Large Law Firm Litigation Department of the Year page 22
Community Connections page 24
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Welcome From Managing Partner Greg Bopp Firm Events Alumni Profiles: Jordan Mintz and Shamoil Shipchandler Bigger and Bolder: The New Bracewell Brand Across Bracewell: Bracewell’s New Look 2018 New Partner Class Lateral Partner Hiring On the Road With Cliff Gunter Universally Recognized Large Law Firm Litigation Department of the Year Community Connections Bracewell Links In Memoriam
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We want to hear from you! Our LinkedIn alumni page — Connect: The Bracewell Alumni Network — is a forum where Bracewell alumni can share updates about new positions, promotions and career achievements. It’s also a way to keep up to date on Bracewell news. You can provide us updates on your contact information, as well as story ideas and feedback on Connect , by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome From Managing Partner Greg Bopp
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Connect, Bracewell’s new alumni magazine.
This issue of Connect profiles the career paths of two distinguished Bracewell alumni:
Jordan Mintz, vice president – tax and chief tax officer at Kinder Morgan; and Shamoil
Shipchandler, regional director for the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth Regional Office. We also highlight recent developments at the firm, including new partners, alumni and client events, and community involvement. We sincerely appreciate the strong relationship we maintain with our alumni. Thank you for your friendship and loyalty to the firm. Please stay in touch.
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Summer Associate Retreat
New York lawyers and summer associates
(L to R) Shruthi Prabhu (summer associate) and Jarvis Hollingsworth
(L to R) Dan Connolly and Jennifer Weston
University of Texas School of Law
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Austin (L to R) Victoria Ozimek and Glenn Opel
Houston (L to R) Staci Wilson, Adam Dempsey (alumnus) and Manuel Vera
New York (L to R) Jeris Brunette and Robin Miles
Dallas (L to R) Christie Latimer, Cheyenne Rogers, Kevin Schutte and Andrea Broyles
Connecticut (L to R) Kurt Mayr, Shannon Wolf,Kristine Holland, Beth Tyler, Noris Fair and Evan Flaschen
Washington, DC (L to R) Scott Segal and Dee Martin
Houston (L to R) Derrick Mitchell and Tara Ivascu
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Administrative Chiefs (L to R) Rebecca Giot, Kirk Scruggs, Jennifer Queen, Greg Bopp, Helen Lilienstern, Paul Grabowski and Brenda Cook Cialone
(L to R) Alastair Young, Darren Spalding , Ben James, Dee Martin, Jason Cohen and Shelby Kelley
(L to R) Manuel Vera, Richard Whiteley, Paul Nathanson, Doug Rommelmann, Jim Kizziar, Janice Davis and Jane Macon
(L to R) Bob Sheeder and Victoria Garcia
(L to R) Brad Benoit, Mark Evans, Yvonne Ho and Alan Rafte
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(L to R) Carl von Merz, Andrew Zeve and Ben James
(L to R) Andrew Bueso, Kenni Callahan and Adam Dempsey (alumnus)
(L to R) Luke Tanner (alumnus) and Alan Rafte
(L to R) Stephanie Song and Kate Day
(L to R) Dewey Gonsoulin and Dale Smith
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(L to R) Jonathan Spivey with alumnae Lauren Eddy, Kate Brock, Mary O’Black and Christina Falgout
(L to R) Constance Rhebergen with alumni Carrin Patman and Jordan Mintz
(L to R) Evan McCord (alumnus), Blair Loocke, Erick Sandlin and Edmond Robb
(L to R) Jennifer Weston with alumnae Susan Mathews and Mary Thamm
(L to R) Patrick Oxford, Greg Bopp and Mark Evans
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(L to R) Brett Owens (alumnus), Will Anderson and Troy Harder
(L to R) Charlotte Rasche (alumna) and John Brantley
(L to R) Ben Martin and Clay Brett (alumnus)
(L to R) Kevin Trautner (alumnus) and Dan Witschey
(L to R) Edgar Marston and Scott Grossman (alumnus)
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Far more than Bracewell’s go-to “tax guy,” alumnus Jordan Mintz was a trusted adviser for the firm’s clients. In his current role at Kinder Morgan, that quality is something he looks for in outside counsel. Jordan Mintz
What was Bracewell like when you joined the firm? When I joined Bracewell in 1987 as a fifth year lateral in the Houston office, the firm had a very strong corporate practice, but the tax department was pretty much Lance Behnke and me. This afforded me to not only be the “tax guy,” but a trusted adviser with incredible opportunities to work in many different areas with unbelievable client exposure. Any career highlights? Bracewell allowed me the opportunity to develop a tax controversy and litigation practice — something that meshed well with my personality. Morris Clark and I tried a case in the Tax Court for a drilling company called Sharewell, where we won a significant case of first impression related to the interpretation of a covenant not to compete from a tax perspective. I also had a chance to argue a case before the Fifth Circuit with John Minor Wisdom on the panel.
had a great culture of inclusiveness, transparency and respect that was fostered by Richard Royds. When Pat Oxford rejoined the firm, he helped grow that confidence so that the firm could play at the next level. Even with Bracewell’s tremendous growth over the years, that culture is still at the heart of the firm, as reflected in Greg Bopp’s leadership. Describe your current position. I am the vice president – tax and chief tax officer at Kinder Morgan, where I have a team of 80 professionals and report to the company’s CFO, Kim Dang. A large part of my time is focused on professional development of our tax team. We have a great deal of diversity within the department and a great mix of experience and young, upcoming professionals. I grade myself based on the department’s turnover, which annually has been about 3 percent over the last five years. What do you look for in outside counsel? It’s a given that to have any level of success you have to have the technical expertise. I can always find someone who is an expert on the Internal Revenue Code. What I’m looking for is
someone who is also a trusted adviser. Someone who will say, “I can get you from Point A to Point B, but would that bother you if that appeared on the front page of the Houston Chronicle or Wall Street Journal ?” You need to think about reputational risks. You need to think about other ways to address this issue. It’s hard to tell a client not to do something. My advice: Work toward being a trusted adviser where your client may not want to hear what you have to say, but will trust your judgment and follow your advice. Describe life outside of work. My wife Lauren and I have been married 33 years and have five children. Evan is an attorney and the deputy editor of the Houston Chronicle’s editorial page. His wife Melissa has her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and works at the Children’s Assessment Center. My daughter Ally is the manager of publications at the Grey Art Museum at New York University. Andrew is a 3L at Tulane and will be joining Bracewell after graduation. Nicky is the athletic director at St. Catherine’s Montessori School, and Emery is a junior at Rice. We also have two dogs: Vicktor, a bulldog, and Moody, a bisingi. I love when our entire family is together. We have great fun, hijinks, chicanery and lots of laughs.
What lessons did you learn at Bracewell? I developed great confidence at
Bracewell by having immediate client exposure — and I was never pushed to be anything other than myself. Bracewell
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When Shamoil Shipchandler joined Bracewell from the US Department of Justice to help build the firm’s white collar practice in Dallas, he took the time to learn how private practice works. Now, as director of the US Security and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth Regional Office, Shamoil encourages lawyers in private practice to learn more about how the government operates. Shamoil Shipchandler
Who was your mentor at Bracewell? I joined Bracewell’s Dallas office in 2014 after almost 10 years at the US Department of Justice, and worked closely with Terry Hart, the former white collar partner who recruited me to Bracewell. I also found mentorship from many other folks on a lot of different subjects. In particular, Phil Bezanson, who heads up the firm’s Seattle office, served as both a peer and mentor to me. Phil has spent his career in the private sector and knows the ins and outs of how to deal with companies, how they are structured, and how they work through the issues that they face on a daily basis. I came to the firm from the government, where we approach these things a bit differently. It was incredibly valuable to talk with Phil to understand the lay of the land. Also, quite frankly, everyone in the Dallas office — support professionals, associates and partners — gave me many insights into how private practice worked, how the firm worked and how to do things the Bracewell way. I would have been lost on Day 1 had Trena Jackson not taken pity on me! Tell us a bit about your current position. I am the director of the Fort Worth Regional Office of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The Commission has 11 regional offices across the country. In this region, I cover Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. I supervise about 130 people in my office, including lawyers, accountants and support professionals. Together,
we handle all of the enforcement and examination activities of the Commission in this region.
to execute thousands of attacks simultaneously or in quick succession, and generally need only to be successful once. But companies on the defensive must be successful 100 percent of the time. It’s an incredibly difficult and constantly evolving threat landscape right now. The other thing that keeps me up at night is making sure that the folks in my office have the resources to do their jobs effectively and the obstacles removed from their paths. As a federal agency, we have limited tools, limited resources and a limited number of people, yet we have a tremendous amount of responsibility. So it is a constant battle to ensure that we don’t miss anything. What is your proudest professional moment? My most significant professional accomplishments are when I can put the people I work with in a position to succeed. When I headed up the US Attorney’s Office in Plano, we were able to prosecute the highest number of defendants than had ever been done before in that office. That was because of the people there. All I tried to do was remove as many impediments as possible and make the environment a place where everyone could thrive. I continue to try to do the same thing in Fort Worth — always striving to make the office a place that people value and treasure. On a more personal level, each one of my federal trials was a highlight in its own right. I love being in front of a jury and being in court.
You talked earlier about learning how private practice works. What should lawyers in private practice know about how the government works? For those who do not have a public service background, the functions of the government can be both mystifying and inscrutable, so good communication is the key. It is perfectly appropriate to pick up the phone and talk with regulatory and law enforcement officials to better understand what they’re looking at or what they’re asking about. People are often reluctant to do that, but you need to remember that it’s really just a human being on the other end of the phone. For those in the more regulated industries, like financial institutions or SEC registrants, it’s particularly important to establish that line of communication before the inevitable crisis occurs. Right now in your world, what’s the greatest challenge? There are plenty of challenges given that this region has the fastest growing economic demographic in the country and five of the 12 most populous cities in the country. We do not have the resources to keep pace, so we constantly try to do more with less. But there are two challenges that specifically come to mind. The number one challenge is cybersecurity. Bad actors are able
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THE NEW BRACEWELL BRAND
Visitors to Bracewell’s website likely have noticed the firm’s new, contemporary look. In 2018, Bracewell’s marketing team worked on a project that resulted in a new brand platform and website. The new brand platform includes a new Bracewell logo and design treatments that are used in all web, social media and printed materials to tell a consistent story about Bracewell’s strength in energy, finance and technology, as well as strategic practice areas such as government relations and litigation. Additionally, Bracewell’s website underwent a complete transformation to mirror the firm’s strategy along with obtaining our new URL www.bracewell.com .
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We Know Energy® Bracewell is a leader in project finance. We represent lenders, financing sources, independent power producers, private investment funds, investors, utilities, and commodity trading houses in all aspects of the finance and development of energy and infrastructure projects. One of our key strengths is the depth of our experience in the energy industry, including thermal and renewable power generation, transmission, storage, district utility systems, natural resources and a wide-array of other energy projects.
Inspired by Innovation Bracewell is honored to work with
Kevin Feeney and the team at Air Liquide Doing business in complex sectors means being ready to tackle legal, commercial, and governmental challenges. Bracewell’s unique team of attorneys, government relations tacticians, and strategic communications practitioners meets clients where they are, bringing in-depth industry knowledge and crafting comprehensive, cross-specialty solutions to get business done.
TEXAS | NEW YORK | WASHINGTON, DC | CONNECTICUT | SEATTLE | DUBAI | LONDON
Fall 2017 Environmental Law Seminar November 9, 2017
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Bracewell’s New Look In today’s world, office decor has undergone vast improvements from the generic, hierarchical designs of the past. The new trends combine modern and attractive elements with comfort and function to create a space that encourages people to be more productive and inspired. With this new approach in mind, Bracewell undertook major renovations within several of the firm’s offices over the past three years.
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2018 NEW PARTNER CLASS
Nine outstanding lawyers from Bracewell’s core industry and practice groups across five offices were elected to the firm’s partnership, effective January 1, 2018.
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Adam Blythe London Energy
Jeris Diana Brunette New York Finance
Mark E. Dendinger Connecticut Financial Restructuring
Christopher L. Drymalla Austin IP Litigation
Jonathon K. Hance Houston IP Litigation
Austin T. Lee Houston Energy
Edmund W. Robb Houston Litigation
Brian P. Teaff Houston Public Finance / Tax
Brian H. Tompkins Austin Intellectual Property
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LATERAL PARTNER HIRING
Eleven lawyers who are leaders in their respective practice areas joined Bracewell in 2017. Their combined industry and practice experience strengthens our ability to serve clients in energy, finance and technology.
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Adrian Creed Dubai Energy
Hans P. Dyke Washington, DC Energy
John Gilbert London Energy Dispute Resolution
Timothy C. Langenkamp Houston Corporate & Securities
Carl von Merz Houston Energy
Douglas W. Rommelmann Houston Intellectual Property
Angela B. Styles Washington, DC Government Contracts
David A. Super Washington, DC Litigation
Robert J. Wagman Jr. Washington, DC Government Contracts
Damian Watkin London Energy Dispute Resolution
Paul F. Wight Washington, DC Energy Regulatory
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On the Road
With Cliff Gunter
C liff Gunter is a senior litigation partner in the Houston office and has been with the firm for 49 years. What many may not realize is that Cliff is also an avid motorcyclist. He developed the passion as a teenager. Over the years, his rides with friends, family and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts have taken him across the United States and the world.
Why did you start riding? I’m not really sure, but my first ride was in high school on a borrowed motorcycle that belonged to a friend. I bought my first bike when I was a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. How long have you been riding? My first ride was when I was about 14. I did not seek parental permission for that one. What kind of motorcycle do you currently have? I have two. One is a BMW R1200GSA, which is a dual sport bike, meaning it’s at home both on and off the road. The second is a Yamaha WR250R. Although street legal, this is the bike I use for riding out in the Big Bend, Colorado and in Utah.
What is your favorite type of bike? My next one.
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How often do you ride? I try to take several big trips a year, but I manage to get out into the Hill Country and the Big Bend in Texas for a few days now and then. What is your favorite ride? It’s hard to say, but certainly a trip I took five years ago down to Argentina, Chile and Bolivia to follow the Dakar cross- country motorcycle and car race was a memorable one. The race lasts two weeks and was formerly known as the Paris to Dakar Race. It moved in 2010 to South America because of safety concerns in North Africa. While not well known or a big deal in the US, this race is closely followed in Europe, North Africa and now in South America. Safety concerns, barricades and OSHA regulations don’t really exist for the race.
What is the longest ride you have taken? We rented the BMW R1200GS motorcycles in Tromso, Norway, rode up to Nordkapp (well past the Arctic Circle and supposedly the northernmost road in the world, if you can call it a road), then down to Finland, ferried across the Baltic and covered Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria before ending up in Munich, Germany. That first German beer sure tasted good! Any good stories? I was in a motel in Fredericksburg, Texas, 15 years ago. An old fellow with a thick German accent limped up to me and started talking about BMW motorcycles. Turns out that about 70 years before, he was in the German army in North Africa and drove a BMW sidecar in the desert. Quite an interesting evening.
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Energy Practice Group of the Year Bracewell has received this distinction six times since 2010
“I am always impressed with the team at Bracewell. They are very client-oriented and all the lawyers I work with have significant industry experience in addition to their legal acumen.”
Oil & Gas Specialism Firm of the Year Legal 500 UK Awards 2017
Energy client Chambers USA 2017
Infrastructure and Energy Projects Team of the Year The Middle East Legal Awards 2017
Finalist for Energy/Projects: Oil & Gas and Environment Teams of the Year Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2017
“One of the most experienced teams in the market in the energy sector and possibly the best team for oil and gas matters.”
Energy client Legal 500 UK 2017
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Litigation Powerhouse recognized as one of the top 50
litigation practices in the US and one of an “elite group” of five firms with fewer than 200 litigators included on the list of “litigation heavyweights”
Large Law Firm Litigation Department of the Year Texas Lawyer 2017
IP Stars Bracewell’s trademark team recognized as a noted firm in the United States
Managing Intellectual Property 2017
“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.”
“Exceptional. We’ve had some crazy
Chambers USA 2016
scenarios, but everything we’ve presented to them they’ve handled brilliantly.” Technology/Outsourcing client Chambers USA 2017
WILEF Gold Standard Certification received in recognition of Bracewell’s successful integration of women into top leadership roles
“Especially strong on all types of upstream and midstream energy-sector financings…always responsive, professional and well-versed on the hot topics in the industry.”
Women in Law Empowerment Forum 2017
Finance client Legal 500 US 2017
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Large Law Firm Litigation Department
of the Year Texas Lawyer 2017
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Partners (L to R) Sean Gorman, Brian Mitchell, Jeff Vaden, Richard Whiteley, Blair Loocke and Stephen Crain
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In January and February, lawyers and staff volunteered time at multiple nonprofit organizations as part of Bracewell’s Day of Service. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee established the annual day of giving to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the only US federal holiday founded as a “day on, not a day off.”
Austin Central Texas Food Bank
New York Welcome Table Soup Kitchen
Houston Houston Food Bank
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Seattle Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission
San Antonio San Antonio Food Bank
Washington, DC Martha’s Table
Dallas Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid
London St. Paul’s Primary School
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Insights Insights is a new addition to Bracewell’s website which includes a searchable database of articles, presentations, newsletters, videos and podcasts created by Bracewell lawyers on a variety of topics. bracewell.com/insights
Blogs and Podcasts Bracewell’s blog series helps you stay informed about the latest updates and analysis of state, federal and international legal issues affecting your business and industry. Plug into the Bracewell Blog, Energy Legal Blog, Basis Points Blog and the Lobby Shop Podcast.
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Richard W. “Dick” Beckler
Marcy joined Bracewell in 1983 as a trial lawyer and built a practice focused on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights cases and complex commercial collection and litigation cases. She was elected to partner in 1988. In 1991, Marcy became the first partner with an active practice to hold the position of pro bono coordinator. She held this position until her death on October 12, 2016. Marcy took tremendous pride in Bracewell’s pro bono program. She believed that pro bono was an important part of the firm’s culture and commitment to serving the greater Houston community. In addition to maintaining an active practice, Marcy found the time to run more than 50 marathons across the country. She was among the top 10 women runners in Houston. Marcy also developed a passion for yoga and became a certified instructor. Marcy gave back to the Houston community in many ways, including her support of various nonprofit organizations. After her diagnosis of Leiomyosarcoma, she founded Peach Outreach, a nonprofit organization that, even after her death, raises funding to support MD Anderson’s research for a cure.
Dick joined Bracewell’s white collar defense team in 2011, quickly earning the respect of his colleagues and peers for his adept handling of complex civil and criminal litigation matters. Dick began his career of service in the US Navy. He rose through the ranks to lieutenant commander, spending most of his time aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Following his naval career, Dick attended law school in New York and began his legal career working for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. From there, he was recruited by the Justice Department in Washington, DC, where he became chief of the Fraud Section in the Criminal Division. At the DOJ, Dick served as lead counsel for Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra investigation and trial, as well as the lead counsel for former CIA Director Bill Casey in “Debategate,” an FBI and grand jury investigation involving debate briefing books stolen before a debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. After 37 years as a lawyer for several major firms, Dick returned to government service in 2017 as chief legal advisor and general counsel of the General Services Administration. He passed away surrounded by his family on September 25, 2017.
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Our industry focus results in comprehensive state-of-the-art knowledge of the commercial, legal and governmental challenges faced by our clients and enables us to provide innovative solutions to facilitate transactions and resolve disputes. Bracewell is a leading law and government relations firm primarily serving the energy, finance and technology industries throughout the world.
TEXAS | NEW YORK | WASHINGTON DC | CONNECT ICUT | SEATTLE | DUBA I | LONDON