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Susman Godfrey

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Susman Godfrey
Susman Godfrey logo.png
Headquarters Houston (TX)
Number of Offices 5
Number of attorneys 117
Practice Areas antitrust; arbitration; bankruptcy; business disputes; class action and aggregate litigation; employment law; energy; environmental law; intellectual property; shareholders law; securities
Key People Stephen Susman (Founder and co-managing partner)
Susman Godfrey Pay Scale
(all numbers in thousands of dollars)
First year salary190
Second year salary190
Third year salary210
Fourth year salary235
Fifth year salary260
Sixth year salary280
Seventh year salary300
Eighth year salary
Ninth year salary
Tenth year salary


Susman Godfrey L.L.P. is a law firm founded in Houston, Texas. The firm has been recognized by Vault as the No. 1 boutique litigation law firm in the U.S.[1]

Susman Godfrey employs more than 90 attorneys in five offices throughout the U.S. The firm provides legal solutions in the areas of antitrust; arbitration; bankruptcy; business disputes; class action and aggregate litigation; employment law; energy; environmental law; intellectual property; shareholders law; and securities.[2]

The firm is known for high-stakes commercial litigation and has won some of the largest verdicts in the nation.[3] Nearly all of its attorneys have held federal clerkships.[4]


The firm was founded in 1980 by Stephen Susman. Susman developed a business model that was unique at the time to commercial litigation firms – take cases on a contingency fee basis.[5] In 1982, Susman was joined by Lee Godfrey and both serve as co-managing partners.[6] In September 2011, the firm announced Neal Manne as its third co-managing partner as part of Susman Godfrey’s leadership succession plan.[7]

Notable Cases

In 1980, the firm won the largest antitrust verdict ever at the time in the Corrugated Containers case, a price-fixing suit against 37 corrugated container manufacturers. It recovered $500 million on behalf of plaintiffs as a result of settlements and a verdict after a three-month jury trial.[8]

In October 2009, a Dallas County State District Court judge upheld a $182 million verdict in a contracts case against NL Industries, its CEO Harold Simmons and subsidiary NL Environmental Services. Susman Godfrey was co-counsel to clients Efficasey Environmental, Highland Environmental Management and Industrial Recovery Capital Holdings Company.[9]

The firm won a $58 million judgment in Masimo v. Tyco Healthcare Group, an antitrust case involving exclusionary contracting practices in the U.S. market for pulse oximetry products. The trial court upheld the jury's liability findings, but ordered a new trial on damages. After the subsequent re-trial, the trial court awarded Masimo, Susman Godfrey’s client, a final judgment of $43.5 million in damages in June 2007, as well as attorneys' fees. The judgment was affirmed on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Masimo ultimately was awarded $58.9 million by Tyco.

The firm represented a native Alaskan coastal village in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corporation. In February 2008, Susman Godfrey filed a climate change lawsuit against five oil companies, 14 electric utilities and the nation’s largest coal producer for damages suffered by the village that is being forced to relocate itself as a result of flooding brought on by the changing Arctic climate. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the suit on preemption grounds on October 15, 2009.[10] The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal on September 21, 2012.

The firm served as legal co-counsel to the Texas Clean Air Cities Coalition, a group of mayors representing 17 Texas cities and led by Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Houston Mayor Bill White. The firm won the reversal of a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality order granting a permit for the Las Brisas Energy Center to build a 1,200 megawatt power plant within a few miles of downtown Corpus Christi.[11]


  • The American Lawyer: Litigation Boutique of the Year, 2005
  • Chambers USA: No. 1 ranking in Antitrust and Litigation: General Commercial in the state of Texas, 2006
  • The National Law Journal: Pro Bono Awards, 2008[12]
  • The American Lawyer: Ranked in the Top 10 on the Associates Survey: Management Openness about Finances and Strategies, 2009[13]
  • The American Lawyer: Ranked in the Top 10 on the Associates Survey: Partners Relations with Associates, 2009
  • ACQ Finance: Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year, 2009, 2008
  • The Trial Lawyer: Named a 2011 member of The Forum: America's 25 Most Influential Law Firms, 2011
  • Lawyers World: Lawyers World Annual Jurisdiction Award, 2011
  • Intellectual Asset Management: Named one of “The World’s Leading Patent Litigators,” IAM Patent Litigation 250, 2011.
  • Corporate Counsel: Go-To Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies, 2012
  • Benchmark Litigation: Highly Recommended Firm, 2012
  • BTI Consulting: BTI Client Service-A-Team, 2012
  • Vault: Ranked first in Litigation Boutiques category in the U.S., 2013; ranked fourth in Best Law Firms in Texas category, 2013[14]


  1. The Best Law Firms in Each Practice Area: Litigation Boutiques, Law Firm Rankings 2013
  2. Susman Godfrey LLP Firm Profile,
  3. Fisher, Daniel Litigator Pushes Mutual-Disarmament Pacts To Cut CostsForbes  (7 March 2012)
  4. Chen, Vivia Want a Job at Susman Godfrey? Be Brilliant and TheatricalThe Careerist  (14 February 2011)
  5. Carter, Terry The G ManAmerican Bar Association Journal  (1 February 2008)
  6. Susman Godfrey Firm Profile,
  7. Rozen, Miriam Susman Godfrey elects Neal Manne as third managing partner, creates succession planTexas Lawyer’s Tex Parte Blog  (12 September 2011)
  8.  Vault Guide to the Top Texas and Southwest Law Firms. Vault.
  9. Longstreth, Andrew Texas Judge Upholds $182 Million Verdict Against NL IndustriesThe American Lawyer  (21 October 2009)
  10.  Court dismisses global warming case against Big OilHouston Business Journal  (16 October 2009)
  11.  Susman Godfrey wins victory for clean air in TexasPR Newswire  (16 Mat 2012)
  12. Heller, Emily Litigator put money where his mouth wasThe National Law Journal  (7 January 2008)
  13.  Associates Survey 2009: Results by Size, Non-Am Law 100 FirmsThe American Lawyer
  14.  Susman Godfrey LLP Vault ProfileVault

External links