Brian E. Waters
Partner-Elect

I represent clients in litigation and pre-litigation disputes to help them achieve efficient resolutions and get back to business.  Recognizing that litigation should usually be a last resort, I also counsel clients on their business practices and risk management structures to avoid such disputes and minimize risk.  By understanding both their business and legal needs, I help clients develop creative strategies to achieve their goals, instead of being discouraged by all the reasons that make an objective seem too difficult or risky.

Experienced at both the trial and appellate court levels, Brian Waters is a commercial litigator that focuses on insurance, indemnity, real estate and construction matters. He handles a wide variety of complex litigation for clients throughout Texas, as well as national dockets of collection matters and nonparty subpoenas for multinational energy companies.

Brian has handled many real estate litigation and construction matters including claims for construction defects, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud in a real estate transaction, misrepresentation, DTPA violations and negligence as well as a variety of commercial lease disputes. He also helps carriers and policy holders resolve multi-million-dollar insurance coverage disputes in state court, federal court, and arbitration. Brian’s personal injury and property damage practice involves defending clients against all types of claims, ranging from slip and falls and motor vehicle accidents to catastrophic workplace injuries.

While attending South Texas College of Law, Brian served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Lynn N. Hughes in the Southern District of Texas, where he learned how complex cases are assessed from the other side of the bench and effective ways to deliver oral and written arguments that resonate with judges in his private practice.

Representative Experience

Insurance and Indemnity

  • Obtained summary judgment on duty to defend under CGL Policy in lawsuit alleging approximately $1 million of damage to agricultural property
  • Defended carrier in state and federal court, including extensive battle over federal jurisdiction, in suit by major oil and gas company asserting claims for bad faith, statutory damages, and insurance coverage in excess of $20 million, ultimately resulting in victory for the carrier at the Texas Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court on $5 million insurance indemnity claim, affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Defended carrier in arbitration against claims by major oil and gas company for bad faith, statutory damages, and insurance coverage in excess of $20 million 
  • Regularly negotiates insurance and non-insurance indemnity settlements in litigation and pre-litigation for wide array of business clients
  • Reviews and advises on indemnity and insurance provisions in service agreements for various commercial clients

Real Estate

  • Represented prominent real estate broker and agents in a wide array of real estate disputes including claims for fraud, misrepresentations, DTPA violations, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence   
  • Obtained jury verdict for defendant real estate seller, including award of 100% of defendant’s attorneys’ fees, in suit alleging failure to disclose water penetration condition at property and asserting claims for fraud, DTPA violations, and breach of contract
  • Represented commercial landlord in multi-million dollar breach of lease lawsuit
  • Represented large oil and gas company as a commercial tenant to recover property tax refunds for taxes paid by the tenant under a triple-net lease
  • Represented local fitness center in lease dispute with landlord regarding renewal option
  • Represented bank in drainage easement dispute with neighboring shopping center
  • Represented bank as defendant in wrongful foreclosure action

Construction

  • Completed 8-week secondment as in-house counsel for a large residential real estate developer
  • Represented large real estate developer in mass-tort lawsuit alleging that construction of residential community caused flooding in adjacent neighborhood
  • Represented homeowners in claim against builder for defective construction
  • Represented residential real estate developer in wide array of insurance and indemnity matters stemming from claims of defective construction

Commercial & Other Civil Litigation

  • Handles commercial contract dispute and collection cases for large energy company with active matters in several states
  • Represents nationwide retailer in lawsuits ranging from non-conformity claims by customers to shipping disputes with carriers
  • Represented component part manufacturer to recover contract price from purchaser who withheld payment claiming goods failed to conform to contract specifications
  • Defended company in suit by former executive level employee claiming breach of employment contract
  • Successfully recovered misappropriated funds for investment company by foreclosing and liquidating assets funded with company money
  • Handles national nonparty subpoena docket for large energy company

Personal Injury Litigation

  • Represents large upstream oil and gas company in lawsuits related to motor vehicle accidents involving company vehicles or vehicles driven by company employees or contractors
  • Represents large downstream oil and gas company in premises liability lawsuits related to alleged injuries on company property
  • Defended offshore platform operator in federal court lawsuits brought by contractors alleging work-related injuries and asserting claims for negligence and gross negligence
  • Defended contractor of a large energy company against multiple personal injury claims stemming from a fatal fire at a natural gas liquid storage facility
Thought Leadership / News
May 6, 2022 
 Speeches and Presentations
Insurance Law Update

Texas Association of Defense Counsel - Spring Meeting

Honors
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in Woodward/White, Inc.'s The Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch" in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law (2022 - 2023)
  • Named a Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers magazines (2017 - 2022)
Organizational Involvement

Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations

  • RIMS, The Risk Management Society
  • Phi Delta Theta Houston Alumni Club
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • South Texas College of Law Young Alumni Council - Member (2014 - 2020)

Community Activities, Memberships & Affiliation

  • Hermann Park Conversancy - Urban Green – Steering Committee (2014 - 2018)
  • Scene – Alley Theatre Young Supporters (2017 – present)
Education
  • J.D., magna cum laude, South Texas College of Law Houston, Articles Editor, Corporate Counsel Review, Senior Senator, Student Bar Association, Phi Delta Phi (2013)
  • B.S., cum laude, Texas State University (2009)
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
When I Feel Most At Home
  • Hanging out with my wife, Holly, and our son, Cameron, and our Boston terriers, Gracie and Tucker
  • Cooking
  • Exploring Houston by bicycle
  • Getting the most out of our airline points with quick weekend trips around the country
  • Trying new restaurants with friends
  • Watching college football and Houston professional sports