J. Stephen Barrick


J. Stephen Barrick is a board-certified appellate specialist who is also an experienced trial lawyer. Mr. Barrick began his legal career as a law clerk for a federal district court judge in Houston, Texas. After two years working for the federal trial court, Mr. Barrick joined the litigation department of the international law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he practiced trial and appellate law for more than nine years. Mr. Barrick joined Hicks Thomas LLP in 2008, where his practice now focuses on business litigation and appeals. Mr. Barrick has over 20 years of litigation experience and has been named a "Super Lawyer" in Texas by Super Lawyers Magazine every year since 2012.

Practice Emphasis

  • Appellate Practice
  • Business Litigation
  • Domestic and International Arbitration


J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center, 1996; Order of the Coif; Order of the Barons; Notes and Comments Editor, Houston Law Review.

B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1989; Senior Year Abroad at Wadham College, Oxford (1988-89).

Awards & Accolades

  • Named "Super Lawyer" in Texas by Super Lawyers Magazine (2012-2017)
  • Named a "Rising Star" in Texas by Super Lawyers Magazine (2004-2007)
  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Section Leadership Council, Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section (2014-2017)


  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th and 10th Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists
  • Houston Bar Association (Litigation and Appellate Practice Sections)

Past Cases

Mr. Barrick has acted as the lead counsel or on the counsel for several complicated business law cases. He always provides dedicated attention to every case and strives for the best possible outcome.

Some of his noteworthy trial and arbitration cases include:

  • Lead counsel for international oil and gas company in AAA/ICDR arbitration against a joint interest holder concerning joint interest billing under an offshore operating agreement.
  • Lead counsel for a publicly-traded oil and gas company in ad hoc arbitration against a joint interest holder concerning lifting rights under an overseas operating agreement.
  • Lead appellate counsel for domestic shipping services company against a large, international shipping company in appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Lead counsel for publicly-traded oil and gas company in contract dispute against a gas processing and marketing company.
  • Counsel for publicly-traded offshore drilling contractor in ad hoc arbitration against two large, international operators concerning an assignment of an offshore drilling contract.
  • Counsel for gas processing company in litigation against natural gas liquids pipeline owner concerning measurement errors by the pipeline.

Representative Appeals

  • BP Exploration Libya Ltd. v. ExxonMobil Libya Ltd., 689 F.3d 481 (5th Cir. 2012). Counsel for appellant on appeal of an order concerning appointment of arbitrators in an international maritime dispute. Deciding an issue of first impression under the Federal Arbitration Act, the Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded.
  • Allen v. Devon Energy Holdings, LLC, 367 S.W.3d 355 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, pet. granted, judgm't vacated w.r.m.). Counsel for appellant on appeal of adverse summary judgment ruling in a state securities fraud action. In a landmark, 100+ page opinion, the state appellate court reversed and remanded.
  • In re Pinnacle Eng'g, Inc., 405 S.W.3d 885 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, orig. proceeding). Counsel for relator on mandamus of broad discovery order. The appellate court unanimously granted mandamus relief on multiple grounds.
  • Chu v. Hong, 249 S.W.3d 441 (Tex. 2008). Counsel for defendant in appeal of a $1.7 million fraud judgment. The Texas Supreme Court granted review and unanimously reversed the judgment, ordering that the plaintiff take nothing.
  • Texas Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ruttiger, 265 S.W.3d 651 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008), rev’d, 381 S.W.3d 430 (Tex. 2012). Counsel for workers’ compensation insurer in appeal of a final judgment for bad-faith insurance claim handling. The appeal ultimately led to the Texas Supreme Court reversing its own precedent and abolishing the cause of action in the workers’ compensation context.
  • TH Investments, Inc. v. Kirby Inland Marine, L.P., 218 S.W.3d 173 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied), cert. denied, 555 U.S. 1098 (2009). Counsel for appellee on appeal of a judgment determining ownership and boundaries of partially submerged real estate near the Houston Ship Channel. The appellate court affirmed the judgment in full, and both the Texas and U.S. Supreme Courts denied review.
  • BACM 2001-1 San Felipe Rd. Ltd. P'ship v. Trafalgar Holdings I, Ltd., 218 S.W.3d 137 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied). Counsel for defendant in appeal of a $13 million judgment for breach of contract. The court of appeals unanimously reversed the judgment, ordering that the plaintiff take nothing.

(713) 547-9167
Download vCard