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Samuel W. Cooper

Partner, Litigation Department
T 1(713) 860-7305
F 1(713) 353-2322
Sam Cooper is a partner in the Litigation Department of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Houston office. He has tried cases to a decision on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants before juries, arbitrators and judges in forums ranging from state courts to international arbitral tribunals and three-judge federal panels. He has substantial experience in commercial litigation, including securities and antitrust matters, and has particular experience in representing companies in civil litigation arising out of government investigations. Mr. Cooper has represented a number of clients, including boards of directors, in civil claims related to FCPA investigations. Mr. Cooper also represents companies and individuals under investigation by governmental entities and works for boards of directors conducting internal corporate investigations.


Matters Tried to a Decision

  • Represented a company in a books and records trial before the Delaware Chancery Court; secured denial of all the relief requested and an order estopping the requestor from initiating further litigation
  • Represented a sovereign in a bilateral investment treaty claim involving alleged expropriation of an investment; tried before a panel of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
  • Represented a company in a dispute over a minority shareholder buyout. Responsible for presentation and examination of damages witnesses at arbitration where claimants sought over $450 million in damages; tried before an International Chamber of Commerce panel in Singapore
  • Represented a company in a post-closing dispute concerning net working capital. While the final settlement is confidential, the post-arbitration enforcement suit by Mr. Cooper’s client sought $44 million before interest and costs. Tried by written submissions to an arbitrator
  • Represented a company pursuing claims for breaches of representations and warranties in an asset purchase agreement; tried before an International Chamber of Commerce panel in London
  • Represented a minority shareholder in an action seeking damages for shareholder oppression; tried to a jury verdict
  • Represented various Republican interests in a series of cases before a three-judge federal court considering redistricting for Texas’ congressional and state legislative districts
  • Represented a company in a negligence suit involving serious personal injuries allegedly resulting from the company’s failure to replace aged equipment; tried to a jury verdict
  • Represented a company charged with failure of supervision when its employee allegedly assaulted two individuals; tried to a jury verdict


  • Baker Hughes Incorporated – represented the company and its directors in litigation related to Halliburton Co.’s $34 billion offer to acquire Baker Hughes and in litigation related to the company’s $28 billion combination with GE Oil & Gas. Represented the company and current and former officers and directors in a series of derivative cases in state and federal court arising out of the company’s 2007 resolution of an FCPA investigation. All the cases were dismissed. 2009 WL 6799492. Represented the company in its defense of a securities fraud class action. The case was dismissed and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal. 292 F.3d 424. A related derivative suit was also dismissed
  • Hyperdynamics Corp. – represented the company and its officers and directors in a series of actions related to its well-drilling activities and FCPA investigation. These matters included multiple securities fraud and derivative claims pending in the Texas federal and state courts and the Delaware Chancery Court, along with a claim for breach of a securities purchase agreement pending in New York state court. The securities fraud and derivative claims were all dismissed; the breach claim was settled
  • Parker Drilling – represented the company in a series of matters related to an FCPA investigation that concluded in 2013. Secured dismissal in state and federal court of derivative claims brought against the company’s board based on the pendency of that investigation. 803 F. Supp.2d 630 and 2012 WL 896414 for the district court opinions dismissing the federal matter. That result was affirmed on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Pride International, Inc. – represented the company in litigation arising out of its proposed $8.7 billion merger with Ensco plc. The transaction closed in 2011; represented the company in a consolidated derivative case based on Pride’s resolution of an FCPA investigation. The case was dismissed
  • Zonagen, Inc. – represented the company and its officers in a securities fraud class action. The opinion by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed all claims against the company except one, and remains a leading case on securities fraud pleading in the Fifth Circuit. 267 F.3d 400. The district court subsequently granted summary judgment on the remaining claim, 2003 WL 23592407, and that ruling was affirmed on appeal to the Fifth Circuit

Commercial Trial Work

  • Crescent Real Estate Equities, Inc. – represented the company in its lawsuit against the City of Houston. The lawsuit arose out of the City’s efforts to lease the Compaq Center sports arena to Lakewood Church. While the terms of the settlement with Lakewood Church are confidential, the City purchased $33 million in properties from Crescent as part of the settlement
  • Ford Motor Co. – represented the company in a multibillion dollar lawsuit against its exclusive supplier of diesel engines. The matter settled on confidential terms
  • Hyperdynamics Corp. – represented the company in litigation proceedings in the English courts relating to the company’s well-drilling activities. The litigation involved the company’s well and rig contractors. The settlement of the matter resulted in payments and credits to the company of $27 million. Represented the company in ICDR proceedings that, when settled, allowed the company to resume control of its sole asset—an oil and gas concession off the coast of the Republic of Guinea


  • Represented a Middle Eastern oil company that served as an agent to a U.S. multinational. After the multinational resolved an FCPA investigation, U.S. regulatory authorities commenced an investigation of the Middle Eastern oil company as well. No charges were brought as a result of that investigation
  • Represented a committee of independent directors in a whistleblower investigation alleging misconduct by the company’s senior executives. The whistleblower alleged various code of conduct and securities law disclosure violations
  • Represented the audit committee of an oilfield services company in an FCPA investigation that began in 2004. The investigation involved two regions in which the company operated, as well as a multi-million dollar theft by a regional manager also implicated in the alleged FCPA misconduct. During the pendency of the investigation, over $10 million was recovered from the regional manager, and an additional $2 million was recovered from another party implicated in the events in question. U.S. regulatory authorities ultimately took no action against the company for the alleged FCPA misconduct. Represented the company in FCPA merger and acquisition due diligence when it was later acquired
  • Represented the audit committee of a publicly traded company in an investigation to determine whether the company’s employees had participated in a transaction to defraud the company
  • Represented the audit committee of a publicly traded company in an investigation to evaluate a theft of over $70 million by the company’s Chief Financial Officer. The investigation involved a thorough review of the company’s internal controls and accounting practices, evaluation of culpability by other employees, and the tracing and recovery of the funds in question
  • Represented the Chief Financial Officer of a publicly traded company in an SEC investigation into accounting and disclosure issues. The client had received a Wells Notice prior to the commencement of the representation. The matter was ultimately resolved by an Administrative Proceeding that imposed no fine or penalty on Mr. Cooper's client
  • Represented a publicly traded company in pre- and post-merger and acquisition FCPA due diligence related to a $2.2 billion sale of one of the company’s business units
  • Represented a global provider of industrial and mining parts and services in its pre- and post-closing FCPA diligence of a newly acquired business line


  • Business Software Alliance – represented the company in a lawsuit brought by a Mexican software company seeking damages when its operations were shut down. Secured dismissal of all claims brought against the BSA
  • Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. – represented the company in a lawsuit brought by its competitor, Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS). SBS claimed $500 million in damages pre-trebling. The suit was dismissed with prejudice in January 2003. 242 F. Supp. 2d 1350. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. 376 F.3d 1065
  • Regal Entertainment – represented the company in a lawsuit brought by a competitor seeking an injunction and damages for alleged anticompetitive conduct. The matter was resolved in a confidential settlement

Accolades and Recognitions

  • Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer, 2004 - 2017
  • Listed in Chambers USA, 2006 -17: “Fantastic strategist and deep thinker.” (2017); “You would have to look pretty far to find a better complete package.” (2016); “Almost in a prophetic way, he can see the way a case is going to unfold and preempt problems that could occur.” (2015); He is “a brilliant attorney, appropriately aggressive but with an eye to not inflaming a situation and to looking for a favorable resolution.” (2014); He is “a really fine lawyer; he’s warp-speed smart, has a great sense of humor and great personality.” (2013); “He is cited as ‘very talented’ and a ‘go-to guy in the field.’” (2012); He “won plaudits as ‘a tremendous litigator with a bright future,’ and he is recognized for his securities expertise” (2010); He “is ‘like a bulldog in his pursuit of an issue, which is a great quality for a litigation lawyer.’” (2009)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2008 – 2018 editions; Selected as 2014 - 2015 Houston Litigation - Securities “Lawyer of the Year”; selected as 2015 - 2016 Securities Capital Markets Law “Lawyer of the Year”; selected as 2017-2018 Houston Securities Capital Markets Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Listed in The Legal 500, 2011, 2012 for Litigation: White-collar criminal defense (“Houston-based Samuel Cooper is ‘really sharp.’” (2012)); 2017 for General Commercial Disputes, M&A Litigation, and Securities Litigation

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Author with Charles A. Patrizia, Joseph R. Profaizer, and Igor V. Timofeyev, “Investment Disputes Involving the Renewable Energy Industry under the Energy Charter Treaty,” Global Arbitration Review: The Guide to Energy Arbitrations, 2017 Second Edition
  • Panelist, “How to Mitigate Litigation Risks Affiliated with FCPA Investigations,” American Conference Institute’s Conference on the FCPA, January 2017
  • Panelist, “Considerations for Structuring Cross-Border Transactions in a Down Cycle,” The Center for American and International Law Forum on Weathering the Cycle – Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestiture in the Downturn, April 2016
  • Author with Charles A. Patrizia, Joseph R. Profaizer, and Igor V. Timofeyev, “Investment Disputes Involving the Renewable Energy Industry under the Energy Charter Treaty,” Global Arbitration Review: The Guide to Energy Arbitrations, 2015 Edition
  • Panelist, “The Third Annual Houston Legal Market Conference,” Sandpiper Partners LLC, December 2015
  • Panelist, “Innovation in E-Discovery Conference,” Sandpiper Partners LLC, June 2015
  • Author, “Guideposts for Handling Corporate Investigations,” American Bar Association Litigation Journal, Spring 2015
  • Panelist, “Energy Update: Recent Oil & Gas Court Decisions and Litigation,” Texas Lawyer's Energy Summit, April 2015
  • Author with S. Joy Dowdle, “Proactive Thinking About International White Collar Investigations: How to Mitigate Risks and Manage Key Issues,” International White Collar Enforcement, 2015 Edition
  • Moderator, “Minimizing Corruptions Risks During the Bid and Tender Process: Key Pitfalls to Avoid When Entering a New Market,” American Conference Institute FCPA Bootcamp, January 2015
  • Interviewee, “Corruption Risks and Compliance Programs in the Oil & Gas Industry: An Interview with Samuel Cooper of Paul Hastings LLP,” The FCPA Report, March 19, 2014
  • Panelist, “Securities Litigation & Enforcement Case Law Year in Review,” American Conference Institute National Forum on Securities Litigation & Enforcement, February 2014
  • Panelist, “Lessons Learned from High Profile FCPA Cases,” American Conference Institute FCPA Bootcamp, January 2014
  • Author with Joseph R. Profaizer & Christie A. Mathis, “Current Topics in International Arbitration,” The Advocate: State Bar of Texas Litigation Section Report, Winter 2013
  • Panelist, “Texas Legal Market,” Sandpiper Partners LLC, November 2013
  • Panelist, “Derivative Claims and Class Actions: A Third Litigation Front in SEC and DOJ Cases,” ABA National Institute on Securities Fraud, October 2013
  • Panelist, “How to Overcome FCPA Compliance Challenges When Financing Local Community Development Projects in High Risk Foreign Jurisdictions,” Momentum Oil and Gas Anti-Corruption & Compliance Conference, September 2013
  • Panelist, “Sandpiper Partners LLC Annual Securities Litigation & Enforcement 2013 Update,” April 2013
  • Panelist, “Wall Street and the FCPA: Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures and Other Business Combinations,” New York City Bar: Recent Trends in FCPA Litigation, Enforcement & Compliance, February 2013
  • Panelist, “A View from the Boardroom,” Professional Liability Underwriting Society 2013 D&O Symposium, February 2013
  • Moderator, “Inside an Effective FCPA Internal Investigation – Scoping Your Action Plan from A to Z,” American Conference Institute FPCA Bootcamp, January 2013
  • Conversationalist, “How white collar investigations have changed in the last few years and what companies can do to mitigate their risk,” Argyle Forum, January 2013
  • Panelist, “Managing the Collateral Fallout: How to Minimize Downstream Exposure to Private Litigation Post-FCPA Investigation/Settlement,” American Conference Institute 28th National Conference on the FCPA, November 2012
  • Speaker, “The Interaction Between Government Investigations and Parallel Lawsuits,” Argyle Executive Forum, June 2012
  • Panelist, “The New Due Diligence: How to Redefine Your Due Diligence Program on Vendors, Mergers, Transactions and JVs,” Ernst & Young Seminar, June 2012
  • Moderator, “The General Counsel as Strategic Business Partner,” Argyle Executive Forum, February 2012
  • Panelist, “Corporate Individual Liability: How to Protect the Company and Corporate Officers during an FCPA Investigation,” American Conference Institute FCPA Bootcamp, January 2012
  • Panelist, “Sandpiper Partners LLC. FCPA/Corruption Update,” September 2011
  • Panelist, “A Changing Landscape: Civil Claims and Asset Recovery in Anti-corruption cases,” International Bar Association 9th Annual Anti-corruption Conference, June 2011
  • Moderator, “Anti-corruption compliance: What it means for oil and gas companies,” Ernst & Young Seminar, May 2011
  • Speaker, “Managing Internal Investigations and Parallel Government Investigations,” Houston Bar Association, February 2011
  • Panelist, “Internal Investigations, ” RR Donnelly SEC Hot Topics, September 2010
  • Panelist, “Government Investigations,” Texas General Counsel Forum, May 2010
  • Speaker, “Civil Litigation Related to FCPA Investigations,” American Conference Institute’s Conference on the FCPA, November 2009, March 2010
  • “Jury Selection,” V. Hale Starr and Mark McCormick (4th ed.), 2009 (author of a chapter on jury selection)


Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member of The American Law Institute
  • Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
  • Member of The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy Board of Visitors
  • Member and past coordinator of the Houston Area Minerals Society
  • In 2000, Mr. Cooper spent nearly three weeks in Florida working as counsel to President Bush and Vice President Cheney in the Gore vs. Bush presidential election contest. He was actively involved in the strategy, witness preparation and briefing of the trial before Judge Saunders Sauls and the appeal to the Florida Supreme Court that followed
  • Law clerk to the Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson, III, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1993 to 1994
  • Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas


  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1993 (Order of the Coif, Managing Editor - Stanford Law Review)
  • Harvard College, A.B., 1990 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)