Two Susman Godfrey Partners Named to Law360’s Annual Rising Stars List

July 2017

Matthew Berry Named “Trials Rising Star”, Alex Kaplan Named ”Energy Rising Star”

Matthew Berry and Alex Kaplan, partners in Susman Godfrey’s Seattle office and Houston office, respectively, have been named Law360 “Rising Stars” for 2017. Berry and Kaplan are two of just 156 attorneys nationwide who were named to this prestigious list of attorneys under the age of 40 for which Law360 received over 1,200 applications.

Matthew Berry – TRIALS

The Trials category focuses on general commercial litigation, where Seattle Partner Matthew Berry has established a successful career and become a sought-after litigator.  In the past 24 months alone, Berry has helped secure settlements or verdicts of nearly a billion dollars for the clients he represents. 

Most recently, in Green Mountain Glass v. Ardagh, Berry helped secure a $50.3 million verdict for his client, Green Mountain Glass in a Delaware patent infringement action.  In the ongoing In re Animation Workers, Berry represents a class of animation employees in an antitrust action against a number of heavyweight animation companies, including Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Sony, and Lucasfilms where over $168 million in settlements have been granted final approval.  Additionally, in one of the most highly publicized of Berry’s recent matters, United States ex rel. David M. Kester v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Berry represented whistleblower, David Kester, in what resulted in one of the largest settlements ever in the United States by a single whistleblower in a False Claims Act case. 

Alex Kaplan – ENERGY

Houston Partner Alex Kaplan is one of the nation’s leading young energy trial lawyers.  He litigates cases spanning the entire energy value chain – including upstream, midstream and downstream disputes. Kaplan has represented major energy and petrochemical companies, including Nabors Industries, Vitol, Eni Petroleum, Targa Resources, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, LyondellBasell, and Apache Corp.  

Over the past several years, Kaplan has had significant success in energy matters.  For example, he helped secure an award of $19.4 million (100% of damages sought, plus interest) in a confidential  International Centre for Dispute Resolution arbitration for a multinational energy client related to the allocation of costs among joint-interest owners for certain offshore exploration and production activities.  Kaplan also served as lead counsel in a confidential arbitration for a private-equity backed, oilfield water-disposal company in a dispute with a major energy company over a “take or pay” contract for disposal in Colorado’s DJ Basin, and successfully resolved the case on both monetary and commercial terms before the final hearing. 

In other energy matters, Kaplan has scored significant victories for his clients such as securing a nine-figure recovery for a major Gulf Coast crude oil refiner and petrochemical manufacturer against insurance carriers in a British arbitration; helping to obtain a dismissal with prejudice for Vitol SA of claims for purported violations of the US Anti-Terrorism Act arising from its participation in the UN Oil for Food Programme; and successfully representing Freeman Holdings in a preferential rights dispute with Exxon over acreage in the Webster Field, where the case settled after Kaplan argued and defeated Exxon’s motion for summary judgment.  

Continued Recognition

This is not the first time Berry and Kaplan have been recognized for their accomplishments.  Berry was recently featured in Law360's Plaintiffs Bar Perspective where he shared some of his experiences as a trial lawyer  He has also been recognized as a Washington “Super Lawyer” from 2013-2017 by Law & Politics magazine.  Kaplan was named a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation in 2016 and 2017. The same publication quotes his clients describing him as “extremely smart,” with “poise beyond his years.”  Additionally, in 2015 The Legal 500 US recommended Kaplan for energy litigation and described him as a “forceful advocate.” Kaplan has also been recognized as a Texas “Super Lawyer” in 2013-2017 by Law & Politics magazine.     

To see the full list of Law360’s 2016 Rising Stars click here (subscription required).