Chris’ practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, arbitration, and appeals.  He has successfully represented clients as first chair in trial and appellate courts with up to $10 million at stake, and also as a key member of litigation teams with up to $2 billion at stake.  His areas of practice have included complex contract matters, commercial law, fraud, antitrust, indemnification, business and personal torts, the Alien Tort Statute, the Anti-Terrorism Act and ERISA, and he has represented clients in the energy, financial services, real estate, telecommunications, construction and healthcare industries.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Commercial

As lead attorney, took over litigation following trial by prior counsel that resulted in an adverse multi-million dollar verdict and obtained a complete victory in federal court on behalf of a trust company and a registered investment advisor in a dispute arising out the clients’ assumption of custodial control of accounts holding assets worth more than $500 million.

As lead attorney, successfully defended at trial a leading global manufacturer and distributor of polymers, thermoplastic resins and color additives for plastics against claims of fraud and breach of contract.  The plaintiff sought damages totaling approximately $1.4 million and also punitive damages.  Following a two-week trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff only $38,000 in actual damages.

As lead appellate attorney, successfully argued before the court of appeals in defense of a take-nothing judgment in favor of a national provider of voice-integrated data solutions in a commercial dispute in which the plaintiff sought from the client damages that originally totaled nearly $19 million.

As lead attorney, obtained the complete dismissal in federal court of a $3 million damage claim based on allegations of conspiracy to defraud and tortious interference with contract asserted against the owner and chairman of one of the largest industrial groups in India.

Achieved a complete trial court and appellate court victory (lead appellate attorney) for the American entity of one of the largest industrial groups in India in pursuing claims that sought nearly $4 million for breach of contract and fraud.

Energy and International

Achieved a complete appellate victory on behalf of one of the world’s largest fully-integrated energy companies in a $50 million dispute arising out of an oil trading agreement.

Represented a large midstream energy company in asserting a $250 million claim arising out of a long-term LNG supply agreement against an African state-owned oil and gas company.

Represented a major utility company and wholesale gas-trading company against multi-billion dollar antitrust claims based on allegations of market manipulation in the wholesale natural gas market during the California energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.

Represented a state-owned oil company in assessing the litigation risk in connection with a potential acquisition of a $4 billion interest in an African offshore oil field.

Successfully resolved a multi-million dollar dispute arising out of an African offshore oil concession.

Represented a large international energy trader in connection with an investigation by the CFTC.

As lead attorney, represented a wholesale fuel supplier and trader against claims totaling $3.1 million asserted by a bankruptcy trustee in an adversary proceeding, and convinced the trustee to drop all claims.

Represented one of the largest banks based in the Middle East against multi-billion dollar claims asserted by approximately 6,000 plaintiffs under the Alien Tort Statute and the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Represented the owner of one of the leading telecommunications companies in Africa in enforcing an arbitral award obtained in the London Court of International Arbitration against the claimant who had asserted an $800 million damage claim.

Construction

As lead attorney, successfully represented a builder in asserting claims against the owner of a $64 million mixed-use development project in Downtown Houston.  Following the deposition of one of the principals, the owner quickly settled the case.

As lead attorney, successfully defended the U.S. entity of one of the world’s largest integrated petroleum companies in a dispute with the general contractor of a $4.5 million construction project.  Following mediation, the general contractor agreed not to seek any recovery from the client.

As lead attorney, successfully defended one of the world’s largest aluminum companies against claims asserted by a general contractor totaling $1.6 million dollars.  The case was successfully resolved.

As lead attorney, defended the owner of a plastics processing plant against claims asserted by a general contractor arising out of a $1.1 million construction project.  The case was successfully resolved.

Healthcare

As lead attorney, obtained a significant settlement for a group of medical doctors suing the delegated entity of two health insurers for improper termination.  In response to the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on all of the clients’ claims, filed a cross-motion for summary judgment on liability, and convinced the trial court not only to deny the defendant’s motion but to grant the client’s motion.  Afterwards, the defendant quickly settled the case.

EDUCATION

  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2004; summa cum laude (fifth in class); Notes & Comments Editor, Houston Law Review
  • B.A., Communication, University of Texas, 2000; Captain, Individual Events Team (one of top two speech teams in the U.S.); Top 20 Overall Individual Speaker in the U.S.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Named a “Texas Rising Star” in Texas Monthly and Texas Rising Stars magazines – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014
  • Named a “Professional on the Fast Track” by H Texas Magazine, 2009

PUBLICATIONS

Chris Lacy et al, Privilege Survives Coerced Disclosures to Federal Investigators, 18 Competition L. J. 15 (2009)

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

  • Texas (all state courts)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

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