An associate in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, Ian Ross Phillips represents businesses and individuals in the crux of complex and high-stakes litigation matters.
Ian guides clients through a wide range of disputes including employment contract issues, FLSA matters, employment discrimination claims, Lanham Act, Copyright Act, and other intellectual property claims. He represents clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts. His clients stem from a variety of sectors, including armed and video security, clothing and apparel, education, construction, oil and gas, restaurant, and electrical transmission industries.
Prior to joining the firm, Ian clerked for the Honorable Paul D. Stickney in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. During his clerkship, Ian worked on significant cases involving ERISA, SEC enforcement, intellectual property disputes, class actions, contract disputes, and complex procedural issues.
- Counsel for the Litigation Trustee for the Think Finance Litigation Trust in fraudulent transfer litigation against a publicly traded fintech lender and certain shareholders which resulted in over $100.0 million of recoveries for the estate and the voiding of $1.0 billion of consumer loans.
- Represented a human resource technology company in a complex copyright and commercial corporate governance lawsuit brought by a major shareholder of the company. Cole Schotz handled all aspects of the defense of this matter through trial in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. The lawsuit was successfully tried to a federal jury, who returned a complete defense victory in favor of our client on all related issues.
- Represented corporate owner and operator of major hotel chain against alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Cole Schotz successfully evidenced that there was no violation of the relevant codes and plaintiff’s counsel voluntarily dismissed the matter.
- Represented a national lessor of mixed-use properties, as plaintiff, in a lease dispute. Our client and the defendant entered into a commercial lease set to go into effect mere weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the United States. The defendant refused to take possession of the property or pay rents due and owed. Representation included the successful negotiation of an amendment to the lease that allowed our client to begin collecting rents and gave the defendant the opportunity to open one of its franchises in a new market.
- Represented a company operating in the restaurant industry in a breach of contract matter concerning a loan. After prevailing on a motion to compel discovery, plaintiff non-suited the matter in an unsuccessful effort to avoid sanctions. Because of plaintiff’s conduct in the matter, we were able to secure an award of fees for our client.
- Represented an armed security contractor against allegations of retaliatory termination, and failure to overtime. On summary judgment, the court sided with our client and found that the conditionally-certified class was not entitled to overtime pay while off-duty, but on-site during a hurricane. As a result, our client avoided paying overtime and liquidated damages to the class. The court also sided with our client regarding the class representative’s allegation that he was terminated in relation for raising the issue of overtime pay, finding that our client had a legitimate, nonretaliatory reason for terminating him and he failed to sufficiently evidence that he would have remained employed but for his complaints regarding pay.
- Represented a piping inspection company and an individual, as defendants, against claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, theft of property, business disparagement, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and tortious interference with a contract. At a trial before the court, it found in favor of the plaintiff on its claims that the individual breached his employment agreement and he aided the piping-inspection company in stealing its trade secrets. However, we were able to successfully persuade the appellate court that plaintiff had failed to prove it suffered any damages, causing its claims against the clients to fail.
Networks & Affiliations
Ian sits on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL). The main goal of the DAYL is to serve the Dallas community through public service projects that young lawyers find meaningful.
Honors & Awards
Ian has been included in 2022-2023, on the Texas Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list, an annual honor awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Texas.
Ian received his law degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in 2015. He served as president of the International Law Review Association, a Vice-Chair of the SMU Board of Advocates, and based on his advocacy skills, was selected for membership in The Order of Barristers. He was the national runner-up in the 2015 ABA Client Counseling Competition.
Ian also coached SMU’s mock trial team that participated in the San Diego Defense Lawyers Mock Trial Competition for 5 years. He is currently an active mentor for law students in the Dallas community through the Mustang Exchange program.
In his free time, Ian enjoys following MotoGP and working on old British cars. His current project is a 1959 Triumph TR3A.