Jackson Walker LLP welcomes Kent C. Sullivan and Sean D. Jordan as partners in the firm’s Austin and Houston offices. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Jordan add significant expertise to Jackson Walker’s robust commercial litigation group, having handled complex civil litigation matters for 25 and 20 years, respectively. The two will act as co-leaders of the firm’s Appellate practice. They will also, along with recent firm addition Bill Powers, expand Jackson Walker’s government relations/special investigations practice.

“The addition of these two highly respected and experienced partners adds a new dimension to our Litigation practice and to our Appellate group,” said Jackson Walker managing partner Wade Cooper. “And in terms of government relations, particularly in the state of Texas, they bring unparalleled knowledge of the legal landscape and the insight that comes from having served in key positions in the state government.”

Austin managing partner Matt Dow said, “You’d have to look long and hard to find any other trial and appellate lawyers who have this level of experience and knowledge, so we are thrilled to have Kent and Sean joining the firm to add to our Commercial Litigation group and to lead our Appellate team. From Kent’s tenure as a justice in the Court of Appeals to Sean’s experience arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, these two have an unmatched capability to help our clients with appellate matters and complex commercial litigation.”

Along with their expertise in litigation and appellate matters, the two partners bring a new depth to Jackson Walker’s government relations/special investigations practice. Having served, respectively, as First Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Solicitor General in Texas, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Jordan understand government procedure and process from the inside and can bring that expertise to bear for clients conducting private investigations as well as those faced with investigation by government agencies and regulatory bodies.

Another recent addition to Jackson Walker’s Austin office, Bill Powers, expressed his enthusiasm about working with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Jordan in the area of government relations and private corporate investigations. As chair of the special investigation committee that examined the financial transactions of Enron Corp. in 2001, Mr. Powers has his own impressive pedigree in this area, and he is pleased to be joining forces with the two new partners.

“The combination of my experience with Kent and Sean’s firsthand knowledge, along with the expertise already in-house at Jackson Walker, means we are at the leading edge for this type of work,” Mr. Powers said. “We have the know-how and the credibility to be effective for clients conducting high-profile investigations – or for those facing investigation for violations in health care, environmental, or other regulatory arenas. This is a tremendous benefit for clients who need problem-solvers for their government relations and investigations matters.”

Mr. Sullivan has more than 25 years of experience as a lawyer in private practice, concentrating on commercial litigation and appellate cases as well as government investigations and government relations matters. He has also served as a justice for the Texas Court of Appeals, where he participated in the disposition of hundreds of appeals and personally authored more than 75 opinions. Prior to that, as a district judge for the state of Texas, he presided over multiparty cases to verdict involving such diverse subject matter as intellectual property rights and casino management fees. In 2006, Mr. Sullivan was appointed by Attorney General Greg Abbott to serve as First Assistant Attorney General, overseeing the legal and administrative functions of the 800-attorney agency and coordinating multistate legal disputes with other state attorneys general. In that role, he represented and provided legal guidance to the state legislature and the agencies of the state government and oversaw a total reorganization and expansion of the Civil Medicaid Fraud section of the Attorney General’s office. In addition to his primary office in Austin, Mr. Sullivan will also practice out of Jackson Walker’s Houston office, maintaining his connection to the city where he served on the Court of Appeals and the Harris County District bench.

Mr. Jordan has more than 20 years of experience handling appellate cases, complex civil litigation, and constitutional litigation in both private practice and government service. He was managing partner of his prior firm’s Austin office, and he previously served as the principal deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Solicitor General of Texas. In that role, he represented the state, its agencies and officials in numerous appeals, and led a team of appellate lawyers in supervising the federal and state court appeals handled by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Jordan has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and has written numerous Supreme Court briefs, twice winning the “Best Brief Award” from the National Association of Attorneys General for outstanding brief-writing before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as lead counsel in the BP oil spill litigation, guiding the drilling contractor through crisis management and regulatory issues following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In making the move to Jackson Walker, Mr. Sullivan said the firm’s vibrant statewide platform was a major draw. “We were looking for an energized, growing firm to support our practice. Jackson Walker is so well-respected and rooted in Texas, and on such a positive trajectory for growth. It’s exciting to become a part of that.”

Jackson Walker’s Litigation group is one of the largest in the Southwest, encompassing nearly half of the firm’s 360+ lawyers. The firm has offices in all four federal judicial districts in Texas and has handled litigation matters in 47 states. In 2013, the group was named the “Litigation Department of the Year” by Texas Lawyer in the magazine’s first-ever awards recognizing the top trial groups in the state. Partners in the Litigation practice average 24 years of courtroom experience and include six attorneys in the American College of Trial Lawyers and dozens ranked in Chambers, Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers as well as other statewide and local top-lawyer directories.

Firmwide, a significant number of high-profile attorneys have made the move to Jackson Walker in the last two years, many of whom served in key leadership roles at their previous firms.

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