David Leonard, a native Houstonian, is an associate in Gray Reed’s commercial litigation section – which was recognized as “Metropolitan Tier 1” by US News & World Report in 2016. David primarily represents businesses to resolve disputes in state and federal trial court proceedings, state and federal appeals, and arbitration proceedings. He was named a Texas “Rising Star” by Thomson Reuters in 2015 in the field of business litigation.
David is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law. He received a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Texas at Austin.
- Defended operator in lawsuit arising from East Texas mineral interest dispute.
- Represented purchaser of mineral interests in Eagle Ford Shale in dispute with seller.
- Represented oilfield equipment manufacturer in payment and performance disputes with vendors and customers.
- Represented private equity group and individual shareholders in direct and derivative claims in connection with a hydraulic fracturing service company.
General Business Litigation
- Second-chaired a successful AAA arbitration on behalf of global nutritional supplement manufacturer in dispute with its former South African distributor. Obtained take-nothing judgment in defense of distributor’s counterclaim alleging millions in damages.
- Represent global franchisor in various disputes with domestic and international franchisees arising from franchise agreements.
- Negotiated favorable settlement for publicly-traded oilfield services corporation in dispute arising from a marine technology contract with a New York company.
- Negotiated loan modification on behalf of creditor involving loan amounts exceeding $600,000.
- Defended car dealership against claims brought by customer under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
- Obtained take-nothing judgment for individual alleged to have converted and stolen personal property.
Real Estate Litigation
- Represent Houston-based hospital system in disputes with medical tenants.
- Negotiated resolution of lock-out on behalf of physician group.
- Represented purchaser of commercial real estate property in dispute regarding disbursement of earnest money.
- Represented industrial tenant in dispute with landlord concerning usage of premises.
- Lead associate in two-week trial on behalf of an owner of an underground natural gas storage facility (publicly-traded MLP) in its appeal of ad valorem tax assessments.
- Presented oral argument to Fifth Court of Appeals in breach of fiduciary duty dispute involving an attorney-client dispute.
- Drafted appellate briefing on behalf of global franchisor arising from special appearance asserted by Belgian defendants.
- Drafted briefing in mandamus proceeding on behalf of minority shareholders in connection with a discovery dispute concerning the scope of discovery in advance of a motion to dismiss based on a Special Litigation Committee’s recommendation.
- Assisted with appellate briefing for the plaintiff/appellee in a breach of contract case and secured affirmance of favorable trial court judgment.
- Assisted with appellate briefing for the plaintiff/appellee in a Fourteenth Amendment and Texas Whistleblower Act case.
- Represented general contractor in billing dispute with subcontractor in commercial development project.
- Represented high-rise condominium owners’ association in construction defect lawsuit against general contractor, sub-contractors, and product manufacturer.
Premises Liability Defense
- Asserted Chapter 95 defense on behalf of Fortune 500 chemical refining company in personal injury lawsuit in federal court.
- Asserted Chapter 95 defense on behalf of Global Fortune 500 chemical refining company in personal injury lawsuit in state court.
Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations
Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations
- Hermann Park Conservancy, Advisory Board Member
- St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Member
- Texas Exes Houston Chapter
- Named a Rising Star in 2015 - 2016 by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters business) as published in Texas Monthly magazine.
- Contributing Author, Pay Your Fair Share (And No More) of Property Taxes in Texas (Texas Real Estate Business)
- Contributing Author, Texas Business Litigation - Selected Causes of Action Unique to the Oil and Gas Industry (ALM 2014 Publication)
- Deepwater Horizon Insurance Litigation: Unintended Consequences, Practical Responses, Ethical Issues, and Suggestions for Review, 2013 Annual Admiralty and Maritime Law Conference, University of Texas School of Law (co-author with Julia Palmer).