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James T. (Jim) Drakeley


Spencer Fane attorney Jim Drakeley

T 972.324.0350
F 972.324.0301

Jim Drakeley has four decades of experience prosecuting and defending a broad range of business-related litigation, ranging from simple to complex matters. He has achieved meaningful outcomes for clients in disputes over complex contracts, employment matters, covenants to not compete, theft of trade secrets, commercial leases, commercial insurance policies, shareholder and partnership relations, and fiduciary duty obligations. In addition, he has served as outside general counsel for several of his corporate clients and regularly provides advice and counsel to his diverse client base, including companies, C-level executives, directors, shareholders, and employers on a variety of litigation, dispute resolution, business, and employment issues.

Jim has a built a strong reputation in and out of the courtroom. He has prosecuted and defended high stakes multimillion-dollar lawsuits for his clients, has successfully obtained favorable verdicts, and has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, including the successful mediation of numerous lawsuits and pre-suit disputes. His peers have given him an AV® Preeminent™ rating with Martindale-Hubbell for his ethical standards and legal ability. He recognizes the importance of zealously pursuing the client’s objectives, and works closely with his clients in developing strategic solutions to help successfully resolve their disputes and legal issues in a practical and cost-effective manner.

Clients have included individuals, business entities and owners, entrepreneurs, executives, and sports figures.

Jim helped found a law firm shortly after graduating from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and belongs to both the Litigation section and the Labor and Employment section. He is also a member of the Dallas Bar Association.

Highlights of Jim Drakeley’s experience include:

  • Represented sports broadcaster in lawsuit filed by college football coach against broadcaster and major university, and obtained dismissal of lawsuit.
  • Represented video game developer in school shooting cases in Kentucky and Colorado and successfully obtained dismissals of both cases.
  • Successfully defended Investment Banker and Chief Restructuring Officer against multimillion-dollar damage claims and allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and obtained zero-dollar defense verdict after weeklong jury trial in Dallas County District Court.

View Jim’s additional experience

Presentations and Publications

  • “Executive Employment Contracts, Compensation and Non-competes,” February 2020 — White Paper originated as part of a presentation to C-level executives in 2001. Updated and presented annually to clients, C-level recruiters and executive audiences.


  • Dallas Bar Association Member, Business Litigation and Labor & Employment Law Sections
  • State Bar of Texas Member, Business Litigation and Labor & Employment Law Sections


  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Banking and Finance, 2023

Contact Jim Drakeley at 972.324.0350 or jdrakeley@spencerfane.com.