Eric Gambrell serves as the firmwide co-chair of the fiduciary litigation practice, a leader for the complex litigation national practice and on the Dallas Practice Committee. Gambrell is a courtroom lawyer with a national practice prosecuting and defending high-stakes breach-of-fiduciary-duty and fraud-related claims and other contractual disputes arising from failed business and personal relationships. Mr. Gambrell’s experience includes cases across the country from California (including Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco) to Delaware and, among others, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Texas in between. Mr. Gambrell focuses on disputes between founders and equity funds, limited partners and general partners, buyers and sellers of private companies, hedge funds and investors, trustees and beneficiaries, and high-wealth family disputes.
Practice & Background
Mr. Gambrell represents businesses and high-net-worth individuals in breach of fiduciary duty, fraud litigation and commercial matters. Mr. Gambrell is a courtroom lawyer, regularly appearing for trials, hearings and depositions in both state and federal courts and at arbitration to represent clients in aggressively prosecuting their claims and defending their interests. While his practice intentionally includes varied areas of high-stakes commercial trial work, he focuses on fiduciary duty and fraud matters arising from failed business and family relationships, including in disputes involving transactions concerning founders and equity funds. Mr. Gambrell also presents seminars regarding fiduciary duties to boards of directors, including as part of the directors’ onboarding process.
Mr. Gambrell’s recent engagements include:
- prosecuting a former fund manager for breach of fiduciary duties and fraud involving investments in excess of $50 million
- prosecuting numerous former executives and their co-conspirators who have breached their fiduciary duties, including through raiding their former companies’ information and talent, violating their non-competition agreements, usurping corporate opportunities, and/or defrauding their former employer
- prosecuting a law firm and defending its legendary founder in fiduciary-duty and contractual disputes
- defending a founder of a leading medical publishing company in disputes following the sale of his company to an equity fund
- prosecuting an equity fund and defending its CEO in a matter over the control of an internationally-known hospitality design company
- defending an equity fund against breach-of-contract and multiple tort claims
- defending a leading handset manufacturer in an attempted national class action seeking $250 million in damages
- prosecuting a worldwide geotechnical engineering firm for breaches of fiduciary duties allegedly resulting in widespread catastrophe to a residential neighborhood
- defending a hospital CEO against purported breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
- defending an international media and publishing conglomerate in an attempted national class action
- defending high-profile individuals against attempted extortion
- prosecuting a national restaurant chain for its failure to pay a leading foodservice provider millions of dollars
- defending breach of fiduciary-duty claims by limited partners of a restaurant chain
- prosecuting a bank for breach of fiduciary duties relating to its refusal to sell assets
- prosecuting breaches of fiduciary duties by a temporary guardian.
Gambrell’s community, civic and charitable activities include the following:
- appointed by the governor of Texas in 2007 to the nine-member Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which oversees the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the organization that provides confinement, supervision, rehabilitation and reintegration of the state’s convicted felons
- councilmember of the Town of Highland Park, Texas. Mr. Gambrell previously served as chairman of the Town’s Zoning Commission
- former member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas (Meals on Wheels) and a former member of multiple United Way campaign cabinets
- numerous political campaigns/groups, as well as the local bar (former Judiciary Committee chair and Memorial/History Committee chair, former barrister of the Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court)
- member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2004.
Awards & Accolades
Gambrell is the recipient of multiple honors:
- named one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine (2011, 2012, 2013)
- named one of the top 15 business defense lawyers in Dallas by the Dallas Business Journal
- consistently named as a Texas “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine
- ranked #1 in “The Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas” by D Magazine (2002)
- awarded in 2006 with Akin Gump’s “& Feld” Award, given annually for exemplary client service.
- panelist, “Navigating the Minefields of Fiduciary Liability and Founder/Fund Transactions.” Akin Gump Seminar, New York, New York (October 7, 2015)
- moderator, “Top Ten Landmines in Startup Transactions.” Silicon Valley Open Doors Conference, Mountain View, California (May 26, 2016)