Manuel G. Berrelez
Trammell Crow Center
2001 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75201
Manuel Berrelez is a trial and regulatory enforcement lawyer who represents businesses and individuals in a wide range of litigation and investigation matters. Manuel’s practice focuses on fraud and fiduciary duty claims, government and internal investigations, various regulatory and compliance matters, bankruptcy-related litigation, and other complex business disputes.
Manuel has particular experience representing financial institutions, private equity firms, corporations, and their directors and officers who are under investigation or are facing threatened or actual litigation from government authorities, regulators, shareholders, or competitors. He frequently advises and defends current and former directors and officers facing regulatory enforcement actions, including matters alleging fiduciary duty claims, unsafe and unsound practices, and violations of other federal and state laws. He also counsels clients in bankruptcy-related litigation.
Manuel handles 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, among other regulatory agencies. He has also litigated against each of the aforementioned agencies, including matters that involved trying enforcement actions to an Administrative Law Judge and defending recommended decisions before final agency decision makers and appellate courts.
His notable victories include his successful defense of a bank CEO and board chairman sued by the federal government in a regulatory matter. Manuel represented the client in every phase of the matter, from early investigations to a court trial to an appeal before the OCC, and led a team that defeated all claims against the client.
In addition to his litigation matters, Manuel leads teams that assist clients with internal investigations and advises on various regulatory and compliance matters.
Prior to joining V&E, Manuel completed a year-long clerkship with the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, an experience that helped him develop a deep understanding of how judges respond to particular arguments.
A former hiring partner for the firm’s Dallas office, Manuel is actively involved with the firm’s recruiting efforts and is a leader of V&E’s Diversity Council. In 2018, Manuel was named a top Latino lawyer by Latino Leaders Magazine, an honor awarded to 62 lawyers nationwide, and he was named one of 20 extraordinary minority lawyers in Texas in 2015. Manuel was also named a Texas Rising Star from 2013 to 2017.
(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)
(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
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
- 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)
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2005–2006
- D Magazine, “The Best Lawyers in Dallas,” 2020
- Latino Leaders Magazine, Top Latino Lawyer of 2018
- Selected to the Texas Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2013−2017
- Selected as the feature cover story in Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) for 2017 Texas Rising Stars
- Recognized to the Extraordinary Minorities in Texas list, Texas Lawyer, 2015
- Member: American Bar Association; Dallas Bar Association; Dallas Hispanic Bar Association
- Board Member: AVANCE, Inc., 2019; Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation, 2015-present; Educate Dallas, 2013–present; Texas General Counsel Forum, 2017-present
- Vice President: The Dallas Winds, 2014–present, Board Member, 2011–present
- Member: MALDEF Law School Scholarship Committee, 2012–present; Yale Club of Dallas, 2006–present; Yale Law School Association Executive Committee, 2015–2018; 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
- 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
- Rankings & AwardsMay 1, 2020
- Press ReleaseApril 5, 2019
- Rankings & AwardsJanuary 4, 2019
- InsightJune 25, 2018
V&E Regulatory Enforcement Update
- Deals & CasesFebruary 1, 2018
- “Trends in Agency Actions Against Individuals,” American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 14, 2018 (panelist)
- “43rd Annual Southwest Association of Bank Counsel Convention,” September 27, 2019 (speaker)