Asra Syed possesses a strong ability to translate complex matters into simplified concepts — a quality she honed in her previous career as a public radio journalist.
Her journalism background also helps her connect with clients, getting to the bottom of their stories so she can effectively communicate their issues to decision-makers, whether that’s a judge, jury, or arbitrator.
Asra began practicing law in New York City (and is still barred in New York) and was a partner at Arent Fox. She joined Wittliff Cutter PLLC in fall 2020, and helped launch Botkin Chiarello Calaf in 2023. During her career, she has successfully handled a variety of commercial disputes related to mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate governance, business torts, and intellectual property matters for private equity firms and growing companies in a wide variety of industries. Known for her ability to speak and write clearly, Asra employs creative strategies to obtain the best outcome for her clients. Her litigation practice spans state and federal court and arbitration proceedings, representing both corporate and individual clients.
Asra also takes on significant pro bono matters and has litigated for the release of minors from immigration detention facilities and to enforce the 4th and 5th Amendment rights of immigrant detainees. A native Austinite, Asra has always enjoyed taking part in Austin’s lively music and cultural scene.
- Texas State Bar Association
- Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs)
- South Asian Bar Association of Austin
- “The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch” for Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers, 2021–2023
- Austin’s Top Attorneys, Civil Litigation, Austin Monthly Magazine, 2022–2023
Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Non-Solicit Litigation
- Prosecuted breach of non-compete covenants and trade secret misappropriation claims against former employee on behalf of life-science company, after employee with proprietary files in his possession joined a direct competitor shortly after termination;
- Represented same life-science company in pursuing in an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit where the Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s ruling in client’s favor.
Complex Commercial and Shareholder Litigation
- Secured a “take nothing” judgment in arbitration for a prominent Austin real estate development company defending against a former employee’s allegations of wrongful discharge and claims for millions of dollars in distributions from equity shares granted as employment compensation;
- Represented a private equity fund client with $9 billion in assets under management in multiple forums (including an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration in Madrid) to enforce a letter of intent involving our client’s purchase of a group of beauty care companies. An ICC panel awarded our client €100 million in damages, which was paid in full after further litigation to collect the award;
- Represented major U.S. wine and spirits importer against competitor’s allegations of trademark and trade dress infringement, unfair competition, and trademark dilution in SDNY;
- Represented wine stores in an investigation by New York State Liquor Authority that concluded in a favorable settlement.
Impact Litigation & Pro Bono
- Together with co-counsel at the YMCA of Greater Houston, successfully litigated for the release from ICE custody of two young sisters from an immigration detention facility in Houston;
- Represented client in removal hearings to vindicate his 4th and 5th Amendment rights after his racial and religious profiling by federal and local law enforcement agents.