Emily Westridge Black


Emily is the Sector Lead for Established Industries and the Managing Partner in Austin. She represents leading companies in high-stakes investigations and litigation.

For nearly 20 years, Emily has served as a trusted adviser to boards and executives, helping them successfully navigate their most sensitive concerns, including products liability, fraud and anticorruption, securities / ESG, environmental / mass tort, and cybersecurity.

Clients have commended her as “a consummate leader in litigation matters” who is “very commercial” and “extremely good at building coalitions without ceding ground.” Others praise her “keen insight” and ability to “quickly grasp the practical implications legal issues have for our business.”

She has also repeatedly been recognized by Chambers USA for commercial litigation and was selected as Attorney of the Year by the Texas Lawyer in 2019.


Representative matters

Products Liability Matters

PolyPipe/Dura-Line, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of the plastic pipes that are used by utilities and operators in their natural gas distribution networks, in the investigation and disclosure of a manufacturing issue and in related matters, including Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Dura-Line Corporation, et. al, pending in the Superior Court for Los Angeles County, California.

Fortune 500 manufacturing company in a $250 million products liability case brought by a downstream domestic products manufacturer. Obtained favorable settlement of all claims and third-party claims.

European manufacturer in investigation of alleged safety issues in construction material product lines.

A global manufacturing company in a federal class action and numerous state mass actions alleging manufacturing and design defects in domestic plumbing products.
Fraud, Anticorruption, and Other Workplace Misconduct Matters 

Oil and gas company and its CEO in criminal FCPA investigation related to alleged bribe payments in excess of $50 million in Eastern Europe.

International freight forwarder in federal investigation for alleged anticorruption and antitrust compliance violations.

Board of a state governmental agency in investigation of whistleblower allegations regarding an alleged pattern of harassment, religious, gender, and age discrimination, and other workplace misconduct by an agency executive. Conducted interviews of employees, executives, and other key stakeholders and reviewed relevant evidence. Prepared a report for the board. Assisted with adopting and implementing workplace policies to prevent misconduct, enhance reporting procedures and further ensure whistleblower/antiretaliation protection.

The audit committee of a publicly traded national construction and restoration company in the internal investigation and self-reporting of securities violations and fraud.

Publicly traded transportation company in an internal investigation of alleged FCPA violations in connection with the construction of cross-border facilities.
Securities / ESG Matters

A publicly traded international energy and chemicals company in assessing and mitigating the litigation risks associated with its prior ESG disclosures, including disclosures on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets.

Parkcentral Global, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, and its executives in a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and vicarious liability in connection with the fund’s failure. Defeated class certification and obtained voluntary dismissal of remaining claims.

Supreme Industries in a securities class action. Secured a complete dismissal on an early dispositive motion.

The CEO of a publicly traded technology company in an SEC enforcement action regarding alleged options backdating. Secured complete dismissal on a motion for summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Environmental / Mass Tort Matters

Leading chemicals company in numerous personal injury and survivorship lawsuits relating to a natural gas explosion in the northeastern United States.

Dow in Trueblood-Lehr v. 3M et al., a wrongful death action stemming from alleged exposure to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Dow in State of Maine v. 3M et al., a product liability action stemming from alleged contamination of groundwater, surface waters, soils, and wildlife by PFAS.

Dow in numerous Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)-related lawsuits that are consolidated in the aqueous fire-fighting foam (AFFF) multi-district litigation in South Carolina.

Cybersecurity Matters

SSR Mining in the investigation, remediation, and disclosure of a ransomware incident impacting its foreign operations. 

Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. in an ongoing putative class action pending in the Southern District of New York related to a ransomware incident.

Spec’s Family Partners in the investigation and disclosure of cyber-attack that implicated payment card information and personal identifying information. Secured a multi-million dollar judgment for Spec’s from its card processor, First Data Merchant Services, on motion for summary judgment, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Also secured a multi-million dollar judgment from Spec’s insurer, The Hanover Insurance Co., to recover costs and expenses associated with investigating and remediating the incident. 

U.S. broker-dealer in responding to and remediating a criminal ransomware attack on its network that may have impacted data regarding the firm’s securities transactions, personally identifiable information regarding its international employee base, and other third-party information. Advised the client regarding U.S. and U.K. regulatory disclosures and state-law notices to employees and relevant attorneys general.

BNSF Railway in investigation and remediation of a data security incident and in criminal referral and civil prosecution of entities responsible for the security breach.

Private equity-backed specialty retailer in the investigation and remediation of data security incidents impacting its payment card network and in related disputes with the card brands.

CoreLogic in the investigation, remediation, and disclosure of a data security incident.

Publicly-traded oilfield services technology company in investigation of criminal spear-phishing attack used to perpetrate significant wire fraud. 

Information technology solutions company in investigation, remediation, and disclosure of a data security breach and in dispute with the responsible party.

General Commercial Litigation Matters

A leading chemical company in an international arbitration related to the construction of a high-pressure polyethylene plant in the Middle East.

Trinity Industries in a breach of warranty litigation related to Autorack railcars, in which plaintiffs sought hundreds of millions of dollars.

Pro bono

Emily is dedicated to serving the community. She serves on the A&O Shearman Americas Social Impact Committee, where she helps guide the firm’s pro bono commitments.

Since 2010, she has been involved in humanitarian asylum work, and has helped nearly twenty individuals from countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras win asylum, including a case that secured a precedent-setting opinion on constitutional due process rights of asylum-seekers.

Published Work

  • Co-Author (2024) “6 Focus Areas For Companies Managing The Risks Of AI Use” Law360
  • Co-Author (2023) “New York State Finalizes Significant Amendment to Part 500 Cybersecurity Regulation” American Bar Association
  • Co-Author (2022) “2021 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation” Texas Bar Journal
  • Co-Author (2021) “2020 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation” Texas Bar Journal

Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Presenter, The Evolving Landscape of ESG Litigation, University of Texas School of Law The Review of Litigation Symposium: The ESG Legal Landscape, February 2024
  • Co-Presenter, Harnessing the Potential of Artificial Intelligence While Ethically Managing the Risks, Leading Investment Management Firm, October 2023
  • Co-Presenter, Social Media and Artificial Intelligence – Ethical Guidelines for Lawyers, Public Utility Law Section of the State Bar of Texas Annual Conference, September 2023
  • Co-Presenter, Social Media and AI – Ethical Guidelines for Lawyers, Texas General Counsel Forum, May 2023

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Co-Chair, Privacy and Data Security Committee, Litigation Section of the American Bar Association
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, United Way Women United
  • Associate, Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court (2009)
Emily has been recognized for general commercial litigation, with clients noting she is “a consummate leader in litigation matters” who is “extremely good at building coalitions without ceding ground.” Others praise her as “just wildly intelligent” and “a great writer” with “keen insight,” who “can quickly grasp the legal implications of an issue but more importantly can quickly grasp the practical implications those legal issues have for our business.” As a result, Emily “delivers practical advice that almost always generates cost savings.” Clients also describe her as “sharp,” and “knowledgeable and thorough in her analysis,” “absolutely phenomenal with expert witnesses,” and note that “her work ethic is unbelievable.
Chambers USA


  • Recognized by Chambers USA, 2021-2023
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 in Financial Services Litigation and Securities Litigation, 2023
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), 2024
  • Attorney of the Year, Texas Lawyer, 2019



Texas, 2007


United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas


B.A., University of North Carolina, 2003, Phi Beta Kappa

J.D., University of Texas, 2007, Phi Delta Phi

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.