Theresa M. Wanat is a trial and arbitration attorney in Holland & Knight's Houston office. Ms. Wanat handles complex litigation matters for clients in numerous fields, including employment, healthcare and energy.

Ms. Wanat represents clients in employment matters, including non-competes and trade secret litigation; the healthcare sector, including managed care and provider disputes, waste, fraud and abuse allegations, provider terminations and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) matters; the energy sector, including force majeure, catastrophic events/response and litigation; the real estate sector; Class 1 railroad defense, including as an emergency responder and Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) disputes; and the financial services industry. She is also well versed in high-stakes personal injury defense, including industrial accidents and fatalities, asbestos and silicosis matters, and class actions.

In addition, Ms. Wanat has an active pro bono practice and represents community organizations in a range of matters, including for American Bar Association Military Pro Bono Project, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) program and the Houston Young Lawyers Association’s Adopt an Angel holiday fundraiser

Representative Experience

  • Represented employers in non-compete and trade secret litigation
  • Defended employers in termination disputes
  • Worked on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) litigation and collective actions

  • Represented managed care entities and insurers in multiple venues across Texas and nationally on complex commercial issues, including antitrust and multimillion-dollar breach of contract actions, high-stakes personal injury/negligence allegations, employment disputes and termination appeals/litigation
  • Represented payers and employers regarding healthcare coverage and payment disputes and settlements, including waste, fraud and abuse, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims
  • Represented managed care entities and companies regarding bid proposals and public information requests

  • Represented companies in regards to catastrophic and natural disaster litigation
  • Represented large oil and gas companies with multimillion-dollar oil and gas disputes, including a $100 million-plus matter between a gas producer and a processer, as well as helped obtain emergency relief in a matter between a bulk liquid storage facility and an international oil company
  • Represented electric cooperatives throughout Texas in high-stakes personal injury matters, capital credit litigation, class action disputes and other complex commercial matters, including coordinating the media and community response
  • Assisted with the settlement of a subcontractor's potential liability in connection with a significant oil spill
  • Represented a Class 1 railroad and coordinated with local and state bodies as well as community members and commercial entities regarding the safe and efficient transport of goods, including in shale development areas

  • Worked on multistate and multimillion-dollar commercial litigation matters, including title loans, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and property disputes (i.e. adverse possession, nuisance, easements and right-of-ways)
  • Interpreted and coordinated the use of a multimillion-dollar blended finite risk insurance policy for a client who was a former property owner
  • Managed multiple personal injury and fatality matters, including community and press responses


  • University of Houston Law Center, J.D.
  • University of Michigan, B.A., with honors
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Wanat Family Fellowship in Chemical Engineering at The University of Minnesota
  • Houston Bar Association (HBA), Law Week Fun Run Committee, Board Member; Labor and Employment Law Section; Healthcare Law Section; Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • ACHIEVE Fort Bend County, Board Member
  • Greater Houston Partnership
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Texas Association of Health Plans
  • National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
  • Texas Women Lawyers, President-Elect, 2024-2025
  • American Bar Association, Antitrust Law Section
Honors & Awards
  • Outstanding Services Award, American Bar Association Military Pro Bono Project, 2021, 2023
  • Rising Star, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2017-2019, 2021
  • Holland & Knight Rising Stars, Class of 2018; Coordinator, 2019


Speaking Engagements