2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Substantial and meaningful trial experience at an early level.”
“Surrounded by a great group of skilled and highly intelligent practitioners.”
“Work/life balance, especially in the first few years.”
“There is a high hours requirement (2,100) and most of us end up working more than that. It can be a grind at times.”
About Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C.
AZA is a litigation boutique whose attorneys are known for their trial prowess. The nearly 50 lawyers in this Houston firm have been in a trial roughly every month since 2016. The firm's attorneys have more than 225 trials under their belts, and are often hired on the eve of trial, once it has become clear that the case won't settle. Although many of its cases involve high-stakes litigation for multinational companies, AZA also represents individuals and mid-sized businesses with serious legal issues. AZA represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of practice areas, including commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation & patent work, oil & gas/energy litigation, company investigations, trade secrets & covenants not to compete, and construction & real estate litigation.
IN THE NEWS
Houston-based trial boutique AZA matched the $195,000 salary and bonus for new lawyers started by BigLaw. But managing partner John Zavitsanos said the cost to AZA clients won’t go up; the expense will come out of profits. The firm doesn’t want to hurt clients or compromise on the talent it acquires and gets into court faster than just about any other trial firm. Joe Patrice, on Above The Law, explained that boutiques like AZA that empower associates are actually a litigation bargain.
For the fifth year, Houston trial boutique AZA was named among Texas’ top general commercial litigation firms in Chambers USA. AZA lawyers were described as “robust litigation specialists with a fast-growing reputation as a feared opponent for established national firms.” The guide called AZA a “trial-oriented group of attorneys who are unafraid to take on the full range of high-value commercial disputes for both plaintiffs and defendants.” Three AZA partners were ranked or recognized and an AZA associate was named an associate to watch.
The National Law Journal and VerdictSearch rated AZA’s $41.6 Million jury win for client Prime Natural Resources in a Wellsure insurance dispute as one of the top verdicts nationally for 2017. The jury verdict in the breach of contract case was listed as the 46th largest in the U.S. A Houston jury awarded Prime Natural Resources Inc. $41.6 million in an insurance dispute with certain underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, over offshore oil facilities damaged by Hurricane Rita 12 years ago.
The Texas Supreme Court became the first state high court to recognize that communications between non-lawyer patent agents and inventor clients are protected by attorney-client privilege. It found that inventor Andrew Silver, represented by AZA, would not have to reveal emails between him and his patent agent if they were communicating about the prosecution of the patent. Patent agents are often used by small, independent inventors because they are a more affordable way to obtain a patent.
1221 McKinney, Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77010
Founders & Managing Partners: Joseph Y. Ahmad & John Zavitsanos
Hiring Partner: John Zavitsanos
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $250,000
5th year+: Performance based
Summer associate: $3,654/week
Summer Associate Offers:
2 out of 2 (2Ls) (2018)
Company Investigations, Trade Secrets, & Covenants Not to Compete
Construction & Real Estate
Executive Employment Litigation
Oil & Gas/Energy