Texas Lawyer Honors Thomas Weir and Michelle Reed

(Houston/Dallas) – Two partners at Akin Gump have been honored by Texas Lawyer for their accomplishments. W. Thomas Weir, a partner in Akin Gump’s tax practice in Houston, has been named by the publication as one of its 2016 Lifetime Achievement honorees. Michelle Reed, a litigation partner in Dallas, has been selected as a Rising Star.

The 2016 Professional Excellence Award: Lifetime Achievers recognizes lawyers who have made their mark on the legal profession in Texas. According to the publication, the winners of the award “are all impact players in the Texas legal community.”

The 2016 Lawyers on the Rise are those lawyers under the age of 40 “who have established a record of accomplishments and demonstrated that they are top contributors to the practice of law and their communities.”

In its profile of Mr. Weir, Texas Lawyer noted him as a “pioneer in the energy tax field,” pointing to his creation of a Netherland Antilles-based corporation (as a drilling fund for foreigners on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange) and his role in the development of the master limited partnership structure.

Among the engagements spotlighted are Mr. Weir’s representation of the conflicts committee of Regency Energy Partners in the $18 billion merger of a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners (read more here) and of a trust that included a school for deaf children as a beneficiary. In the latter matter, he convinced D.C. officials to change the windfall profits tax to prevent its imposition on the school and similar organizations.

In Ms. Reed’s profile, the publication noted that, while on a reduced work schedule in 2010, she helped to develop Akin Gump’s cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice. Ms. Reed, who was promoted to the partnership in 2013 and now co-heads the firm’s cyber practice, credited Akin Gump’s supportive firm culture, saying, "I don't feel like my part-time status disadvantaged me at all."

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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