• Biography

    When it comes to complex commercial litigation, power-related disputes and insurance matters, a lawyer needs to understand her clients’ big picture business goals and objectives. Approaching disputes from this business-oriented perspective, Texas Lawyer 2019 Attorney of the Year Leslie C. Thorne has successfully represented the nation’s largest and most prominent corporations in jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada. As co-chair of the firm's Litigation Practice Group, Leslie not only develops and executes effective strategies, she also makes sure that her clients are part of the process at every step. The better informed her clients are, the better able they are to make critical decisions affecting their businesses.

    In recent litigation matters, Leslie has represented electric power generators, public utilities, REPs and QSEs in various disputes over power purchase agreements and with grid operators. Leslie has also secured dismissal of fiduciary duty and minority oppression claims against major shareholders of a healthcare corporation, obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction against a foreign sovereign pending an international arbitration of an oil and gas dispute, obtained a total trial victory for a corporate defendant in a breach of contract dispute, and secured a settlement for a national energy company in connection with a failed ethanol venture.

    Clients also rely on Leslie’s counsel in dealing with underwriting and risk management issues, including drafting and negotiating insurance policies, insurance and indemnification provisions in corporate transactions, and claims presentation to insurers. Leslie is a relentless advocate for her policyholder clients, representing them in connection with policies covering cyber liability, environmental and pollution liability, products liability, trade credit risks, professional liability, intellectual property claims, general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, commercial crime, property losses and business interruption. Her extensive experience and strength in creatively analyzing complex coverage disputes enables her to develop effective strategies for quickly and cost-effectively obtaining the maximum recovery.

    Apart from the work for her clients, Leslie is widely recognized as a leader in the legal community and the community at large. Leslie currently serves on the Robert W. Calvert Inn of Court and as an ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Additional Insured Subcommittee co-chair. Leslie and her work have appeared in—among others—Insurance Journal, Law360, Texas Lawyer, Austin Business Journal, Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, Corporate Counsel Review, Executive Counsel Magazine, and many ABA publications. Leslie also speaks frequently at local, state and national conferences and seminars on all manner of insurance, energy and construction-related topics, from cyber coverage to indemnification agreements to negotiating large construction projects. Leslie served as the board chair for non-profit Manos de Cristo, which provides basic needs, education and dental services to Austin’s disadvantaged population. She currently serves on the Boards of Austin Bergstrom Landhost Enterprises and Texas Appleseed.

    Recent representative matters:

    • (Texas Supreme Court) Currently represent power generators in billion-dollar fraud and misrepresentation suit against ERCOT, alleging that ERCOT misled generators and investors to incent investment.
    • (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) Represented bank in $50 million dispute with trade credit insurer over coverage for accounts receivable for Mexican company.
    • (5th Cir) Represent wind generator in $350 million-dollar dispute concerning rights under Power Purchase Agreement.
      (D.N.D.) Represent Fortune 10 company in $51 million liability coverage dispute over claims stemming from catastrophic well incident.
    • (W.D.Tex.) Represented Usenet/newsgroup service provider in multi-million dispute over trademark infringement claims.
      (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) Represented chemical plant in $8 million dispute with general and pollution liability carrier over business interruption losses.
    • (N.D. Tex) Represented grid operator SPP in right-of-first-refusal dispute.
    • (Tex. App.—Austin) Represented REP/QSE in dispute with ERCOT over discriminatory treatment under ERCOT Protocols.
      (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) Represented promotional marketing company in dispute with international advertising agency over multi-million dollar joint venture dispute.
    • (Arbitration) Represent multi-national design and construction venture in $230 warranty claim brought by counterparty.
      (D.N.D.) Represented oil and gas company in multi-million dollar dispute over coverage for personal injury claims.

    Professional Recognition

    • Named 2019 Attorney of the Year by Texas Lawyer as part of their Professional Excellence Awards
    • Named “Local Litigation Star” in General Commercial and Insurance by Benchmark Litigation U.S., Euromoney Institutional Investor, PLC, 2019
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., Insurance Law, 2018-2021
    • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, 2015-2019
  • Education and Clerkships

    • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 2004, Member, Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law
    • B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 2001
  • Admissions

    • New York
    • Texas
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 2005
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2006
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2006
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, 2008
    • United States Supreme Court, 2017