About Brian F. Antweil

Brian Antweil is a business-minded professional who knows how to evaluate risk. He is also one of the leading trial lawyers in Texas. Both of those qualities come together in his practice resolving disputes for large energy, oil and gas, real estate and technology companies, many with an international footprint. In each dispute he handles, Brian identifies and pursues the best business outcome for his client, whether that calls for a negotiated settlement or taking the matter to trial.

A proven track record

Brian has an impressive record of multimillion-dollar victories in state and federal district court trials, spanning a number of different industries and practice areas. He has also successfully argued appeals to state and federal appellate courts.

In addition to his talent as a trial lawyer, Brian also has proven his ability to manage very large-scale litigation. Representing the parent company of a Chapter 11 debtor in possession, he served as lead counsel in an $8 billion fraudulent transfer case, then the largest of its kind in US history.

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Practice Focus

  • Complex business, contract and tort cases in state and federal courts
  • Domestic and international arbitration
  • Bankruptcy and restructuring
  • Technology-related issues, including cases involving licensing and trade secrets

Representative Experience

  • Commercial litigation
  • Lead counsel for Norwegian private equity-owned software company in a lawsuit involving rights and obligations under LLC and distribution agreements pending in New Mexico state court. Obtained three separate summary judgments resolving all claims and counterclaims in the case leading to the entry of a $2.8 million final judgment in client's favor.
  • Lead trial and appellate counsel for a building materials corporation. Obtained a take-nothing judgment in a jury trial involving the termination of a distributorship agreement. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Lead trial counsel to a partnership that sued a former partner and co-conspirators for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Obtained a $1.5 million judgment in a two-week jury trial and a take-nothing judgment on a $3 million counterclaim.
  • Energy/Oil and gas
  • Lead counsel in obtaining confirmation of a $10 million arbitration award in federal court involving post-closing adjustments under an asset purchase agreement for South American oil and gas assets. Fifth Circuit appeal is pending.
  • Lead trial counsel in lawsuit involving preferential rights under oil and gas joint operating agreements and corresponding indemnity rights as between sellers and purchasers of the oil and gas assets. Case settled.
  • Lead counsel in numerous oil and gas-related matters involving leasehold termination, royalty and joint operating agreement disputes.
  • Lead counsel for one of the country's largest natural gas energy and petroleum companies in an arbitration involving a licensing dispute for the digitization of well logs; case settled.
  • Lead trial and appellate counsel to one of the world's largest oil and gas seismic technology companies in a case of first impression under Texas law involving negligence and warranty issues arising out of a software defect. Obtained summary judgment that was affirmed on appeal.
  • Real estate
  • Lead trial and appellate counsel to an American grocery company in a case involving lease termination rights arising out of a partial taking under Texas' eminent domain power. Obtained summary judgment that was affirmed on appeal.
  • Lead trial and appellate counsel for a truck manufacturer in the successful defense of a $4 million real estate breach of contract claim brought by the property owner.  *
  • Represented life insurance company in a jury trial brought by a real estate broker to recover $16 million in lease renewal commissions arising out of a corporation's purchase of its 50-story Houston headquarters. Obtained a take-nothing judgment that was affirmed on appeal.  *
  • Insolvency and restructuring
  • Lead trial counsel for a mining company, the bankruptcy debtor's parent, in a five-week trial brought by the debtor for fraudulent transfer and various other claims stemming from the debtor's sale of a controlling interest in a subsidiary company. Key issues involved the solvency of the debtor and value of the shares in the subsidiary company at the time of the transfer, as well as the value of the consideration debtor received in exchange for the shares. Despite finding that the shares were transferred with the intent to defraud creditors, the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas found that the debtor received reasonably equivalent value for the shares.
  • Lead counsel for federal court-appointed receiver to operate and ultimately sell all assets in a west Texas oil and gas related water disposal business. The receiver successfully recovered proceeds sufficient to pay all secured debt.
  • Part of trial team that successfully obtained a bankruptcy court recommendation and district court confirmation of the client's $3.9 billion plan of reorganization over a competing plan in a four-week contested hearing.
  • Represented primary secured lender in bankruptcy adversary proceeding defending against claims brought by a working interest owner against a debtor/operator for breach of a joint operating agreement. Favorable settlement cleared the way for confirmation of a lender-sponsored plan of reorganization.
  • Pharmaceutical/Life sciences
  • Lead trial counsel for generic drug manufacturer in arbitration against brand manufacturer over a breach of a license agreement arising out of the generic's ANDA filing. The brand manufacturer sought almost $40 million in lost profit damages. The three-judge panel ruled in the generic manufacturer's favor and awarded no lost profits.
  • Lead counsel for a South Korean licensor of stem cell technology in a lawsuit with its North American licensee over breach of license agreement. Case settled in 2015.
  • Insurance/Reinsurance
  • Lead counsel to Asarco, Inc. defending $10 million indemnity claim brought by an insurance company under settlement agreement. Obtained summary judgment.
  • Lead counsel to an employer service company declaring rights to coverage under an errors and omissions insurance policy. Obtained summary judgment.  *
  • Technology/Intellectual property
  • Lead trial counsel in 10-day arbitration for a national supply chain software and technology company. Successfully defended claims for breach of software license and implementations agreements.
* Experience prior to Katten

Publications

  • 2014
  • Mandatory Arbitration Clauses: Questioning Conventional Wisdom
    June 20, 2012
  • Using Technology to Meet Jurors' Expectations
    Winter 2011
  • Rantings of a Partner… and Pushback from the Associate
    2011
  • Eight Tips for Obtaining (Un)favorable Admissions at Deposition
    November 12, 2010

Presentations and Events

  • ACC Houston Ethics & Compliance Practice Group CLE
    November 16, 2016