Gibbs & Bruns LLP > Houston, United States > Firm Profile

Gibbs & Bruns LLP
SUITE 5300
United States

Energy > Energy litigation: oil and gas Tier 1

Praised for its ‘elite courtroom skills’, Gibbs & Bruns LLP exclusively handles high-profile commercial litigation. While based in Houston, the firm has a national reach and represents a broad client base, ranging from tech start-ups to major entities in the oil and gas sector. Founding partner Robin Gibbs is a veteran of the industry, with over 50 years' experience in handling high-stakes business and commercial litigation, while Kathy Patrick is relied upon by industry powerhouses, such as Occidental, in handling high-end issues. Barrett Reasoner is adept in handling business-critical disputes for energy companies and Brian Ross is highly recommended, with a docket that includes prominent force majeure disputes stemming from Winter Storm Uri. Mark Giugliano is another key contact in the group, with considerable experience in multi-party commercial litigation, while Sam Cruse, who is commended as ‘a highly effective courtroom lawyer and negotiator’, is noted for his expertise in the energy and finance sectors.

Practice head(s):

Robin Gibbs; Kathy Patrick; Barret Reasoner

Other key lawyers:

Brian Ross; Mark Giugliano; Andi Gulley; Sam Cruse; David Sheeren


‘Excellent lawyers, subject-matter experts, great use of technology and elite courtroom skills.’

‘Sam Cruse is my first call for high stakes oil and gas litigation matters.  He has successfully handled several high stakes oil and gas contract and royalties disputes for us.  He is a highly effective courtroom lawyer and negotiator.’

Key clients

Occidental Petroleum

Enterprise Products

Lone Star Production Company

Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Quantum Energy Partners

Kinder Morgan

Tennessee Gas Pipeline

GR Lift LP

Mesquite Energy

Tanos Exploration

Pioneer Natural Resources, Inc.

Warwick-Athena LLC

Sanchez Oil & Gas

Jonah Energy

Workrise f/k/a RigUp, Inc.

RDV Resource Properties LLC

Sunrise Oil and Gas Properties, LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing plaintiff client Lone Star in a breach of contract, breach of fiduciary and good-faith duties matter.
  • Representing Occidental Chemical Corporation in a suit filed in June 2018, in which Occidental is seeking contribution from more than 100 defendants for, among other costs, the $165 million Occidental has agreed to spend to design the dredge-and-cap remedy for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Acting in an engineering/construction plaintiff’s suit involving $1bn+ in cost overruns, settled favorably for Enterprise Products.

Dispute resolution > Leading trial lawyers Tier 2

Kathy PatrickGibbs & Bruns LLP. Houston-based Kathy Patrick is noted for the depth and breadth of her practice, representing a diverse range of clients including Occidental Petroleum Corp., ExxonMobil and BlackRock. As well as assisting clients pursuing recoveries for securities fraud internationally, she has extensive commercial experience representing clients enforce leveraged buyouts, construction contracts, and corporate indemnities. Patrick currently acts as lead trial counsel for Target and a large group of retailers in a complex antitrust matter against Visa and Mastercard, with the plaintiffs seeking damages in excess of $17 billion. Robin GibbsGibbs & Bruns LLP. With half a century of experience in high-stakes litigation, Houston-based Robin Gibbs’ practice focuses exclusively on business and commercial litigation across a broad range of areas including contract, antitrust, trade secret, energy and securities. Also adept in the field of construction disputes, Gibbs recently recorded another significant win for Enterprise Products Operating in a lawsuit against Amec Foster, in which after years of prolonged litigation, Enterprise received a settlement of $115 million in April 2022. Barrett ReasonerGibbs & Bruns LLP. A quintessential generalist trial lawyer, Houston-based Barrett Reasoner’s practice focuses on complex commercial disputes across a broad array of areas, including securities, energy, construction, environmental, and IP. Reasoner continues to handle a number of high-stakes mandates, including representing Trustmark National Bank before the Southern District of Texas in a trial scheduled for February 2023, the case concerns three lawsuits related to the collapse of Stanford Financial Group and alleged damages in excess of $5 billion.

Work highlights

Work highlights

Work highlights

Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes Tier 3

Houston-based law firm Gibbs & Bruns LLP specializes in handling commercial disputes, with a focus on the banking, energy, technology, and financial services sectors. The firm’s experienced team is capable of representing both plaintiffs and defendants across a broad range of subjects. Robin Gibbs is highly regarded for his extensive experience as a trial attorney, while Kathy Patrick has regularly returned successes for longstanding high value clients. Barrett Reasoner is an expert in handling energy-related disputes and co-leads the practice alongside Gibbs and Patrick. Brian Ross  is particularly knowledgeable in the oil and gas industry and has expertise in market defining cases. Other notable members of the team include securities specialist Sam Cruse , energy and construction advisor Ayesha Najam , and David Sheeren . Denise Lambert Drake and Jorge M. Gutierrez Gutierrez Jr. were promoted to partner in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Robin Gibbs; Kathy Patrick; Barrett Reasoner

Other key lawyers:

Brian Ross; Sam Cruse; Ayesha Najam; David Sheeren; Denise Lambert Drake; Jorge M. Gutierrez Gutierrez Jr.

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: plaintiff Tier 3

Gibbs & Bruns LLP in Houston became a prominent player in the securities litigation having brought many successful claims relating to mortgage-backed securities, and the firm continues to handle some long-running matters arising from the global financial crisis. Key partner David Sheeren, who has ‘excellent industry knowledge of securitization litigation issues’, worked with newly promoted partner Denise Lambert Drake to bring a case for PIMCO and BlackRock concerning 156 Countrywide RMBS trusts, ultimately securing a $266m settlement. Sheeren and highly regarded Kathy Patrick, who together lead the practice, acted for PIMCO and TCW as investment managers for funds and accounts holding over $200m of certificates issued by a legacy RMBS deal sponsored by First Franklin / Merrill Lynch., which were pursued for selling loans into the Trust that breached a variety of representations and warranties, leading to significant losses. Approval of a $242m settlement is currently pending. Partner Sam Cruse also plays a key role in the practice, notably for clients in the financial services and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

David Sheeren; Kathy Patrick

Other key lawyers:

Denise Lambert Drake; Sam Cruse


‘David Sheeren has excellent industry knowledge of securitization litigation issues.’

Key clients

BlackRock, Inc.

Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO)

Trustmark National Bank

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM)

Fannie Mae

The TCW Group, Inc.

Kore Advisors LP

BlackRock Financial Management


Work highlights

  • Secured a total victory for Institutional Investor clients PIMCO, Blackrock and others in $266 million RMBS IO payment dispute.
  • Representing PIMCO in four trust instruction proceedings, three in New York and one in California, involving treatment of deferred principal recoveries by trusts holding residential mortgage-backed securities.
  • Representing Trustmark National Bank in three lawsuits related to the collapse of the Stanford Financial Group, headed by convicted financial fraudster R. Allen Stanford.

Gibbs & Bruns lawyers are trial lawyers who know courtrooms and courtroom success:

  • We have recovered more than $23 billion in damages for our plaintiff clients in trials and arbitrations.
  • We have defeated claims for hundreds of millions of dollars as defense counsel in trials and arbitrations.

Our litigation boutique is engaged exclusively in high-stakes litigation.  The firm is acclaimed for its high-value and precedent-setting work across the banking, energy, technology, and financial services sectors, among others.  Exceedingly rare for a litigation firm, we routinely practice on both sides of the docket.  With both plaintiff and defense experience, we bring a higher level of insight and strategy to complex disputes.  Our lawyers excel in creative approaches to disputes in the context of dynamic and ever-changing industry landscapes.

Creative, resourceful, committed, responsive, talented across the board.
A pleasure to work with.
Legal 500 US

As top-flight as it gets. A boutique staffed with outstanding lawyers.
An excellent high-stakes litigation firm – top-notch across the board.
Chambers USA

Founded by Robin Gibbs, named “Father of the Litigation Boutique in Texas” by The Texas Lawbook, the firm sustains a forward-thinking culture of creativity and a personal approach to managing its client matters.  Reciprocity is at the core of all the firm’s client engagements. Risk sharing with clients and innovative fee arrangements are a hallmark of Gibbs & Bruns’ practice.  The firm’s 40-year track record of successes for clients (since 1983) attests to the talents, creativity, and dedication of the firm’s trial lawyers.

Recent results demonstrate the significance of our firm’s impact on the nationwide litigation scene:

  • $8.5 Billion Countrywide RMBS Precedent–Setting Settlement Obtained for 22 Institutional Investor Clients (2015)
  • $7 Billion Allowed Claim – ResCap Bankruptcy Settlement with 17 Institutional Investors (2013)
  • $4.5 Billion Settlement with JPMorgan on Behalf of 21 Institutional Investors (2013)
  • $2.4 Billion Settlement with Lehman Brothers on Behalf of 14 Institutional Investors (2017)
  • $1.7 Billion Net Settlement Package for Huntsman; including $1.1 billion in financing and $632 million in cash, the largest cash settlement payment ever recovered with respect to a busted LBO (2009)
  • $1.13 Billion Settlement with Citigroup on Behalf of 18 Institutional Investors (2014)
  • $1 Billion Take Nothing Arbitration Win for Energy Major (2023)
  • $1 Billion in Total Recoveries for Clients, Including $400 Million Settlement with Credit Suisse – National Century Financial Enterprises (NCFE) Securities Litigation (2013)
  • Major Defense Win in Multi-Billion Dollar Environmental Trial for Waste Management; settlement was less than one percent of the government’s demand (2014)
  • Total Victory for Institutional Investors PIMCO, Blackrock and Others in $266 Million RMBS IO Payment Dispute (2022)
  • $242 Million Settlement of RMBS Claims with First Franklin Corporation & Bank of America Parties (2022)
  • $196 Million Judgment Win for Plaintiff Client D. Bobbitt Noel Jr. against Devon Energy (2011)
  • $115 Million Settlement for Plaintiff Client Enterprise Products in Massive Engineering/Construction Suit Involving $1 Billion+ in Cost Overruns (2022)
  • Summary Judgment Win for Private Client in $100 Million Breach of Fiduciary Duty Suit (2023)
  • $100 Million Value Arbitration Award for Venoco against Denbury Onshore (2014)
  • $56 Million Take-Nothing Success for Natural Resource Partners (2019)
  • Take Nothing Judgment for Private Client in $40 Million Trade Secrets Dispute (2021)
  • Major Summary Judgment Win for Oxy in $40 Million Securities Dispute with Wells Fargo (2023)
  • $37.2 Million Recovery for Client Against the Port of Houston (Verdict 2010, Finalized 2017)
  • $35 Million in Settlements for ERG re: Contract Dispute in the Republic of Columbia (2017)
  • $12.4 Million Judgment for Private Client in Dispute with EnVen Energy Corp. (2021)
  • $5.65 Million in Damages Awarded in Trial Win for U.S. Pipeline (2018, Affirmed by Nebraska Supreme Court 2019)
  • $4.58 Million Jury Verdict for Plaintiff Client SourceGas in Dispute against Noble Energy (2011)
  • Successful resolution of seven-year dispute for Chevron re the transfer of its responsibility for massive future dismantling and restoration costs of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline; the firm succeeded on each aspect of the legal disputes involved in this matter (2019)
Department Name Email Telephone
Co-Managing Partner Mike Absmeier +1.713.751.5235
Co-Managing Partner Ashley Kleber +1.713.751.5225
Founding Partner Robin Gibbs +1.713.751.5217
Senior Partner Kathy Patrick +1.713.751.5253
Senior Partner Barrett Reasoner +1.713.751.5244
Photo Name Position Profile
Michael Absmeier photo Mr Michael Absmeier Co-Managing Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Sam W. Cruse, III photo Mr Sam W. Cruse, III Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Denise Lambert Drake photo Ms Denise Lambert Drake Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Robin Gibbs photo Mr Robin Gibbs Founding Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Mark Giugliano photo Mr Mark Giugliano Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Aundrea (Andi) Gulley photo Ms Aundrea (Andi) Gulley Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Jorge Gutierrez, Jr. photo Mr Jorge Gutierrez, Jr. Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Anthony Kaim photo Mr Anthony Kaim Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Gabriel Kaim photo Mr Gabriel Kaim Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Ashley Kleber photo Ms Ashley Kleber Co-Managing Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Ross MacDonald photo Mr Ross MacDonald Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Ayesha Najam photo Ms Ayesha Najam Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Kathy Patrick photo Ms Kathy Patrick Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Barrett Reasoner photo Mr Barrett Reasoner Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Brian Ross photo Mr Brian Ross Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Charles Rosson photo Mr Charles Rosson Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
David Sheeren photo Mr David Sheeren Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Brice Wilkinson photo Mr Brice Wilkinson Partner, Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Partners : 18
Associates : 12
Counsel : 2
Co-Managing Partner : Mike Absmeier
Co-Managing Partner : Ashley Kleber