Overview

Brandon Renken is a partner in Mayer Brown's Houston office and a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice area. A business-first problem solver, Brandon has considerable trial and courtroom experience in state and federal courts throughout the United States, as well as domestic and international arbitration.

Brandon focuses on maintaining a broad-based commercial litigation and arbitration practice concentrating on all types of complex commercial disputes, both as plaintiff and defendant, in a wide range of industries and practices, including all phases and stages of oil and gas and chemical production, automotive manufacturing, distribution, and regulatory disputes, alcoholic beverage manufacturing, distribution, and regulatory disputes, real property development and strategic pre- and post-dispute planning and resolution, trade secret/Lanham Act and fair use litigation, federal firearm/PLCAA litigation, personal injury and wrongful death litigation, insurance and insurance coverage disputes, and pre- and post-closing transactional disputes across all industries.

In 2020 and 2021, alone, Brandon tried two multi-million dollar cases to verdict—in the midst of the global pandemic—earning a take nothing judgment in favor of a Houston property development company against their former CEO who sought $20 million in damages and past compensation based on fraud and breach of contract claims and being awarded more than $3 million in damages and attorneys’ fees, as well as an indemnity worth $20-$30 million, as Plaintiff, in a dispute related to a downhole pipe failure. Amazingly, the second of those trials—the downhole pipe failure—was both filed and tried during the pandemic, taken from pleadings to verdict in less than 18 months.

In previous years, Brandon tried to verdict jury trials in New York State Supreme Court and multiple state and federal courts throughout Texas, and has appeared in various phases of litigation around the country, from Clark County, Nevada to California, Montana, Illinois, and West Virginia.

A trial lawyer at heart, Brandon focuses on leveraging his trial capabilities and record of success to yield the best, and most efficient, resolutions for his clients while always being prepared to take any case to judge or jury. At the same time, Brandon also uses his extensive dispute resolution experience to foresee, prevent, and avoid risk for his clients, getting involved in transactional review and negotiation pre-dispute wherever possible.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Experience

General Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

  • Obtained take nothing judgment in favor of Houston property development and management company against its former CEO, who initially sought in excess of $20 million related to his retirement and compensation.
  • Obtained $15 million payment in settlement of dispute arising from natural gas gathering and processing contract dispute. Defendants increased offer from $1 million to $15 million following first week of plaintiff’s presentation and case in chief during what was scheduled as a two-week jury trial.
  • Defended sellers of a multinational wastewater treatment company against breach of representation and warranty and fraud claims in a two-week jury trial in New York Supreme Court, commercial division. Jury verdict was limited to amounts that were admittedly owed and was subject to offset for defendant sellers.
  • Defended midstream oil and gas joint venture against $100 million breach of contract claim in AAA arbitration. Movant’s recovery was limited to the amount admittedly owed, which was less than $1 million in total.
  • Obtained pre-trial settlement of shareholder claims for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and breach of contract, among others, against health care service provider.
  • Obtained summary judgment in Clark County District Court against Plaintiff seeking a 10% ownership stake in a multimillion-dollar automobile dealer group.
  • Obtained take nothing judgment for major cellular service provider related to claims of breach of contract, fraud and other alleged abuses.
  • Represented plaintiff/counter-defendant subcontractor as solo lead counsel in bench trial against property owner related to claims of breach of contract, DTPA and breach of express and implied warranties.
  • Defended major automotive distributor against claims brought by a public auto group related to alleged employee raiding and breaches of common law and statutory duties. Plaintiffs, who were seeking damages in excess of $9 million, non-suited during the first week of trial.
  • Assisted in obtaining a multimillion-dollar settlement as plaintiff in lawsuit related to agricultural contamination and genetically modified crops. Drafted argument related to a hotly contested damage issue that resulted in settlement.
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar verdict in maritime arbitration related to the purchase of an offshore diving and dive support vessel.
  • Represented downhole technology company in AAA arbitration against claims of fraud related to a multimillion-dollar stock purchase transaction.

Personal Injury Litigation

  • Obtained and negotiated pre-trial defense settlement of $20 million premises liability and negligence claim related to a fall that resulted in the Plaintiff breaking his spine and spending time in a coma.
  • Obtained and negotiated defense settlement of $70 million wrongful death claim related to explosion of medical grade oxygen canister during voir dire.
  • Obtained take nothing settlement in defense of multimillion-dollar mental anguish and lost opportunity claims against automotive distributor arising from alleged theft of sensitive personal photos and information during automobile finance transaction.

Trade Secret Litigation

  • Obtained take nothing defense settlement of multi-generational trade secret and unfair competition litigation related to restaurant and consumer product industry after replacing prior counsel who had lost requests for both injunction and contempt.
  • Obtained settlement including punitive testing protocol as Plaintiff in case concerning unfair competition, misrepresentation, and FDA claims associated with consumer project certification and sales.
  • Obtained settlement of trade secret litigation, as plaintiff, for industrial health and safety services and training company.
  • Defended trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition case based on licensed trade secret rights and proprietary processes related to the creation and sale of sulfur dioxide.
  • Defended online retailer in federal Lanham Act action regarding fair use of trade dress and trademark rights.
  • Represented large scale chemical manufacturer in defense of trade secret formulas and related organic products used in generation and storage of electricity.
  • Represented online photography retailer in enforcing trade secret, copyright and trade dress rights related to its software, technology and online services and sales presence.

Real Estate and Real Property Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of breach of contract case related to alleged violation of a right of first refusal affecting a lease and permanent easement for a cell tower facility. This was an issue of first impression in Texas.
  • Obtained summary judgment against a seller who was trying to retain escrow funds in a failed commercial real estate transaction.
  • Obtained sanctions equal to more than one-fifth of plaintiff’s damages against vexatious defendants in a residential real estate dispute.

Securities Investigations and Litigation

  • Assisted in defense of SEC investigation related to corporate compliance and disclosure issues regarding executive compensation and corporate expenditures.
  • Represented multimillion-dollar investment partnership as Plaintiff in federal jury trial related to alleged securities fraud.

Education

Harvard University, BA, cum laude

The University of Texas School of Law, JD, with honors
Editor, Texas International Law Journal

Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Texas

Court

  • US District Court for the District of Oregon
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Activities

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center
  • American Heart Association, Executive Leadership Team
  • Houston Bar Association Special Olympics Committee 2010-Current (Chair 2017-18)
  • Special Olympics, East Region Board Member
  • Named, 40 Under 40, Houston Business Journal (2020)
  • Named, Super Lawyers Texas Rising Star, Business Litigation (2014-2020)
  • Named, Top Lawyer, Houstonia (2022, 2018)