Michael Kelso
Associate
Houston Office Phone: (713) 653-7887 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education
  • The University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., cum laude, 2010)
  • The University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with high honors, 2014)
Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk to the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2014-2015)

Michael Kelso
Associate

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. He has experience with class actions, antitrust cases, the energy industry, contract disputes, the financial industry, and the alcoholic beverage industry.

Currently, in In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, Michael serves as co-lead counsel along with Bill Carmody, Marc Seltzer, Barry Barnett, Karen Oshman, Arun Subramanian, Seth Ard, Matt Berry, Drew Hansen, and Geng Chen to the class of direct purchasers of LIBOR-based financial instruments.  To date, the team has recovered over half a billion dollars for the direct-purchaser class in settlements with BarclaysCitibank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC*, and recently 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 TimesNASDAQNew York Law JournalReuters and Law360* (*subscription required).

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.  The District Court found that the laws violated Walmart’s rights under the Dormant Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.  You can read Michael’s cross examination of the State’s expert witness at trial here and see Law360’s coverage of the decision 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.

Notable Representations

CURRENT REPRESENTATIONS

In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 11-md-2262 (S.D.N.Y.).— Michael serves as co-lead counsel along with Bill Carmody, Marc Seltzer, Barry Barnett, Karen Oshman, Arun Subramanian, Seth Ard, Matt Berry, Drew Hansen, and Geng Chen to the class of direct purchasers of LIBOR-based financial instruments.  To date, the team has recovered over half a billion dollars for the direct-purchaser class in settlements with BarclaysCitibank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC*, and recently 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 TimesNASDAQNew York Law Journal Reuters and Law360* (*subscription required).

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Comm’n, Case No. 15-CV-00134-RP (W.D. Tex.).—Alongside Neal Manne, Alex Kaplan, Chanler Langham, and Steven Shepard, Michael serves as counsel to Wal-Mart in a case challenging as unconstitutional Texas’s laws banning public companies from selling liquor for off-premises consumption.  The case was tried in June 2017.   You can read Michael’s cross examination of the State’s expert witness at trial here and see Law360’s coverage of the decision here*.

 Autoridad de Energia Electrica de Puerto Rico v. Vitol Inc., Case No. 17-AP-00218-LTS (Bankr. D.P.R.).—Along with Neal Manne and Alex Kaplan, Michael is currently defending energy-trading companies Vitol Inc. and Vitol S.A. against statutory claims brought by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

PREVIOUS REPRESENTATIONS

Confidential Arbitration.—Along with Partner Erica Harris, Michael represented the operator of a gas processing plant in the Permian Basin in a dispute with a working interest owner over gas processing terms.  The case settled on confidential terms.

Santiago Mendez v. Autoridad de Energia Electrica de Puerto Rico (Aug. 2016).—Along with Neal Manne, Alex Kaplan, and Weston O’Black, Michael defended energy-trading companies Vitol Inc. and Vitol S.A. against antitrust claims alleging more than $500 million in damages in a putative class action filed in Puerto Rico state court.  The Susman Godfrey team removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act and within a week of removal filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule 12(b)(6).  A week later, and before even filing a response, the plaintiffs dismissed with prejudice all of their claims against our client.

Honors and Distinctions

Recognized for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer by the American Antitrust Institute (2019) for work on In re: Libor-based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation

Chancellors Honor Society, Clerk of the Chancellors (Third-highest GPA in the class of 2014 at the University of Texas School of Law)

Order of the Coif

Second Highest Score, July 2014 Texas Bar Examination

Articles Editor, Texas Law Review (Volume 92)

Thad T. Hutcheson Moot Court Competition Champion

Interscholastic Moot Court

Professional Associations

State Bar of Texas

Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Houston Young Lawyers Association

Center for American & International Law, Institute for Energy Law