Alistair Dawson
  • Attorneys

Alistair B. Dawson

Partner

Alistair Dawson is an acclaimed trial lawyer. Alistair has handled and tried a variety of challenging commercial lawsuits. As a result of his skills and hard work, Alistair has earned widespread praise from clients and colleagues as a “go to” trial lawyer. He is recognized by Best Lawyers in America (2012) for commercial litigation, Benchmark Litigation (2012) for antitrust and commercial litigation, and by Chambers USA (2005-2012) as a leading trial lawyer in Texas. Alistair is also a member of the nationally acclaimed American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). 

Alistair matches his trial skills with active civic involvement and leadership positions with the State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association. He is often sought after as a presenter and speaker at various legal events and symposiums, and devotes significant time to pro bono matters, serving on the Board of Directors for the Houston Volunteer Lawyers and Lone Star Legal Aid.

Antitrust Litigation

Defended Fortune 100 company in a predatory pricing case involving the pricing of airline tickets. Member of trial team.

Defended a Fortune 100 company in an antitrust case involving allegations of attempted monopolization and exclusive dealing in the medical products industry. Tried the case along with co-counsel Sam Baxter and Bob Atkins.

Business and Commercial Litigation

Defended a Fortune 100 company in a billion dollar fraud and breach of contract case on behalf of a Fortune 25 energy company. Tried the case along with David J. Beck. 

Defended Morgan Stanley in a fraud case brought by a former customer/ investor. Lead trial counsel before the NADA, which ruled in Morgan's favor and awarded it attorneys' fees.

Represented Fortune 100 company in breach of contract case related to sale of mid-stream assets.  Trial court granted summary judgment in client's favor and all claims were dismissed.

Defended recipients of stock in a shareholder oppression lawsuit. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the individual defendants.

Class Actions and MDL

Defended Compaq Computer in four consumer class actions all brought in Beaumont, Texas in which the plaintiffs sought a nationwide verdict class of all of Compaq's customers. In one of the cases, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the trial court's certification decision. Mr. Dawson worked with David J. Beck and lawyers from Skadden Arps.

Lead counsel for energy company in class action brought in Arkansas regarding price paid by consumers for natural gas. Case was dismissed by Arkansas Supreme Court.

Energy

Represented Mobil Oil in oil royalty brought by the General Land Office alleging that Mobil and others had underpaid royalties because the "posted price" did not translate to market price. In connection with this case, Mr. Dawson represented Mobil on the joint defense steering committee.

Successfully tried a case in New York involving an oil and gas prospect in East Texas on behalf of famed New York developer Sheldon Solow. The case was tried for approximately three weeks in the Supreme Court of New York in Manhattan. Mr. Dawson tried the case along with a lawyer from Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Lead counsel for Marathon Oil in a $50 million dollar royalty dispute brought in Henderson, Texas (in which more than 200 of the plaintiffs were Henderson residents). After a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in Marathon's favor.

Defended ExxonMobil in a suit brought by the State of Texas for unpaid royalties. The trial court granted ExxonMobil's motion for summary judgment and the matter settled while on appeal. Mr. Dawson worked on this case along with David J. Beck.

Intellectual Property

Won a multi-million dollar misappropriation of trade secrets case. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel and obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the firm's client.

Represented the defendant in several patent infringement cases on behalf of Hyundai and Compaq.

Successfully tried a patent case on behalf of Fortune 100 company. Case involved medical products and was tried in Marshall, Texas. Mr. Dawson tried the case along with David J. Beck and counsel from WilmerHale.

Labor/Employment

Tried a wrongful termination case on behalf of Martin Brower. Mr. Dawson was lead trial counsel and tried the case to a jury in Conroe, Texas.

Represented university in lawsuit challenging reduction in force. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the university.

Represented employer in racial discrimination lawsuit. Trial court granted summary judgment which was affirmed by Fifth Circuit. Mr. Dawson was co-counsel along with Vedder Price.

PI, Products, Mass Tort, Toxic Tort

Defended a South Korean company in a product liability case in which the plaintiff claimed that a product defect caused a fire in a refinery. The plaintiff was seeking approximately $70 million in damages. The case was tried for four weeks to a jury in Harris County, Texas who returned a complete verdict in the defendants' favor.

Successfully defended IBM in products liability cases involving repetitive stress injury
filed in Texas. Five cases were brought in various courts throughout the state and summary judgments were granted in all five cases. In connection with those cases, Mr. Dawson served on the National Defense Steering Committee, which was comprised of representatives from all major companies throughout the United States who had been sued for alleged product defects resulting from repetitive stress injury.

Securities & Shareholder

Represented company in shareholder derivative lawsuit filed after company announced it was merging with competitor. Case was dismissed by trial court. Mr. Dawson was lead trial counsel for the company.

Represented Fortune 100 Company in securities litigation filed following the collapse of Enron. The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of our client and claims were dismissed. Mr. Dawson worked with David J. Beck and lawyers from Sherman & Sterling, L.L.P.

Defended CEO and COO in breach of fiduciary duty and shareholder oppression lawsuit filed by former CEO. Case was settled during trial. Mr. Dawson was lead trial counsel.

Environmental

Tried case on behalf of pipeline owner whose pipeline was hit by contractor.  Pipeline owner sought to recover clean up costs. Jury awarded damages of $3.5 million. Mr. Dawson tried this case along with counsel from Husch Blackwell L.L.P.

Represented energy company in dispute with another energy company regarding payment of clean up costs for environmental remediation.

Professional Liability and Defense

Won summary judgment for law firm in legal malpractice claim where plaintiff was limited partner in limited partnership and claimed that certain information was not disclosed to him. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the law firm.

Won summary judgment for national law firm in legal malpractice case where plaintiffs were seeking millions of dollars in damages as a result of lost opportunity to purchase real estate. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the law firm.

Representative Experience

Antitrust Litigation

Defended Fortune 100 company in a predatory pricing case involving the pricing of airline tickets. Member of trial team.

Defended a Fortune 100 company in an antitrust case involving allegations of attempted monopolization and exclusive dealing in the medical products industry. Tried the case along with co-counsel Sam Baxter and Bob Atkins.

Business and Commercial Litigation

Defended a Fortune 100 company in a billion dollar fraud and breach of contract case on behalf of a Fortune 25 energy company. Tried the case along with David J. Beck. 

Defended Morgan Stanley in a fraud case brought by a former customer/ investor. Lead trial counsel before the NADA, which ruled in Morgan's favor and awarded it attorneys' fees.

Represented Fortune 100 company in breach of contract case related to sale of mid-stream assets.  Trial court granted summary judgment in client's favor and all claims were dismissed.

Defended recipients of stock in a shareholder oppression lawsuit. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the individual defendants.

Class Actions and MDL

Defended Compaq Computer in four consumer class actions all brought in Beaumont, Texas in which the plaintiffs sought a nationwide verdict class of all of Compaq's customers. In one of the cases, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the trial court's certification decision. Mr. Dawson worked with David J. Beck and lawyers from Skadden Arps.

Lead counsel for energy company in class action brought in Arkansas regarding price paid by consumers for natural gas. Case was dismissed by Arkansas Supreme Court.

Energy

Represented Mobil Oil in oil royalty brought by the General Land Office alleging that Mobil and others had underpaid royalties because the "posted price" did not translate to market price. In connection with this case, Mr. Dawson represented Mobil on the joint defense steering committee.

Successfully tried a case in New York involving an oil and gas prospect in East Texas on behalf of famed New York developer Sheldon Solow. The case was tried for approximately three weeks in the Supreme Court of New York in Manhattan. Mr. Dawson tried the case along with a lawyer from Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Lead counsel for Marathon Oil in a $50 million dollar royalty dispute brought in Henderson, Texas (in which more than 200 of the plaintiffs were Henderson residents). After a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in Marathon's favor.

Defended ExxonMobil in a suit brought by the State of Texas for unpaid royalties. The trial court granted ExxonMobil's motion for summary judgment and the matter settled while on appeal. Mr. Dawson worked on this case along with David J. Beck.

Intellectual Property

Won a multi-million dollar misappropriation of trade secrets case. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel and obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the firm's client.

Represented the defendant in several patent infringement cases on behalf of Hyundai and Compaq.

Successfully tried a patent case on behalf of Fortune 100 company. Case involved medical products and was tried in Marshall, Texas. Mr. Dawson tried the case along with David J. Beck and counsel from WilmerHale.

Labor/Employment

Tried a wrongful termination case on behalf of Martin Brower. Mr. Dawson was lead trial counsel and tried the case to a jury in Conroe, Texas.

Represented university in lawsuit challenging reduction in force. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the university.

Represented employer in racial discrimination lawsuit. Trial court granted summary judgment which was affirmed by Fifth Circuit. Mr. Dawson was co-counsel along with Vedder Price.

PI, Products, Mass Tort, Toxic Tort

Defended a South Korean company in a product liability case in which the plaintiff claimed that a product defect caused a fire in a refinery. The plaintiff was seeking approximately $70 million in damages. The case was tried for four weeks to a jury in Harris County, Texas who returned a complete verdict in the defendants' favor.

Successfully defended IBM in products liability cases involving repetitive stress injury
filed in Texas. Five cases were brought in various courts throughout the state and summary judgments were granted in all five cases. In connection with those cases, Mr. Dawson served on the National Defense Steering Committee, which was comprised of representatives from all major companies throughout the United States who had been sued for alleged product defects resulting from repetitive stress injury.

Securities & Shareholder

Represented company in shareholder derivative lawsuit filed after company announced it was merging with competitor. Case was dismissed by trial court. Mr. Dawson was lead trial counsel for the company.

Represented Fortune 100 Company in securities litigation filed following the collapse of Enron. The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of our client and claims were dismissed. Mr. Dawson worked with David J. Beck and lawyers from Sherman & Sterling, L.L.P.

Defended CEO and COO in breach of fiduciary duty and shareholder oppression lawsuit filed by former CEO. Case was settled during trial. Mr. Dawson was lead trial counsel.

Environmental

Tried case on behalf of pipeline owner whose pipeline was hit by contractor.  Pipeline owner sought to recover clean up costs. Jury awarded damages of $3.5 million. Mr. Dawson tried this case along with counsel from Husch Blackwell L.L.P.

Represented energy company in dispute with another energy company regarding payment of clean up costs for environmental remediation.

Professional Liability and Defense

Won summary judgment for law firm in legal malpractice claim where plaintiff was limited partner in limited partnership and claimed that certain information was not disclosed to him. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the law firm.

Won summary judgment for national law firm in legal malpractice case where plaintiffs were seeking millions of dollars in damages as a result of lost opportunity to purchase real estate. Mr. Dawson was lead counsel for the law firm.

Professional Activities and Memberships

American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee

Texas Association of Defense Counsel

Houston Bar Association, Board of Directors; Past Chair, Antitrust Section

American Bar Association, Business Litigation and Corporate Counsel Committee

State Bar Litigation Council (Chair 2007-2008)

State Bar Litigation Section Committee on Jury Selection (1998 -2002)

State Bar of Texas CLE Committee (2001-2006 and 2007 - 2011)

Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Houston Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Houston Volunteer Lawyer's Program, Board of Directors (2004 - present), Past Chair

Lone Star Legal Aid, Board of Directors (2010 - present)

Keeton Fellow, University of Texas School of Law

Dean's Roundtable, University of Texas School of Law

College of the State Bar of Texas

Editorial Board, The Advocate

Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center

University of Texas Alumni Executive Committee

Court Administration Task Force

Awards and Rankings

Named in Best Lawyers in America - Texas for Commercial Litigation, 2012-2015

Named to Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers, Business Edition-Texas, Business Litigation, 2014

Selected to Thomson Reuters Texas Super Lawyer, 2003 - 2013

Selected for Texas' Best Lawyers for Commercial Litigation, 2012-2013

Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star-Texas, 2014 and a leading Texas attorney in Antitrust and Commercial Litigation, 2011, 2012

Recognized as one of the top commercial trial lawyers in Houston by H Texas Magazine, 2005 -2012

Recognized by Chambers USA as one of the leading litigators in the state of Texas, 2005 - 2014

Recipient of the State Bar of Texas Presidential Citation, 2004, 2007, 2012

Publications and Presentations

"Recent State and Federal Cases That Might Be of Interest To In-House Counsel," presented at the Association of Corporate Counsel - 2012 Symposium, August. 2012

"Tips for Preparing and Presenting Your Corporate Representative for Testimony," presented at ACC Litigation Committee Legal Quick Hit, February 2012

"BUSINESS TORTS: A Review of Recent Cases & Strategies Involving Various Business Torts," presented at 28th Annual Litigation Update Institute, January 2012

"Judicial Selections Panel," presented at Advanced Personal Injury Course, August and November, 2011

"Business Torts," presented at Advanced Civil Trial Course, July, August, October 2011

"Lessons Learned from the Trenches," presented at ACC Symposium, August 2011

"Expert Witnesses," presented at Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course, May 2011

"Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Business Litigation," presented at State Bar of Texas Business Torts Institute, October, 2010

Early Case Assessment, How to Select and Prepare the FRCP 30(b)(6) Deposition Witness in E-Discovery, Panelist - October 14, 2009

Presentation - The 81st Legislative Session - From A Litigation Perspective, September 2, 2009

Legislative update speech at Harris County Summer CJE Conference, August 2009

"Sanctions and Ethical Obligations in E-Discovery," - presented at UT Technology Law Seminar - May 2009

"Damages Update 2009," - presented at Advanced Evidence & Discovery Course 2009

"Evidence and Discovery Update: The Newly Minted Federal Rule of Evidence 502 and Texas Cases in 2008," - presented at 25th Annual Advanced Litigation Update Institute 2009

"Daubert Challenges," - presented at the 21st Annual Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course, 2008

"E-Discovery," - presented at Association of Corporate Counsel - American Houston Chapter E-Discovery Seminar, April 2, 2008

Community Involvement

Theatre Under the Stars
- Board of Directors, Vice Chairman
- Chair, Gala, 2009
- Chair, Development Committee

The Parish School - Non-Profit school for children with special needs
- Board of Directors, 1999-2004
- Chair, Capital Campaign
- Chair, Underwriting Committee,1998-2002
- Distinguished Service Award

Board of Directors, Literacy Advance of Houston, 1995-1999

Texas Lyceum, Board of Directors

H.E.A.R.T., Board of Directors, Current Chair