WILLIAM A. "Gus" SPEARY, Jr.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Complex commercial litigation; natural resources, oil and gas and energy litigation;
construction claims litigation; environmental/toxic tort litigation; multi-state and
federal class action litigation; creditor's/debtor's rights and bankruptcy litigation;
insurance coverage litigation; employment and labor relations litigation (Title VII
and NLRB); regulatory compliance auditing and consulting (including environmental
protection legislation, workplace safety legislation, employment and labor relations
legislation, foreign anti-boycott and corrupt practices legislation, anti-trust
legislation and securities legislation); business organization advice (including
corporations, joint ventures and partnerships) commercial and business contract
drafting/negotiation; and real estate/mergers/acquisitions.
PRIOR PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
- Drucker Rutledge, The Woodlands, Texas, Of Counsel (2002-2003)
Of counsel to commercial litigation firm. Firm's practice involved
several commercial lawsuits/mediations/arbitrations, involving millions
of dollars. Clients included individuals and small and large companies,
including energy companies; lending institutions; national theater chain
and national fast food chain.
- Much Shelist, Chicago, Illinois, Partner (1990-2002)
- Partner in one of Chicago's largest law firms (100+ lawyers).
Partner-in-charge of firm's international environmental law/toxic tort
practice. Supervised three attorneys and one paralegal. Successfully
represented several companies who were major targets in environmental
enforcement actions, superfund cleanup and toxic tort litigation,
saving millions of dollars. Successfully prosecuted insurance claims
seeking pollution coverage, collecting several millions of dollars.
- Practicing member of the firm's nation-wide litigation/arbitration
practice, working on cases involving fair employment/labor relations;
unfair trade practices; consumer fraud; product liability; lender
liability; creditor's/debtor's rights including bankruptcy; securities
fraud; class actions; breach-of-contract; insurance coverage; construction
claims; and UCC matters under Articles 2, 3. & 9.
- Also practicing member of firm's widely varied transactional and
business law practice, including business organizations; mergers/acquisitions,
and real estate practice.
- Tenney & Bentley, Chicago, Illinois, Partner (1987-1990)
Partner in one of Chicago's oldest law firms. (Founded in 1847.) Practiced
in firm's litigation and transactional/general business groups.
- Pioneer Processing, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel (1984-1987)
Chief legal officer for leading regional solid waste management company
(privately held). Responsible directly to ownership for all legal matters,
including insurance; litigation; regulatory compliance; lobbying; employment
law; securities laws; business organizations; and contract drafting/negotiation.
- Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc., Houston, Texas, Assistant General Counsel (1978-1984)
Chief regulatory compliance and litigation attorney for one of the country's
largest publicly held solid waste management companies. Wrote and enforced
company's policy for regulatory compliance and litigation. Member of corporate
merger and acquisition negotiating team. Drafted, reviewed and approved all
company service contracts. Answered directly to CEO and Board Chairman.
- Exxon Company USA, Houston, Texas, Senior Counsel (1974-1978)
Senior attorney for environmental law and employment/labor law matters for
all North American upstream and downstream operations at the world's largest
energy company. Also handled all general business law matters for all
refinery/chemical plant operations in North America.
- Brown & Root, Inc., Houston, Texas, Staff Attorney (1971-1974)
Part of the law department for one of the world's largest engineering/civil
construction/oil field service companies. Handled construction contract
proposal/negotiations; construction claims litigation; handled company-wide
audits for compliance with Anti-Boycott Legislation and Foreign Corrupt
- Law School
Doctor of Jurisprudence, Cum Laude, 1972, University of Houston;
- Law Review
- Case Note/Comment Editor, Vol. 8, Houston Law Review
- Legal Research/Writing Instructor
- AMJUR Award for highest grade in Torts, Property and Evidence
- Order of the Coif
- Rice University, 1969; Degree: BA; Major: Political Science/Economics
- Undergraduate Awards and Activities:
- President's Honor Roll (1968-9)
- Varsity Football (1965-8)
- Baker College Glee Club
- Rice Cinema Club
PROFESSIONAL AND HONORARY ASSOCIATIONS
- State Bar of Texas (admitted 1972)
- State Bar of New Jersey (admitted 1976)
- State Bar of Illinois (admitted 1985)
- Trial Bar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Trial Bar, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- Member, U.S. District Court for New Jersey
- Member, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Member, American Bar Association
ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
- Adjunct Professor. University of Houston Clear Lake City. School of Business and Public Administration. Taught graduate courses in environmental law. 1983-1984.
- Adjunct Professor. University of Houston. Main Campus. School of Business Technology. Taught business law. 1976-1980.
- Speaker at numerous professional seminars and workshops throughout the United States. Sponsoring organizations include the Illinois Society of Safety Engineers; the Illinois Manufacturer's Association; the Texas Environmental Coalition; the Minnesota Council for Business and Commerce; the Texas Bar Association; the American Bar Association; the Chicago Bar Association; the East West Corporate Corridor Association; the National Solid Waste Management Association and the American Petroleum Institute.
- Committee Chair. Section On Natural Resources Energy & Environmental Law. 1983-1984.
- Council Member. Natural Resources Section. Texas Bar Association 1981-1985.
- Board Member. Institute for Municipal Studies. Center for American and International Law, f/k/a the Southwest Legal Foundation. 1995-present.
- Selected as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America. U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. 1980.
- One of three recipients of the prestigious Pro Bono and Public Service Award given annually by the United States District Court for the Northern District Court of Illinois (Chicago) to the members of its trial bar who have shown an exceptional commitment to volunteer and public service. 2003.
- Captain, U.S. Army Reserve, Signal Corps (Ret.)
- Member. R Association of Rice University. (Civic Association open to past letter winners in varsity sports at the university.)
- Member. Houston Touchdown Club. (Civic association dedicated to promoting the sport of football at inner-city schools in the Houston area.)
- Member. South Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.
- Member. Vestry for St. Charles Episcopal Church. St. Charles, Illinois. 1985?1989.
- Co-Chair. Citizen's Advisory Panel. Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs. 1998-2002. (Appointed by the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.)
- Special Invitee. National Round Table Discussion on the U.S. EPA's Enforcement Policy for Federal Environmental Laws. Sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. San Francisco, California. 2000.
- Special Invitee. National Round Table Discussion on the U.S. EPA's Solid Waste Policy. Sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fairfax, Virginia. 1980.