Attorneys

Paul Leslie

Practice Areas

  • Healthcare Operations, Transactions, and Regulatory Compliance
  • Governmental & Regulatory Investigations & Litigation (Healthcare & Commercial)
  • Interim General Counsel Services

Paul’s exposure to the law came at a young age, through his father, who owned and operated several local businesses. Whether it was real estate development, banking or venture capital finance, Paul came to understand how important attorneys were to ensuring that those businesses were successful. “I know it sounds a little cliché,” he says. “But I saw early on how attorneys could help people. And so I never really wanted to do anything else.”

Just like the attorneys who worked with his father, Paul approaches his own practice with the same level of business savvy. For him, it informs his legal strategy. For his clients, it’s become key to solving some of their most pressing concerns. Paul’s extensive in-house general counsel experience, knowledge of industry practices, the regulatory landscape, and appreciation for the importance of understanding his client’s business objectives and internal structure and practices help him deliver not only practical but cost-effective solutions, and avoid the pitfalls and challenges faced by attorneys without the same experience or business acumen.

Recently, Paul served as executive vice president and general counsel for the Parkland Health & Hospital System, where he managed an award-winning team of attorneys, as well as oversaw the legal affairs of one of the largest and most sophisticated academic medical centers in the country. Over the years, Paul has become close colleagues with the attorneys at Estes Thorne & Carr, and witnessed the value they deliver to clients.  They’ve collaborated on a number of occasions and when the opportunity to join the firm presented itself, he knew it was what he wanted to do.

When not in the office, Paul enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, skiing and pursuing adventure sports. He is currently working on an intensive, multi-year project to improve his golf handicap.

Experience and Expertise

During his over 30 years of legal experience, Paul has developed extensive healthcare regulatory, operational, and transactional experience, including legal oversight of the development and construction of a new state-of-the-art $1.3 billion hospital and healthcare center, transactional work creating a new healthcare company devoted to clinical innovation through the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”), and the successful negotiation and completion of several corporate integrity agreements ("CIA") with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS"), a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS").  He has led the development and implementation of enterprise risk management departments and functions for healthcare institutions, as well as the legal support for the development and implementation of corporate compliance departments and functions. 

Paul has held several leadership positions throughout his legal career.  As an executive vice president, he served on the executive leadership team for a $1.5 billion healthcare system, overseeing management and operations, including its operational and budget processes; the adoption of strategic plan and goals; oversight and implementation of restructuring plans; adoption of its master facilities and property acquisition and divesture strategies; and oversight of its audit, compliance, and enterprise risk management activities.

As general counsel, Paul has managed large and diverse legal, enterprise risk management, contract management, and records management departments, including legal oversight responsibility for a $5 billion business unit.  He led an in-house initiative that consolidated and reduced the annual outside legal costs by over 10%.  He has extensive experience in board governance and secretarial oversight, having served as the secretary and chief legal advisor for several boards.  He also served as the hiring partner for a large Dallas law firm, overseeing the hiring of firm attorneys.

Paul also held the following leadership positions relevant to his areas of expertise:

  • Chief legal advisor and executive liaison to the following Board Committees:
    • Audit
    • Governance, Compliance & Ethics
    • Budget & Finance
    • Talent Development & Executive Compensation (HR)
  • Executive Compliance Committee  
  • Enterprise Risk Management Council (Chair)

Paul has also been named an Outstanding General Counsel by the General Counsel Forum, recognizing his excellence in legal department leadership, in addition to being an AV Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the highest excellence in legal ability and ethical standards.

Through his extensive expertise in developing and implementing cost-effective strategies for successfully addressing legal matters, he has amassed considerable experience in these areas: 

  • Healthcare Regulatory Compliance
  • Healthcare Operations and Transactions
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Contract Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial/Whistleblower Litigation
  • Government/False Claims Investigations and Litigation
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Insurance Contract Coverage Issues and Litigation

Paul also places a high value on diversity and inclusion.  While serving as general counsel, his department received the 2017 Magna Stella award for Excellence in Diversity from the Texas General Counsel Forum.  The diversity of his department and outside legal expenditures to MWBE certified law firms well in excess of 20% was noted as truly impressive and helped to garner the recognition for excellence in diversity and inclusion. 


Education And Certifications

J.D., St. Mary’s University School of Law (1987)

  • Associate Editor, St. Mary’s Law Journal
  • American Jurisprudence Awards in Appellate Brief Writing and Property
  • Winner, Norvell Moot Court Competition
  • Best Brief Award, Norvell Moot Court

B.A. Finance, Texas Christian University (1984)

  • Vice President of Study Body, TCU House of Student Representatives

Admissions

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

United States District Courts of New Mexico (Retired)


Affiliations

Member, State Bar of Texas

Retired Member, State Bar of New Mexico

Member, American Bar Association

Former Vice-Chair, Energy Resources Committee of the Torts and Insurance Practice Section

Member, The Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism

Member, Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation


Community Activities

Member, Irving Bible Church

Member, Programs Committee, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce (2003-2006)

Graduate, Leadership Dallas, Class of 2000

Member, Board of Directors, Big Thought (2003-2009)

Member, Community Affairs Committee, Dallas Business Committee for the Arts, (2003-2005)

Graduate, Leadership Arts, Dallas Business Committee for the Arts (2002)

Volunteer, Austin Street Shelter Mission Committee, First United Methodist Church of Coppell (2002-2006)


Prior Work Experience

Parkland Health & Hospital System – Executive Vice President & General Counsel (2010-2018)

Taber Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC (2010)

Tenet Healthcare Corporation – Assistant General Counsel (2005-2010)

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP (1992-2005)

Touchstone, Bernays, Johnston, Beall & Smith (1988-1992)


Professional Achievements

Recognized excellence in legal department leadership: Named “Outstanding General Counsel,” receiving the 2016 Magna Stella award from the General Counsel Forum, recognizing his excellence in legal department leadership (Parkland Health & Hospital System)

Recognized excellence in diversity & inclusion: While serving as General Counsel, Legal Affairs Department recognized for outstanding commitment to and promotion of diversity and inclusion, 2017 Magna Stella award for excellence in Diversity from the Texas General Counsel Forum (Parkland Health & Hospital System)

Success in managing complicated healthcare transactions: Formation of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation and related transactions with private equity venture capital firms, including a long-term exclusive software license agreement for commercialization of groundbreaking technology involving real time data and predictive analytics utilization AI to improve clinical outcomes at the point of care and reduce healthcare costs for patients

Success in managing large healthcare construction projects/transactions: Construction, completion, and opening of award winning $1.3 billion new, state-of-the-art hospital and associated on-campus healthcare clinics (17 Story, 2.1 million square foot, 862 licensed beds)

Successfully handled governmental investigations with HHS Office of Inspector General: Negotiation and successful compliance of two CIAs with CMS, a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services

Successfully handled governmental investigations HHS CMS: Negotiation and successful compliance of a Systems Improvement Agreement for a large acute care hospital system with CMS, a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services

Identified & successfully pursued vital legislation for client: Identified need for and successfully championed new legislation providing Texas hospital districts with broader commercial authority for handling and benefiting from real property assets

Excellent client satisfaction survey results (Parkland): Managed award winning legal department that continuously obtained outstanding client satisfaction scores including top ratings for being valued business partners providing clear and understandable legal advice, excellent overall client satisfaction, and inspired trust, approachability and candor overall legal services.  One anonymous comment noted, “In my opinion, Paul Leslie is one of the most, if not the most, trusted and approachable senior leaders at Parkland.”    …

AV Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the highest excellence in legal ability and ethical standards


Publications

Speaker and Panelist, “Effective Internal Investigations,” Health Care Compliance Association, North Texas Region Meeting (2017)

Speaker and Panelist, Cybersecurity & Liability Assessment & Update, Enterprise Risk Management Update to Board of Managers, Parkland Health & Hospital System (2016 & 2017)

Speaker, Board’s Fiduciary Duties & Liability Profile and Best Practices for Managing It, New Board Member Orientation and Update to Board of Managers, Parkland Health & Hospital System (2011, 2013, 2015 & 2017)

Speaker, Form 990 & Intermediate Sanctions Impact on Executive Compensation for Tax Exempt Entities, Update to Board of Managers, Parkland Health & Hospital System (2013 & 2015)

Speaker and Panelist, “What Every In-House Healthcare Attorney Needs to Know: Patient Consent & Proper Recommendations for Hospital Attorneys,” Texas Health Lawyers Association CLE Meeting (2016)

Keynote Speaker, Effective Legal Matter Management, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, 8th Annual Awards Night, The George W Bush Institute (2015)

Speaker, “Protecting Privileged and Confidential Information,” New Board Member Orientation and Update to Board of Managers, Parkland Health & Hospital System (2015 & 2017)

Speaker, Effective Management of Healthcare Operational and Compliance Challenges, Teaching Hospitals of Texas (THOT) Law Conference (2013)

Speaker, Effective Management of Healthcare Operational and Compliance Challenges under Corporate Integrity Agreements and System Improvement Agreements with CMS, Faculty & Senior Administration Conference, University Medical Center of El Paso, Texas (2013)

Speaker and Panelist, Enforcement and Compliance Issues Involving Hospital Agreements, 2012 Health Law Conference, University of Texas School of Law (2012)

Speaker, “Maintaining our Moral Compass,” Parkland Health & Hospital System Leadership Forum (2012)

Speaker, “Alternative is Not Always Superior: Mitigating Litigation Cost and Risk with Tailored, Measurable Fee Arrangements,” International Quality and Productivity Center, Corporate Litigation Exchange (2010)

Speaker and Panelist, “Best Practices: Regulatory Compliance and Education Plans” (Negotiating and Operating under a CIA), False Claims and Compliance Seminar, Dallas Regional Chamber and K&L Gates (2009) 

Speaker and Panelist, “Legislative and Litigation Trends in State False Claims,” False Claims and Compliance Seminar, Dallas Regional Chamber and K&L Gates (2009)

Speaker and Panelist, “Client Service,” Holland & Knight All Lawyer Meeting (2008)

Speaker and Panelist, “Government Investigations – Practical Advice,” Alston & Bird LLP Health Care Forum (2007)

Speaker, “Internal Investigations – Best Practices,” Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Law Department Meeting (2007)

Speaker, “Top Ten Ways to Lose A Favorite Client, Tenet’s Expectations of Outside Counsel, Tenth Annual Tenet Defense Counsel Meeting (2007)

Speaker, “Legal Perspective on Integrity in Financial Reporting,” 2006 Tenet Financial Leadership Conference, Tenet Healthcare Corporation

Speaker, “Loss and Litigation Contingencies: Legal’s Role,” (Reserve and SFAS 5 practices), Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Law Department Meeting (2006)