711 Louisiana
Suite 2150
Houston, TX 77002
713-860-1699(direct fax)
713-860-1600 (firm)
713-860-1699 (firm fax)


Read the Lawyer Limelight Q&A with John W. Clay

John Clay has a diverse legal practice advising individuals and multi-national corporations on a number of legal matters. His work experience encompasses numerous areas of litigation and arbitration, including class action and multidistrict litigation proceedings, energy litigation, commercial litigation, cross-border proceedings, insurance coverage disputes, transportation liability, employment litigation, and personal injury prosecution and defense.

As a skilled litigator, Mr. Clay has represented clients at both the state and federal court level. His proficiency in constitutional, statutory and common law claims and defenses has enabled him to successfully represent clients in jury and bench trials, evidentiary hearings and appeals. His experience extends to cross-border commercial litigation, including representation of Mexican corporations and Brazilian plaintiffs in state and federal court proceedings. He has also argued a number of appeals. He has participated in multiple appellate proceedings in private practice and has assisted appellate courts with hundreds of appellate proceedings as a law clerk and staff attorney.

Mr. Clay served for a year as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and served for two years as a task force staff attorney for the First Court of Appeals in Houston. Mr. Clay serves as the Assistant Editor of the American Bar Association’s Energy Litigation Journal and is a member of the Energy Litigation Section’s Editorial Board.


Business Litigation

  • Negotiated and drafted structured multimillion dollar Mexico/USA cross-border settlement resolving over 40 civil proceedings including federal and state court proceedings in the United States, federal and state court proceedings in Mexico, and civil arbitration proceedings before CANACO in Mexico.
  • Represented expert witness in effort to address and overturn federal district court findings regarding expert’s causation testimony in securities arbitration, resulting in Fifth Circuit appellate opinion completely vacating adverse findings.
  • Won a $112,119,005 jury verdict (including prejudgment interest) after a three-week trial in a case brought under civil RICO against defendants who conspired to extort money from our corporate client and then tamper with trial witnesses.
  • Successfully defeated claim for $2.8 million in attorneys’ fees in a cross-border dispute, resulting in no recovery of fees by opposing party.
  • Won arbitration award of over $7 million in damages, attorneys’ fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest in a three week arbitration of claims for the distribution of partnership units.
  • Won a jury verdict of more than $5 million for a manufacturer in a trial involving product defect claims.
  • Represented an energy company in a lawsuit for economic loss and physical damage, resulting in a substantial settlement for the client.
  • Successfully represented the owner of an oil and gas mineral interest in litigation with a joint operator.
  • Obtained summary judgment on all claims against a transportation company in connection with a multiple fatality accident.
  • Successfully represented a manufacturing company in an appeal from a personal injury claim regarding an employee of a staffing company.
  • Advised commercial litigants in multiple mandamus proceedings.
  • Represented employers in proceedings that resulted in favorable administrative decisions.

Transactional Matters

  • Completed complex risk assessments and choice of law analyses for the board of directors of a major corporation, involving a transaction in excess of $1 billion.
  • Evaluated SEC disclosure obligations for executive compensation plans.
  • Conducted risk assessments for corporations in connection with work-related fatalities and alleged premises defects.
  • Performed due diligence background investigations for executive officers.
  • Assisted corporations in compliance with:
    • SEC reporting regulations;
    • State securities regulations; and
    • Gaming industry regulations.


  • Task-Force Staff Attorney for the Honorable F. Lee Duggan, Jr., Court of Appeals for the First Supreme Judicial District of Texas (1999-2001)
  • Associate, Baker Botts LLP (1997-1999)


  • Chief Justice Edith H. Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit


  • Assistant Editor of the ABA’s Energy Litigation Journal
  • Member, ABA Energy Litigation Journal Editorial Board
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association


  • Texas Super Lawyer 2012-2015


  • University of Houston,
    J.D., cum laude, 1996
    • Note & Comment Editor, University of Houston Law Review
    • Order of the Barons
  • Rice University,
    B.A. Classical Studies, 1993
    • National Merit Finalist


  • Texas, 1996


  • All Texas State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit


  • French


See Library Tab for articles, publications and presentations by John Clay


  • Co-Author, “Commentary:  Help for Securities Fraud Plaintiffs Seeking Class Certification,” Texas Lawyer, July 2011
  • Author, “An Explosion of Litigation: BP and Deepwater Horizon,” ABA’s Energy Litigation Newsletter, August 2010

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