Education and Honors

  • J.D. (cum laude), Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1990
    Order of the Coif
    Notes and Comments Editor, Journal of Air Law & Commerce
    Phi Delta Phi
  • B.B.A., finance, The University of Texas, 1987
  • Named one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” in Dallas by D Magazine, May 2004

    Recognized as a Texas Rising Star, 2004 and as a Texas Super Lawyer, 2004-2013

    Listed in Chambers USA, 2007-2013 (national ranking food and beverage and Texas ranking litigation)

    Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2014

    One of fifteen “Defenders” profiled in the Dallas Business Journal as one of the “top business defense lawyers in the D-FW Metroplex,” May 2009

Admissions and Affiliations

State Bar of Texas

United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits

United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

Dallas Bar Association, Antitrust Section, Council Member

Dallas Bar Foundation

Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), Board of Directors

Leadership Dallas, Class Member and Graduate, 2003-2004

Texas General Counsel Forum, former member of the DFW Board of Directors

Van H. Beckwith

Partner

2001 Ross Avenue Dallas, Texas 75201-2980
United States
Phone:
+1.214.953.6505
Fax:
+1.214.661.4505

Concentration

Class actions, complex business and antitrust litigation, energy litigation, environmental litigation, energy litigation, technology and intellectual property litigation, food and beverage litigation

Summary

Van Beckwith is the Partner in Charge of Recruiting for the firm and has a national trial practice focusing on defense of complex class actions, energy litigation, antitrust litigation, environmental litigation, technology and intellectual property litigation and food and beverage litigation.

Van is a first chair trial lawyer and has tried lawsuits and arbitrations in state and federal courts throughout the country and has cross examined witnesses and conducted other discovery in Asia, Europe and throughout North America. He is known for his work in defense of class actions across the United States and Canada.

Chambers USA has described Mr. Beckwith as an “excellent trial lawyer” and consistently recognized him as one of the top food and beverage class action lawyers in the country. Chambers USA has noted that our clients valued Van’s “not only cooperative, but also creative” approach and ability to “act with urgency or forcefully to advocate his clients’ position without being unprofessional.”

Representative Engagements

  • WPX Energy -- lead trial counsel in defense of class action claims brought by Native American oil and gas royalty owners in the Baaken shale formation of North Dakota against oil and gas exploration and production companies; after extensive briefing and oral argument, the trial court dismissed all claims against all defendants
  • Energy Software Company -- lead trial counsel in defense verdict in Delaware Chancery Court and as affirmed after oral argument by the Delaware Supreme Court on claims by founder and shareholder claiming right to control energy software company’s Board of Directors
  • In Re Online Travel Company Hotel Booking Litigation -- acting as counsel for online travel company in defense of antitrust price fixing allegations in the booking of hotel rooms nationwide
  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group/Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages -- lead defense counsel in various beverage labeling class actions across the United States; defeat of class certification regarding the labeling of high fructose corn syrup as natural in Weiner v. Snapple; lead defense of intellectual property, patent and trademark matters; lead defense counsel in industry wide obesity and school vending threatened litigation and related government and media affairs; various and multiple industry litigation regarding supply, transportation, bottling, procurement, purchasing and outsourcing of all facets of beverage industry
  • Texas Eagle Ford Shale -- defense of Eagle Ford Shale companies against shareholder oppression and related claims related to shale development, royalties and investment
  • Discount Tire Co. -- lead counsel in class action allegations against nation’s largest tire retailer; motion to dismiss granted against nationwide class action allegations
  • IPEX Inc. -- national lead counsel in cross-border U.S. and Canadian defense of seventeen multidistrict class actions for IPEX Inc. and IPEX USA LLC against allegations of plumbing product defect, breach of warranty and contract and consumer protection claims with claims by Plaintiffs’ counsel of over $2 billion
  • Reliance Insurance -- nationwide and multidistrict class action defense of insurance pricing practices, and representation as co-lead counsel for the insurance industry in a RICO class certification hearing
  • Centex Homes -- defense of class actions challenging various homebuilding issues and effective waivers of implied warranties
  • Restaurant chain -- favorable resolution of class action involving alleged Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act violation
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation -- class action and environmental litigation including three week arbitration on claims for contamination at over 600 underground storage tank locations
  • Waste Control Specialists -- lead trial counsel for the operator of one of the nation’s largest low-level radioactive waste facilities
  • Exide Battery -- lead trial counsel in claims against Exide Battery in allegations by the City of Frisco and citizens groups related to the operation and subsequent decommissioning of a battery recycling facility
  • BCCA Appeal Group -- lead trial counsel in claims against the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding approval of Texas air permits
  • Computer Sciences Corporation -- defense of CSC Credit Services in class actions involving Fair Credit Reporting Act allegations
  • Camber -- lead counsel in international litigation involving claims by U.S. and Thailand plaintiff regarding procurement of F-16 fighter simulator for the Republic of Thailand Air Force
  • Global management consulting and technology services company -- representing company’s interests in unwind of largest outsourcing contract in State of Texas history, including negotiations with state political leadership, representing witnesses before legislative oversight committees and ultimate culmination of the unwind agreement; two favorable outcomes against contractors were obtained
  • Global systems and software companies -- patent, technology, software litigation for technology companies
  • Aon -- ongoing representation of Aon in defense of professional liability claims related to Hurricane Katrina damages asserted by the Orleans Parish School Board
  • Verizon -- multiple plaintiff and defendant lawsuits and verdicts for fraud, breach of contract, antitrust, franchise, tortious interference and telecommunications-related claims
  • Omni Hotels -- representation of plaintiff as lead counsel against lenders in the first terrorism insurance case tried to verdict
  • Balanced Scorecard Collaborative and BSC founders Harvard Professor Robert Kaplan and David Norton -- arbitration verdict against a former co-venturer for breach of contract

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Awarded Baker Botts, L.L.P. Peter W. Gray Award for outstanding public service

Local

  • Created and developed program for young lawyers to serve large docket of Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT) clients in West Dallas and serve as advisor to ACT
  • International Justice Mission, Inaugural Dallas Justice Dinner Chairman
  • Amicus briefing on various topics including in support of the United States Stolen Valor Act on behalf of The American Legion

International

  • African Leadership and Reconciliation Mission and International Justice Mission, training of lawyers and judges in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda on mediation, conflict resolution and leadership

Publications, Speeches and Presentations

Publications

  • Class Action Defense -- “Litigating Food and Beverage Labeling Cases: Some Strategies and Trends,” Food and Drug Litigation Strategies, 2013
  • “Welcome to the Partner-Dome: Now Get to Work,” Texas Lawyer, January 2000

Speeches and Presentations

  • Class Action Defense -- “Food Labeling Litigation Workshop,” American Conference Institute, September 30, 2013
  • Co-presenter, Chief Legal Officer Forum, Defense Strategies in Response to the Rapidly Expanding Reach of Regulation, February 2013
  • Class Action Defense -- “Hot Topics in Food Litigation and Enforcement,” American Conference Institute FDA & USDA Compliance Boot Camp, October 2012
  • Class Action Defense -- “Ensuring the Success of Your Green Marketing Campaign: How to Structure Compliant Environmentally-Friendly, Natural and Organic Product Claims,” American Conference Institute, Food & Beverage Marketing & Advertising Conference, March 2011
  • “Top Ten Things to Know about Class Actions,” Internal Accredited CLE, January 2011
  • “How to be a Rock Star Associate,” CLE presentation to Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas, December 2010
  • “Ready for My CloseUp -- Ethical Considerations for Lawyers in High-Profile Crisis Representations,” presented to in-house client seminars, 2010 -- Dallas and 2009 -- Chicago
  • Frequent speaker at client and internal speeches and presentation on various continuing legal education topics and law firm values, culture, and commitment to excellence, and legal recruiting and hiring topics
  • “Consumer Privacy Issues,” Advanced Consumer & Commercial Law Course, Dallas, November 2008
  • “Settlement of Class Actions 101: An Overview of Issues Involved in Mediating and Negotiating Settlement of Class Actions,” Institute for Mass and Class Action and Dispute Resolution, 9th Annual Spring Conference, American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, Washington, D.C., April 2007
  • “Document Retention and Electronic Discovery -- Do’s and Don’ts,” In-house client seminar, 2004, London, England
  • “Summary Judgment Practice and Procedure,” Federal Bar Association, Dallas, March 2001
  • “Summary Judgment Practice,” Federal Bar Association, Dallas, March 2000
  • “Finding the Winning Litigation Strategy,” American Corporate Counsel Association, Dallas, November 1999