MARGARET H. ALLEN represents individuals and corporations in complex disputes in international arbitration and in courts across the United States. She has represented board committees in internal investigations and whistleblower actions all over the world, often involving allegations of fraud and corruption.
Her extensive experience litigating class actions and multi-jurisdictional disputes spans all aspects of pleadings, discovery, trial, and appeal. She litigates all manner of high-risk business disputes, including those involving breach of contract, business torts, and securities claims.
In addition, Margaret represents public and private companies in high-stakes civil rights and employment cases, and advises on significant employment matters in a myriad of contexts, including national and international corporate transactions, reorganizations, and the negotiation of employment, noncompetition, and separation agreements.
In 2021, Margaret was ranked as a leading employment lawyer by Chambers USA, which noted that clients praise her for being “both a tough negotiator and a calming influence on all parties,” as well as “extremely quick at responding and a very direct communicator.” Margaret has been named a “Texas Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers from 2012–2018 and one of the top 50 Up-and-Coming Women in 2018.
A sampling of Margaret’s experience at and prior to joining Sidley includes:
- Represented board committee of public corporation in U.S. agency investigation involving alleged violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Numerous internal investigations involving whistleblower, accounting, and executive issues.
- Charter Communications — Castorena v. Charter; Prizler v. Charter; Moorman v. Charter (California, Wisconsin) — Won motions to compel arbitration and to stay numerous nationwide class actions pending in California and Wisconsin.
- Nevro Corp. — Nevro Corp. v. Olson (Texas) — Obtained temporary restraining order and temporary injunction to enforce noncompetition and nonsolicitation obligations against former employee who joined a competitor.
- Apache Holdings — Apache IS Holdings, LLC v. Thibodeaux (Louisiana, Texas) — Won motion to enforce mandatory venue provision and dismissal of entire Louisiana action.
- Federation of State Medical Boards — Federation of State Medical Boards v. Day (Texas) — Obtained complete dismissal of physician’s defamation claims under Texas Citizens’ Participation Act, aka Texas’ anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute, as well as award of all attorneys’ fees. Affirmed on appeal.
- Hewlett Packard — Benedict v. Hewlett Packard (California) — Defeated class certification in exempt status class action under Fair Labor Standards Act and related state statutes originally brought on behalf of over 16,000 technical solutions professionals.
- American Airlines — Woodall v. American Airlines, Inc. (Texas) — Lead trial counsel for American in putative class action brought by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
- General Motors — In re Motors Liquidation Co. (New York) — Successfully obtained discharge in bankruptcy proceedings of all putative class action claims against successor to General Motors Corporation, including claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act brought on behalf of a putative class consisting of all black South Africans who were victims of Apartheid.
- General Motors — In re Motors Liquidation Co. (New York) — Successfully settled over US$1 billion of unliquidated claims against debtor’s estate by setting up a cutting-edge, court-ordered alternative dispute resolution program. Mediated and settled dozens of cases nationwide.
- Negotiations against Texas Juvenile Justice Department (Texas) — Collaborated with Texas Appleseed to negotiate, through a series of written submissions and agency meetings, improvements to mental health and education policies for imprisoned children, including the improper use of solitary confinement.
- Zale Corporation (Texas) — Represented Zale in class actions brought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Won early dismissal with prejudice, later affirmed by the Fifth Circuit.
- American Airlines — American Airlines, Inc. v. Sabre Inc. and Travelport (Texas) — Represented American in lawsuits brought in state and federal courts against the two largest global distribution systems for breach of contract, tort claims, and antitrust violations under state and federal laws. Negotiated an extremely favorable settlement following voir dire and six days of trial.
- Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank, and Commerzbank AG (California, France) — MGA Entertainment Inc. v. Deutsche Bank, et al. — Won motion to dismiss US$429 million fraud action against clients Deutsche Bank and other syndicate banks on grounds of forum non conveniens.
- Alliant Insurance Services (California, New York) — Represented Alliant in parallel lawsuits pending on opposite coasts involving allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty related to the departure of a group of 60 Aon employees for Alliant.
- HM Capital (Texas, Utah, Alaska) — Litigation counsel for portfolio companies of HM Capital in internal investigation that led to successful injunction against whistleblower and ultimate dismissal of two separate class action complaints alleging breach of contract and torts related to distribution of telephone directories.
- Medical Media Holdings, LLC (Texas, Colorado, and before arbitration panel) — Physicians’ Education Resource, L.P. v. MMH, LLC — Trial counsel for portfolio company of private equity fund in several trade secret misappropriation and restrictive covenant matters. Successful results affirmed by the Dallas Court of Appeal.
- kgb/USA — Jingle Networks v. InfoNXX, Inc. (Texas, Massachusetts, and before arbitration panel) — Litigation counsel for kgb in several overlapping and related matters involving noncompete, breach of contract, and defamation claims.
- In re Stanford (Texas) — On behalf of a large financial institution, successfully negotiated return of fleet of five securitized personal jets allegedly worth over US$100 million in wake of uncovered Ponzi scheme.
- McAfee, Inc. — John Giamatteo v. AVG Technologies USA, Inc. (Massachusetts, California) — Trial counsel in multi-state noncompete litigation. Defeated TRO and obtained favorable settlement.
- J.C. Flowers & Co. (Delaware, Canada, United Kingdom, Cayman Islands) — In re HCH Delaware L.P. — Represented portfolio company of private equity firm in converting involuntary proceedings brought in the Cayman Islands by a syndicate of lenders to a Chapter 11 voluntary matter. Negotiated settlement following filing of restructuring proceeding.