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Baker Botts Secures Major Victory for Dril-Quip in Trade Secrets Dispute


HOUSTON, April 30, 2021 - Baker Botts secured a major victory for client Dril-Quip, Inc. in a lawsuit filed by FMC Technologies, Inc. in the 127th District Court of Harris County alleging misappropriation of trade secrets. FMC alleged that its former employee Mr. Rick Murphy communicated FMC trade secrets to Dril-Quip before Dril-Quip hired him and then used those trade secrets in Dril-Quip’s VXTe subsea tree systems. FMC sought $35 million in actual damages as well as exemplary damages of up to an additional $70 million and injunctive relief.

The case was tried over three weeks before a live jury in the ceremonial courtroom in Harris County Courthouse. Precautions were taken to protect all participants, including having the jurors spaced out in the galley and plexiglass dividers for the court and masks and face shields for all present. The witnesses testified from the back row of the jury box. The jury found that the information at issue was not a trade secret and denied any relief to FMC.

The Baker Botts team representing Dril-Quip included:

Paul Morico (Partner, Houston); Danny David (Partner, Houston); Liz Flannery (Partner, Houston); David Wille (Partner, Dallas); Amy Hefley (Partner, Houston); Susan Kennedy (Partner, Dallas); Thomas Phillips (Partner, Austin); Macey Reasoner Stokes (Partner, Houston); Michelle Eber (Special Counsel, Houston); David Tobin (Senior Associate, Dallas); Travis Gray (Associate, Houston); Amy Bergeron (Associate, Houston); Nischay Bhan (Associate, Houston); Fred Carbone (Associate, Houston); Mark Johnson (Associate, Dallas); Jennifer Carter (Associate, Houston); Gail Foster (Special Counsel, Houston).

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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