Energy litigation: oil and gas in United States

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P. has deep expertise in the oil and gas litigation space with a broad practice that represents leading multinationals, service companies, pipelines, refiners and major trade organizations. The practice group advises on high-profile litigation cases, as well as other energy related issues such as infrastructure, services, environmental and intellectual property disputes. Energy litigation head William Kroger has a nationwide practice with an extensive background in oil and gas. Jason Newman has an in-depth oil and gas litigation practice with a focus for issues concerning horizontal drilling. Meghan McElvy is also noted and focuses on energy litigation in Texas and in federal courts. She also handles contested energy regulatory proceedings before the Texas Public Utility Commission and Texas Railroad Commission. All named individuals are based in Houston.

Practice head(s):

William Kroger

Other key lawyers:

Louie Layrisson; Macey Reasoner Stokes; Russell Lewis; Meghan McElvy; Jason Newman; George Fibbe


‘Good oil and gas litigation lawyers.’

‘Good bench of lawyers. Bill Kroger and Jason Newman are very good on oil and gas law.’

‘Expertise in the subject area; thoughtful, prudent advice focused on achieving the best result for the client, including willingness to focus on early resolution.’

‘John Anaipakos is a standout partner. Deep bench of sharp associates.’

Key clients

Car Litigaton Group


Courson Oil & Gas

Dura-Bond Industries, Inc.

EOG Resources

Halliburton Company

Hess Corporation

Indigo Minerals LLC

Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC

Jsc Tyumenneftegaz (Subsidiary of Rosneft Oil Company Pao)

Kindermorgan Texas Pipeline, LLC

Matador Resources Company

Murphy Oil Corporation

Occidential Petroleum Corporation

Patterson-Uti Energy, Inc.

Repsol Oil & Gas USA, LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC in a variety of matters, including numerous private party lawsuits and three class actions, arising from a multi-day fire at ITC’s Deer Park terminal in March 2019.
  • Representing EOG in a series of disputes in the massive Powder River Basin with a large landowner in Wyoming concerning the current and future use of his property for oil and gas development.
  • Representing Repsol Oil & Gas USA, LLC in over 100 individual lawsuits in state and federal court where plaintiffs, combined, seek over $1bn in damages for the alleged misallocation of production and underpayment of royalties.

Gibbs & Bruns LLP

Gibbs & Bruns LLP is a litigation boutique based in Houston with recognized expertise in the oil and gas sector. Though the firm is strongest in Houston, it has experience handling a wide range of energy cases for both plaintiffs and defendants on a nationwide basis. Robin Gibbs has extensive experience representing clients in energy and oil and gas litigation and Kathy Patrick is also highly experienced in this space, having recently been involved in a number of high-profile and high-risk cases. Barrett Reasoner has a broad commercial litigation practice covering securities, oil and gas, construction, environmental, and intellectual property law. Brian Ross is also recommended in the practice group.

Practice head(s):

Robin Gibbs; Kathy Patrick; Barrett Reasoner

Other key lawyers:

Mark Giugliano; Ayesha Najam; Brian Ross; Colin Pogge

Key clients

Occidental Petroleum

Enterprise Products

Sanchez Oil & Gas

Pioneer Natural Resources

Rig Up, Inc.

SM Energy Company

Kinder Morgan

Chevron Corporation

U.S. Pipeline

Natural Resource Partners, LP

Work highlights

  • Representing Occidental Chemical Corporation in a suit filed on June 30, 2018 in which Occidental is seeking contribution from more than 100 defendants for, among other costs, the $165m Occidental has agreed to spend to design the dredge-and-cap remedy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined is necessary to remediate pollution in the lower eight miles of the Passaic River.
  • Representing Enterprise Products Operating LLC in a massive engineering/construction lawsuit concerning a large petrochemical refinery recently constructed in Mont Belvieu, Texas.
  • Representing Sanchez Oil & Gas in a trade secret and breach of fiduciary duty case against Terra and three individuals.

King & Spalding LLP

With an impressive client roster including a number of well-known energy companies, King & Spalding LLP is highly regarded for handling trial litigation in the oil and gas space, where it is regularly involved in cases ranging from toxic torts and securities law through to general commercial disputes and royalties cases. Managing partner Tracie Renfroe has a national trial practice focusing on toxic tort, environmental law, product liability and commercial disputes. Robert Meadows is a key name to note and has a significant experience in energy-related commercial and tort cases. Other individuals in the team include Jeremiah Anderson, who focuses on construction and environmental litigation, and San-Francisco-based Charles Correll, who has a strong arbitration practice. Marcella Burke and Carol Wood are also noted. All partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Tracie Renfroe

Other key lawyers:

Shannon Kasley; Reggie Smith; Mike Stenglein; Robert Meadows; Jeremiah Anderson; Charles Correll; Marcella Burke; Carol Wood

Key clients

Chevron Corporation

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company


G2X Energy

Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.

Refinería de Cartagena S.A. (Reficar)

Shell Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Defended Chevron U.S.A. and Chevron Corp. in connection with claims totaling over $1bn following an August 2012 fire at the Richmond, CA refinery.
  • Representing Chevron in an investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador seated in the Hague, arising out of a $9.5bn Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron for alleged environmental harm caused by historical oilfield operations.
  • Representing Chevron as lead national trial counsel in numerous cases in which municipalities, water purveyors, State Attorneys General, and individuals claim that water has been contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Rated by clients for its 'deep institutional knowledge', Vinson & Elkins LLP has a strong roster of experienced litigators and appellate lawyers that handle a wide range of issues including energy contract disputes, royalty litigation and class actions, as well as disputes specific to shale and hydraulic fracturing. Jim Thompson co-heads the litigation practice and has an extensive background in the oil and gas industry. Energy litigation practice head Matthew Stammel is based in Dallas and represents a range of oil and gas companies and private equity firms. Nicholas Shum specializes in complex commercial disputes in the energy industry, including upstream and midstream contract disputes, fracking disputes, royalty disputes and leasing disputes. Marie Yeates is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jim Thompson; Matthew Stammel

Other key lawyers:

Marie Yeates; Nicholas Shum

Key clients

Antero Resources Corp.

Denbury Resources, Inc.




Magellan Midstream Partners

Gavilan Resources Inc

CNOOC Energy U.S.A. LLC. (“CEU”)

Work highlights

  • Successfully advised Gavilan Resources, LLC, as the plaintiff in a dispute with a defendant operator stemming from a joint development agreement concerning more than 330,000 acres and 1,800 wells.
  • Acted as lead counsel for Antero in a case involving one of the largest long-term gas supply contracts in the US.
  • Represented Antero in a lawsuit against South Jersey Gas Co. and South Jersey Resources Group concerning breach of a long-term gas supply agreement.

Beck Redden

Beck Redden is a Houston-based trial and appellate firm that has a national energy practice and has represented clients in all the major US energy jurisdictions. A key figure in the team is name partner David Beck, who has a strong background in litigation and has a notable track record in oil and gas cases. Mark Rodriguez has extensive experience handling high-stakes litigation cases in the energy industry. Fields Alexander is recommended for disputes involving commercial transactions, business torts, professional malpractice, and energy litigation. Also recommended is Matthew Whitley, who focuses on IP and commercial disputes in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):

David Beck; Mark Rodriguez; Fields Alexander

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Whitley


‘Alex Roberts, Geoff Gannaway, Hannah Roblyer, and Garrett Brawley all are very strong and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Enterprise Products Partners LP et al.

US Silica Holdings, Inc., and SandBox Logistics, LLC

Oxy USA Inc.

Frontier International

Chesapeake Exploration

Chevron Corp.

ExxonMobil Corporation

BP America Production Company

Valero Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Obtained a $535m judgement in the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of Enterprise Products Partners LP.
  • Obtained appellate victory in a $200m oil and gas dispute on behalf of Chesapeake Exploration.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a long history of advising clients in the energy industry and has represented large US energy companies before all major federal and state agencies including the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Securities & Exchange Commission. In addition to agency proceedings, the litigation team has in-depth experience representing clients before state and federal courts, appeals courts, international courts, and arbitration panels. Houston-based Anna Rotman heads up the practice and represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state courts, federal courts, and arbitrations. Daniel Donovan in Washington DC and Richard Godfrey in Chicago are also recommended in the practice group.

Practice head(s):

Anna Rotman

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Regan; Ragan Naresh; Andrew Langan; Daniel Donovan; Richard Godfrey; Paul Clement

Key clients

American Jereh

Bayou City Energy

BP plc and affiliates (e.g. BP America, Inc.)

Cheniere Energy

Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C.

Chesapeake Exploration

Energy Capital Partners

Energy Transfer Partners

EXCO Resources, Inc.

Extraction Oil & Gas

Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. (f/k/a EV Energy Partners, L.P.)

Legacy Reserves LP

MEG Energy Corp.

Parker Drilling Company

Primexx Energy Partners Ltd.

Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation

Total E&P USA, Inc.; Rio Tinto; Total Specialties USA, Inc.

Ultra Petroleum Corp.

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Extraction Oil & Gas in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in rejecting under the Bankruptcy Code six midstream contracts valued at over $1bn that contained covenants that run with the land.
  • Represent BP in remaining personal injury claims in multi-district litigation arising out of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Successfully represented Chesapeake Exploration in the US District Court of the Northern District of Ohio in a multimillion-dollar dispute with landowners over the company’s practice of deducting post-production costs from their royalty payments, known as the netback method.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has a broad oil and gas litigation practice that covers upstream, midstream and oilfield services-related disputes. Key areas of focus include market manipulation, antitrust, environmental enforcement, and commodities and derivatives enforcement issues. Melanie Rother co-heads the practice and has significant experience handling trial cases in the energy and technology space. Reagan Brown heads the practice alongside Rother and is a name to note for royalty cases. Dan McClure is also recommended in the team. All named individuals are based in Houston.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Rother; Reagan Brown

Other key lawyers:

Bob Comer; Stephen Dillard; Dan McClure

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP has significant experience defending pipeline companies before FERC and appellate courts. The practice advises across a broad range of regulatory and litigation issues concerning oil pipelines, in addition to pipeline transactions, project development, pipeline safety and accident response, and FERC enforcement issues. Daniel Poynor heads the pipeline practice and has extensive experience representing clients before FERC and appellate courts. Steve Reed is also very familiar with the regulatory landscape for US oil pipelines. Other key contacts include Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov and Daniel Mullen. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Steve Reed; Daniel Poynor

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov; Daniel Mullen; Dane Jaques; Steven Brose; David Coburn; Laura Swett; Stephen Snyder

Key clients

Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL)

Colonial Pipeline Company

Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership (EELP)

Eddystone Rail Company LLC (ERC)

CHS, Inc.

Northern Natural Gas Company

Work highlights

  • Defending Colonial Pipeline Company against a claim that challenges the ability of a pipeline operator to permit blending of gasoline flowing through its pipeline with butane even if the product meets the applicable product specification under the tariff filed with FERC.
  • Representing Enbridge entities in a lawsuit filed in Michigan Circuit Court by the Michigan Attorney General that challenges the continued operation of Enbridge’s Line 5 Dual Pipelines across the Straits of Mackinac.
  • Representing Eddystone Rail Company LLC (ERC), a subsidiary of Enbridge, the largest transporter of energy operating in North America, in connection with a $170m commercial dispute.

Susman Godfrey LLP

Susman Godfrey LLP fields a team of lawyers who are 'experts in their field'. Key areas of work include handling land and royalty disputes, disagreements between operators and service providers, claims arising from field operations, midstream disputes, and litigation in the power sector. Managing partner Neal Manne represents a range of oil and gas companies as well as corporate end-users in disputes in federal and state courts. Tom Paterson focuses solely on energy litigation and acts for a number of well-known energy companies. Also recommended are Geoffrey Harrison and Alexander Kaplan, who have experience of a variety of disputes in the sector, including trade secrets, royalties and antitrust cases.

Practice head(s):

Neal Manne; Tom Paterson

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Harrison; Erica Harris; Lexie White; Robert Safi; Alexander Kaplan; Ashley McMillian


‘A class above any other litigation firm I have ever encountered. They have a strong desire to win and have shown their ability to do so over and over.’

‘Geoffrey Harrison is so good that it’s scary. Alex Kaplan and Weston O’Black are cool, calm, and capable of dominating extremely complicated cases. Michael Kelso is an outstanding associate who doesn’t miss anything. They are simply smarter, faster, more aggressive (when appropriate) and more strategically astute than their competitors. In my mind, they do not have a peer firm. They are the gold standard.’

‘Susman Godfrey LLP’s energy litigation: oil and gas strengths can be summed up in two words: preparation and professionalism. Susman Godfrey knows litigation and the stress litigation causes on an in-house department. They are always ahead of opposing counsel, and they prepare a case second-to-none. They are also very professional in how they interact with opposing counsel, experts, and outer in-house employees.’

‘The individuals are experts in their field, and they do a great job in this type of litigation. I would strongly recommend Thomas Paterson and Nicholas Spear for oil and gas litigation.’

Key clients

EnerVest Oil & Gas

Arena Energy



Hess Corporation


Repeat Precision

Westlake Chemical

Mirada Energy

Whiting Petroleum Co

Work highlights

  • Won a $40m verdict for fracking company, Repeat Precision, which was the target of a fraud and breach of contract lawsuit, among other claims, brought by Diamondback Industries.
  • Represented Hess Corp in a $200m case involving safety valves used in deep-water wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Representing Apache since the case’s inception and 2016 trial win. In 2019, the United States Supreme Court declined a petition by W&T Offshore, Inc. to review and reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision upholding a federal district court’s judgment that was in favor of the client.

Holland & Knight LLP

Thompson & Knight LLP has a broad client base consisting of major domestic and international oil and gas companies, service providers and power project developers. The team handles a variety of disputes relating to oil and gas exploration and production, royalties, contracts and leases, upstream and downstream matters and environmental litigation. Gregory Binns chairs the oil and gas industry group, while Greg Curry heads the firm's trial practice and focuses on complex commercial litigation, with experience in the oil and gas sector. Craig Haynes is also noted and represents a range of major oil companies and gas plant owners in litigation. All named individuals are based in Dallas.

Practice head(s):

Greg Curry; Gregory Binns

Other key lawyers:

Craig Haynes

Key clients

BP America Production Co.

Petrobras America Inc. / Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras

Three Rivers Operation Company/ Three Rivers Acquisition LLC

Baker & Hostetler LLP

Baker & Hostetler LLP has a nationwide practice with experience handling litigation and regulatory matters in all major US oil and gas basins. Key areas of work include hydraulic fracking, federal oil and gas leases and antitrust claims. Poe Leggette heads the energy industry team and has strengths in energy transactions and litigation. Ray Whitman has extensive litigation experience and handles international contract disputes, theft of trade secrets, noncompete violations, wrongful death claims and seismic licensing matters, among other disputes. Mark Barron heads the Denver energy litigation team. Named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Poe Leggette; Ray Whitman

Other key lawyers:

Mark Barron

Key clients

Peregrine Oil & Gas II, LLC

Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC

XTO Energy Inc.

Geokinetics, Inc.

Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc.

Shell Oil Company

Trican Well Service LP

Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Devon Energy Corporation

Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP has an active presence in the oil and gas space and covers transactions, litigation, regulatory and pipeline development for clients in every segment of the oil and gas market. Specifically, the team represents oil and gas pipelines, LNG and storage companies in contested FERC proceedings and other disputes. It also advises on all aspects of pipeline infrastructure and assists midstream companies with the development of key projects. Managing partner Mark Lewis in Washington DC chairs the oil and gas regulatory practice. Practice head Stephen Crain is based in Houston and has a strong background in energy litigation. Andrew Zeve and Deanna King co-chair the energy litigation practice in Austin.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lewis; Stephen Crain; Andrew Zeve; Deanna King

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Dodson; Bryan Dumesnil; Stephen Benesh; Sean Gorman


‘Bracewell has done a very nice job endearing themselves to their client, understanding our needs and positioning themselves to react quickly to our legal issues. Their insight, expertise, and value rank second to none.’

‘Bracewell’s energy and regulatory teams understand the industry incredibly well, helping navigate troubled waters towards our success and goals.’

Key clients

TC Energy Corporation

Kinder Morgan, Inc.

Phillips 66

Enterprise Pipeline Partners, L.P.

Targa Resources Partners LP

DTE Energy

Enbridge, Inc.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC

Apache Corporation

Tallgrass Energy

Cheniere Energy, Inc.

Summit Midstream (Double E Pipeline)

Apache Corporation

Noble Energy

Kinder Morgan, Inc., Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC and Permian Highway Pipeline LLC

Foro Energy

Baker Hughes Incorporated

Enerflex Ltd.

Southwestern Energy

Luxe Operating, LLC

Triple Crown Energy LLC

Catena Resource LLC

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Rockies Express Pipeline LLC in a hotly contested FERC proceeding involving the complex relationship between bankruptcy court jurisdiction and FERC’s jurisdiction.
  • Successfully represented Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC and Phillip 66 Company in litigation before FERC involving a complaint filed by NGL Supply, LLC that challenged Phillips Pipeline’s prorationing procedures and claimed that the clients were engaged in unlawful, discriminatory practices and market manipulation.
  • Representing Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector before FERC and assisting with starting the construction and operation of an LNG export terminal and connecting interstate natural gas pipeline in Oregon.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. is recognized for its experience litigating in state and federal courts, as well as its handling of domestic and international arbitration proceedings. The practice group represents key US oil and gas basins and has offices located near many of the major shale plays. Craig Stahl manages The Woodlands (Texas) office and has been involved in significant natural gas flaring, fracking, and environmental indemnities cases. Houston-based Michael Mazzone co-chairs the litigation group and represents energy companies in environmental contamination, indemnity and toxic tort cases. He is also experienced in construction litigation and arbitration and real estate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Craig Stahl; Michael Mazzone

Other key lawyers:

David Ammons; Jeffrey Keuhnle


‘Haynes and Boone’s energy litigation team provides unparalleled expertise and experience in oil & gas matters. Unlike many litigators today, they have actually tried cases and obtained defense verdicts. They do an excellent job of developing a successful strategy for high stakes, high exposure litigation.’

Key clients

Shell Oil Company

Newfield Exploration Company (now Ovintiv USA Inc.)

ConocoPhillips Company

Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP

Oasis Petroleum North America LLC

SWEPI d/b/a Shell Western E&P

Finley Resources, Inc.

FourPoint Energy, LLC

TETRA Technologies, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Shell Oil Company in a five-week jury trial of environmental contamination claims.
  • Representing Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP in a putative class action alleging late royalty payments by our producer client on thousands of leases in North Dakota.
  • Acting as lead counsel in two cases for Newfield Exploration Company (now Ovintiv USA Inc.): The first, a putative class action alleging improper post-production royalty deductions on royalty payments in Oklahoma pending in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The second, a matter in North Dakota in which the State of North Dakota claims that it was underpaid royalties on state oil and gas leases.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP has noted expertise in a variety of disputes in the oil and gas sector, including those relating to the development of oil and gas projects, transportation and trading, and the supply and marketing of crude oil. The team represents clients in federal and state court proceedings, and also handles international arbitration proceedings. Stefan Krantz has extensive experience advising clients on natural gas pipeline delivery systems and is also recommended for FERC proceedings. Robert Wolinsky has a strong litigation background with expertise handling oil and gas litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Robert Wolinsky; Stefan Krantz

Key clients

Columbia Gulf Transmission


TC Energy

Nomura Holding, Inc.


Millennium Pipeline Co.

Citgo Petroleum Corporation


Work highlights

  • Represents Transocean, the global-leading, Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor in a long-running lawsuit filed by Eni relating to a deepwater drillship.
  • Defending Nomura against a securities fraud case brought in Texas state court by AIG affiliates American Home Assurance Company, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., and the United States Life Insurance Company of the City of New York.
  • Represented Columbia Gulf Transmission, the US-based subsidiary of TC Energy, the leading Canada-based energy infrastructure company in a hotly contested breach of contract case based on an agreement with Plains Gas Solutions.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is an attractive choice for multinational oil and gas companies and financial services companies seeking 'top-shelf' client service in high-stakes oil and gas disputes in the US. Highlights over the review period have covered exploration and production operations, refining, distribution, marketing and retail activities. Washington DC-based Brad Fagg co-heads the energy litigation practice and focuses on contractual and regulatory disputes. Michelle Pector in Houston also co-chairs the energy litigation practice and handles commercial disputes, employment claims, supply chain disputes and more. Los Angeles-based James Dragna leads the environmental practice.

Practice head(s):

James Dragna; Brad Fagg; Michelle Pector

Other key lawyers:

Ella Foley Gannon; Bryan Killian; Winstol Carter; John Gisleson; Rick Rothman


‘The team in Houston understands the energy industry and its dynamics which is helpful. Their team is talented as well as strategic and they listen to their legal and business clients. The uniqueness of this team is a desire to get to a settlement or establish a litigation strategy as soon as possible, based on the merits of the case. They are never the team that wastes money and time with millions of unimportant depos or an unending motion practice. They want to get a resolution for their clients as quickly and as efficiently as possible. ’

‘Loyalty to their clients. Honesty and transparency in strategy being employed. Willing to staff in ways that make sense to clients. Most top shelf client service I have ever seen from a team.’

Key clients

ConocoPhillips Company

HollyFrontier Corporation

Mitsui E&P USA, LLC

Noble Energy, Inc.

Royal Dutch Shell and subsidiaries

Shell Oil Products US

Southern California Gas Company

Vertex Downhole

Work highlights

  • Acting as coordinating and litigation counsel for Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy in various matters arising from the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
  • Secured a win for Royal Dutch Shell and several of its subsidiaries when the US Supreme Court denied a group of commodity traders’ petition for writ of certiorari in a closely watched antitrust case we had won before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Obtained partial dismissal on statute of limitations grounds of a complaint filed against client Shell Oil Products US and other California gasoline refiners accusing them of violating state antitrust laws by conspiring to raise gas prices in the state.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has a broad energy litigation practice that covers disputes involving environmental claims and investigations, commercial contracts, tax and tariff stabilization, price review and more. The team is also recognized for its expertise in arbitration, where its acts for energy companies and foreign governments. Houston-based Karl Stern co-heads the energy sector disputes practice and advises on energy joint ventures, oil field services, international oil and gas development projects and offshore drilling. In New York, joint practice head Sanford Weisburst focuses on agency disputes and commercial litigation at trial court and appellate levels, and Kathleen Sullivan is also recommened.

Practice head(s):

Karl Stern; Sanford Weisburst

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Sullivan; Daniel Salinas-Serrano; David Orta; Christopher Porter; Patrick King

Key clients


Valaris plc / Rowan Companies

Castleton Commodities Merchant Trading L.P.

TRC Operating Company, Inc. and TRC Cypress Group, LLC

Vantage Deepwater Company, Vantage Deepwater Drilling, Inc.

Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro, S.A.P.I. de C.V.

Otto Candies, LLC; Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.; Nordic Trustee ASA, et al.

Seacor Holdings Inc., O’Brien’s Response Management LLC, National Response Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represent Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro S.A.P.I. de C.V. and its subsidiaries, one of Mexico’s largest oil services providers, in several cross-border matters.
  • Represent a large consortium of plaintiffs, comprising banks, investment funds, and shipping companies, including in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US, in a multibillion-dollar suit in connection with the largest financial fraud in the history of Latin America.
  • Represents UMB Bank as indenture trustee for the holders of approximately $1.4bn in notes issued by Rowan Companies, and now purportedly assumed by Valaris.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP has a broad energy and natural resources practice that works closely along side the firm's environmental team to offer clients a strong multidisciplinary service. Key areas of work include royalties disputes, environmental and regulatory enforcement cases. Nicolle Bagnell co-chairs the energy and natural resources practice. Justin Werner and Stefanie Lepore Burt are also recommended, as is Megan Haines, who joined the team from McGuireWoods LLP in October 2020. All named partners are based in Pittsburgh or Houston.

Practice head(s):

Prajakt Samant; Stan Perry; Nicolle Snyder Bagnell

Other key lawyers:

Justin Werner; Kevin Abbott; Kenneth Broughton; Julie Hardin; Stefanie Lepore Burt; Megan Haines


‘Reed Smith put forward the extra effort. Answers to questions are always quick, with return calls or email responses. Clear direction and time is always taken to fulfill our needs.’

‘I work directly with Megan Haines on environmental issues, such as Act II responses, assisting with paperwork during asset acquisitions. Her organization skills and knowledge are spot on at all times. Megan never seems bothered to assist in any and all matters. Her contacts in the industry are extremely valuable.’

‘Megan Haines recently joined the firm. Her in depth knowledge of the oil and gas industry and her professional relationship with many of the regulatory agencies’ law teams are a tremendous benefit to us. She is able to use her knowledge and negotiation skill set to positively affect the outcome of many of our negotiations. The addition of Megan was a huge win for Reed Smith.’

Reynolds Frizzell LLP

Based in Houston, Reynolds Frizzell LLP has deep expertise in energy disputes and represents clients in the state, federal and appeal courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Acting for a broad client base, the practice is jointly led by Chris Reynolds, an experienced and highly regarded trial lawyer in the oil and gas sector. Jean Frizzell co-heads the team alongside Reynolds.

Practice head(s):

Chris Reynolds; Jean Frizzell

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Doyle; Brandon Allen; Michael Oldham; Nathan Smith

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has extensive experience advising on all aspects of environmental issues related to oil and gas permitting, construction, operation and maintenance, infrastructure and compliance. Deidre Duncan is the practice group leader and represents key domestic oil and natural gas pipelines and their respective trade associations. San Francisco managing partner Shannon Broome represents companies and trade associations in both the upstream and downstream spaces. Also recommended are Eric Murdock and Houston-based Alexis Gomez. Named partners are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Eric Murdock; Deidre Duncan

Other key lawyers:

Shannon Broome; Chuck Knauss; Alexis Gomez; Kevin Finto; Pete Johnson; Stuart Hollimon

Key clients

NuStar Energy L.P.

NWP 12 Litigation Group

Marathon Petroleum Corporation

Statoil Gulf Services LLC

Calsep, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised NuStar Energy on an explosion of two ethanol tanks at NuStar Energy’s Selby Terminal, a key conduit for Northern California’s renewable fuels.
  • Represent a coalition of diverse national trade associations as defendant-intervenors in a suit filed by environmental groups challenging Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12.
  • Representing Marathon Petroleum Corporation (and related entities) in nine nearly identical climate nuisance cases filed across the country on behalf of municipalities, counties, states and one trade association, all of whom are represented by the same plaintiffs’ firm.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates handles trial and appellate work for companies involved in oil and gas exploration, storage, transmission and project development. The practice represents clients before municipal regulatory agencies and has experience in matters ranging from royalties disputes to hydraulic fracturing cases. Sandra Safro acts as the practice group coordinator from Houston and Washington DC. Also recommended are Fort Worth-based Elizabeth Tiblets and Jeffrey King, who divides time between Fort Worth and Houston.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Safro; Clare Kempkens

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey King; Elizabeth Tiblets

Key clients

TH Exploration II and Tug Hill Operating

TH Exploration

Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals

Enterprise Products Partners

Pachira Energy

Chief Exploration & Development


McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP advises a variety of energy industry clients across the areas of exploration, development, production, storage and transportation. In this regard, the team is experienced in both high-profile litigation and regulatory matters. Richmond-based Ryan Frei is an experienced commercial litigator who co-chairs the energy disputes practice. Brian Jackson in Charlottesville and Greg Krock in Pittsburgh are also noted. Megan Haines joined Reed Smith LLP in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Frei

Other key lawyers:

Jim Jeffries; Brian Jackson; Greg Krock

Key clients

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and NiSource

Work highlights

  • On Oct. 17, 2019 Judge James Lang of the Essex County Superior Court of Massachusetts granted preliminary approval of a $143m settlement for a class action against firm client Columbia Gas.

Porter Hedges LLP

Porter Hedges LLP's Houston-based team covers a broad range of matters in the oil and gas sector including royalty claims, leasehold matters, environmental cases and exploration disputes. Eugene Nettles is an experienced trial lawyer and heads the practice alongside Eric Wade.

Practice head(s):

Eugene Nettles; Eric Wade

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Lee

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP handles disputes for natural gas utilities, public and private independent exploration and production companies, midstream companies and financial services companies involved in the sector. Houston-based Hugh Tanner chairs the oil and gas litigation practice is an experienced trial lawyer in both state and federal courts. Denise Scofield is also based in Houston and defends oil and gas companies in commercial litigation and toxic tort lawsuits. The wider energy and infrastructure industry group is jointly led by Mike Blankenship in Houston alongside New York-based Mike Pikiel and Rich Shutran.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Tanner; Mike Blankenship; Mike Pikiel; Rich Shutran

Other key lawyers:

Paula Hinton; John Keville; Tim Carey; James Nye; Denise Scofield

Key clients

Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Seminole Electric Cooperative

Sunoco LP


Cameron International Corporation

WesternGeco LLC

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Schlumberger in a breach of contract dispute in which the plaintiff, Hess Corporation, claimed Schlumberger breached the parties’ contract after the failure of safety valves bought from Schlumberger.
  • Represents Seminole Electric Cooperative in a case involving the termination of a Tolling Agreement with Shady Hills Energy Center, who has filed an Amended Complaint in response to Seminole’s motion to dismiss.
  • Obtained a verdict of patent validity and infringement on behalf of Sunoco against US Oil, Inc., and US Venture, Inc. in a bench trial, arguing that the presented evidence painted a clear picture that US Venture not only copied Sunoco’s system, it also attempted to hide its actions from Sunoco, and went on to change its blending system before trial.