Rob Walters is a trial partner with extensive experience in antitrust, securities, class action, and business tort litigation. Mr. Walters is nationally recognized for his abilities and accomplishments as a trial lawyer. He has served as lead trial counsel in a wide array of trials and adversarial proceedings, including the representative trials and class action proceedings described below.* He has also counseled and represented clients in government investigations and the antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions. He serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and as Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Dallas office. Mr. Walters served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Energy Future Holdings from 2008 until 2010. He was a partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP from 1990 until 2008, where he also served as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.
- Served as lead counsel to Tenet Healthcare in its 2011 successful takeover defense litigation under federal securities laws against Community Health Systems in an approximately $7 billion hostile tender offer for Tenet Healthcare.
- Served as lead trial counsel in antitrust litigation brought against Blockbuster and the major Hollywood studios by bellwether and class plaintiffs representing thousands of independent video retailers claiming revenue-sharing agreements negotiated between Blockbuster and the Hollywood studios violated federal and state antitrust laws and seeking billions of dollars in damages. Defendants prevailed at trial and the Fifth Circuit affirmed.
- Served as lead trial counsel to Intel Corporation in class securities litigation stemming from its $8 billion acquisition of McAfee Inc. Secured summary judgment on all counts in October 2012 and on the eve of trial.
- Served as lead trial counsel for the City of Dallas in antitrust litigation brought by various private parties stemming from the 2006 Wright Amendment Reform Act, which modified the restrictions on flights from Dallas Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Mr. Walters both represented the City of Dallas before Congress in securing the Wright Amendment Reform Act and as lead counsel in defeating private antitrust litigation stemming from the Act.
- Served as lead counsel to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in the Workers’ Compensation Antitrust Litigation, which was comprised of over forty class actions against dozens of insurers claiming industry conspiracies to pass on billions of dollars in “residual market loads.” The insurer defendants chose Mr. Walters to try an initial two-week class certification evidentiary hearing in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, as well as to try various other class certification hearings in federal and state courts throughout the country. Defendants successfully defeated class certification in each venue, which led to favorable industry settlements.
- Served as lead trial counsel to CBS Outdoor in RICO and fraud litigation brought by independent billboard companies seeking hundreds of millions in damages. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict of less than $2 million, which the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals further reduced on appeal.
- Served as lead trial counsel in defending a real estate partnership in a fraud and contract dispute over a portfolio of investment properties. The jury returned a verdict for defendants on all claims and awarded defendants their attorneys’ fees.
- Served as lead trial counsel to Life Insurance Company of Georgia in a fraud action against Electronic Data Systems in which Life of Georgia secured a multi-million dollar trial verdict, which it sustained on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.
- Served as lead trial counsel for Pioneer Natural Resources Company in which plaintiffs claimed that Pioneer illegally “farmed out” various offshore oil and gas properties and conspired with the trustee of an offshore royalty trust to impermissibly terminate the trust early to the detriment of unit holders in the trust. The case resolved favorably after trial.
- Served as lead trial counsel to Blockbuster in approximately twenty-five class actions across the nation challenging Blockbuster’s “extended viewing fees” as impermissible penalties. The matters resolved favorably.
- Served as lead counsel to a Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in the Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation. Then Attorney General Elliot Spitzer of New York charged major insurance companies with bid rigging and illegal contingent commissions on commercial insurance sales. Various regulatory actions led to companies paying hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds and fines and also to numerous class actions. At the behest of defendants, Mr. Walters served in court as lead counsel for the insurer defendants. The insurer defendants favorably resolved the matter.
- Served as lead counsel at trial for Blockbuster in a contract and business tort action stemming from production of the film “Monster.” Blockbuster favorably resolved the action after two weeks of trial.
- Served on trial team for Energy Transportation Systems, Inc. in antitrust litigation against major western railroads for conspiring to monopolize the transportation of coal from the Powder River Basin to utilities in the Southwest. A two-month trial resulted in a verdict of $1.1 billion for plaintiffs.
- Served as lead trial counsel to Blockbuster in action brought by Netflix for infringement on several business method patents. The matter resolved favorably.
*Includes matters handled prior to joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Mr. Walters received his Bachelor of Arts degree (Plan II Interdisciplinary Honors) summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983, graduating cum laude and serving on The Texas Law Review.
- The American Lawyer’s “Forty-Five Lawyers Under 45: Rising Stars in the Law”
- The National Law Journal’s “Top Forty Lawyers in America Under Forty”
- Texas Monthly’s “Top 100 Lawyers in Texas”
- Best Lawyers’ Dallas “Lawyer of the Year” for Antitrust Law 2014
- Dallas Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Energy”
- Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading lawyer in antitrust and competition law and in general commercial litigation
- Recognized by Dallas Business Journal as a “Leading Energy Lawyer”
- Recognized by U.S. Lawyer Rankings as among the nation’s “Top Ten Antitrust Lawyers”
- Recognized by Global Competition Review’s research with clients and peers as being among the world’s leading competition lawyers and featured in The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
- Recognized by Global Counsel Competition Law Handbook as among “America’s Best Antitrust Lawyers”
- Recognized by Global Counsel Dispute Resolution Handbook as among “America’s Best Trial Lawyers”
- D Magazine “Best Lawyers in Dallas” (business litigation and antitrust)
- The Best Lawyers in America© (antitrust and commercial litigation), 2003-2015
- UTLaw Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award, 2014
- D Magazine General Counsel of the Year, 2010
- ADL Jurisprudence Award, 2008
- Recognized as “Texas’s Best Antitrust Lawyer” by Texas Lawyer, 2007
- Recognized by Who’s Who Legal, 2007
- Dallas Bar Foundation (1991-present)
- Texas Bar Foundation (1996-present)
- The Center for American and International Law, Member (1999-present)
- Higginbotham Inn of Court, Barrister (2005-present)
- ABA Antitrust Section, Trial Practice Committee Vice-Chair (2013-present)
- Council of the ABA Antitrust Section, Member (2000-2002)
- Dallas Bar Association, Antitrust Section Council Chair (2001-2002)
- ABA Antitrust Section, Strategic Task Force Committee Member (2001)
- ABA Antitrust Section, Fuels and Energy Industry Committee Chair (1997-2000)
- ABA Antitrust Section, Publications Committee Co-Chair (1994-1997)
- ABA Antitrust Section, Regulated Industries Committee Vice-Chair (1992-94)
- ABA Antitrust Section, Assistant to Chair (1989-1990)
- Vinson & Elkins Jury Project, Chair
Mr. Walters frequently lectures on the antitrust laws and trial of complex litigation. He has served as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University School of Law on trial advocacy and at the University of Texas, School of Law on energy policy and law.
- “Trial of a Securities Class Action” (Chapter 12), PLI Securities Litigation Handbook, 2013
- “The Trial of Securities Actions” (Chapter 11), PLI Securities Litigation Handbook, 2013
- “Advantages and Pitfalls in Corporate Representative Depositions,” Corporate Counsel Review, South Texas College of Law, Spring 2008
- “Corporate Representative Depositions in Intellectual Property Disputes,” IP Litigator, Aspen Publishers and Wolters Kluwer, December 2007
- 2005 Burton Award for Legal Writing (with Mark Curriden). The Burton Award is jointly given by The American Lawyer, Library of Congress, and the Burton Foundation in recognition of exemplary legal writing.
- “Jury of Our Peers: An Unfulfilled Constitutional Promise,” (with Mark Curriden), SMU Law Review, Volume 58, No. 2, Spring 2005
- “A Jury of One’s Peers? Investigating Underrepresentation in Jury Venires,” American Bar Association Judge’s Journal, Vol. 43, No. 4, Fall 2004
- “A Guide to the Electric and Gas Industries,” Energy Antitrust Handbook, ABA Press, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, 2002
- ABA Antitrust Section “Chair’s Showcase”: Trial of an Antitrust Case (April 2013) (repeated at George Mason University Law School Law and Economics Institute Seminar for Federal Judiciary (October 2013))
- Gibson Dunn Forum, “Game Changers: Successful Strategies in High Stakes Litigation and Appeals” (October 2011)
- University of Texas School of Law, Adjunct Professor, “Powering America: Transactions and Regulation in the U.S. Power Sector” (Spring 2011)
- Dallas City Attorney’s Office Legal Seminar 2007, “Production of Electronic Documents Under the New Federal Rules” (May 2007)
- Texas Bar Association Advanced Civil Trial Course 2006, “Corporate Representative Depositions under Texas and Federal Rules” (Winter 2006-2007)
- ABA Section of Antitrust Law Fall Forum, “Class Certification in Antitrust Actions,” National Press Center, Washington, D.C. (October 2006)
- American Law Institute Program of Instruction in Beijing and Shanghai, China: “Introduction of United States Antitrust and Competition Laws” (for Chinese government and private lawyers) (June 2006)
- Dallas Assembly
- Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Board of Directors
- Dallas Citizens Council
- Dallas Council on World Affairs, Board of Directors
- Dallas Museum of Art, Corporate Advisory Board
- Klyde Warren Park Board of Directors, Vice Chairman
- University of Texas System Executive Committee, Chancellor’s Council
- UT Austin, College of Liberal Arts Foundation Board
- UT Law School Alumni Association Board
- UT Law School Leadership Council
- UT Plan II Alumni Board, Founding Member
- Texas Lyceum