011 as of May 31. Read about the patent verdict here.
- Culliver v. George Bishop, et al. – Represented the plaintiff, a shareholder of an independent oil and gas company, in a shareholder oppression case seeking over $150 million. The case settled on a confidential basis prior to trial.
- Brown Investment Management, L.P. v. Parkcentral Global, L.P. – Represented an investor in the Parkcentral hedge fund which, with a related hedge fund, lost over $2.5 billion. In an important case involving hedge funds, Mr. Alavi secured a verdict granting his client access to the fund’s investor list. The case was appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court and affirmed.
- Mr. Alavi represented the former employee of an independent oil and gas exploration company in an arbitration seeking to recover plaintiff’s $60 million ownership interest in various oil and gas properties. The case was resolved on a confidential basis.
- 1993 GF Partnership, et al v. Warrior Energy Services, Inc., et al – represented plaintiffs in a securities fraud claim against Warrior Energy and its investment bankers arising out of a secondary public offering in 2006.
- St. James Capital Partners, L.P., et al v. SJMB, LLC, et al – represented an investment partnership and limited partners in another investment partnership in breach of fiduciary duty claims against the general partners of the two partnerships for self-dealing transactions and co-investments with the partnerships.
- Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. v. Columbia Gulf Transmission Co. – Represented Columbia Gulf Transmission Co. in a breach of contract lawsuit involving control (and the original construction) of the Blue Water offshore natural gas pipeline system. The case was resolved on a confidential basis.
- Marc Werner, et al v. KPMG, LLP – Represented limited partners of an investment partnership in a securities fraud case against KPMG. The case was resolved on a confidential basis.
- WesternGeco, LLC v. GX Technology Corporation, et al – Represented six employees of GX Technology in a multi-million dollar theft of trade secrets lawsuit by WesternGeco. Secured a voluntary dismissal of all six defendants on the eve of trial.
- Lenore Schmick Trust, et al v. KPMG, LLP – Represented limited partners of an investment partnership in securities fraud case against KPMG. The case was resolved on a confidential basis during trial.
- Collins v. Beazer Homes USA, Inc. et al. – Represented Judy Collins in one of the first Sarbanes-Oxley cases to be filed in federal court.(see Business Week article).
- Rowe v. Baker Hughes, Inc. – Represented Paula Rowe in ERISA whistleblower and age discrimination case against Baker Hughes. Resolved on a confidential basis.
- Alan Ferguson v. Baker Hughes, Inc. et al. – Represented Alan Ferguson in a whistleblower lawsuit against Baker Hughes (see New York Times article). As a result of Mr. Ferguson’s allegations, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation into Baker Hughes’ business practices (see news article). As a result of that investigation, which expanded to include conduct in other countries, Baker Hughes reached a record $44.1 million settlement with the SEC and Department of Justice which included one of its subsidiaries pleading guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (see Reuters Article). Mr. Ferguson’s case was resolved on a confidential basis.
- Defended a construction inspection company in a case involving allegations that an offshore pipeline system in Norway contained construction defects. Mr. Alavi’s client was voluntarily dismissed from the case.
- Represented an in-house lawyer in a Sarbanes-Oxley and False Claims Act retaliation claims against his then current employer. The case was resolved on a confidential basis.
- Defended an energy brokerage company and three of its principals in a lawsuit by a competitor alleging theft of trade secrets. Secured a directed verdict for the defendants during a temporary injunction hearing.
- Represented one of the nation’s largest private IT service company in a post-merger closing adjustment dispute where the selling company claimed over $4 million in additional payments under their purchase agreement. Mr. Alavi secured a walk-away settlement for his client.
- Chung’s Gourmet Foods v. Delta DailyFoods Texas — Represented Chung’s Gourmet Foods, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of egg rolls in a tortuous interference case against Delta DailyFoods. After nearly two weeks of trial, Mr. Alavi and the trial team obtained a verdict and judgment in the amount of nearly $18 million.
- Mr. Alavi represented major life insurance companies and national class actions brought in Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.
- Mr. Alavi represented major automobile dealers in antitrust class actions brought in Texas and Louisiana where Plaintiffs sought damages in the billions of dollars.
- Stanford University (B.A.)
- University of Chicago Law School (J.D. with honors)
HONORS & DISTINCTIONS
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Jerry E. Smith, United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2013 – 2014
- Texas Super Lawyers, 2005- 2013
- Texas Rising Star, 2004-2005
- Houston’s Top Lawyers, 2006-2007, H Texas Magazine
- Houston’s Top Lawyers for the People, 2005-2009, H Texas Magazine
- Professionals on the Fast Track, 2004-2005, H Texas Magazine
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Marquis Who’s Who in American Law (14th Edition)
- Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Journal of Public Policy Symposium Edition, 1995
- The John Olin Foundation Fellowship for the Study of Law and Economics
- State Bar of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow
- The College of the State Bar of Texas
- American Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Houston Young Lawyers Association
- Amschwand v. Spherion Corp., 505 F.3d 342 (5th Cir. 2007)
- Gordon v. Cinergy Corp., 2007 WL 471130 (S.D.Tex. 2007)
- Werner v. KPMG, LLP, 415 F.Supp.2d 688 (S.D.Tex. 2006)
- Willis v. Donnelly, 199 S.W.3d 262 (Tex. 2006)
- Collins v. Beazer Homes USA, Inc., 334 F.Supp.2d 1365 (N.D. Ga. 2004)
- Willis v. Donnelly, 118 S.W.3d 10 (Tex.App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2003)
PUBLICATIONS, PAPERS AND CLE PRESENTATIONS
- Reducing Litigation Costs in a Down Economy, Donavan Watkins Continuing Legal Education Program, June 2009.
- Requests for Production of Documents and Requests for Disclosure, University of Houston Law Foundation, Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course, November 2008.
- Practical Considerations in Dealing with Intellectual Capital, Lorman Education Services, Documents Employers Can’t Live Without, June 2006.
- Retaliation Claims: Including Sarbanes-Oxley, University of Houston Law Foundation, Employer-Side Employment Law, December 2005.
- Preparing your Witness for Deposition and Trial, University of Houston Law Foundation, Litigation and Trial Tactics, October 2005.
- Theft of Trade Secrets, Employee Raiding and Unfair Competition, University of Houston Law Foundation, Corporate Partnership and Business Law, June 2004.
- Retaliation Claims in Federal and State Court: Including Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims, University of Houston Law Foundation, Employment Law Seminar, April 2004.
- Preparing your Witness for Deposition and Trial, University of Houston Law Foundation, Litigation and Trial Tactics, March 2004.
- Unfair Competition, Theft of Trade Secrets, and Employee Raiding, University of Houston Law Foundation, Corporate Partnership and Business Law, June 2003.
- Employment Law Aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Responsibility Statute (co-author), University of Houston Law Foundation, Employment Law Seminar, March 2003.
- Point/Counterpoint of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: a View from the Employer’s and Employee’s Perspectives (co-author), State Bar of Texas, Advanced Employment Law Course 2003, February 2003.
- Employment Contracts: What to include, What to Avoid, South Texas College of Law, Business Organization Course, October 2002.
- Credibility and Impeachment: Fundamentals of Direct and Cross-Examination, University of Houston Law Foundation, How to Offer and Exclude Evidence, September 2002.
- Trade Secrets and Covenants Not to Compete, University of Houston Law Foundation, Employment and Labor Law, September 2002.
- Evidence Without Witnesses: Stipulations, Discovery Products, Judicial Notice, Summons, Etc., University of Houston Law Foundation, Trial Tactics, September 2002.
- Protecting or Raiding Intellectual Capital, South Texas College of Law’s Labor and Employment Law Conference, July 2002.
- Preparing your Witness for Deposition or Trial, University of Houston Law Foundation, May 2002.
- Featured Speaker, IT Service Summit, San Francisco, California, March 2000.
- Contributing author, Survey of State Class Action Law, A Report of the State Laws Subcommittee of the Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association, 1999.
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