Press Release

Brent L. Vannoy Joins Hughes Watters Askanase as Partner Supporting Business Planning and Strategy, Commercial Litigation, and Labor and Employment Practice Areas; Four HWA Attorneys Named to 2017 List of Best Lawyers in America ©

HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 20, 2016)Brent L. Vannoy recently joined Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P. (HWA, as a partner supporting the firm’s Business Planning and Strategy, Commercial Litigation, and Labor and Employment Practice Areas. Additionally, four HWA attorneys were recently named to the 2017 list of Best Lawyers in America©.

Founding partner David Askanase, co-managing partner Wayne Kitchens, and senior counsel attorney Randall Rios were named as 2017 Best Lawyers in America in the Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law category. In addition, partner Carolyn A. Taylor was included in the list of Best Lawyers in America. Taylor started and is well recognized for her expertise in the Default Servicing Practice Area of HWA.

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Gary Gunn, co-managing partner of HWA commented: “Our firm continues to attract and retain highly regarded legal talent, which positions us extremely well to serve our clients in Texas and support other attorneys and their clients throughout the nation in the best manner possible. Brent will play a key role in supporting me and other HWA partners as we expand our practice areas and add depth of experience. David, Wayne, Randy and Carolyn have garnered the respect and recognition of their peers yet again this year through the Best Lawyers vetting process.”

More About These Attorneys

Vannoy has been practicing law for more than 20 years. A current member of the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association, he was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1995. He is licensed to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.

Vannoy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Texas A&M University and completed supplemental studies in Great Books of Western Civilization at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. He earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center in 1995. He is a former publishing editor of the Houston Journal of International Law and is the recipient of the Harris Award for Outstanding Volunteer presented by the Greater Houston A&M Club as well as several other awards.

Vannoy serves as the Committee Chair for Troop 40, Skyline District, Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is also the past president of the Timbergrove Manor Civic Club. A native of Houston, he and his family reside in Garden Oaks.

Askanase started HWA with John Hughes (retired) and Harry Watters (deceased) in 1978. He recently retired from practicing law after more than 40 years in the industry. A highly respected attorney with deep expertise in bankruptcy law, he focused his practice on reorganizations and workouts for corporations and individuals, representation of secured creditors in and out of bankruptcy, and representation of entities which sought to acquire assets out of bankruptcy cases. Since 1976, he served as a Chapter 7 Trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. He has also served as Trustee in several large Chapter 11 liquidation cases. Askanase has earned certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both consumer bankruptcy law and business bankruptcy law. He is consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and in Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazines’ annual Texas Super Lawyers guides.

Kitchens co-manages HWA with Gunn and has been in practice for more than 30 years. He also co-chairs the Business Bankruptcy Practice Area along with partner Steven Shurn. He focuses his practice on reorganizations and workouts for corporations and individuals, the representation of secured creditors in and out of bankruptcy, and the representation of entities that seek to acquire assets out of bankruptcy cases. He also represents bankruptcy trustees and creditors’ committees. He has authored numerous articles on bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights and is a frequent speaker at continuing education seminars and conferences. He has been named one of Houston’s best lawyers by H-Texas Magazine and has been honored as a Texas Super Lawyer by Law & Politics and Texas Monthly magazines every year since 2003. He also has been named one of the top 100 lawyers (out of approximately 14,000) in Houston by the same publication. Kitchens is certified in business bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Rios supports the firm’s Business Bankruptcy Practice Area and practices in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights in the business bankruptcy practice. He has extensive experience in representing debtors. creditors’ committees, landlords, and purchasers of distressed assets as well as trustees in numerous reorganization and liquidation bankruptcy cases. In a legal career spanning more than 25 years, Rios has been consistently named to the list of Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and Texas Monthly magazines and H-Texas Magazine’s Lists of Lawyers for the People and Top Lawyers. Rios has represented clients in all Districts of Texas, and numerous other Districts including the District of Delaware, the District of Nevada, the Central and Northern Districts of California, the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Taylor established the firm’s mortgage banking default servicing group, and leads HWA’s Default Servicing Practice Area. She is also heads the Credit Unions and Creditor’s Rights Areas with partner Dominique Varner. She was instrumental in implementing the internal and external policies and procedures that enable her team to provide exemplary service. Taylor’s practice focuses in the areas of mortgage banking, consumer financial services, credit unions and bankruptcy law. She is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both consumer and business bankruptcy law. She was named to the list of Texas Super Lawyers from 2003 through 2015.

Full biographical information on Vannoy, Askanase, Kitchens, Rios, Taylor, and all HWA attorneys is available at

About HWA

For almost 40 years, HWA has helped business organizations, financial institutions and individuals succeed with their business endeavors. The firm’s attorneys play a strategic role and support clients through every stage of existence and operation. The firm’s practice focuses on representation of commercial and mortgage lenders, including banks and credit unions, business bankruptcy, business planning and strategy, default servicing, real estate and real estate finance, commercial and consumer financial services litigation and regulation, employment law, and wills and probate.

For more information on HWA, please visit


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