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Manuel G. Berrelez

Manuel G. Berrelez Partner, Commercial & Business Litigation

Manuel is a trial and regulatory enforcement lawyer whose practice focuses on fraud and fiduciary duty claims, contract disputes, trade secret claims, class actions, and other business torts. He has particular experience representing financial institutions and their directors and officers during all phases of regulatory investigation and enforcement proceedings. Manuel also serves as the Dallas Hiring Partner.

Manuel frequently advises and defends current and former directors and officers of financial institutions and corporations that are facing threatened and actual regulatory enforcement actions, including matters involving fiduciary duty claims, allegations of unsafe and unsound practices, and violations of other federal and state banking laws. He has handled all aspects of investigations by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Texas Department of Banking. 

He also frequently litigates against each of those agencies, including responding to subpoenas, drafting responses to 15-day letters, preparing and defending clients for depositions, trying enforcement actions to an Administrative Law Judge, and defending recommended decisions before final agency decision-makers and appellate courts. Manuel also frequently assists clients with internal investigations and advises on various regulatory and compliance matters. 

Experience Highlights

  • (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Treasury Dept.) — First-chair trial attorney securing a complete dismissal of charges in a federal enforcement action brought by the OCC against the founder and CEO of a Dallas-based bank alleging claims of unsafe and unsound banking practices, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of federal banking regulations
  • (Tex. Dept. of Banking) — Lead lawyer defending Board chairman of Texas-based federally chartered bank in removal proceedings alleging breach of fiduciary duty and unsafe and unsound banking practices (pending)
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Lead lawyer defending Board chairman of Texas-based bank in lawsuit alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty relating to commercial real estate loans (pending)
  • (Office of Financial Institution Adjudication, U.S. Treasury Dept.) — First-chair trial attorney defending former President and CEO of Texas-based federally chartered bank in two-week trial of removal proceedings and civil money penalties brought by FDIC alleging breach of fiduciary duties and unsafe and unsound banking practices (post-trial matters ongoing)
  • (Tex. Dist. − Harris Cnty.) — Lead lawyer representing an oilfield services company in a wrongful-death lawsuit involving a trucking accident outside Midland (resolved)
  • (Tex. Dist. – Midland County) — Lead lawyer representing an oilfield services company in a wrongful-death lawsuit involving a well-site accident outside Midland (pending)

Financial Regulatory Matters, D&O Liability & Securities Litigation

  • (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Dept. of Treasury) — Defended former President and CEO of a south Texas bank in an OCC regulatory investigation; after responding to numerous subpoenas and defending the client’s deposition, the OCC decided not to initiate an enforcement action or assess a civil money penalty
  • (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) — Lead lawyer representing a North Texas bank in various regulatory and compliance matters
  • (Tex. Dist. − Hidalgo Cnty.) — Lead lawyer representing the former bank directors and officers of a south Texas bank in securities litigation brought by bank shareholders under the Texas Securities Act
  • (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) — Lead lawyer representing defendants, the former bank directors and officers of a federally chartered bank in south Texas, in a dispute with the FDIC alleging breach of fiduciary duties, negligence, and unsafe and unsound banking practices (resolved)
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Defended two investment banking and financial advisory firms in a federal securities lawsuit (resolved)
  • (Tex. Dept. of Banking)  — Lead lawyer representing Texas-based federally-chartered bank in ongoing regulatory investigation (pending)

General Business Litigation

  • (N.D. Tex.) — Obtained partial defense verdict for a major software company after a two-week jury trial in a trade-secret misappropriation case
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas Cnty.) — Represented a global real estate services company in a lawsuit in Dallas County, Texas, arising out of a failed master-planned resort development outside Las Vegas, Nevada; our client was accused of producing a faulty appraisal in connection with a $540 million debt refinancing associated with this development; the case involved claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy; and plaintiff, a lender in the development, sought over $200 million in damages; after more than a year of discovery, including more than 25 depositions, the case resulted in a favorable settlement for the company two months before trial
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Represented one of the country’s largest bulk transportation companies in a breach of contract case against one of its distributors; the case resolved favorably for our client after successfully moving to strike the plaintiff’s expert (resolved)
  • (W.D. Wa.) — Represented one of the nation’s largest property and casualty insurers in a breach of contract and indemnification action against various health services companies relating to medical-charge databases used to process medical bills
  • (Tex. Dist. − Dallas Cnty.) — Second-chair trial attorney securing a favorable settlement for a national restaurant joint venture in litigation involving claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty
  • (Tex. Dist. − Hidalgo Cnty.); (Fl. Dist. − Escambia Cnty.) — Lead lawyer representing a national life insurance company in cases brought in Texas and Florida alleging claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy with regard to the sale of premium-financed life insurance

Class Action Litigation

  • Represented one of the nation’s largest property and casualty insurers in a series of putative class actions alleging claims for underpayment of medical expenses and other benefits under personal auto policies; representative matters include: (1) Washington state court class action in which V&E team secured an order striking the plaintiff’s class allegations; (2) New Mexico federal court class action in which V&E team defeated class certification in a published opinion; (3) South Carolina state court class action in which V&E team obtained a favorable settlement, while a decision on plaintiff’s motion for class certification was pending
  • (Tex. Dist. − Dallas Cnty.) — Lead lawyer for Texas’ largest electric transmission and distribution utility, securing a dismissal of a consumer class action relating to the implementation of advanced meters
  • (N.J. Sup. Ct. − Sussex Cnty.) — Represented one of the nation’s largest video retailers in a consumer class action that resulted in a favorable settlement for the client


Contact Details

Dallas

T +1.214.220.7709
F +1.214.999.7709
mberrelez@velaw.com
Trammell Crow Center
2001 Ross Avenue
Suite 3900
Dallas, TX 75201
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Manuel's Practices

  • Yale Law School, J.D., 2005
  • Yale College, B.A., History cum laude, 2000 (John Addison Porter Prize in American History, Howard R. Lamar Writing Prize for best senior thesis in American Southwest History)
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; Supreme Court of the United States; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas; U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2005–2006
  • Selected to the Texas Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2013−2017
  • Member: American Bar Association;; Dallas Bar Association; Dallas Association of Young Lawyers; Dallas Hispanic Bar Association
  • Board Member: Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation, 2015-present; Educate Dallas, 2013–present
  • Vice President: The Dallas Winds Board of Trustees, 2014–present, Member, 2011–present
  • Member: Yale Law School Association Executive Committee, 2015–2018; MALDEF Law School Scholarship Committee, 2012–present; Yale Club of Dallas, 2006–present; Yale Latino Alumni Association, 2009–present;  Business Council for the Arts–Leadership Arts Class, 2010–2011; The Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court (Associate), 2007–2008