About Fishman Haygood

“Doing the impossible is where we begin.”​

Fishman Haygood, LLP is a New Orleans-based law firm that provides innovative solutions to the businesses, people, and places that form the backbone of commerce along the Gulf Coast, across the country, and around the globe. We offer a broad range of services tailored to meet the needs of each and every client, from established, public multinational corporations or new business startups to regional and local businesses.

In New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the attorneys of Fishman Haygood are known for high-stakes litigation on both sides of the “v,”​ as well as complex business transactions and city-defining development work. Our attorneys share a common goal of excellence, and they are often recognized as leaders who have joined Fishman Haygood from other top law firms.

When approaching new cases, we don’t accept that “the way it’s always been done” is the right way to solve problems. We use our combined experience to find creative solutions where others see only insurmountable obstacles. As Partner Jim Swanson puts it, “doing the impossible is where we begin.”​

What to Expect When Working with Fishman Haygood

Fishman Haygood enjoys a reputation as one of Louisiana’s leading business law firms. We advise a variety of commercial clients—including large, sophisticated businesses as well as smaller, entrepreneurial enterprises—across a broad range of practice areas. Although we handle major transactions and litigation for public companies, we also understand the needs of new and emerging companies, and we tailor our services to help them grow.

Our “boutique” firm structure has allowed our lawyers to develop expertise in several specialized areas of law, permitting us to devise innovative solutions to our clients’ business and litigation problems. Our lawyers are known for their extensive experience in a variety of intricate business matters, as well as for their commitment to excellence and values of professionalism. Because of our size, our clients are assured that our most senior lawyers are actively involved in the projects we undertake.

Firm History

For many years, Andy Correro, Louis Fishman, Paul Haygood, and Robert Walmsley, all corporate lawyers, talked about joining forces with some other leading lawyers to form a “super” firm, as they jokingly and immodestly called it. The first step was taken in June 1994, when Correro, Fishman & Casteix (CFC) was formed.

Fishman and Correro maintained corporate practices, and Mike Casteix had a real estate practice. New Orleans City Business quoted the late Thomas J. André, a leading corporate law professor at Tulane Law School, as saying, “Correro and Fishman are 50% of the best corporate lawyers in town.” CFC made a mark for itself on the local community, closing 20 transactions, including a large number of bank mergers, in its first two years.

In July 1996, two years after CFC was formed, seven lawyers—including Haygood and Walmsley, whom Fishman and Correro considered the “other 50%”—merged with CFC to form Correro Fishman Haygood Phelps Weiss Walmsley & Casteix. The “super” firm had finally become a reality.

The firm changed its name to Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley Willis & Swanson in 2008. It was later institutionalized to Fishman Haygood LLP in 2015, when it opened its full-time Baton Rouge office headed by Charles Landry.

Firm Values

The firm’s simple goal at its founding—and remains today—is to hire the best people to do quality work. A primarily lockstep compensation system helps focus competition outside of the firm as opposed to inside, which prioritizes collective excellence over individual quantity of work.

For you, the client, this means that the attorney assigned to your matter has expertise and experience in the subject matter. Our attorneys—from the associates to the partners—are bright and practical, and can meet your specific needs. Fishman Haygood lawyers take pride in acting as your trusted advisor. We try hard not to assign a task to more lawyers than are necessary to accomplish it. We realize that your goal is to achieve a result, not to buy legal services.

Fishman Haygood’s Legacy

In 1996, the firm totaled 18 people, including both lawyers and staff. It has since grown to more than 60, including 42 attorneys. While growth may be inevitable to meet client needs, the goal for Fishman Haygood was never to be “super” in terms of size, but rather “super” in terms of quality. Co-founder Louis Fishman has one wish for the firm: That it continues its legacy of high-caliber, impactful work. Managing partner, John Werner, shares this vision for the firm’s future.

Noteworthy Cases

  • Represented Sanderson Farms, Inc. in financing and securities matters
  • Represent Rouses Supermarkets in its acquisition of 21 stores from A&P and continued representation in Rouses’ ongoing expansion to over 60 stores in three states
  • Represent Slidell Development Company LLC, developer and owner of Fremaux Town Center in Slidell, Louisiana
  • Acquisition and development by Stirling Properties and CBL Properties of Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Represent Baton Rouge Foundation in connection with the development of the Baton Rouge Water Campus with a projected buildout of over $1 billion
  • $37,000,000 financing of a mixed-use residential and commercial building, the first in the country to combine federal and state new markets and historic tax credits with an FHA-insured loan
  • $53,000,000 financing of the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, including new markets, federal, and state historic tax credits, Louisiana musical and theatrical production tax credits, community development grants, and bridge financing
  • Represent numerous developers throughout the State of Louisiana, including the cities of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles, Lafayette and Shreveport
  • Represent municipal pension funds and retirees in action against hedge fund manager and others who concealed investment losses through a fraudulent collateral debt obligation, recovered $21 million in partial settlement of the claims
  • Represent media outlets and individuals in defamation cases and public record and access disputes, including cases for NOLA Media Group, LLC, Cable News Network, Viacom, and The New York Times
  • Represent the Louisiana Department of Revenue to recover taxes from corporate taxpayers (recovered millions of tax dollars, including a $26,000,000 jury award)
  • Represent a class of investors against various banks alleged to have been associated with Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme, whose claims recently survived summary judgment and will proceed to trial in due course.
  • Represent private landowners and governmental entities seeking to restore land loss caused by pipeline canals across Louisiana. Won a key ruling, in which a court held—for the first time—that a pipeline company must stand by written agreements to restore wetlands damaged by its canals
  • Represent several commercial contractors in confidential international arbitrations arising out of large-scale infrastructure and industrial development projects involving North African and Eastern European nations
  • Represented an international manufacturer of building products in multidistrict litigation and in state court product liability cases throughout the Gulf South. Tried several bellwether cases and settled thousands of property damage claims. In Re Chinese Drywall MDL (MDL 09-MD-2047).

Noteworthy Clients

  • Bascom Hunter Technologies
  • Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Bernhard LLC
  • BlackBay Energy Capital
  • Hancock Whitney Bank
  • H&E Equipment Services
  • Rouses Supermarkets
  • Sanderson Farms, Inc.
  • SMG
  • Stirling Properties
  • Turbo Squid, Inc.
  • Veyron Global