Baker Botts is rocked by successful $65.5m claim from wealthy heiress

A Texan jury has returned a $65.5m (£34.5m) verdict against Houston-based firm Baker Botts.

The jury found that Baker Botts breached its fiduciary duty when it failed to disclose “all-important information” in relation to estate planning work for wealthy widow Kathleen Cailloux following the death of her husband.

However, in the case of Kathleen C Cailloux v Baker Botts, Wells Fargo Bank Texas, Stephen T Dyer, S Stacy Eastland and William Goertz the jury found that Baker Botts did not breach its fiduciary duty in three other important areas.

As a result, the jury apportioned 25 per cent liability to Baker Botts, with 25 per cent each to the two defendants Wells Fargo and Goertz, and 25 per cent to Cailloux herself.

At the start of the month, Baker Botts and Wells Fargo filed a motion to enter a take nothing judgment, alleging there was no evidence that it failed to disclose “important” information to the plaintiff.

The jury, by a vote of 10 to two, found that Cailloux should be awarded $65.5m, which represents the value she should have received in the trust had she not agreed to waive her rights to the money.