Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its rankings of law firms and lawyers. This year, Sutton McAughan Deaver PLLC jumped up in the rankings of Texas law firms for intellectual property, to Band 2. Chambers USA also rated each of the firm's name principals--Mike Sutton, Bob McAughan, and Al Deaver--as top practitioners in IP law.
In the 2017 publication, Chambers USA described SMD as follows: "Highly reputable boutique with an enviable track record across the full range of IP matters. Vastly experienced lawyers handle litigation, licensing and patent filings as well offering long-term strategic advice on clients' portfolio. Broad client roster includes electronics, oil and gas, and medical device companies."
According to Chambers USA, "Clients highlight the firm's 'great technical patent law knowledge' as well as its 'great trial knowledge,' confirming that they are 'very impressed' with its services. Another interviewee describes this as 'my go-to for any IP issues,' adding: 'The firm is filled with people who are very qualified.'"
SMD is also recognized for the high value it provides. Again according to Chambers USA,"[s]ources confirm that the firm's 'rates are very reasonable,' as 'they hold their own in litigation and provide great value.'"
As it has done in previous years, Chambers' research confirmed the high regard in which its principals are held. According to Chambers USA:
Bob McAughan: "The 'incredibly sharp' Robert McAughan has a 'terrific reputation' for his work across an impressive range of IP matters, including litigation and transactional issues. Clients highlight his strong technical expertise, noting: 'He can really get up to speed with this side very quickly and holds his own in technical discussions.'"
Mike Sutton: "Michael Sutton is praised for his skill in the courtroom, where 'in addition to knowing the law and being able to put together cogent arguments, he's very approachable and persuasive.' He acts on disputes arising from industries such as energy and electronics, and is described as 'one of the best IP lawyers in Texas.'"
Al Deaver: "Al Deaver has a 'great depth of technical knowledge, which he marries really well with his patent law experience,' according to clients. He is particularly noted for the strong strategic counsel he provides on contentious IP proceedings."
Since 1999, Chambers has been identifying the leading lawyers and law firms in the United States through interviews with thousands of lawyers and their clients. Chambers' research for its 2017 rankings was in-depth, client-focused, and based on independence and objectivity. Firms and individuals must be recommended to merit inclusion. The qualities on which rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.
Principal Jeff Andrews commented about the new rankings: "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the Chambers research into our firm, that resulted in a substantial jump in our ranking. Of the 24 law firms recognized by Chambers USA for intellectual property in Texas, only 3 firms were ranked higher than Sutton McAughan Deaver PLLC. This recognition is especially exciting following the announcement that our firm was one of only six firms nationally to be named a finalist for Chambers' IP firm of the year."