Reid Collins & Tsai has crafted itself a niche as a true maverick trial boutique, even as it continues its measured expansion. In addition to its two Texas locations (Dallas and Austin) and outposts in New York and DC, the firm boldly added a fifth office – among the crowded Wilmington, Delaware scene – this past year, bringing its total headcount tally to 37 lawyers. The firm is often the fortunate recipient of cases that other, usually larger, firms refer or are conflicted out of, and these cases fall primarily on the plaintiff side of the ‘V.’ “These guys are definitely purveyors of an increasingly lost art,” offers one peer. “But they are not just ‘cowboys,’ they are strategic. They prepare incessantly and they are not just looking to do ‘the settlement dance’ and get out.” Another peer – and frequent opponent – quips, “They are a pain to go up against because they’re so good! They’ve gotten very good at figuring out where money should come from when business deals fall apart. They approach litigation like businessmen and know quite a bit about bankruptcy!”
Austin-based (but nationally known) Bill Reid is an architect of the firm and an all-purpose commercial trial lawyer. “Bill is a survivor!” insists a peer. “He is hard-nosed but fair. We throw bombs at each other and then settle up afterward.” Reid represented Claymore Holdings in a long-running lawsuit, with its genesis in 2013, against Credit Suisse stemming from an allegedly fraudulent appraisal in connection with a 2007 loan that grossly overvalued a Las Vegas development project, which in turn induced Claymore to invest more than $250 million. After winning a $40 million dollar jury verdict in 2014 and after securing a judgment from the Texas state court, Reid argued and won multiple appeals on multiple issues in the Texas Court of Appeals and before the Texas Supreme Court. After over ten years of negotiation, litigation, and appeals, Dallas County Judge Dale Tillery rejected Credit Suisse’s argument that Claymore should receive none of the original $40 million jury verdict because Claymore had recovered a fraction of its losses in prior settlements with the appraisers. At a hearing in January 2021, Reid argued that Credit Suisse should pay Claymore $171.9 million in out-of-pocket damages and prejudgment interest. Credit Suisse is now liable for fraud having lost the issue for good. Reid also led a team that in September 2020 scored a $1 billion judgment for affiliates of Highland Capital Management from a high-profile pharmaceutical investment fund and its principals in a case involving complex issues regarding the use of a web of entities to avoid paying over $500 million in contractual obligations. Eric Madden, a bankruptcy-focused partner, sued certain directors and officers of Patriot National in a matter related to over $100 million in related-party transactions with its former chairman and his affiliates. The company collapsed into bankruptcy in early 2018 in the wake of an SEC investigation and a series of class-action lawsuits. Madden successfully negotiated a $44 million settlement of its client’s claims.