National Law Journal Names Akin Gump Partner to Annual List of 10 Top Litigators

(Washington, D.C.) – The National Law Journal has named Steve Zager, a partner in the litigation practice of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Houston, to its annual list of 10 top litigators (“Winning: Successful Trial Strategies From Some of the Nation’s Top Litigators,” June 18, 2007), the firm announced today.

In selecting Mr. Zager, the NLJ highlighted his $152.7 million jury verdict in a trade secrets misappropriation case, Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. v. Formosa Plastics Corporation et al. At issue was a formula developed by Hexion for optimizing the manufacturing process. Hexion accused Formosa of paying a Hexion employee $40,000 for the formula. Mr. Zager made the case into a morality play with a simple message: “It’s wrong to take something that belongs to someone else.” The unanimous Harris County district court jury agreed, finding malice and criminal conduct, and the case was ultimately settled for a confidential amount.

The NLJ culled its list of 10 litigators “at the top of their game” from scores of nominations sent from around the United States. Nominees were required to have at least one significant win — either a bench or jury verdict — within the last 18 months, and a track record of significant wins over the last several years. Other factors that caught the publication’s attention included unique courtroom maneuvers and effective techniques for swaying judges and juries.

Widely recognized as a leading litigator, Mr. Zager was named by The American Lawyer as one of the profession’s “next generation of leaders” (“45 Under 45: The Rising Stars of the Private Bar,” January 2003) and by Texas Lawyer as the best civil litigation defense lawyer in Texas (2002). He has received the Professionalism Award from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and the Austin Bar Association, the President’s Award from the Houston Bar Association and the Frank J. Scurlock Award from the State Bar of Texas. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and its law school.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 900 lawyers with offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Taipei and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; appellate; banking and finance; capital markets; communications and information technology; corporate and securities; corporate governance; employee benefits; energy; entertainment and media; environmental financial restructuring; global security; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international trade; investment funds; labor and employment; land use; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; private client services; private equity; privatization; project development and finance; public law and policy; real estate development and finance; Russia/CIS; tax; and technology.

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