2021 Vault Rankings
About Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, LLP
Founded in 1995 in Houston, Texas, Smyser Kaplan & Veselka is a litigation boutique with just under 30 attorneys. The firm’s practice includes commercial disputes, white collar, energy, intellectual property, healthcare, and securities. The firm is known for litigating high-profile matters to trial but also skillfully steers cases to arbitration when necessary. Among Smyser Kaplan & Veselka’s clients are Shell Oil Company, Michael’s Organization, Celotex, Visa, Quantlab Financial LLC, BNSF Railway Company, and BHP Billiton Petroleum.
While Smyser Kaplan & Veselka’s ranks may be small, its litigation chops are mighty. Stacked with a team of career trial lawyers and former law clerks, the firm is no stranger to high-stakes cases. It boasts a bustling white collar practice, including such past matters as Enron and Deepwater Horizon, to name a few, And its attorneys are pros in front of juries in all types of complex litigation. Recently, the firm obtained a $5.8 million jury verdict for its client Southbrook Development Corporation based on a breach of agreement and obtained a “Not Guilty” verdict for a client indicted on insider trading stemming from the acquisition of Shaw Group by Chicago Bridge & Iron.
Supporting the Scouts
When they’re not in the courtroom, Smyser Kaplan & Veselka attorneys can be found engaging with the Houston community—including by volunteering and giving back. Some of the firm’s recent good will has included donating books to Sky High for Kids, contributing to the Houston Bar Association’s Campaign for the Homeless Clothing & Diaper Drive, and participating in a corn hole tournament to support the Houston Urban Debate League.
Why Work Here
Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P. is a diverse and growing litigation boutique with nationally recognized civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense practices. Based in Houston, Texas, the 27-lawyer firm has significant civil trial experience (and results) in the energy sector, but also has major practices in intellectual property, healthcare, bankruptcy, and general commercial litigation. SKV’s white collar partners—a third of the partnership, and a rarity for a firm of SKV’s size—have become go-to leaders in environmental and FCPA suits/investigations. The firm prides itself on its deep bench—it hires young lawyers nearly exclusively out of federal clerkships and treats them as future partners from the outset—collaborative partnership, and commitment to staffing leanly and providing exceptional outcomes—and value—for clients.
717 Texas Avenue
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (717) 221-2388
Managing Partners: Craig Smyser, Shaun Clarke, Larry Veselka, David Isaak, Jeff Potts
Hiring Partners: Dane Ball, Jeff Potts, Larry Veselka
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
1 - 50
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $235,000
5th year: $260,000
6th year: $275,000
7th year: $285,000
Director of Communications
No. of U.S. Offices: 1
No. of International Offices: 0
General Litigation Appellate
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.