Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP at a Glance


  • “Working environment is extremely positive”
  • “People are motivated”


  • “Transparency”
  • “Inconsistent hours”

About Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

Leading Texas full-service firm Kelly Hart is entrenched in the city of Fort Worth, both headquartered there and serving Fort Worth clientele like the entrepreneurial Bass family, Justin Brands, Anne W. Marion and the Burnett Companies, American Airlines, Pier 1, and BNSF Railway. As the firm has grown, so has the client list, which includes additional Fortune 500 companies, individuals, investor groups and governmental entities from around Texas and the nation.

Not-So-Lone Star Lawyers

In 1979, successful Fort Worth-based litigation and commercial lawyer Dee J. Kelly, Jr. joined forces with well-known corporate and securities and real estate lawyers Mark L. Hart, Jr. and William P. Hallman, Jr. to found their joint namesake firm Kelly Hart & Hallman. Kelly Hart had no problem acquiring a talented roster of attorneys to expand its practice areas into banking, finance, energy, federal and state tax and several others which comprise the more than 20 service offerings it has today.

Kelly Hart's diverse lawyer selection is widely acclaimed. Thirty-three Kelly Hart attorneys were on the Texas Super Lawyers 2017 list, 19 named Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars and 41 made Best Lawyers in America 2017. Other rankings received by firm attorneys include Texas Diversity Council Top 50 Lawyer list, 2017; 94 Kelly Hart attorneys named 2017 Top Attorneys by 360 West magazine; The National Law Journal2017 Energy & Environmental Trailblazer Award, 2017; National Best Law Firm Rankings, 2016, 2015, 2014; . Best Lawyers® 2017 Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law "Lawyer of the Year" for Baton Rouge;  New Orleans Super Lawyers, 2017, 2016, 2015; New Orleans Rising Stars, 2017, 2016; Fort Worth Business Press Power Attorneys 2008-2016; Fort Worth, Texas magazine's Top Attorneys, 2008-2017; a finalist in Texas Lawyer 2012's Go-To Guide for Appellate Law; Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel's 2009 Business Litigation issue; Lawyer of the Year Award, 2009, 2011-2017; Fort Worth Chamber 2013 Spirit of Enterprise Award; Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer of Texas, Texas Bar Foundation, 2012; Texas Bar Foundation Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award, 2013; Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, James B. Barlow Award, May 2012; Robert B. Wilson Distinguished Service Award by the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, May 2011; Outstanding Woman in the Workplace" by the Fort Worth Commission for Women, 2013; 2012 Yellow Rose of Texas Award; 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award; Boy Scouts of America; 2015 TCBA Blackstone Award; 2015 Texas Bar Foundation Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award; 2016 Romina L. Mulloy-Bossio Achievement Award; 2016 Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award by the Defense Research Institute; 2016 Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award; Great Women of Texas, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015; Leaders in Law, 2016, 2017; and NOLA Women of the Year, 2015, 2016.

Boutique Buddies

Kelly Hart teamed up with top litigation boutique Susman Godfrey to resolve a $50 million breach of contract claim by aluminum manufacturer Alcoa against Luminant, one of Texas's biggest electricity holdings. The case, which disputed Luminant's compliance with its mining permit, resulted in the jury awarding $10 million in damages to Kelly Hart client Luminant.

Buffett, Trump, and a Mega Estate

Kelly Hart has helped negotiate some very high-profile M&A deals. The firm represented construction materials and cowboy boot manufacturer Justin Industries in its 2000 acquisition by Warren Buffett's mammoth company Berkshire Hathaway and the buyer of the Plaza Hotel in New York City in its sale by business mogul turned politician Donald Trump. In February 2016, Kelly Hart represented the the largest shareholder of the W.T. Waggoner Estate and made history with the closing sale of the largest ranch deal ever in the state of Texas. The Waggoner is an approximately 510,000 acre estate which was established in 1849 and spans across 6 Texas counties and almost 800 square miles. It is currently the largest ranch under one fence in the U.S., and includes thousands of cattle, hundreds of horses and oil wells, and 30,000 acres of farmland.

Commitment to Texans

When not negotiating big-time sales, Kelly Hart attorneys serve the community. In 2016, 86 Kelly Hart attorneys and paralegals devoted more than 2,800 hours to pro bono legal services. Some of the organizations the firm's attorneys work for include Habitat for Humanity, Fort Worth Zoological Association, Austin Bar Association, University of Texas Domestic Violence Clinic, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, the Women's Shelter, The Gatehouse, The Pro Bono Project and Goodwill of Austin. In 2014, the firm's Pro Bono Coordinator received state-wide recognition as she was bestowed the State Bar of Texas Pro Bono Coordinator Award. In 2015 and 2016, several of the firm's attorneys were singled out for their pro bono work, with one receiving the LSBA Pro Bono Publico Award and another the Pro Bono Century Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association. The Pro Bono efforts at Kelly Hart have not gone unnoticed, The Tarrant County Bar Association recognized Kelly Hart with the 2016 Texas Lawyer for Texas Veterans Law Firm Partner Award, the Pro Bono Project in Louisiana named Kelly Hart, The Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year, in 2014, and The Tarrant County Bar Foundation honored Kelly Hart & Hallman with the TVAS Law Firm Pro Bono Partner of the Year, in 2015.

Kelly Hart's attorneys contribute significant time to the charities and organizations of their choice and regularly serve in leadership roles for some of the most note-worthy charitable groups in our communities. Over 49 Kelly Hart attorneys serve on civic, philanthropic or educational boards including the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, American Cancer Society, Jane and John Justin Foundation, The Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Safe City Council, University of Texas Law School Foundation, Tarrant County Bar Foundation, Texas Christian University, Van Cliburn Foundation and the Fort Worth Country Day School, just to name a few.


July 2017
What's Bankruptcy Got to Do with it?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment against Kelly Hart's client in Harold L. Rosbottom Jr. v. Gerald H. Schiff.  The case commenced as an adversary proceeding in an individual Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The plaintiff in the adversary proceeding-Kelly Hart's client, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee-sought a declaratory judgment that certain property was part of the debtor's bankruptcy estate. The United States Bankruptcy Court granted summary judgment in favor of the bankruptcy trustee. The debtor then appealed to the United States District Court, which reversed the Bankruptcy Court's judgment and determined that the property was not part of the bankruptcy estate.  Kelly Hart sought and obtained an interlocutory appeal to the Fifth Circuit, which agreed with the Bankruptcy Court's analysis, determined that the property was part of the bankruptcy estate, and reversed the District Court's judgment against Kelly Hart's client. 

An Exploration into a Multimillion Dollar Deal

Kelly Hart represented Silverback Exploration II in connection with a $500 million equity commitment from EnCap Investments LP to pursue conventional and unconventional U.S. resource plays. In its original incantation as Silverback I, the oil and gas producer developed a 35,000 net acreage position in the heart of the Delaware sub-basin. It was producing around 3,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day when it sold its interests for $855 million last fall to Centennial Resource Development Inc. Silverback II, led by the same management team, is hoping for a repeat of its initial success. 

March 2017
Keeping it in the Family

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP represented various entities controlled by the Bass family in the sale of over 275,000 acres of Permian Basin and other producing assets for $5.6 billion in stock, and an additional $1 billion in contingent cash payouts. The assets produce more than 18,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day. The bulk of the acreage is held in contiguous production units held by production in the New Mexico Delaware Basin.

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Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

201 Main Street
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Phone: (817) 332-2500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman and Managing Partner: Marianne M. Auld
  • Recruiting Chairs: Marcus Mungioli
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 161

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $145,800
    Summer associate: $2,500/week 

  • Summer Associate Offers
    out of 5 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Administrative Law • Appellate • Aviation Law • Bankruptcy & Business Reorg. • Bankruptcy Litigation • Banking & Finance • Commercial Litigation • Corporate & Securities • Energy & Environmental Law • Environmental & Water Law • Estate Planning/Probate • Healthcare Law • Intellectual Property • Labor & Employment • Litigation • Liquor Law • Nonprofit Organizations • Oil & Gas/Energy • Public Law • Real Estate • School Law • Tax • White Collar Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Fort Worth, TX (HQ) • Austin, TX • Baton Rouge, LA • Midland, TX • New Orleans, LA • Nacogdoches, TX