Firm Profile > Eversheds Sutherland > Houston, United States

Eversheds Sutherland
HOUSTON, TX 77002-6760
United States

E-discovery Tier 1

Recognized by peers as an e-discovery pioneer, New York's Robert Owen heads Eversheds Sutherland's practice, drawing on significant experience in commercial litigation and prominent positions in a number of industry bodies. Owen is supported in Washington DC by Matt Gatewood (whose recent highlights include government investigations and large-scale litigation involving workplace operational failures, cybersecurity breaches, multi-district class actions and worker classification disputes) and e-discovery litigation expert Gregory Kaufman. The group's impressive client roster includes major names in the life sciences, energy, insurance and financial services spaces. Counsel Francis Nolan, in New York, is also recommended for class action and complex business litigation matters.

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 1

Eversheds Sutherland's 'team is very responsive; it is also very practical and down-to-earth with its solutions, and has a real understanding of business aspects'. Typical work includes M&A and joint ventures, private equity investments, general corporate advice, corporate governance, reinsurance, asset transfers and corporate finance, and the team is increasingly active in major mid-market and high-end corporate and M&A transactions. The firm fields attorneys with industry expertise in insurance, financial services, energy and natural resources, life sciences, manufacturing and transportation, and active, key clients are First Data, Gypsum Management & Supply, MSouth Equity Partners, SunTrust Bank and Royal Dutch Shell. Practice head Wade Stribling's 'broad connections and real world business perspective that he brings to legal issues are appreciated'; and Edward Kallal is 'a great mentor and partner to clients who benefit from great service, advice and results'. Michael Gurion acted for Gypsum Management & Supply, the largest independent distributor of wallboard, acoustic and other specialty building products in the US, in its continued expansion program, including the acquisition of WSB Titan, the largest distributor of building products throughout Canada; Gurion also advised, together with Stribling, private equity firm MSouth Equity Partners, on the acquisition of TRP Construction Group. In other matters, Michael Voynich advised Shell Oil Company on the acquisition of an interest in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a Nashville-based solar power producer, from one of its existing shareholders, Partners Group; Thomas Herman assisted The Forestland Group, a privately owned timberland investment manager, and its affiliate Anderson-Tully Lumber Company (ATLC), with the sale by ATLC of substantially all the assets of a Mississippi sawmill complex to Vicksburg Forest Products; and in cross-border mandates, Robert Pile led advice to Perkins+Will, a global architecture and design firm, on its acquisition of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, a Danish architecture practice. Also highly regarded are Brian Murphy and Marc Rawls, while Bert Adams and Robert Copps are key New York contacts, and William Dudzinsky JrDouglas Leary and recently promoted Katie Blaszak are experienced Washington DC-based advisers. Notable associates are Hill Jeffries and the 'dedicated and talentedRob Ellis. Attorneys are based in Atlanta except where otherwise stated; David Zimmerman left for Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

US taxes: contentious Tier 1

Eversheds Sutherland continues to assist Comcast with a range of tax controversy matters. These include representing the telecoms giant in a major corporate income and franchise tax dispute in Tennessee, and representing it in a dispute with the Mississippi Department of Revenue regarding the proper computation of Comcast’s capital value for corporate franchise tax purposes; practice leader Jeffrey Friedman and Daniel Schlueter in Washington DC as well as Maria Todorova and Eric Tresh in Atlanta all work closely with the client. Tresh is currently advising Sprint Corporation on its defense of a claim by New York State relating to alleged violations of the New York State False Claims Act. Another key figure in the DC team is Susan Seabrook, who has previously held positions at the IRS and KPMG, and has experience representing insurance companies, financial institutions and multinationals in a variety of tax litigation and IRS procedural matters. Of counsels Jerome Libin in Washington DC and Jerold Cohen in Atlanta are also recommended. New York-based Marc Simonetti moved to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP in May 2018.

Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 2

At Eversheds Sutherland, practice head Lee Davis is experienced in resolving disputes across industrial and commercial construction projects. He recently represented the electricals subsidiary of an international manufacturer in a dispute with federal authorities relating to a multibillion-dollar plant project. The group works closely with the energy team, as was the case when advising one of the largest energy companies in North America; with the energy team having compiled the financing orders, the construction team, including Davis and counsel Jesse Lincoln, analysed construction contracts, and acted for the client in pursuing claims against contractors relating to failures in the foundations of a Texas solar plant. Davis, Lincoln and litigation specialist Jack Massey also represented a multinational energy transportation company in disputes arising from the construction of a major natural gas pipeline.

Energy regulation: conventional power Tier 2

Split between Washington DC, Austin and Atlanta, Eversheds Sutherland's energy regulatory practice caters to a variety of clients, from traditional electric utilities (such as Allete) to renewable energy companies (such as Pattern Energy Group) and financial institutions looking to invest in the sector. Head of team Catherine Krupka (DC) assists asset management entities with compliance and enforcement issues. In recent work, Joseph Hall (DC) and others represented Cargill and Otter Tail Power Company before the DC Court of Appeals in the 14-year-long MISO revenue sufficiency guarantee case, regarding the correct application of RSG charges to transactions carried out during the initial phase of the MISO market. Hall also acts as lead regulatory counsel to Onyx Renewable Partners in relation to its development of a 100 MW solar facility in Georgia. James Guy (Austin) and Daniel Frank (DC) are some other names to note.

Insurance: non-contentious Tier 2

The insurance team at Eversheds Sutherland handles transactions and restructurings, with particular expertise in pension risk transfers, while also providing regulatory guidance on issues such as the development of new insurance products and technologies. Jim Dwyer and Cynthia Shoss led on Aflac's restructuring of its Japanese insurance business branch operations, while Dwyer also assisted Symetra Life Insurance Company with the transfer of its structured settlement and income annuity business to Resolution Re. P&C insurance team lead John Pruitt and registered insurance products expert Stephen Roth are other names to note. All individuals except Washington DC-based Roth are located in New York.

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 3

Eversheds Sutherland is instructed by developers, sponsors, lenders, private equity investors and utilities companies in various types of renewable energy projects. The practice is headed by Atlanta-based Dorothy Franzoni and also includes Houston-based Ram Sunkara, who advised Shell on its $217m acquisition of a 43.8% interest in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a US owner, developer and operator of solar plants. Other names to note include Thomas Warren, who practices in the firm's Atlanta office, and New York-based Madeleine Tan, who heads the transport and social infrastructure practice. Counsel Stephanie Kroger joined the Austin office from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

International tax Tier 3

Jeffrey Friedman leads the practice at Eversheds Sutherland from Washington DC. The team provides expertise in tax planning, structuring and controversy matters, leveraging its global network to advise on cross-border matters. James Mastracchio, who joined in February 2018, represented the Cayman National Corporation in a criminal tax investigation of the company and its subsidiaries which is being led by the Southern District of New York. Robert Chase works with the firm's major clients across a number of industries. Michele Borens and Atlanta-based Eric Tresh advise on state and local tax issues for global clients. Jed Rogers joined in Atlanta as counsel in June 2018 from Ernst & Young. James Null joined in New York as partner in August 2018 from Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Outsourcing Tier 3

Atlanta-based Peter C. Quittmeyer and Washington DC-based Michael Steinig jointly head the department at Eversheds Sutherland, which regularly handles outsourcing matters for clients including governmental institutions, financial services providers, healthcare companies and chemical manufacturers. In the public sector, the team continues to advise the State of Georgia and its technology operations and management agency, Georgia Technology Authority, on the negotiation and structuring of outsourcing initiatives worth $250m, which involve the outsourcing of several data center projects. Atlanta-based Robert J. Pile is acting for PaySys, a subsidiary of the credit card processer First Data Corporation, in the structuring of its licensing model to reflect current industry trends involving enterprise licensees, financial services providers and outsourcing providers. The practice group is also advising healthcare company Medlytix LLP on outsourcing its service and distribution network and its compliance with healthcare privacy regulations.

US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3

Eversheds Sutherland's ‘responsive and thoughtful’ team is best known for its tax work in the TMT and renewable energy sectors, where its lawyers regularly handle M&A, internal restructurings, SALT and investment tax structuring. Robert Chase assists telecoms and e-commerce clients with various taxation issues in connection to cross-border operations and M&A activities, while Michele Borens focuses on SALT matters. Amish Shah in Washington DC acted for Shell in its acquisition of a 43.8% stake in Silicon Ranch Corporation. Jeffrey Friedman chairs the practice from the Washington DC office. The New York office expanded its offering in inbound and outbound investments with the addition of James Null from Greenberg Traurig, LLP in August 2018. Also in 2018, Taylor Kiessig, Charles Kearns, Daniel NicholasCarol McClarnon, and Atlanta-based Brenna Clark were promoted to partner. Other active clients include Xcel Corporation and Innergex Renewable Energy. All lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Capital markets: equity offerings Tier 4

Eversheds Sutherland’s ‘client-oriented, responsive and thoughtful’ group scores highly for its ‘great interaction with the in-house team’. The issuer-focused practice stands out as a ‘leader in transactions involving business development companies’, with Washington DC-based group head Steven Boehm praised for his ‘strong subject matter knowledge’. Among Boehm’s recent highlights, he advised Saratoga Investment on a $27.2m equity offering. Executive partner Cynthia Krus, also based in Washington DC, is another key contact and advised OFS Credit Company, a registered closed-end fund, on its $50m IPO. Other representative clients include Ares Capital, Blackrock Capital Investment and Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending.

Energy regulation: oil and gas Tier 4

The energy and infrastructure practice at Eversheds Sutherland is jointly led by Catherine Krupka and Paul Forshay. Besides advising oil and clients on FERC, DOE and CFTC regulation, the department regularly counsels them on matters concerning the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) renewable fuel standard, crude oil exports, liquid pipelines and gas transport storage. Forshay assists Colonial Pipeline with regulatory due diligence in the context of its acquisition of marine terminal facilities from NorthStar Offshore Venture's Port Arthur Pipeline and Marine Terminal. In another highlight, Forshay and counsel Meghan Gruebner represented Oglethorpe Power in a Southern Natural Gas Company rate case and the corresponding settlement negotiation before FERC. Also noted are Jacob Dweck, Susan Lafferty and New York-based David McCullough. Named attorneys are based in DC, unless otherwise noted.

Energy: transactions: conventional power Tier 4

Eversheds Sutherland acts for major bank lenders and conventional energy companies in a range of corporate, finance and projects matters. The team is based primarily in the Atlanta office and includes Dororthy Franzoni, who heads the renewables practice, Thomas Warren, who co-heads the energy projects practice, and Ram Sunkara, who leads on petrochemical and LNG matters. Also recommended is Herbert Short, who co-heads the global energy and infrastructure team, and acted for MUFG Securities Americas, RBC Capital Markets and US Bancorp, as underwriters, in a $500m financing transaction with Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Counsel Stephanie Kroger joined the Austin office from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Shell, Momentum Solar and Goldman Sachs are also among the team's clients.

General commercial disputes Tier 4

The US-based litigation group at Eversheds Sutherland is 'excellent at analyzing issues and developing strategies to obtain successful outcomes’ and is called on for representation in an array of commercial disputes. Among its standout areas are education, energy and insurance litigation, and it has also seen increasing demand in the white-collar and investigations space. Thomas Curvin and Ronald Zdrojeski co-head the department. Amelia Toy Rudolph and Patricia Gorham 'possess excellent judgement, communication abilities and written and oral advocacy skills’. Also of note are Valerie Strong Sanders, whose expertise spans consumer and insurance class actions and IP disputes, and Rocco Testani, who leads the education sector team.

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 5

The team at Eversheds Sutherland received particular praise for its knowledge of complex tax issues arising from benefits and executive compensation designs, with one client stating its ‘depth of knowledge far exceeds what other firms can offer’. The ‘exceptionally bright and knowledgeable’ practice head Adam Cohen ‘knows how to grow a strong team’; Paul Lang, Atlanta-based Brenna Clark and Vanessa Scott also received top client praise. Plan fiduciary and ACA compliance are particular strengths, with one key highlight seeing Scott advising the US Chamber of Commerce on ongoing legislative changes in the employee benefits and executive compensation field. Atlanta-based associate Brittany Edwards-Franklin was also commended for her ‘positivity, availability and relentless desire to solve complex issues’. Also of note, the ‘proactive and responsive team’ was further strengthened by the arrival of Robert Neis from the Department of the Treasury. Lawyers are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Energy: transactions: oil and gas Tier 5

Eversheds Sutherland acts for clients across the spectrum of the oil and gas supply chain and has extensive experience of oil and gas-asset acquisitions and disposals, licensing and concession agreements, financing transactions, joint operating and production sharing contracts, and gas supply agreements. Key lawyers in the US are Benjamin Clark and Ram Sunkara, who are both based in Houston.

Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) Tier 5

'Timely and efficient', Eversheds Sutherland impresses with 'high-quality legal work and excellent case management'. Domestic matters, especially in relation to electrical, mechanical and chemical innovations, are at the heart of the caseload, but the group is increasingly visible in cross-border matters. Recent highlights include advising Georgia-Pacific on the prosecution of new patents covering inventions for the client's key ranges in paper products and related products. Clients also include MicroCHIPS, Southern Spine and Magnolia Liquefied Natural Gas. Daniel Warren provides 'exceptional, knowledgeable and timely service' and Malvern Griffin is noted for providing 'exceptional client service'. Peter Pappas directs the practice group. Counsel James Duncan joined the Houston office from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; all other named practitioners are based in Atlanta.

Real estate Tier 5

Eversheds Sutherland has ‘a wide and deep experience set within real estate’, advising domestic and international clients on a range of transactional and finance matters. Its client base includes pension fund advisers, REITs, developers and investors. The firm recently advised Preferred Office Properties on its $66.5m acquisition of the Armour Yards office development in Atlanta, Georgia. Clayton Howell acted for Hines on its $90m development of T3 West Midtown in Atlanta; a deal which involved a joint venture, debt financing and tax incentives. Another highlight included acting for New City on its $164m development of 725 Ponce, an office-over-retail development in Atlanta. James Jordan advises on purchases and sales, lending, development, leasing and joint venture matters, while Robinson Plowden specializes in data center leasing developments. Trent Myers was promoted to partner and Brooke Parris was promoted to counsel. All named attorneys are based in Atlanta.

Financial services regulation Tier 7

Praised for its 'high level of expertise, professionalism and accessibility', Eversheds Sutherland excels at helping broker-dealer, insurance and funds clients navigate the numerous regulatory strictures impacting their industries. New York-based Cynthia Shoss often provides the regulatory overlay to insurance-related M&A mandates and reorganizations; she recently advised Aflac on the extensive restructuring of its Japanese insurance business branch operations. 'Plugged into what is happening on both the business and regulatory fronts', New York-based Clifford Kirsch is recognized in the market as 'one of the leaders for advice on the regulatory issues impacting on the collective investment trust area'. Steven Boehm provides 'clear guidance' on the regulatory issues impacting business development companies and is a key member of the team, which also includes 'excellent '40 Act adviser' Stephen Roth as well as former SEC attorney Holly Smith and Brian Rubin, who both excel at broker-dealer matters. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC, unless otherwise indicated.

As a global top 15 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 66 of the FTSE 100, 73 of the Fortune 100 and 119 of the Fortune 200. With more than 2,800 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in 69 offices in 34 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalized alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe. Eversheds Sutherland is a global legal practice and comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms. For more information, visit

Main areas of practice: 

Capital markets: working with clients to access capital effectively and to structure transactions in compliance with an ever-changing regulatory framework, Eversheds Sutherland advises on all areas that touch on the capital markets, including corporate structuring and negotiations, mergers and acquisitions, public finance, securities registration, disclosure, tax, financing arrangements, use of derivatives and regulatory compliance.

Corporate: serving public and private companies in virtually every industry, with nearly every type of transaction, Eversheds Sutherland advises on general corporate matters, finance, mergers, acquisitions and other transformative transactions, corporate governance and compliance. From entrepreneurs to Fortune 200 companies, the firm has clients across a number of sectors.

Energy and infrastructure: advising clients on commercial, regulatory, credit and other issues arising from the purchase, sale, storage, exchange, financing, transportation and processing of all energy commodities, Eversheds Sutherland assists clients in complex transactions, intricate regulatory and compliance issues, and government enforcement matters.

Financial services: serving clients of leading insurance companies, broker-dealers, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other types of investment companies, business development companies, small business investment companies, banking and financial institutions, employee benefits plans and products, and real estate investment trusts. Services span legal, business and compliance issues.

Insurance: advising leaders in the insurance industry for more than 50 years. Immersed in insurance — from transformative transactions to essential operations — Eversheds Sutherland develops creative, business-oriented solutions in regulatory, mergers and acquisitions, finance, demutualizations, tax, litigation, reinsurance and captive insurance matters, among many others.

Intellectual property: many prominent global companies, entrepreneurs and start-up companies rely on Eversheds Sutherland for portfolio counseling, management and implementation for patent, trademark, dispute and licensing matters. The vast majority of Eversheds Sutherland IP lawyers are registered patent attorneys, and a significant number hold advanced degrees in technical fields.

Litigation: resolving disputes through many processes, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal, and counseling on risk management and regulatory compliance. Eversheds Sutherland represents national and international clients across a number of industries.

Real estate: combining transactional and financial advice to help clients identify opportunities, propose creative solutions and handle complex tax and regulatory issues. Eversheds Sutherland works in virtually every state and major market, and its international deals span the globe.

Tax: serving as tax counsel to many of the world’s most prominent corporations – including more than 35 of the Fortune 100 – in every area of federal, international, state and local tax law. More than 100 lawyers represent taxpayers in every area of taxation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Capital markets Steven B Boehm
Corporate Wade H Stribling
Energy and infrastructure Herbert J Short Jr
Financial services Stephen E Roth
Insurance Cynthia R Shoss
Intellectual property Peter G Pappas
Litigation Ronald W Zdrojeski
Real estate Victor P Haley
Tax Jeffrey A Friedman
Number of Partners : 175+
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 260+
Managing Partner and Co-Chief Executive Officer : Mark D Wasserman