- The University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., cum laude, 2010)
- The University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with high honors, 2014)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2014-2015)
Michael Kelso is a skilled trial lawyer who successfully represents plaintiffs and defendants in state court, federal court, and arbitrations across the country. Michael’s practice spans a wide variety of subject matters, including class actions, antitrust cases, securities-fraud cases, the energy industry, commercial breach of contract disputes, the financial industry, and the alcoholic beverage industry.
Michael was recently recognized by the American Antitrust Institute with its award for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer for his work in In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation. To date, the team has recovered over half a billion dollars for the direct-purchaser class in settlements with Barclays, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC*, and won class certification* for the plaintiffs they represent on their antitrust claims. The team continues to pursue claims against the rest of the 16 LIBOR panel banks. This story has received substantial news coverage including The New York Times, NASDAQ, New York Law Journal, Reuters and Law360* (*subscription required).
Michael’s successes are just as prominent on the defense side. In PDVSA US Litigation Trust v. Lukoil Pan Americas LLC, Case No. 18-cv-20818 (S.D. Fla. 2018), a special purpose litigation entity purported to bring Civil RICO and antitrust claims on behalf of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and asked for more than $10 billion in damages against more than 40 defendants. Michael successfully led the joint defense group’s legal briefing challenging the plaintiff’s standing to bring the lawsuit. Less than 9 months after the case was filed, the Magistrate Judge recommended dismissal, and the District Court adopted that recommendation and dismissed the case in its entirety a few months later. You can read Michael’s case-winning brief here.
In another notable matter, Michael serves alongside Neal Manne, Alex Kaplan, Chanler Langham, and Steven Shepard as counsel to Walmart, in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Comm’n. The case, tried in June 2017, challenges as unconstitutional Texas’s laws banning public companies from selling liquor for off-premises consumption. You can read Michael’s cross examination of the State’s expert witness at trial here.
Michael joined Susman Godfrey after clerking for Judge Carolyn D. King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and graduating with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law.