Prior BigLaw and In-House Experience
Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP
Sweet Briar College, B.A. in French and Hispanic Studies, 1987, magna cum laude
Sweet Briar Junior Year in France, 1985-86
University of Texas at Austin, Institute of Latin American Studies, M.A. Latin American Studies, 1989
St Mary’s Law School, J.D., 1993, cum laude
St. Mary’s Law Journal, Notes and Comments Editor 1992-93
Admitted to practice law in Texas
Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Texas, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and United States Supreme Court
Board Certified Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Growing up in the small-ish West Texas town of San Angelo, Liz had the good fortune to have a high school French teacher who encouraged through challenging work Liz’s proclivities and talent for all things French. This early inspiration would lead to studies in France at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and the Sorbonne and Liz’s lifetime commitment to international collaborations—cultural and economic—as a way to transcend cultural and business stereotypes.
Liz’s legal career began with appellate litigation and business law during her associate and partner years (1995-2009) at Andrews Kurth LLP (now Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP), an experience that greatly informs how she advises clients working with emerging technologies. When Liz left the wonderful Andrews Kurth team, it was to help a firm client manage a busy motion docket in dozens of patent litigation cases across the country, an intensive workload that would usher in a new practice area for her: monetizing intellectual property and reviewing patent portfolios in France and Texas. That experience would lead to immersion in the rapidly evolving emerging technologies space where, Liz learned, clients need the multi-disciplinary approach she can provide to make sense of new legal challenges that have regulatory, litigation, and transactional implications. Recent representative engagements include working as general counsel for a fast-growing Web3 company building digital asset management platforms, supervising contract management for a nanotechnology/blockchain technology company, and—together with a Web3 technology consulting enterprise—developing best practices for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
Liz’s business and intellectual property law background would prove especially beneficial when around 2011 she began supporting France-Austin economic and business exchanges in earnest, an effort that would eventually include speaking engagements in France, especially in Austin’s sister city Angers, around Austin’s startup ecosystem and best legal and practices for expanding into a U.S. market. In 2014, in response to Austin’s growing international recognition as a tech hub, the Consul General of France in Houston requested that an Austin team work on creating a chamber of commerce. Liz thus co-founded a French American Business Council of Austin (FABCA), which has now merged into the French American Chamber of Commerce of Texas. After FABCA’s founding, the Austin-France connections and engagements accelerated. In 2015 Liz accepted the Consul General of France’s invitation to serve as the Honorary Consul of France for Austin; in 2016, she moderated an Austin-based panel of state and local leaders with Angers’ mayor and France’s then Minister of Finance, Emmanuel Macron, as Austin participated in real time in Angers’ launch of their Cité de l’Objet Connecté (IoT City), with then President Francois Hollande presiding; and in 2017 she led an Austin delegation to Angers’ hosting of the World Electronics Forum. During that time she also co-led the team that would create a “French Tech Austin” community as part of France’s “la French Tech” network. One of her favorite outcomes of the rich relationship with the cultural and tech sectors of Angers is her early role in bringing about a collaboration of Anger’s Festival Premiers Plans d’Angers—a 34-year-old film festival celebrating new film makers—with Austin Film Society, which led to those groups’ founding the annual New French Cinema Week in Austin. Throughout this time, and thanks to a dedicated French Tech Austin team, collaborations have continued around the annual SXSW festival to support the French Consulate’s and French Embassy’s projects of promoting French startups and technology.