Steven M. Zager was named an Intellectual Property Trailblazer in 2018 by the National Law Journal. He was named one of Law 360’s “Trial Aces” in 2015 for his significant record of trial victories for clients nationwide. He was also named one of the top 10 trial lawyers in the country in 2007 by The National Law Journal (“Winning: Successful Trial Strategies From Some of the Nation’s Top Litigators,” June 18, 2007). Mr. Zager served as the global leader of the firm’s intellectual property (IP) practice from 2005-2018. He also served on the firm’s management committee from 2008-2015 and the firm's partnership admission committee from 2012-2014.
Practice & Background
Mr. Zager has an international litigation practice. He has handled cases in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and has represented clients in a dozen different countries.
Mr. Zager has been recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the top 45 lawyers in America under the age of 45. In January 2014, he was named a “Litigator of the Week” by Texas Lawyer, and, in 2002, he was named the top civil defense lawyer in Texas by Texas Lawyer. Recently, Best Lawyers New York named him a leading lawyer for both IP and commercial litigation (2011 and 2012). In addition, Chambers USA has repeatedly recognized Mr. Zager for litigation (2008, 2009, and 2010), describing him as “an impressive trial lawyer” and recognizing him for “his ability to command a courtroom.”
Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Zager served as the litigation practice chair and office managing partner for another national law firm.
Mr. Zager is a frequent author and lecturer.
Mr. Zager represents plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. During the course of his career, he has represented clients in civil cases across the country, including:
- a sponsor of World Cup soccer in connection with the investigation of FIFA
- a national accounting firm in connection with allegations by an international energy conglomerate over the failed acquisition of a business unit
- one of the world’s largest chemical companies in the prosecution of a trade secret case in Houston that ended in a verdict that was identified by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 largest verdicts in America in 2006
- a trade association in a trial in San Jose against a member who violated rules and procedures in a high-profile case in the entertainment industry
- a medical products company in patent trials in Memphis, Denver and Oklahoma City over spinal and cardiac patents
- a memory company in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a major national telecommunications company in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a group of telecommunications companies in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a software company in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a group of major telecommunications companies in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a major international automaker in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a major international computer-chip maker in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
- a leading medical products manufacturer in patent litigation in the Western District of Tennessee, the Northern District of California and the Western District of Texas
- a leading chemical company in litigation relating to its acquisition
- a leasing company in national class action litigation and in responding to a Texas attorney general’s investigative demand
- one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies in the defense of national mass tort and consumer class action litigation in Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia
- one of the nation’s largest banks in the defense of a $400 million case in Houston involving international monetary transactions that ended in a take-nothing jury verdict
- an international medical products manufacturer in its prosecution and defense of patent litigation in San Francisco and Memphis
- one of the nation’s largest hospital companies in the defense of a $150 million antitrust case in Houston
- a well-known computer manufacturer in the defense of consumer class action, patent and trademark litigation in Boston and Beaumont
- the board of directors of a national public broadcasting company in a Sarbanes-Oxley investigation
- a consumer product company in its defense of patent infringement litigation in Houston
- one of the largest diversified financial services companies in a $100 million claim in connection with the construction of a luxury resort in Dallas
- a bank holding company in litigation arising out of the largest bank failure in American history in Houston
- a well-known professional athlete in contract litigation in Dallas
- a well-known recording artist in contract litigation in Houston
- a major national telecommunications company in the defense of a national consumer class action in Houston
- a national home improvement products retailer in the defense of consumer class action and patent litigation in Houston and Tyler
- the appeal of a consumer class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to the Texas Supreme Court for a national wireless carrier.
Mr. Zager is involved in community, civic and charitable activities that include being:
- elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates
- a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association
- a member of the Intellectual Property Section of the American Bar Association
- a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Association
- an officer or director of the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association, the Austin Bar Association, the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program and Legal Services of Central Texas
- member of the board of the Vanderbilt University School of Law
- member of the board of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
- member of the board of the Alley Theatre
- member of the board of the KLRU in Austin, Texas
- member of the board of the Houston Nature Center and Arboretum
- member of the board of the Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.
Awards & Accolades
- selected as a 2015 “Trial Ace” by Law 360
- selected as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
- ranked by Best Lawyers in America as a leading lawyer in Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Litigation
- ranked by Best Lawyers New York as a leading lawyer for both Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation in 2011 and 2012
- recognized in a peer-review survey as a Texas “Super Lawyer” each year since 2003
- ranked as “AV Preeminent” in Business Litigation in LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review ratings
- recognized in a peer-review survey as a New York Metro “Super Lawyer,” 2003-2009, 2011-2016
- recognized as one of Houston’s top trial lawyers by H Texas magazine
- recognized as one of New York’s “Legal Elite” by Avenue magazine
- recognized as a Lawdragon in the 2010 edition of Lawdragon magazine
- elected by his peers to the American Board of Trial Advocates
- received the Professionalism Award from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics
- received the Frank Scurlock Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service from the State Bar of Texas.
- panelist at the FTI Consulting Conference “Changing Elements in Chemicals Industry Litigation”
- spoke on Use of Experts at Trial at the 6th Annual Advanced Patent Litigation Course “Taking Patent Cases to Trial in Texas” at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort.