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Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C.


Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. - Houston
  • One Houston Center
  • Suite 3460
  • 1221 Mckinney Street
  • Houston
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 77010
  • Managing Partner: John Zavitsanos
  • Number of Partners: 8
  • Number of lawyers: 28  
  • Languages: Bengali, English, Greek, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian

Firm Overview:
AZA is home to true courtroom lawyers who provide a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation and intellectual property disputes, among other areas. AZA specialties include energy law, patents, business disputes, trade secrets, covenants not to compete and corporate investigations. This lean boutique offers efficient, top grade legal advice. AZA was named First-Tier in Commercial Litigation in Houston by US News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America. In US surveys of corporate counsel, AZA has been cited both for being an “awesome opponent” in court and for excellent client service. AZA won three of Texas’ Top 2011 Verdicts.

Main Areas of Practice:
Complex Commercial Litigation:
Clients call AZA when the stakes are high. AZA’s eight partners have tried hundreds of cases, most of them commercial matters representing Fortune 1,000 companies, including extensive work in the energy industry. The firm handles all types of commercial cases, from breach of contract, warranty, indemnity, construction, real estate and business tort lawsuits to shareholder oppression, partnership and fiduciary litigation. Many AZA clients are former adversaries. Six firm lawyers have been named among the top attorneys in the nation by US News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America. Five firm partners are Board-Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. AZA is regularly hired on the eve of trial. One example: An oilfield supplier facing more than $35 million in exposure hired AZA shortly before trial. After getting the case continued, AZA filed a counterclaim. Nine months later, AZA’s opponent ended up paying the firm’s client a multimillion-dollar cash settlement.
Key Clients: AZA commercial litigation clients include Plains All American Pipeline in all types of energy related commercial litigation; CITGO in a variety of energy litigation; Air Liquide in all types of commercial litigation.
Contact: John Zavitsanos
Email: jzavitsanos@azalaw.com
Contact: Sean Gorman
Email: sgorman@azalaw.com
Contact: Amir Alavi
Email: aalavi@azalaw.com
Contact: Tim Shelby
Email: tshelby@azalaw.com

Intellectual Property:
AZA has successfully represented clients in IP cases in the Eastern District of Texas and throughout the world. The firm does not shy away from IP trials, and has tried three to verdict since 2011, including one that ended in a $391 million win for a patent client and another that defeated a $10 million trademark claim. AZA represents companies and inventors in the energy, automotive, software and financial industries. The firm’s IP lawyers include two attorney/ engineers, an attorney/chemist, and two US Patent and Trademark Office-licensed attorneys, including one with extensive experience as a patent special master and mediator.
Key Clients: AZA’s IP clients include Versata, in one of the nation’s largest patent verdicts in 2011, and now in Dubai, Italy and Japan; Mistras Group in the successful defense of a trademark case; Acacia Research Group in patent infringement lawsuits; Core Laboratories in patent litigation; and American Automobile Association (AAA) in patent and trademark cases.
Contact: Demetrios Anaipakos
Email: danaipakos@azalaw.com
Contact: Steven Mitby
Email: smitby@azalaw.com

Trade Secrets/ Covenant Not to Compete:
AZA is nationally recognized in covenant not to compete and trade secret litigation through work for numerous energy, technology and financial companies. AZA secured a unanimous defense verdict in a high profile, $30 million trade secret lawsuit in Houston after being called in on the eve of trial.
Key Clients: AZA trade secret/covenant not to compete clients include Mistras Group, successful defense in trade secrets case; and A&B Valve and Supply (A&B), successful defense in nationally publicized case filed by National Oilwell Varco, which then hired AZA to represent the company in two trade secret cases.
Contact: Joseph Ahmad
Email: joeahmad@azalaw.com
Contact: Todd Mensing
Email: tmensing@azalaw.com

AAA Life Insurance Company; A&B Valve and Piping Systems; Advanced Technologies; Air Liquide America; American Alternative Insurance Corporation; Aon Risk Services; American Automobile Association; Andon Specialties Inc.; Antar Inc.; AT&T; CITGO; Columbia Gulf Transmission Co.; Comsys/ Venturi Partners; CorEnergy; CHUBB Specialty Insurance; DeepFlex Inc.; DiCentral Corporation; Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church; Enbridge Inc.; Executive Lodging Limited; Fort Bend County; Genuine Parts Company;GreyStar Corporation; Group 1 Automotive Inc.; P & R Guzman Interests; Halliburton; Harris County; Healix Infusion Therapy Inc.; Houston Fertility Institute; Houston Pulmonary Medicine; Houston Radiology Associates; Key Energy Services Inc.; Liquidity Partners LLC; Lusk Properties Inc.; Lyondell Chemical Company; The Lancaster Hotel; Mercedes-Benz USA; Mi-Jack Products Inc.; Mistras Inc.; MJMC Inc.; Millennium Interests; Motion Industries Inc.; Munich Reinsurance America Inc.; METCO; National Oilwell Varco; Nevada Gold & Casinos Inc.; NAPA Auto Parts; NiSource; Noble Energy Inc.; Orthopedic Associates; Plains All American Pipeline L.P.; Prime Natural Resources Inc.; PSC; Ramex Inc.; Sheridan Healthcare Inc.; St. James Capital Partners L.P.; UTEC Survey Inc.;Versata Inc.; Willis Group.


  • One Houston Center,
  • Suite 3460,
  • 1221 Mckinney Street,
  • Houston,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 77010
  • Tel +1 713 655 1101
  • Fax +1 713 655 0062
  • Website : www.azalaw.com

Litigation - Texas

What the team is known for Rapidly growing boutique practice with an impressive reputation in the energy sector, not least in the oil and gas arena. Widely praised for its tough representation in complex disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I think they are very highly specialized, focused trial attorneys. They have very highly motivated professionals."

"They came in with fresh, new, aggressive ideas and thought outside of the box."

Work highlights Acted on a $93 million indemnification claim brought against Noble Energy by ConocoPhillips, succeeding in having the claim dismissed at the summary judgment stage.

Represented Italian energy company Eni on Texas jurisdictional issues in a $6.4 billion lawsuit relating to an oil and gas concession granted to Eni by the government of the Togolese Republic in West Africa.

Notable practitioners

One of Sean Gorman's clients said: "He achieved results in trial beyond my highest expectations - I was really impressed with his toughness as a trial lawyer. He's also a skilled strategist in litigation - you don't always get that combination together." Gorman litigates complex business cases for national and international clients, and also acts on arbitrations.

"Rock-solid" litigator John Zavitsanos gains strong praise from clients, with one saying: "I've never had more confidence in a litigation team than the team he put together." He recently defended Mistras Group and its employees in a $9 million breach of covenant not to compete case.

Up-and-coming commercial litigator Todd Mensing was praised by one client as "one of the brightest and most effective lawyers I've used. His results and his dedication are excellent, and I feel comfortable giving him complex and difficult cases because he has the creativity and persistence to fight a hard corner." He acts for clients in the oil and gas sector on a range of significant litigation matters.

Significant clients Plains All-American Pipeline, National Oilwell Varco, Trilogy Software, CITGO Petroleum, Air Liquide.