AZA Spotlighted in News Story “‘Two Greeks and a Sheik’: AZA is Exhibit A for Litigation Boutiques”
June 6, 2014

HOUSTON – The story of the 20-year-old Houston commercial litigation boutique Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing, or AZA, is told in a recent article from The Texas Lawbook highlighting the law firm’s rise and the trust its attorneys have earned from corporate clients.

In the article, “‘Two Greeks and a Sheik’: AZA is Exhibit A for Litigation Boutiques” (subscription required), the weekly legal publication details several times over the years when companies that AZA beat in court have turned around and hired AZA for their next legal battle.

“I told John (Zavitsanos) that I learned my lesson and that I now needed him and his team on my side in an upcoming case,” National Oilwell Varco (NOV) General Counsel Dwight Rettig told Lawbook. “It was the first and only time I’ve ever hired a law firm that had beaten us in court.”

AZA lawyers John Zavitsanos, Joe Ahmad and fellow firm partners now represent NOV in a variety of legal disputes, including a major trade secrets lawsuit the company is fighting against oilfield services giant Schlumberger Ltd.

The Lawbook story also notes that AZA lawyers are not afraid to go to trial.

“I find that many large law firms are willing to capitulate too quickly and pressure me to settle too soon,” Lawrence Dreyfuss, the general counsel at Plains All American Pipeline, said in the story. “I want the other side in a lawsuit to know that I’m serious about going to trial, and I know that John, Joe and the folks at AZA are serious about going to trial.”

David Bernal, the assistant general counsel for litigation at Houston-based Apache Corp., told Lawbook that he would hire Mr. Zavitsanos and Mr. Ahmad no matter where they practiced.

“We don’t hire law firms – we hire lawyers that we like, lawyers we respect and lawyers who do a good job for us,” Bernal said in the article. “I turn to John and Joe because they bring a plaintiff’s and a defense perspective and they are never afraid to take a case to trial.”

AZA, or Ahmad, Zavitsanos & Mensing, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, securities fraud, construction and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2014 among the best in Texas commercial law and by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms in the 2014 listing of the nation’s leading law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000.


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