Summary Judgment for International Law Firm
September 5, 2022 Case Study
USPLS v. Kilpatrick
On August 5, 2022, Beck Redden obtained summary judgment on behalf of our client Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP against allegations of fraud and tortious interference brought by a headhunter against the firm following Kilpatrick’s hiring of a group of lawyers from another firm to open their Houston, Texas office.
The headhunter, who had previously worked with the group of lawyers, claimed, among other things, that Kilpatrick tortuously interfered with his relationship with the lawyers when they joined the firm, even though he had never contacted or spoken with anyone from Kilpatrick about potentially employing the lawyers. The Court granted summary judgment against each of the headhunter’s claims, disposing of the case prior to undergoing the time and expense of discovery. This approach brought an efficient resolution to the case, in turn giving Kilpatrick and its lawyers much-needed closure to this dispute.
This case followed another dispute in which the same headhunter sued individual lawyers for joining Kilpatrick based on an email exchange that he claimed to be a contract between him and the lawyers. Beck Redden obtained summary judgment on behalf of the lawyers in that case as well, arguing that the email exchange was not an enforceable contract, and even if it was, the lawyers did not breach the alleged contract and that the headhunter had not sought recoverable damages. That decision was recently upheld on appeal.
Beck Redden partner Alistair Dawson served as the lead counsel for Kilpatrick, with the assistance of associate Jake McClellan. Beck Redden appellate specialist, Joshua Smith, handled the appeal.