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In my management of national dockets, I work to see the big picture and then, of course, respond to specific needs as they arise. I hope this has conditioned me to think like clients and align my advice with their long-term business goals.

Christopher Derden has a national litigation practice focusing particularly on the defense of mass tort, environmental, toxic tort and product liability matters. He also defends clients in commercial and class actions involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, including related insurance issues. Chris serves as national coordinating counsel to various oil, gas and petrochemical companies, and he directs clients’ nationwide dockets of mass-tort litigation matters. In the course of handling these dockets across multiple jurisdictions, Chris has coordinated numerous administrative resolutions and settlements for large claimant inventories.

His defense of environmental tort actions includes cases involving occupational exposures, which he has handled from initial investigation to administrative hearings and representation before OSHA through civil trial and appeal. In his role as national counsel, Chris has developed a deep understanding of jurisdictional and venue considerations as well as courtroom and trial dynamics.

Chris is the leader of the firm’s toxic tort practice team.

The real need in handling toxic tort litigation now is finding creative and efficient approaches to address a mature and still dangerous universe of claims.


  • South Texas College of Law, J.D., 1994
  • Baylor University, B.A., 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

Community Involvement

Chris has devoted significant time and effort to charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the firm’s HUGS program.


  • Best Lawyers® - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Since 2018

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association

Chris presents frequently on various aspects of mass-tort litigation and risk management procedures.