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Allen Sparkman

1945 – 2019   Founding Partner

Allen Sparkman was a founding partner of Sparkman + Foote LLP. He retired from the practice of law in Houston and Denver in April 2019, concluding a distinguished career that spanned more than 45 years. He was the firm’s intellectual strength and guide from its inception.

Allen’s practice included selecting and establishing business entities, business transactions, securities, tax, and lawyers’ professional responsibility. Well-known nationally, he lectured on these topics extensively, presenting more than 100 papers at continuing education programs for the American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the University of Texas School of Law, the Professional Education Broadcast Network, the Practicing Law Institute, the National Business Institute, and others. Mr. Sparkman has been listed in THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA® for both Colorado and Texas.

He served on multiple occasions as an expert witness in Colorado, Texas, and California in cases involving duties of directors, director deadlock, duties of managers, duties of partners, construction of operating agreements, construction of partnership agreements, construction of contracts, veil piercing, and attorney malpractice.

Allen began practicing law in Dallas, Texas in 1973 and moved to Denver in 1984. In 2008, he opened the firm’s Houston, Texas office. He earned an A. B. degree in American History with honors from Princeton University and a J. D. degree with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law. He also received a Certificate in Theology and Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. Allen served on active duty as an officer in the United States Army.

He was a member of the American, Colorado, and Houston Bar Associations, the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, the Center for Professional Responsibility, and the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. For the American Bar Association, Allen was an active member of the Business Law Section and its Committees on Corporate Governance; LLCs, Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations (co-chair, task force on model Series LLC operating agreement, chair, governance subcommittee); Mergers and Acquisitions; Middle Market and Small Business (chair, governance subcommittee); Nonprofit Organizations; and Professional Responsibility (chair, subcommittee on state and local liaisons). He was also a member of the American Bar Association Tax Law Section and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. He served as a member of the Drafting Committee on Series of Unincorporated Business Entities of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws as an ABA Section Advisor, ABA Business Law Section.

As a member of the Colorado Bar Association, he was chair of the Business Law Section and a member of its Legislative Drafting Committee, as well as a member of the CBA Ethics Committee. He also was a member of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee for Business and Commercial Laws and the Colorado reporter for State Limited Partnership Laws and State Limited Liability Company Laws while those were published by Aspen Law & Business.

Allen's Publications

Allen was the co-author of LLCs and Partnerships in Colorado (co-authored with Herrick K. Lidstone, Jr.) (Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., 2015), 2016 Award of Outstanding Achievement from the Association for Continuing Legal Education; Second Edition (Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., 2017); Third Edition Spring 2019 (Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc.)

A prolific legal scholar and writer, he also authored numerous articles on choice of business entity and series LLCs, including

  • Management Responsibilities of Management Persons of Corporations and Limited Liability Companies -  (with Adrienne Randle Bond) Corporate Counsel Review (Spring 2019)

  • Information Rights—A Survey - 2 Bus § Entrp & Tax L Rev 41 (2018)

  • Should Texas Adopt All or Part of the Uniform Protected Series Act? - forthcoming, Houston Business and Tax Law Journal (Spring 2018)

  • Uniform Protected Series Act—A Welcome Advance in Series LLC Legislation - forthcoming, Houston Business and Tax Law Journal (Winter 2019)

  • Will Your Veil be Pierced? How Strong is Your Entity’s Liability Shield?—Piercing the Veil, Alter Ego, and Other Bases for Holding an Owner Liable for Debts of an Entity - 12 Hastings Business Law Journal 349 (2015-2016);

  • Pick Your Partner Versus the United States Bankruptcy Code - 46 Texas Journal of Business Law No. 2 at 23 (Fall 2015), with Herrick K. Lidstone, Jr.

  • Through the Looking Glass: Series LLCs in 2016 - 3 Business & Bankruptcy Law Journal 1

  • Series LLCs - 53 The REPTL Reporter No. 2 (Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, State Bar of Texas, February 2015)

  • The Rescission Doctrine: Everything Old is New Again - 4 Am. U. Bus. L. Rev.183 (2015)

  • Fifth Circuit Misses Opportunity to Bring Clarity to Series LLC Questions - Business Law Today (April 2014)

  • Series LLCs in Interstate Commerce and Tax Aspects of Series LLCs - Business Law Today (February 2013); with Adrienne Randle Bond, “The Series LCC: A New Planning Tool”, 45 Texas Journal of Business Law (Fall 2012).

  • Allen was a contributing author to William Schmidt “Preserving Your Wealth: A Guide to Colorado Probate & Estate Planning” (2012) Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Business Organizations (Colorado Bar Association, Allen F. Rozansky and E. Lee Reichert, Managing Editors), and Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Organizations (Colorado Bar Association, Karen E. Leafer, Managing Editor).