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Texas Lawyer invited firms and legal departments across the state to tell us about the great work they did this past year.

Our Litigation Departments of the Year award had two distinct categories: one for the top department in general litigation and one for the top specialty litigation practice groups. The award was open to any law firm in Texas or litigation groups led by Texas attorneys. The general litigation award was categorized by firm size: small, midsize and large. The specialty litigation practice groups were: intellectual property, labor and employment, energy, and environmental. In determining the winners, we asked law firms to share with us any big victories and important cases that occurred in 2016 that demonstrate why their litigation team should be recognized.

For our Legal Departments of the Year we selected corporate legal departments from Texas-based companies that stand out in five categories of achievement. The awards bestowed were not based on scorecards or data-driven metrics, but on success stories. To get a glimpse behind the curtain, this year we sent Q&As to our legal departments to see firsthand how they handle the difficult challenge of compliance, how they grow a legal department, or make an impact in the industry. 

Thank you to all that submitted their work for consideration, and congratulations to the firms and legal departments profiled in this issue. An event for the honorees will be held Sept. 6 at the Belo Mansion in Dallas.

Litigation Departments of the Year

Bracewell: Large Firm

McKool Smith: Midsize Firm

Reynolds Frizzell: Small Firm

Baker Botts: Energy

King & Spalding: Environmental

Caldwell Cassady & Curry: Intellectual Property

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing: Labor & Employment


Legal Departments of the Year

Toyota Motor North America GC Sandra Phillips Rogers: GC Impact Player of the Year

Homevestors of America: Growth

Jamba Juice: Teamwork

Weatherford International: Corporate Compliance

Xome Holdings LLC: Technology