William P. Geise

Associate

Houston
T +1.713.646.1354
F +1.713.751.1717

Overview

William Geise focuses his commercial litigation practice on distribution and franchise matters, representing heavy equipment and automobile manufacturers. Will has first and second chair experience in a variety of general commercial litigation matters. Will’s depth of experience in general commercial litigation provides an understanding of the potential issues facing businesses. Will places high value on quality work and remaining goal-oriented in order to achieve the best results for his clients, emphasizing communication and a comprehensive understanding of clients’ particular needs and interests.

Select Experience

Distribution and Franchise
  • Represented motor vehicle manufacturer in federal district court to enforce contractual right of first refusal in connection with the sale of multiple dealerships, obtaining favorable declaratory relief and establishing industry-changing precedent following affirmation by the Fourth Circuit.
Commercial Litigation
  • Defended an oil field services and equipment provider against tortious interference and trade secret claims asserted by competing services provider, resulting in a favorable settlement.
White Collar and Investigations
  • Conducted interviews, drafted reports and researched potential liability for various infractions in the investigation of a healthcare company for embezzlement, fraud and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations in China.
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Experience

Distribution and Franchise
  • Represented motor vehicle manufacturer in federal district court to enforce contractual right of first refusal in connection with the sale of multiple dealerships, obtaining favorable declaratory relief and establishing industry-changing precedent following affirmation by the Fourth Circuit.
  • Represented a motor vehicle manufacturer in state court action to enforce terms of a settlement agreement, achieving a declaratory judgment regarding manufacturer’s right to terminate dealer’s franchise agreement.
  • Represented a motor vehicle distributor in protest with franchised dealer regarding the termination of the dealer’s franchise based on unauthorized changes to the ownership and control of the dealership, resulting in a favorable settlement.
  • Represented a motor vehicle distributor in protest with franchised dealer regarding the relocation of a competing dealer, resulting in a favorable settlement.
  • Defended a motor vehicle manufacturer in federal district court against dealer’s claims of unfair discrimination, achieving dismissal of all claims following appeal to the Seventh Circuit.
  • Defended motor vehicle manufacturer against claims by Texas administrative agency that manufacturer was operating without required licenses, leading to the withdrawal of claims prior to hearing.
  • Assisted multiple new motor vehicle manufactures in establishing their businesses in the United States, including assistance with licensing, facility requirements, sales and service obligations, and the creation of a franchised dealer network.
  • Regularly assist clients in drafting and negotiating dealer agreements, licensing agreements, service contracts, and other agreements related to the client’s business operations and distribution network.
  • Regularly counsel clients regarding regulatory compliance issues under state and federal laws throughout the country and assist clients in the development of long-terms solutions and processes to ensure future compliance in disputes with franchised dealers.
Commercial Litigation
  • Defended an oil field services and equipment provider against tortious interference and trade secret claims asserted by competing services provider, resulting in a favorable settlement.
  • Defended a recreational vehicle manufacturer against claims of unfair trade practices and claims under state lemon laws, resulting in favorable judgment after a full administrative hearing.
  • Defended a marine products manufacturer against claims of unfair trade practices and fraud in state court.
  • Defended Texas-based steel producers and distributors in federal court against claims of conspiracy to boycott.
  • Defended upstream natural gas production company owners in Texas state court against claims of fraud, breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties, and shareholder oppression. 
  • Defended a New York-based clothing distributor against claims of breach of contract and warranty.
  • Represented more than a dozen commercial property owners in Texas state court in a tax appraisal contest.
White Collar and Investigations
  • Conducted interviews, drafted reports and researched potential liability for various infractions in the investigation of a healthcare company for embezzlement, fraud and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations in China.
  • Defended the owners of charter school service businesses in a D.C. court against accusations of related party transactions and fraud.
  • Researched issues related to the investigation of potential FCPA violations in Guinea, India, Bangladesh and Russia.
  • Investigated related party transactions and fraud in a Houston-based construction business.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2021)
    • “Ones to Watch” Texas: Commercial Litigation

Memberships

  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association 

Community

  • Houston Urban Debate League: Young Professionals Counsel
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association's Adopt-an-Angel Program: Firm Coordinator

Pro Bono

  • Represented a grandmother seeking custody of her granddaughters after the death of their mother.
  • Prosecuted misdemeanor offenses for the City of Houston.
  • Performs estate planning and drafts wills for veterans and elderly low-income clients.

Prior Positions

  • Vinson & Elkins LLP: Associate (2012 to 2015)
  • Judicial Intern for the Honorable Gray H. Miller, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (2011 to 2012)
  • Office of Texas Attorney General: Law Clerk (2010)
  • Texas Secretary of State: Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State (2007 to 2009)

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • Texas

Education

  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2012; cum laude; Houston Law Review, Articles Editor; John Black Moot Court Champion; John R. Brown Admiralty Competition Finalist; Order of the Barons
  • B.A., English, Sewanee: The University of the South, 2006

Languages

  • Spanish