Bruce W. Collins
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Bruce W. Collins

After more than four decades of fielding just about every tactic the government or opposing counsel could conceivably throw at a client, I have developed great confidence—both in my own abilities and the legal system itself. When facing a potential corporate catastrophe, such as a DOJ or SEC investigation or a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit, it is critical to find the trusted right person to believe in you and understand every nuance of your case. Seen-it-before experience makes all the difference. Sophisticated companies and their general counsel demand it. I have plenty of proof that I’ve got it.

In a legal career spanning the country and more than 40 years, and with a primary focus on securities and Directors and Officers defense, Bruce Collins has handled so much high-stakes and high-dollar commercial litigation that he simply doesn’t scare anymore. This is why clients hire him.

Bruce’s reputation precedes him. In a chapter about the Fairfax Financial case in a recent book, New York Times bestselling author Matt Taibbi offered a play-by-play of Bruce’s defense of his broker-dealer client, describing him as “a drawling, dark-haired hotshot corporate defense lawyer who made The Best Lawyers in America three years running,” and noting that he had seen Bruce in action before, as the lead attorney defending Ken Lay in the Enron criminal trial.

With Bruce as the firm’s representative, Carrington is on AIG’s selective preferred counsel list—meaning that the firm is listed in Texas as one of the few firms AIG approves as defense counsel if, for example, an insured corporate director or officer gets sued.

Bruce never loses sight of the fact that his job really is all about people. Disputes at this level can create stress and difficulty for even the most sophisticated general counsel, and he does everything he can to alleviate that. Whether he’s representing a CEO, a board member, or the company itself, Bruce’s goal is to understand a client’s risks and goals, remove the impediments in their way and get clients back to what they do best—running and growing their enterprise.

Experience matters. I’ve been in cases where the trial lasted for four months and I’ve seen just about every tactic the government can throw at you. When I take on something new, I do it knowing that I’ve been tested. And I passed.

Bruce W. Collins

Significant Matters

$6B Lawsuit Dismissed

Was lead counsel in a decisive victory for a securities broker-dealer, securing dismissal of a multi-billion dollar lawsuit on the eve of trial.  The suit, brought by a major insurance company and one of its subsidiaries, was pending in New Jersey state court.  The lawsuit alleged New Jersey RICO, tortious interference, and commercial disparagement claims relating to the firm’s analyst coverage of the plaintiffs.

Click here for the Newark Star Ledger’s account of the dismissal.

Enron

Was lead counsel for Ken Lay in the civil and regulatory litigation following Enron’s failure and was a lead trial counsel in his criminal trial.

Other Litigation of Note

Was lead counsel in a successful one-week bench trial in federal court in Kansas City in which a hedge fund sought up to $12M in damages against a public company relating to an investment in preferred stock.  The court ruled against the plaintiff on all counts.

Represented outside directors in high-profile option backdating derivative litigation in state and federal courts in Texas and Delaware.

Represented outside directors and general counsel in securities class actions and related bankruptcy proceedings arising out of failure of nation’s largest food wholesaler.

Represented chief financial officer in regulatory, class action, and derivative proceedings arising out of earnings manipulation claims against a technology company.

Represented major pension fund in two complex battles over governance and taxation involving the Las Colinas development.

Represented a major reinsurance brokerage company in a non-compete case involving the departure of the most senior officers of a public company.

Areas of Focus

Education

Education

  • University of Texas at Austin School of Law (J.D., with high honors, 1978)
    • Member, Texas Law Review, 1976-78
    • Order of the Coif
  • Stanford University (BA, 1975)

Clerkships

  • Honorable Robert M. Hill, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 1978-79

 

Admissions

Bar Admissions
  • Texas, 1978
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District, Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District, Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District, Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Leadership

  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Dallas Bar Foundation, Fellow

Recognition

  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2011–2022, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Litigation – Securities
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2020 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2018 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Securities
  • Named to the Texas Super Lawyers list, as published in Texas Monthly magazine, Business Litigation, 2003–2021
  • D Magazine Best Lawyers in Dallas, 2012–2016, 2018-2020, Securities Litigation and Enforcement

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Speeches/Publications

  • Moderator, Special Committee of the Board – When and What?North Texas Chapter, National Association of Corporate Directors, January 12, 2016.
  • Moderator, Investigations: Whistleblowers in Today’s Online World, North Texas Chapter, National Association of Corporate Directors, May 10, 2011.
  • Panel member, CEO Succession: The Board’s Role in Handling Planned and Unplanned Changes at the Top, North Texas Chapter, National Association of Corporate Directors, May 12, 2009.
  • Speaker, Dallas Bar Association Ethics Fest, Honest Services Fraud: The Thin Line Between Civil and Criminal Exposure for Fiduciary Breaches, May 7, 2009.
  • Panel member, ABA Section of Litigation Teleconference, Keeping It Real: Making White Collar Defendants Blue Collar Friendly, June 17, 2008.
  • Moderator, Internal Investigations: Overseeing a Risky Process and Finding the Right Balance, North Texas Chapter, National Association of Corporate Directors, June 10, 2008.
  • Speaker, The G. Thomas Van Bebber Ninth Annual Ethics in Litigation Forum Presented By The Earl E. Connor American Inn of Court, Ethics Lessons Learned from Enron, Kansas City, Kansas, June 5, 2008.
  • Courts Struggle to Define the Parameters of Honest Services Fraud, December, 2007.
  • Bankruptcy, M&A and Corporate Governance: The Interplay of State and Federal Civil and Criminal Law, 26th Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, November 2007.
  • Enron: Trying the Corporate Case of the Century, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference, April 12, 2007.
  • Enron: A post-verdict panel discussion with the lawyers who tried the case, Dallas Bar Association, September 27, 2006.
  • Of Enron and the Thompson Memo, State Bar of Texas Antitrust and Business Litigation Section, November 3, 2006.
  • Speaker, SIA, NASD, and NYSE forums.

Outside of Work

My wife and I enjoy spending time with our four grandchildren, whom we adore. I enjoy reading—mainly history and biographies. I have a complete collection of signed, first edition Larry McMurtry books that I am proud to own. I also collect wine, the appreciation of which has been inspired and fueled by our travels, in the United States and abroad. I get great satisfaction from using my skills as a trial lawyer to help people who cannot afford an attorney.