W. Mark Lanier of Houston’s The Lanier Law Firm says he is starting a joint venture with Lisa Blue, a partner in Dallas’ Baron & Blue and the widow of the late Fred Baron. Lanier says he and Blue will pursue international arbitration work and offer to handle the matters on a contingency basis.
Already, Lanier and Blue are co-counsel representing Southern Methodist University and some of its officials in real estate litigation related to the university’s acquisition of land that plaintiffs allege the school once earmarked as the location for the planned George W. Bush Presidential Library. Lanier says SMU officials first contacted Blue to handle that case and she invited him to join her. Subsequently, Lanier says, he and Blue began discussing handling international arbitration matters together, specifically in Paris and London, on a contingency basis.
Lanier says often large Texas firms want to avoid a particular arbitration matter to steer clear of a potential conflict but they don’t want to lose a corporate client’s other business. Under those circumstances, Lanier says, he and Blue believe those firms may turn to his and Blue’s plaintiff-oriented firms to handle the arbitrations on a contingency basis. Blue did not respond immediately to a call seeking comment.