News

News

Hicks Johnson Earns 2024 Chambers Ranking

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business announced today that Hicks Johnson has been ranked as a leading law firm in the Texas Litigation: General Commercial practice area for 2024. Managing partner Andy Hicks and founding partner Logan Johnson were also ranked among the top lawyers in their market.

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The FTC’s Ban on Non-Competes: What Businesses Need to Know

On April 23, 2024, the FTC announced its final Rule banning non-compete clauses for most workers as unfair competition under federal law. This final Rule has already been challenged in two district courts in Texas. But even if it does not go into force across the entire country, individual states may decide to follow suit, becoming less hospitable to non-compete clauses currently held to be enforceable under state law. Senior counsel Brandon Winchester and associate Fraser Holmes outline key considerations—and potential solutions—for businesses seeking to minimize damage to their operations.

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Meet Summer Associate Ella Endorf

Ella is a rising 3L at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she has served as the assistant managing editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law and the vice president of Virginia Law Women. She also participated in the Virginia Innocence Project and various other pro bono endeavors. Previously, Ella was a judicial intern for the Hon. Susan Rodriguez in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Before law school, she interned for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute and the U.S. House of Representatives. Ella holds a dual B.A. in Public Policy Leadership and a B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Mississippi.

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Meet Summer Associate Oliwia Lukacz

Oliwia is a rising 3L at Georgetown University Law Center. This fall, she will join Georgetown’s Civil Rights Clinic as a student attorney. She is also a member of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, OutLaw, and the Georgetown Defenders. Previously, Oliwia was a legal extern for the Arlington Public Defender’s Office in Virginia. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida.

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With the SEC’s New Climate Disclosure Rules on Pause, What Should Registrants Expect?

On March 6, 2024, the SEC voted 3-2 to adopt final rules requiring registrants to disclose climate-related information. However, a multitude of legal challenges to these rules have been consolidated before the Eighth Circuit, which is now tasked with determining their legality. As the litigation proceeds, the case will have important consequences for the regulatory power of federal agencies and the ultimate disclosure requirements for registrants. Partner Persis Dean and associate Gabe Slater outline key changes in the new rules and offer guidance for registrants seeking to prepare for compliance.

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Four Years of McGirt: Reviewing Changes in Tax, Energy, and Criminal Law

Four years on from the Supreme Court’s monumental decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the results have been a mixed bag for all parties involved. In their previous McGirt update, managing partner Andy Hicks and associate Dave Finkel analyzed potential tax and regulatory implications in the first few months following the decision. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, they update those initial predictions and reflect on McGirt’s effects in the Sooner State.

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Supreme Court Takes on the Chevron Doctrine

On January 17, 2024, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in tandem cases Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc., et al. v. Dept. of Commerce, et al., which ask whether the court should overrule one of its most frequently cited precedents: the Chevron doctrine. Hicks Johnson staff attorney Jennifer Cordell explains the doctrine’s history and application, then outlines one of the court’s available paths in addressing the issue of statutory silence.

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Supreme Court Considers Title VII Case That Could Impact Company Diversity Initiatives

Federal courts have long held that Title VII discrimination must consist of material harm or disadvantage. However, on December 6, 2023, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in a Title VII case out of the Eighth Circuit, Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, that could radically lower this threshold – and reshape the landscape of workplace discrimination law entirely. Hicks Johnson associate Dave Finkel analyzes the decision’s potential implications, including challenges to employer DEI programs.

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Meet Partner Logan Johnson

For more than 20 years, Logan Johnson has represented plaintiffs and defendants in their most important matters. Here, he discusses his approach to trial work, the exhilaration of prevailing in court, and one of the best years of his career.

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Hicks Johnson Welcomes Dave Finkel

We are thrilled to announce that Dave Finkel has joined Hicks Johnson as an associate. Dave’s practice centers on complex commercial litigation. As a former federal clerk in both district and circuit courts, he has experience overseeing the entire lifecycle of a case, from pre-trial through appeal.

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Hicks Johnson Welcomes Gabe Slater

We are delighted to announce that Gabe Slater has joined Hicks Johnson as an associate. Gabe’s practice centers on complex commercial litigation. He has managed the day-to-day duties of a broad spectrum of cases, including consumer class actions, mass torts, merger litigation, and shareholder disputes. Gabe’s experience includes appearing at hearings in both state and federal court, leading oral argument on a motion to compel, and first-chairing numerous depositions.

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Sackler Family’s Fate in the Supreme Court Is Poised to Transform Texas Bankruptcy Law

On December 4, 2023, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that may have major implications for bankruptcy law in the Fifth Circuit. While the Fifth Circuit has held that bankruptcy courts may not incorporate third-party releases, this case, Harrington v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et. al., challenges the legality of Purdue’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan on the grounds that the plan exceeds the Bankruptcy Code’s authorization by releasing claims held by non-debtors against other non-debtor third parties without the claimants’ consent. Partner Marc Tabolsky and associate Adam Greiner discuss the case’s background as well as its potential to reverse current Fifth Circuit precedent that denies the use of releases between non-debtors in Chapter 11 reorganization plans.

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Ahead of the Curve: Meet Appellate Partner Penny Nicholson

Hicks Johnson partner Penny Nicholson, a veteran appellate practitioner board-certified in civil appellate law, has spent the past 30 years at the forefront of this evolving practice area. As a partner at Vinson & Elkins, she helped co-found the firm’s appellate section in 1990—one of the first in Texas. Here, Penny discusses her history at V&E, her current appellate practice at Hicks Johnson, her approach to appellate law, and what makes appellate lawyers an invaluable addition to any trial practice.

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“A Firm on the Rise”: A Q&A with Associate Fraser Holmes

Fraser Holmes joined Hicks Johnson as an associate in September 2023. He litigates complex commercial disputes at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Before joining the firm, Fraser clerked for the Hon. Bridget Bade of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and, prior to that, the Hon. Sam Sparks of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

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Hicks Johnson Welcomes Fraser Holmes

We are excited to announce that Fraser Holmes has joined Hicks Johnson as an associate. Fraser litigates complex commercial disputes at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He has drafted dispositive and non-dispositive briefs, prepared depositions, and conducted discovery for cases in state and federal court involving a wide range of claims, including private equity, healthcare, bankruptcy, and anticompetition.

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Meet Summer Associate Karchen Lhatoo

Karchen is a rising 3L at the University of Chicago Law School, where he participates in the International Law Society and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. He also served as the vice president and events director of UChicago Law Effective Altruism, a group that applies an evidence-based approach to helping law students undertake effective public interest and pro bono work. Previously, Karchen was an advocacy fellow with Reprieve, a London-based human rights organization that builds public momentum around high-impact causes like Guantánamo Bay, human trafficking, and drone strikes. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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Three Partners Honored by Benchmark Litigation

Hicks Johnson is proud to announce that three partners have been recognized in  Benchmark Litigation’s 2024 rankings: Adam Schiffer (Litigation Star), Adam Dinnell (Future Litigation Star), and  Varant Yegparian (40 & Under List).

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Texas Supreme Court to Review Rejected Forced Pooling Applications

On June 2, 2023, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear Ammonite Oil & Gas Corp. v. Railroad Commission of Texas and EOG Resources, which concerns a state regulator’s rejection of 16 applications submitted by Ammonite to force pool its mineral estate with adjacent wells operated by EOG under the Texas Mineral Interest Pooling Act (MIPA). Now, the court is poised to weigh in on several points regarding the scope and interpretation of the MIPA. Partner Persis Dean and associate Kelly Swanson provide key details of the case as well as its potential implications.

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Meet Summer Associate April Alex

April is a rising 3L at Duke University School of Law, where she serves as staff editor of Law and Contemporary Problems and as a research assistant for the Wilson Center for Science and Justice. Previously, she was a summer associate at a firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, that handles insurance, reinsurance, healthcare regulation, and employment disputes. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Political Science.

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