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James Leader, Jr.
James Leader, Jr.
Partner — Commercial & Business Litigation
Partner — Commercial & Business Litigation

James Leader, Jr.

James Leader, Jr.

Texas Tower
845 Texas Avenue
Suite 4700
Houston, Texas 77002

James Leader, Jr.

Commercial & Business Litigation

  • (AAA Arbitration) – Represented large investment fund in a week-long arbitration hearing related to a minority owner’s consent and payment rights related to the expansion of a large export facility; presented and cross-examined fact and expert witnesses on finance concepts and contract formation issues

  • (Harris Cnty.) – Defended a sports entertainment organization in trade secrets case brought by an individual, resulting in a walk-away settlement just before a motion to dismiss hearing

  • (Harris Cnty.) — Briefed and argued a summary judgment motion enforcing a liquidated damages provision in an installment contract; ultimate resolution included a substantial payment of attorney’s fees

  • Represented a private equity firm in connection with threatened litigation from minority owner of a portfolio company sold pursuant to a “drag right” provision

  • (AAA Arbitration) — Represented an international oil and gas production and exploration company in an arbitration related to an indemnity dispute arising from extensive property damage caused by a collapsed well; managed discovery efforts, deposed fact and expert witnesses, and presented and cross examined witnesses at hearing

  • (W.D. Tex.) – Representing physician and his practice in case involving antitrust claims brought by hospital and physicians group

  • (D.D.C.) – Representing several large shippers in the Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (No. II)¸an MDL alleging that major railroads conspired to adopt fuel surcharges

  • (S.D. Tex.) — Defended a large global steel distributor in a six-week jury trial of claims that steel distributors and steel mills conspired to boycott new entrant in the market 

  • (SEC) – Represented a publicly-traded manufacturer of fuel by-products in a multi-year investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into an accounting restatement and alleged material misrepresentations related to the same

  • (SEC) — Represented an energy company in a multi-year investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into allegations of impropriety in the company’s procurement group, including conflicts of interest with major vendors and an allegation of misappropriation of company assets

  • (SEC & DOJ) – Represented an individual executive of a publicly-traded energy company in connection with an investigation into the alleged creation of an undisclosed affiliate entity to facilitate participation in a tax credit scheme as means of increasing projected revenue

  • Assisted a publicly-trade exploration and production company with an internal investigation into procurement practices in offshore operations

  • (Tex.) – Obtained 8-0 ruling that local taxing unit did not have statutory authority to retain private attorney on contingent fee to pursue a taxpayer for an alleged $60 million in unpaid property taxes

  • (W.D. Tex.); (5th Cir.) — Took a lead role in preparing briefs that maintained an injunction that prevented the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission from enforcing unconstitutional state statutes; also took primary role in briefing before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals where the district court order was affirmed

  • (10th Cir.) — Prepared Respondent’s brief in support of district court’s decision that turned on the citizenship of a master limited partnership; District court decision affirmed by the Tenth Circuit


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2012
  • Georgetown University, B.A., History (Honors) and Political Economy cum laude, 2009
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), “Ones to Watch,” (Houston): Commercial Litigation, 2021–2024; Criminal Defense: White–Collar, 2022; Antitrust Law, 2023 and 2024
  • Board of Directors, Houston Volunteer Lawyers (2019–present)
  • Chair of the HBA Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section (2017–2018)
  • Texas
  • Southern District of Texas
  • Western District of Texas
  • Fifth and Tenth U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • “Tenth Circuit’s Grynberg Decision Gives Clarity in Determining Citizenship of MLPs,” V&E Energy Series E-communication, November 9, 2015 (co-author)