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Haynes and Boone, LLP

Emily Westridge Black

Emily Westridge Black

Partner

Expertise

  • Antitrust and Competition
  • Class Action Defense
  • False Claims Act/Qui Tam
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Profile
In 2019, Emily Westridge Black was selected as the “Attorney of the Year” by Texas Lawyer for leading a trial team that obtained a precedent-setting ruling regarding the scope of the constitutional right to due process. She brings the same passion, tenacity, and creativity to bear in all aspects of her practice.

Clients trust Emily to conduct thorough, impartial, and efficient investigations of their most sensitive issues. She has led numerous investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption. In recent matters, she led investigations into alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and UK Bribery Act violations by employees and agents of publicly-traded transportation, manufacturing, and software companies. She also represented an oil and gas services company in connection with a criminal investigation of alleged FCPA violations in Eastern Europe and assisted a medical device manufacturer examine alleged misconduct and self-dealing by insiders in connection with the company’s proposed IPO. She has also investigated diverse whistleblower complaints, including alleged product safety issues at a pipeline manufacturer and misconduct (including employee harassment) by executives at a state agency. Emily is also experienced in leading investigations into suspected data security incidents in diverse sectors, including retail, hospitality, healthcare, and energy.

An accomplished litigator, Emily realizes that the best result – an early victory – is often obtained through motion practice. For example, she recently helped a retailer obtain summary judgment against its payment card processor, who was ordered to return millions of dollars it had withheld to pay assessments issued in the wake of a data breach. She also won summary judgment against the retailer’s insurer, who had breached its duty to defend claims related to the data breach. Emily has helped a hedge fund client and its principals defeat class certification and obtain a voluntary dismissal of all claims, including breach of fiduciary duty. She has also recently obtained favorable resolutions of several breach of contract cases on behalf of a leading, publicly-traded heavy-equipment manufacturer and a product liability case on behalf of a global chemicals company. Her efforts have been recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, which named her a top lawyer for commercial litigation in Texas.

Emily counsels clients on regulatory issues, including compliance with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws. Clients benefit from Emily’s experience working in-house at an international pharmaceutical company developing and implementing organization-wide anti-corruption initiatives that balanced legal requirements with business objectives. She has designed practical and effective anti-corruption compliance programs for numerous public and private companies in diverse sectors, including clients in the oil and gas, energy, pharmaceutical, freight forwarding, and hospitality industries.

Emily is also committed to serving the community. She recently won asylum for four Cameroonian natives and a Nepali native. She also proudly serves on the board of directors for the March of Dimes of Central Texas.

Bar Admissions

Texas, 2007

Education

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2007, cum laude; Phi Delta Phi
B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003, cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
Areas of Practice

Antitrust and Competition | Class Action Defense | False Claims Act/Qui Tam | Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) | Government Enforcement and Litigation | Internal Investigations and Crisis Management | Litigation | Privacy and Data Security | Products Liability Litigation | SEC Enforcement | Securities and Shareholder Litigation

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Counseled Fortune 500 manufacturing company on the defense of a $250 million products liability case brought by a downstream domestic products manufacturer. Provided strategic counsel regarding claims, defenses, and third-party claims. Oversaw development of factual record, including through intensive testing efforts undertaken jointly with plaintiff. Assisted client in strategizing for and obtaining favorable settlement of all claims and third-party claims.

Lead counsel for defendants in a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and vicarious liability in connection with the failure of a hedge fund. Defeated class certification and obtained voluntary dismissal of remaining claims.

Internal investigation and remediation of a data security breach of an information technology solutions company; counsel client on the company’s remediation efforts, disclosure obligations, and recourse against the former employee.

Internal investigation of data security breach at high profile specialty retailer that implicated payment card information and personal identifying information; counsel client on numerous post-breach issues including disclosure obligations, public disclosure, negotiation of fraud recovery and operational reimbursement fines and penalties with card brands, and related counseling regarding collateral litigation; counsel client on insurance coverage for breach-related expenses.

Internal investigation and remediation of a data security breach at a Fortune 200 transportation company; civil prosecution of entity responsible for the security breach.

Investigation of criminal spear-phishing attack used to steal funds from public oilfield services technology company; direct forensic investigation of attack; counsel client on disclosure obligations and remediation efforts.

Internal investigation of alleged FCPA violations made against a Fortune 200 company in connection with the construction of cross-border facilities.

Defense of the former CEO of an international technology company in an SEC enforcement action for options backdating.

Internal investigation on behalf of the audit committee of a national construction and restoration company regarding securities issues and fraud allegations.

Defense of an international freight forwarder under federal investigation for antitrust compliance issues.

Defense of a national multi-industry company in breach of warranty litigation.
Articles

State Attorneys General Are Focusing on Price Gouging Laws and You Should Too
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2020

State Attorneys General across the nation are warning consumers about price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and offering easy online tools to report violations. Consumers have gotten the message. Texans, for example, have sent over 10,000 complaints of price gouging to the state AG’s office during the pandemic.1 Price gouging laws have been enacted by nearly 75 percent of states...

Oh, and One More Thing, Cybersecurity: A COVID-19 Checklist
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2020

As if businesses did not have enough to worry about during this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s times like these when cybersecurity risk is at its peak. Distracted employees may be psychologically vulnerable to attack, and shifting quickly and unexpectedly to a remote workforce can create technology and control risks. It’s a perfect storm for cyber risk...

Key Features of New Data Breach Notification Laws in Alabama and South Dakota
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2018

Last month, Alabama and South Dakota became the latest states to enact data breach notification laws. All 50 states now have such laws, but the laws and companies’ obligations thereunder vary widely from state to state. The Alabama and South Dakota laws—described in detail in the chart linked below—are similar to the laws of other states, but each have a few important features to be aware of...

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