Clay Brett was hired as general counsel for Millennial Energy Partners

Millennial Energy Partners Hires Clay Brett as GC

By David Ruiz |

Houston-based Millennial Energy Partners has hired Clay Brett as vice president and general counsel.

James C.

Texas High Court Picks Up Oil Family's $7.2M Attorney Fee Fight

By John Council |

Shamoun & Norman sued former client Albert G. Hill Jr. in state court alleging he owed them a multimillion-dollar "performance incentive bonus."

Carbon Tax Plan Could Mean Less Work for Some Lawyers, More for Others

By Miriam Rozen |

Even though it could idle some lawyers, partners from Baker Botts, Jackson Walker and Haynes and Boone voiced tentative support this week for legislation that would tax carbon emissions while gutting environmental regulation.

Robert Schick, partner with Vinson & Elkins in Houston.

Trial Lawyer Robert Schick Returns to Vinson & Elkins

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert Schick, who left Vinson & Elkins in 2014 to form a litigation boutique in Houston with Morgan Copeland, returned to V&E.

Five Firms Involved in Permian Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Five firms represent parties involved in joint venture deal for energy gathering and processing infrastructure system in the Delaware Basin section of the Permian.

Lisa Bowlin Hobbs, Kuhn Hobbs

ConocoPhillips Smacked with $11.7M Oil, Gas Royalties Decision

By John Council |

The underlying case lingered for nearly seven years in Texas courts after the oil and gas joint repeatedly raised procedural hurdles.

Lance Christopher Kassab, a partner in Houston’s The Kassab Law Firm.

Houston Lawyers Accused of Running a 'Barratry Pyramid Scheme'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Texas trucker alleges Houston plaintiff's lawyers used case runners to identify about 10,000 clients.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Fifth Circuit Rejects Energy Company's Attempt to Avoid $216M in Potential Civil Penalties

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has swatted back an attempt by one of the world's largest energy companies to avoid over $216 million in potential federal civil penalties for allegedly attempting to manipulate the natural gas markets.

giant rhodendron owned by a Texas lawyer.

Texas Lawyer's Giant Rhododendron Becomes Tourist Attraction

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Conroe lawyer Tom Trott said "Lady Cynthia" rhododendron bush on his property on Vancouver Island is the largest in North America.

2017 Corporate Scorecard

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A listing of 10 of the biggest acquisitions and mergers announced in 2016 and involving at least one Texas company.

Seven BigTex Firms Appear on the 2017 Am Law 200

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Seven large Texas firms are among the 200 highest-grossing U.S. firms included in the Am Law 200 list.

Josh Zive, Bracewell

In New Podcast, a Bracewell Lobbyist Reports from the Swamp

By Miriam Rozen |

"It's been a hell of a week," Josh Zive, a lobbyist and senior principal in the Washington, D.C., office of Bracewell, told his podcast audience last week.

Morgan Lewis Expands Latin America Practice with Two Hires in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

New partners come from King & Spalding.

BigTex Firms Advise on Eagle Ford Shale Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three Texas firms represent WildHorse Resource Development of Houston in its pending purchase of Eagle Ford assets from Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

John Zavitsanos.

Jury Awards $40M to Offshore Oil Well Owner in ‘Message’ to Insurer

By Greg Land |

The six-week trial revolved around claims by Houston-based equity firm Prime Natural Resources that the well’s insurer, Lloyd’s of London, improperly refused to reimburse some of the expenses it incurred to repair and replace it.

Left to right: David Wilson, Mike Magee and Preston Hutson, MehaffyWeber

MehaffyWeber Adds 5 Litigators in Houston; Opens Office in Las Vegas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group led by shareholders David Wilson and Michael Magee move to MehaffyWeber from LeClairRyan's Houston office.

2017 Annual Report on Firm Finance


Gross revenue at the 20 highest-grossing firms in Texas improved by 3.5 percent in 2016 compared with 2015.

Lara Pringle, back left, and Lincee Ray, in front, with four of the Child Sponsorship Officers, leaving the school and walking back to catch the bus after spending one day with the Arise Africa staff helping out at the school.

To Africa With Love: Volunteer Service Trips to Zambia Puts Life Into Perspective for Houston Litigator

By John Council |

Volunteer service trips to Zambia puts life into perspective for Houston litigator Lara Pringle.

Staton M. Childers, Adams and Reese, Houston, TX

Adams and Reese Picks Up Five Litigators in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group, led by partner Staton Childers, joins Adams and Reese in Houston.

America's Richest County Has 800 People—and One Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

Kimberly Kay Krieder-Dusek does a little bit of everything in McMullen County, Texas.

Partners, Gibson Dunn; Houston office..Bottom Row: left to right:  Mike Darden and Shalla Prichard. Top Row:  left to right:  James Chenoweth, Gerry Spedale, Hillary Holmes, Justin Stolte, and Tull Florey.

Gibson Dunn Nabs Six Baker Botts Energy Partners for New Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of six energy transactional partners in Baker Botts today joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's new Houston office.

Austin, Texas.

Jackson Walker Poaches Energy Practice Trio in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three lawyers from Hays & Owens, an energy regulatory and litigation boutique in Austin, joined Jackson Walker's office in the city.

Wall or No Wall, Cross-Border Pipelines Keep Texas Lawyers Busy

By Miriam Rozen |

"A bunch of the anti-Mexico rhetoric that you heard from the president has now faded," says King & Spalding's James Bowe.

G. Michael O’Leary, of Andrews Kurth Kenyon in Houston, Texas.

Andrews Kurth Sees IPO Appetite Return With Hess Midstream Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hess Midstream Partners' initial public offering this month may signal a resurgence in IPOs for midstream master limited partnerships—along with billing opportunities for Texas lawyers in that practice niche.

V&E, Akin Gump, Advise on $3.3B Convenience Store Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Sunoco LP in its pending $3.3 billion sale of more than 1,000 convenience stores, some in Texas, to 7-Eleven, which turned to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Stephen D. Susman

Susman Godfrey Rethinks Contingency Model, Looks to Oil and Gas Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

"I have 116 lawyers at this firm. They need to feed their families," says Steve Susman.

Nada Culver, Senior Counsel and Director, BLM Action Center.

Trust a Roadblock for Ex-Energy Attorneys Seeking to Switch Sides

By Miriam Rozen |

The chances of success are narrow for lawyers who seek to switch from representing corporate energy clients to pursuing environmental and climate change advocacy. "There are a lot of trust issues that arise," said Lucy Deakins, a partner in Denver's Dunsing & Deakins, and former associate for Fulbright & Jaworski (now, Norton Rose Fulbright) who has failed to make such a transition, despite repeated attempts to do so. Some lawyers, including Michael Freeman, a staff attorney at EarthJustice and Nada Culver, senior counsel for The Wilderness Society, have overcome hurdles and won environmental advocacy jobs, despite having toiled for years in the corporate world. But they succeeded at that switch only after years of trying.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, of the Northern District of Texas

Texas Judge Ships Exxon Climate-Change Fight to NYC

By Miriam Rozen |

The move, opposed by Exxon Mobil, puts the AGs of New York and Massachusetts on their home turf as they try to enforce a subpoena for decades of records related to global warming.

Coal-fired power plant on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Lawyers Backing Clean Power Plan Fight to Keep Appeal On Track

By Miriam Rozen |

Don't stop the game in the final minutes. That's the sports analogy that best fits environmentalist lawyers' reaction to a Trump administration bid to halt Clean Power Plan litigation pending in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Calculus Shifts in Texas Haze Fight Under Trump EPA

By Miriam Rozen |

"Hazy" pretty much describes the forecast after a ruling this month sending the Texas Regional Haze Rule back to the Environmental Protection Agency for retooling.

 Scott Pruitt.

Labor, Other Legal Groups Prepare for New Chapter in Clean Power Fight

By Miriam Rozen |

Lawyers in the fight had already begun writing motions and responses, even before Scott Pruitt, the Trump-appointed director of the EPA, announced that the White House would issue an order on March 27 withdrawing the Clean Power Plan.

Environmentalists, Energy Industry, Press for Better Texas Railroad Commission Database

By Miriam Rozen |

For the Texas Railroad Commission, there is one proposed reform that appears on the wishlists of both energy industry and public watchdog groups. It's the creation of a searchable data base, particularly about complaints filed, and which, if properly developed, would be useful for lawyers who represent clients before the Texas Railroad Commission.

Dale Jefferson.

Houston Lawyer Admits Mistake, Tells Client He Can 'Sue My Law Firm For Legal Malpractice'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Louisiana man, injured in an offshore platform accident in 2014, seeks more than $1 million from Houston plaintiffs firm and two lawyers.

Barry Smitherman.

Ex-V&E Partner in Limbo, Awaiting Trump's Nod for Regulatory Post

By Miriam Rozen |

Austin partner Barry Smitherman resigned from Vinson & Elkins in January and was said to be in line to run the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Weeks later, he's mum on his prospects.

Rex Tillerson.

Tracking 'Wayne Tracker': State AGs Targeting Email Trail of Tillerson's Alleged Alter Ego

By Miriam Rozen |

Hard-luck reporters assigned to the State Department who must chase reticent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his rare comments now have company: the lawyers lining up to learn what "Wayne Tracker" had to say.

Mark Kelly of Vinson & Elkins.

Vinson & Elkins Has 'Best Year Ever' in 2016, Reports Record Financial Results

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Houston-based firm's profits per partner exceeded the $2 million mark in 2016.

Michael S. Goldberg, a partner in the Houston and New York offices of Baker Botts.

Baker Botts Helping Cobalt with Feds' Probe into Angolan Payments

By Miriam Rozen |

Baker Botts' client Cobalt International Energy disclosed that SEC has initiated an "informal inquiry" about Cobalt's payments for a technology center in Angola.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.

When Are Degrees From SMU and Yale Not Enough Education?

By Miriam Rozen |

When are degrees from Yale and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law not enough education? When they are held by that U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science Committee, according to 314 Action, a nonprofit advocacy group for promoting science education.

Diana Liebmann, partner at Haynes and Boone in San Antonio.

Five Reasons Why Wind Power's Prospects Are Bright in the Era of Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

Diana Liebmann, a partner in Haynes and Boone, who has developed the firm's electrical power legal practice from scratch, and knows that the Lone Star state ranks top in the nation for producing wind energy.

Winston & Strawn's Washington, D.C. offices on K Street.

Winston & Strawn Adds Three More Partners in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Winston & Strawn brought on three more lateral partners for its new Dallas office.

Haynes and Boone managing partner Timothy Powers.

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Haynes and Boone

By BRenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Tim Powers, managing partner of the Dallas-based Haynes and Boone, said the firm added laterals in 14 of 15 offices in 2016.

Texas High Court Tells BP Let Jury Decide on Lease Terms

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas Supreme Court has rejected BP America Production Co.'s request that the justices take away decision-making power from juries.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during a hearing on his nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

See You in Court: Environmental Groups Pledge to Fight Deregulation

By Miriam Rozen |

Environmental lawyers are promising court fights and public backlash in the wake of a regulatory rollback. They even brought up the mother of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Bill Jones, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg in Dallas and Washington, D.C.

Barnes & Thornburg Gets Energy Boost as Rick Perry's Ex-GC Joins in Texas, DC

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Bill Jones, former general counsel to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has joined Barnes & Thornburg in Dallas and Washington, D.C., as a partner in the government services and finance department.

Robert Giuffra, left, and Brendan Cullen, right.

Litigators of the Week: Knocking Out the Last of the Enron Suits

By Miriam Rozen |

Some wins take time. Sullivan & Cromwell partners Robert Giuffra Jr. and Brendan Cullen know that for sure--it took them almost 15 years to win dismissal of a would-be class action against UBS stemming from Enron's collapse.

Questions Over Energy Company's Partnership Unit Issuances Headed to Trial

By Tom McParland |

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III is leaving for trial open questions regarding the propriety of partnership unit issuances Energy Transfer Equity made in the run-up to its since-scuttled merger with The Williams Cos. Inc.

Gibson Dunn Raids Latham for New Houston Office

By Brian Baxter and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Michael Darden, chair of the oil and gas transactions group and co-chair of the oil and gas industry team at Latham & Watkins, is headed to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's new office in Houston. Gibson Dunn confirmed in February that it would hire eight oil and gas partners in the city, but declined to name them.

John Zavitsanos of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing.

Mixed Verdict in Row Over Trade Secrets Promises to Spur Epic Post-Trial Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

A two-week trial pitted a Schlumberger subsidiary against National Oilwell Varco, cost both well-lawyered sides each more than $1.3 million, and ended this week with a mixed jury ruling. The panel's ruling also has set the stage for post-verdict battle for the ages between the two energy companies, which are fighting about a worker who switched employers, leading to allegations of trade-secrets theft.

Pipeline Safety Regs Remain in Limbo Under Trump

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Operators of pipelines transporting hazardous liquids are waiting to see if President Trump makes good on his promise to reduce regulation by 75 percent, including amendments to rules enforced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Oil Rebound Demands Preventive Maintenance for Contracts

By Michael J. Wray and Jacob C. Esparza |

As the recent Permian Basin buying spree and increased offshore capital expenditures by super majors reveal, the energy industry downturn of recent years may be turning a corner.

Kathryn Marietta, King & Spalding

Lawyers Share Good News for Offshore Drilling Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

Last year, a federal agency issued orders that would have required many clients to add additional and expensive bonding for potentially liabilities incurred when decommissioning such offshore rigs. Those are off the table for now.

C. Wade Cooper.

Jackson Walker Posts Big Gains in Income and Revenue

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue improved by 11.3 percent at Dallas-based Jackson Walker in 2016, compared with 2015, and net income jumped by 26.2 percent.

Bracewell's Revenue Drops, But Income and Partner Profits Rise

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

While gross revenue at Houston-based Bracewell dropped 6.6 percent in 2016 compared with 2015, net income improved by 1.7 percent.

Mark Sloan.

Thompson & Knight Posts Gains in Revenue and Income

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Following a strong 2015, gross revenue improved by 2.9 percent at Dallas-based Thompson & Knight in 2016, and net income increased by 3.5 percent compared with the prior year.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during a hearing on his nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Big Law Shrugs Off Disclosure of New EPA Head's Emails

By Miriam Rozen |

After the U.S. Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general, as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator this month, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, said Republicans "will rue the day that they had this nomination rammed through the Senate on the very day that the emails were being litigated in Oklahoma, in order to get ahead of any counterpressure."

(Clockwise from top left) Roxanne Almaraz, David Runnels, Stuart Zisman, Cindy Lin, Jason Peters, and Darren Inoff.

King & Spalding Hires 6 Lateral Partners in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Lawyers from two big firms in Houston, Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Bracewell, move to the Houston office of King & Spalding.

Bankruptcy Judge Approves Energy Future Reorganization Plan

By Tom McParland |

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved a restructuring plan that sets the stage for Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings Corp. to settle a dispute with creditors owed $800 million in make-whole payments.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch

What Energy Producers Need to Know About Trump's SCOTUS Pick

By Miriam Rozen |

Neil Gorsuch, a Colorado native and the son of the first woman to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, has a mixed record in cases that pit the energy sector against environmentalists and regulators.

Stephen Pezanosky.

Haynes and Boone Tracking System Shows Increase in Energy Industry Bankruptcies

By Miriam Rozen |

The number of bankruptcies among exploration and production oil and gas companies has quadrupled in the new year through Feb. 15, compared with the same time period in 2016, according to a tracking system developed by Stephen Pezanosky, a bankruptcy partner in Haynes and Boone's Fort Worth office, and other partners at the firm.

Andrew Baker

Nine Norton Rose Fulbright Energy Partners Jump to Baker Botts

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In a major lateral move in Texas, nine transactional partners who work in the energy sector have joined Baker Botts in Houston, coming from the Houston office of Norton Rose Fulbright.

Daniella Landers, left, and Bart Huffman, right.

Reed Smith Picks Up Four Lawyers in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With the four new hires, which include two partners, Reed Smith has 63 lawyers in its Houston office.

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee Says He Won't Follow Perry to Department of Energy

By Miriam Rozen |

If former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary of Energy, wins confirmation on the floor of the U.S. Senate, he will not be taking Tony Buzbee with him to Washington, D.C.

Energy Industry Vexed by Possible Re-emergence of Resource-Extraction Rule

By MIRIAM Rozen |

If energy clients want to stop too blunt of a resurrection of an energy extraction disclosure rule — which President Donald Trump killed by signing a resolution this week — they should stress its anti-competitiveness rather than its costs.

Jerry K. Clements

Locke Lord's Revenue Down But Income Up

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue declined by 6.4 percent in 2016 at Dallas-based Locke Lord, but net income improved by 11.1 percent with lawyers in many practice areas very busy.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon Saw Small Drop in Revenue But Increased Income in 2016

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Net income improved by 2.2 percent in 2016 at Houston-based Andrews Kurth Kenyon, which added a large group of IP lawyers late in the year.

Trump's Trade Policies Seen as Risk to U.S. Natural Gas Export Boom

By Miriam Rozen |

Do President Donald Trump's "America First" policies put the US energy players, particularly exporters of natural gas to Mexico, on less certain footing? Yes, according to some lawyers and consultants who advise such clients.

Daniel Johnson, left, and Juan Garcia, right, partners in Johnson Garcia in Houston.

2 Former Sutherland Lawyers Leave to Form a Plaintiffs Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two trial lawyers who formerly practiced at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Houston formed their own plaintiff's personal injury firm in Houston.

President Donald Trump.

Energy Players React with Flurry of Questions To Trump's All-American Steel Plans

By Miriam Rozen |

"American pipelines made with American steel." That was the principle President Donald Trump announced in late January to no roaring applause from the oil and gas pipeline industry and the lawyers who advise it. Instead, they raised a flurry of questions.

James Baker speaking during Baker Botts’ 175th Anniversary Celebration at the National Archives on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Courtesy photo.

Will James Baker's Proposed Carbon Tax Idle Lawyers?

By Miriam Rozen |

If former Secretary of State James Baker, a senior partner at Baker Botts in Houston, gets his way, there may be less work for litigation lawyers suing and defending the energy industry.

Trinity East Gets Another Chance at Payment in Mineral Rights Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Trinity East Energy won an opportunity to take another crack at getting $30 million out of the city of Dallas, based on allegations that it leased mineral rights for city-owned property to the company but then refused its applications to drill for oil and gas.

Revenue, Profits Soar at Baker Botts Amid Contingency Wins

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Boosted by some big contingency fees and strategic investments, Houston-based Baker Botts posted a record year in 2016, with revenue up 20.2 percent compared with 2015, and profits per partner up 36.6 percent.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters

Expect No New Interstate Gas Pipelines with No Quorum of FERC Commission

By Miriam Rozen |

Don't credit or blame all those protestors for the screeching halt that has come to the building of new interstate natural gas pipelines nationwide. Instead, pin responsibility for that likely scenario to the Trump's administration's failure to address a dearth of Washington bureaucrats.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher offices in Washington, D.C.

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Adding eight oil and gas transactional partners in a new Houston office, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher expands its Texas presence.

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Adding eight oil and gas transactional partners in new Houston office, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher expands its Texas presence.

Rex Tillerson.

Exxon Insists Its Free Speech Case Against Attorneys General Be Heard in Texas Court

By Miriam Rozen |

Exxon Mobil Corp. Wednesday argued that Texas courts had jurisdiction to take up its claims against the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts that they are abusing the corporations' free speech rights and seeking to unreasonably search and seize its business records in pursuing their climate-change litigation against the oil giant.

Danny G. Worrell, of Katten Muchin Rosenman in Austin.

New Trump Era for O&G Sector

By Angela Neville |

The White House is gearing up to rein in regulations that impact the U.S. oil and gas industry. Danny Worrell, an Austin partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman, recently spoke about what effect the new Trump administration will have on the U.S. energy sector.

Natalie L. Regoli and Brian T. Polley of Baker & McKenzie.

Three Key Energy Developments from President Trump in Week One

By Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley |

In his first week in the White House, President Trump penned a series of executive actions including several targeting the energy industry.

Rex Tillerson.

Lawyers Spar Over Rex Tillerson Depo in Climate Change Suit

By Ross Todd |

U.S. senators aren't the only ones with questions for President Donald Trump's State Department nominee. Bay Area plaintiffs firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy wants a chance to grill Rex Tillerson in litigation over climate change.

Anna Nicole Smith

'I Beg You to Recuse Me': Anna Nicole Smith Judge Finally Gets His Wish

By John Council |

The case that put him in the spotlight had become a trial for him, said Houston probate Judge Mike Wood.

Vinson & Elkins, Norton Rose and Locke Lord Advise on Large Energy Deals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two more big acquisitions in the Permian Basin announced this week, with Texas lawyers handling a lot of the work.

Four energy partners join Latham & Watkins this week: (Clockwise from top left) Joel Beauvais, from the Environmental Protection Agency, Janice Schneider and Tommy Beaudreau, from the Interior Department, and Steven Croley, from the Energy Department.

Obama Energy, Environmental Officials Land at Latham

By Katelyn Polantz |

The moves coincide with the vast turnover of federal government employees that's typical for a presidential transition. But lucky for this group, the new president has already placed the land use and natural resources issues they specialize in — such as the development of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines — in his crosshairs.

Barry Ashe and John Cogan

Stone Pigman Expands in Houston with Five New Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

New Orleans firm Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann opens Houston office with five lateral hires from Cogan & Partners.

 Patrick Nevins, Eugene Elrod and Sean Wheeler of Latham & Watkins.

Latham Adds Two Energy Regulatory Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With its energy transactions lawyers busy in Houston and elsewhere, Latham & Watkins adds two energy regulatory partners in Washington, D.C.

Exxon Mobil headquarters in downton Houston, Texas.

Permian Deals Pile Up With Exxon, Noble Acquisitions

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Permian Basin continues to be a hot area for energy deals, keeping lawyers busy this week with two multibillion acquisitions involving companies linked to legendary Texas wildcatters.

Houston-Heavy Lineup at Latham and Kirkland Guides $2.3B Anadarko Asset Sale

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Anadarko unloads shale assets in South Texas to Sanchez Energy and Blackstone, roping in deal lawyers from at least four firms.

Former Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. Rex W. Tillerson

Tillerson's Take on Sanctions Opaque, But Lawyers Eyeing Their Enforcement Under Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

When Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chairman and CEO, appeared before the U.S. Senate for the hearings about his nomination to serve as Secretary of State, economic sanctions against Russia dominated the dialogue.

Mark Stratton, Greenberg Traurig in Austin

Shannon Gracey Lawyers Join Greenberg Traurig in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Greenberg Traurig expanded its litigation strength in Austin this month with three lateral hires from dissolving firm Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller.

Oil Drilling Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico’s Energy Reforms Mean Billions in Investment and More Work for Lawyers

By Susan Postlewaite |

Sweeping reforms in Mexico's energy sector are luring billions in investment, keeping lawyers busy.

152nd District Court Judge Robert Schaffer.

Judge Adds $700K in Attorney Fees to $150K Award in Age Bias Case

By Miriam Rozen |

Apache's defense counsel, led by John Zavitsanos of Houston's Ahmad Zavitsanos Anapaikos, pledged to appeal.

Shannon Ratliff.

Energy Firm Davis Gerald Beefs Up As Permian Basin Booms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Davis, Gerald & Cremer, a Midland energy firm, hired lateral shareholders Shannon Ratliff and Lisa Paulson for its Austin office.

Jack Balagia.

Starting a New Chapter

By Kristen Rasmussen |

After 18 years at the energy giant, Jack Balagia retires as general counsel with respect and admiration.

John Grand of Vinson & Elkins in Dallas.

Firms Finding Work in Distress

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas firms with energy transactional and bankruptcy/restructuring practices are reaping business from the sales of distressed assets both inside and outside of bankruptcy court.

4 Critical Energy Issues to Watch in 2017

By Associated Press |

Top priorities for the Donald Trump transition team and cabinet nominees include rolling back eight years of Obama administration climate regulations and restrictions on coal, oil and gas development.

David Boies

Halliburton $100M Settlement Would End 14 Years of Litigation

By Celia Ampel |

Halliburton Co. agreed to a $100 million securities fraud settlement in a case brought by Boies Schiller & Flexner.

Q&A: What Scott Pruitt at EPA Could Mean for Texas Lawyers

By Angela Neville |

Texas Lawyer recently spoke with David Patton, a Houston partner at Locke Lord and co-chairman of the firm's energy practice group, about what the selection of E. Scott Pruitt could mean for lawyers in the oil and gas space.

Justice Karen Valihura, Delaware Supreme Court

Finding Claims Derivative, Del. Supreme Court Reverses $171M Ruling in 'El Paso' Case

By Tom McParland |

The Delaware Supreme Court has dismissed a shareholder lawsuit that left the energy company Kinder Morgan liable for the bulk of a $171 million damages award related to its acquisition of El Paso Corp. and its affiliates, finding that the claims involved were derivative and thus transferred to the buyer.

 E. Scott Pruitt.

Q&A: What Scott Pruitt at EPA Could Mean for Texas Lawyers

By Angela Neville |

Texas Lawyer recently spoke with David Patton, a Houston partner at Locke Lord and co-chairman of the firm's energy practice group, about what the selection of E. Scott Pruitt could mean for lawyers in the oil and gas space.

Latham Tapped for Two 'Prepack' Energy Bankruptcies

By Meghan Tribe |

The firm is advising Stone Energy Corp. and Illinois Power Generating Co. on their recent Chapter 11 filings in Houston. Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Porter Hedges are working with Latham on both new cases, the latest so far this year as the U.S. energy industry copes with sagging oil and gas prices.

Oil rigs.

Akin Gump, Vinson & Elkins Advise on $2.43B Permian Basin Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A busy year continues for Texas deal lawyers.

Chrysta Castañeda, partner at The Castañeda Firm in Dallas.

Lawyer Helps Pickens Win Over Jurors, $146M Award

By Miriam Rozen |

When wealthy people ask jurors to settle their battles, their lawyers run the risk of running headlong into popular sentiment against the "one percent."

V&E, Wachtell Advise on Latest Billion-Dollar Oil and Gas Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins has cinched another energy industry megadeal to round out 2016, representing Patterson-UTI Energy in the Houston company's pending acquisition of Seventy Seven Energy for close to $1.76 billion. Seventy Seven Energy, based in Oklahoma City, turned to Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Deposition of Massachusetts Attorney General Canceled by Judge in Climate-Change Litigation Targeting Exxon

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal judge today canceled a scheduled deposition of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey that Exxon Mobil had planned to conduct in the attorney general’s climate-change litigation against the oil giant.

Massachusetts Attorney General Ordered to Deposition in Texas for Exxon Climate Change Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was ordered Monday to appear in a Texas federal court to submit to deposition questions asked by Exxon Mobil Corp. lawyers

Kelley Drye Enters Texas With Acquisition of 14-Lawyer Boutique

By Meghan Tribe |

Kelley Drye & Warren has entered the Texas market through the acquisition of a 14-lawyer environmental litigation boutique.

Top Women in Energy Law

By Staff |

We are proud to profile the honorees of our 2016 Top Women in Energy awards. The following women are recognized for their work in the area of energy law—an area that has been particularly volatile this past year.

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

By Angela Neville |

In recent years, Texas and other central U.S. states have experienced a surprising jump in the number of earthquakes. That has led scientists and regulators on a quest to determine whether the earthquakes are being caused by human activities or are occurring naturally.

Fate of Obama's Clean Power Plan Pits Climate Goals Against Administrative Law

By Michael Nasi |

On Aug. 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled his Clean Power Plan, an EPA regulation imposing carbon dioxide limits on existing coal- and gas-fired power plants. It is likely the most impactful and most contentious rule ever issued by the EPA.

Three Firms Pump for Fees in Baker Hughes Fracking Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Davis Polk, Fried Frank and Kirkland & Ellis landed roles in creating a new North American land pressure pumping company called BJ Services.

Drilling Operations (North Dakota, July 2012)

Three Firms on $855M Permian Basin Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins, Kelly Hart & Hallman and Weil, Gotshal & Manges are handling an $855 million, two-step asset purchase.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Healey Fights Order to Appear for Deposition by Exxon Lawyers

By Miriam Rozen |

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has asked U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas to vacate his order requiring her to appear in a Dallas courtroom to submit to deposition questions posted by Exxon Mobil Corp. lawyers.

Latham, Vinson Lead on $21B Pipeline Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The two Am Law 100 firms are advising on an all-stock megamerger that will unite a network of oil and gas pipeline giants controlled by Dallas-based billionaire Kelcy Warren.

Q&A: Donald Trump's Energy Plan, and Regulatory Uncertainty

By Angela Neville |

Among the priorities Donald Trump spells out in his "America First Energy Plan," he promises to open untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, as well as onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands. Washington-based Baker Botts partners Steven Leifer, chairman of the firm's environmental team, and Megan Berge, this week shared their perspective about the Trump administration's agenda and its potential effect on the U.S. energy sector.

David Dawson

Texas Law Firm Leaders Focus on Energy, Mexico Relations Amid Trump Win

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Leaders of Texas firms expect the new administration will provide work in several areas including health care, energy, infrastructure and tax.

Baker Hughes

GE's Proposed Baker Hughes Tie-Up Could Invite Regulatory Scrutiny

By Angela Neville |

General Electric Co.'s oil and gas business and Baker Hughes Inc. announced in late October their agreement to create a global oilfield technology giant with $32 billion of combined revenue and operations in more than 120 countries.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Porter Hedges, Latham Advise on Marcellus Joint Venture Split

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Lawyers who helped Noble Energy of Houston and Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy form a natural gas joint venture in the Marcellus Shale in 2011 are now working to split the two companies' operations.

David J. Beck, co‐founder and partner of Beck Redden in Houston

Jury Hands Up $43M Verdict in Oil Patch Contract Dispute, But Lawyers Disagree Over Its True Value

By Miriam Rozen |

Susman Godfrey lawyers secured a $43.2 million verdict for their client, Apache Deepwater, against W&T Offshore. That outcome followed a two-week trial in Houston federal court about an oil patch contract dispute between the two companies over the abandonment of a well in the Gulf of Mexico. But there remains wide disagreement over what the jury's decision means.

Surviving in Today's Low Energy Price Climate

By Angela Neville |

From the upbeat summer days of 2014 when crude oil was flirting with prices over $110 per barrel to the deep descent in February 2016 when oil plunged below $27 per barrel, oil prices have been on a rollercoaster ride in recent years that rivals Six Flags' Texas Giant.

Crude Oil Exports from the US: Current Issues and Future Outlook

By Natalie Regoli & Brian Polley |

After 40 years in place, President Barack Obama lifted the ban on exporting crude oil from America on Dec. 18, 2015. Some of the largest oil companies in the U.S. had aggressively lobbied Congress to end the ban since at least Oct. 2014, when the lobbying group called Producers for American Crude Oil Exports (PACE) was formed.

Baker Hughes.

Baker Hughes Turns to Davis Polk in Multibillion-Dollar Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Davis, Polk & Wardwell represents Baker Hughes of Houston in its pending combination with General Electric's oil and gas business.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Forecasting Energy Policy in a Clinton or Trump Presidency

By Angela Neville |

Energy security, renewable fuels and pollution control have been dominant energy topics in this year's presidential race. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, and her Republican rival, Donald Trump, offer different regulatory approaches to the oil and gas industry.

Latham, V&E work on $1.15B Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents Houston's Buckeye Partners in its pending $1.15 billion purchase of a half interest in VTTI, a global marine terminal business.

Andrews Kurth, Latham Work on Texas MLP Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Andrews Kurth Kenyon represents Dallas' Energy Transfer Partners in its pending $640 million purchase of an interest in PennTex Midstream Partners of Houston.

Energy Deals to Lead M&A Activity in Coming Year, C-Level Execs Forecast

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

According to the Dykema M&A Forecast, corporate executives expect to see the most M&A activity over the next 12 months in the energy industry.

Doug Bacon

Freshfields M&A Pro Returns to Houston Roots, Joining Kirkland

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

After 13 years in New York, Doug Bacon joined Kirkland & Ellis' Houston office this week.

Four Firms Land Roles on $2B American Midstream Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord is advising American Midstream Partners in its pending acquisition of JP Energy Partners, which tapped Latham & Watkins.

Energy Spree Continues for Vinson & Elkins with $1.6B QStar Deal

The firm represents Houston's QStar in its pending $1.6 billion sale of assets to SM Energy Co. of Denver, which will also sell assets in North Dakota to Houston's Oasis Petroleum for $785 million.

Three Firms On $2.4B Permian Basin Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents RSP Permian, a company it took public in 2014, in a pending $2.4 billion acquisition of two companies with Permian Basin assets.

Exxon Bids to Halt NY Attorney General's Probe Into Impact of Fossil Fuels on Climate

By Miriam Rozen |

Exxon Mobil Corp. reversed course and no longer plans to cooperate, and instead intends to engage in a legal battle with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, according to a motion filed by the energy company Monday.

Texas Lawyer Announces its 2016 Women in Energy Honorees

By Heather D. Nevitt |

We are proud to announce the honorees of our 2016 Women in Energy awards. The following women are recognized for their work in the area of energy law—an area that has been particularly volatile this past year.

V&E, Andrews Kurth Advise on $1.3B Phillips 66 Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The two Texas firms landed key roles in a $1.3 billion deal that will see Phillips 66 Partners acquire midstream energy assets from parent Phillips 66.

Judge Christopher

Judge Rejects Public Access to EPA 'Revolving Door' Investigation

By Angela Neville |

An environmental group has lost its bid to view documents about a "revolving door" investigation in which a former federal chemical safety official later advocated for his client Chevron Corp. in front of his previous employer.

The Aftermath of Deepwater Horizon: Responding to a Catastrophe

By Jack Massey |

The movie "Deepwater Horizon" depicts the blowout and explosions that killed 11 men and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history in April 2010. Fast-paced and scary, the film focuses on the decisions that caused the catastrophe and the heroics that followed.

Beau Grenier and Ian Faria of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

Bradley Arant Opens in Houston With Coats Rose Team

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, based in Birmingham, Alabama, opened an office in Houston with nine lawyers, including eight coming from Coats Rose.

Navigating the First Deepwater Joint Venture with Pemex in Mexico

By Glenn Pinkerton and Eduardo Marquez Certucha |

While the story is not yet fully written on Mexico's energy reform, a key new chapter is about to begin with its auction process.

The Belles of the Ball: Bankruptcy Lawyers

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With energy industry bankruptcies on the rise, Texas firms are on the prowl for restructuring and bankruptcy lawyers.

Mexican Energy Reform, Three Years Later

By Gabriel Salinas and Rodrigo Dominguez Sotomayor |

Almost three years after passing the reform, Mexico has successfully developed a new energy regulatory framework, which has created a brand-new energy play in the North American region.

Will Texas Courts Upend Recent Decisions Applying Texas Law and Striking Down Midstream Contracts?

By Mark W. Wege and Kwame N. Cain |

The crash of oil prices beginning in late 2014 has led to over 90 exploration and production companies in the United States and Canada filing for bankruptcy over the last 21 months, companies with combined debt obligations well over US$60 billion.

Three Firms on $1.3B Shale Asset Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Jones Day represents DTE Energy in its planned buy of midstream natural gas assets from M3 Midstream and Vega Energy Partners, both of Houston.

Overtime Pay Lawsuits Down Sharply in Energy Industry

By Miriam Rozen |

The number of lawsuits nationwide filed by workers in energy industry seeking unpaid overtime pay declined sharply over the past year, with less than half as many actions being filed when compared with the previous 12 months.

Dallas Judge Sends Exxon and Mass AG to Mediation

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to mediate within the next 16 days their dispute that brought them into his Dallas federal courtroom earlier this month.

FERC Issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Controversial $3.5B Mountain Valley Pipeline Project


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a draft environmental impact statement recently for the controversial proposed $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) for natural gas in Virginia and West Virginia, saying the project would have "limited adverse impact with the exception of impacts on forests." The project will not be officially approved until FERC issues the final approved version of the impact statement.

Kirkland Launches Investment Funds Practice in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Led by a partner who moved to Houston from San Francisco, Kirkland & Ellis has started an investment fund group in Houston to capitalize on energy deal work in that market.

Wealthy Dallas Oil Heir Wins Ruling in Selective Prosecution Case

By John Council |

Although he just won a favorable ruling from Texas' highest criminal court, the legal struggles are still not over for wealthy Dallas oil heir Albert G. Hill III, who alleges he was selectively prosecuted for mortgage fraud charges as a favor to his former lawyer, Lisa Blue Baron.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Pillsbury Picks Up McKool Smith Bankruptcy Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hugh M. Ray III joins Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Houston, coming from McKool Smith.

Godwin Bowman Closing Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With managing shareholder and chief operating officer Alan York leaving Godwin Bowman & Martinez, the firm is closing its Houston office.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

Mikal Watts, Firm Nonsuited in Barratry Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The plaintiffs who seek millions in penalties for civil barratry in a Houston suit have nonsuited Mikal Watts and his firm because of a similar suit pending in San Antonio.

Houston Lawyer Wins $1.5M Verdict from Ex-Firm in Fight Over BP Cases

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Harris County jury found Chandler, Mathis & Zivley breached agreements with lawyer Joby Hughes related to Gulf oil spill litigation.

Ken Paxton.

Texas, Massachusetts AGs Face Off in Climate Change Legal Battle

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal judge set for Sept. 19 a hearing when he will consider a preliminary injunction sought by Exxon Mobil Corp. to halt Massachusetts Attorney General's investigation into allegations it misled consumers about climate change. In advance of hearing, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office led a 10-state coalition, which filed a friend of court brief supporting the oil company's strategy and proposed preliminary injunction.

Latham, Wachtell Handle $2B Gulf Asset Purchase

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents Anadarko Petroleum Corp. of The Woodlands in its pending $2 billion purchase of deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets from Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas.

Noted Dallas Lawyer Henry Gilchrist Retiring at 91

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Henry Gilchrist, who has practiced at Hunton & Williams in Dallas since 2007, represented the Clint Murchison family and the Dallas Cowboys.

Direct Energy Taps Former BG Lawyer as General Counsel

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Houston-based Direct Energy announced on Tuesday the appointment of Thomas Smith as executive vice president and general counsel. He will oversee all aspects of the company's legal operations in North America.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra poses Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at his office in San Antonio. Photographed for Texas Lawyer Magazine. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

Texas Lawyers Face Fresh Accusations Over BP Spill Suits

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Less than a month after he was acquitted of criminal charges related to BP oil spill litigation, a group of oil spill claimants seek civil barratry penalties from San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts, his firm and others.

silhouette of working oil pumps on sunset background

Houston Driller EOG Turns to Akin Gump for $2.5B Oil Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Thompson & Knight represents target Yates Petroleum on the deal, which expands EOG's presence in New Mexico and beyond.

Five Firms Land Roles as Spectra and Enbridge Ink $28B Megadeal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Wachtell, Skadden, and Sullivan & Cromwell are among the firms advising on the merger, which will create one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America.

Regulators Boost Scrutiny of Bank Loans to Oil and Gas Companies

By Angela Neville |

In the wake of the U.S. mortgage industry meltdown that peaked in 2008, key federal agencies are now focused on avoiding a similar fiasco in the energy sector. Several agencies, including the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are increasingly taking a stricter approach to rating the risk level of banks' loans to exploration and production companies.

Mayer Brown Expands Mexico City Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mayer Brown hires Ariel Ramos for the firm's Mexico City office, along with two associates.

Haynes and Boone Closes Merger, Opens London Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Haynes and Boone merged today with Curtis Davis Garrard of London, giving the firm a London office and 20 lawyers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Attempts to Protect Marine Mammals From O&G Operations' Noise

By Angela Neville |

A powerful air-gun fires underwater as part of a seismic survey to find oil reservoirs. An underwater explosive breaks down a rig that's being decommissioned. Pile-driving hammers smash into the seabed. These are the sounds of oil and gas operations in the ocean—unheard by most humans but an auditory disruption, according to environmentalists, to the marine life of the seas, including dolphins and whales.

Post-Oil Spill Breach of Contract Dispute Leads to $36M Judgment

By Miriam Rozen |

Locke Lord team won for Spitzer Industries a $35.9 million judgment, including $3.5 million in attorney fees just for its firm, and $688,000 for contract attorneys.

Gerald Spedale.

Baker Botts, Akin Gump Do Deal for Valero

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represents a conflicts committee advising Valero Energy Partners in its pending $325 million acquisition of a terminal services business from a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp. of San Antonio.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

Acquitted, Watts to Pursue Criminal Justice Reforms

By Miriam Rozen |

"It is my new goal in life to use every resource available to me to reform a broken justice system," said the San Antonio plaintiffs lawyer who has earned $100s of millions in mass tort litigation during his career.

Mississippi Jurors Get Oil Spill Fraud Case Against Lawyer

By Jeff Amy |

Texas lawyer Mikal Watts and six other people each had plenty of opportunity to know they had a fake client list and were pursuing bogus claims after 2010's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, prosecutors told Mississippi jurors Wednesday in closing arguments.

Exxon Brawls with Massachusetts AG in Texas Over Probe Alleging Climate Change Fraud

By Angela Neville |

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey last week urged a federal trial judge in Texas to dismiss Exxon Mobil Corp.'s challenge to the state's investigation into allegations the oil company misled consumers and investors about climate change.

Oils rigs in the Permian Basin, Texas.

V&E, Sidley Advise on $1.625B Permian Basin Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The firms represent two Midland companies in the Texas asset transaction.

Southwest Firms Defied Legal Demand Drop-Off in Second Quarter, Data Show

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Managing partners said their firms have been busy during first and second quarters of 2016.

Texas Senate is Pushed to Streamline Groundwater Regulations

By Angela Neville |

Several attorneys, a Texas university policy group and a number of water rights groups recently urged a Texas Senate committee to simplify state groundwater regulations, saying the regulatory framework makes it difficult for businesses to carry out projects that involve the use of groundwater.

Latham Leads on $980M Permian Basin Play

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

Holland & Hart and Latham & Watkins are advising on private equity firm Riverstone Holdings' sale of Houston-based Rock Oil Holdings to SM Energy Co.

Pipeline under construction

Norton Rose Fulbright, Porter Hedges Work on Pipeline Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston-based Enbridge Energy Partners is using Norton Rose Fulbright for a joint venture deal to acquire an interest in the Bakken Pipeline System.

Don Godwin's Firm Changes Name Again

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas trial firm Godwin PC adds two shareholders to its name, marking their contributions to firm.

Slumping Energy Companies May See IP as Way to Gain Back Profits

By Scott Flaherty |

With slumping commodities prices continuing to strap the energy sector, there's talk among some lawyers experienced in the industry that companies are increasingly looking to their intellectual property to generate income and position themselves ahead of rivals.

Randy Sabett, of counsel at Cooley in Washington, D.C. July 11, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM.

Outwitting Hacker Attacks

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. oil and gas sector is now paying attention to cybersecurity threats and working to defend its networks and physical assets. Randy Sabett, special counsel at Cooley in Washington, D.C., who specializes in privacy and data protection practice, discusses trends in protecting the oil and gas sector from cyberattacks.

Oils rigs in the Permian Basin, Texas.

EEOC Files Race-Bias Claims Against Two Oil-Patch Companies

By Miriam Rozen |

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a race-based employment discrimination complaint in San Antonio federal court against two oil-patch services companies.

C&J Energy Files for Bankruptcy after Reaching $1.4B Deal with Lenders

By Angela Neville |

A leading provider of well services to the U.S. and Canadian oil and gas industry filed for bankruptcy last week in Houston after reaching a debt-restructuring agreement with its lenders.

Weil Gotshal, Vinson & Elkins Lead on Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Weil, Gotshal & Manges represents Silver Run Acquisition Corp. of Houston in its pending acquisition of a controlling interest in a Denver-based oil and natural gas company that turned to Vinson & Elkins.

Mikal Watts, left, and Kenneth Feinberg, right.

At His Criminal Trial, Mikal Watts Counters Ken Feinberg's Testimony

By Miriam Rozen |

San Antonio plaintiffs' lawyer Mikal Watts attempted at his federal criminal trial in Mississippi to marshal evidence to counter the testimony against him provided by well-known claims fund administrator Ken Feinberg on a key point: Did Watts' firm provide Feinberg when asked with client contracts for the BP claimants it purported to represent?

Orrick Grows Latin America Team With Mayer Brown Hire

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gabriel Salinas, who is licensed in the United States and Mexico, leaves Mayer Brown to join the Houston office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Texas Judge Rules Against Gas Company in Dispute Over FERC Penalty

By Angela Neville |

A gas and power company has no recourse in federal court to interrupt ongoing administrative proceedings as regulators pursue claims of manipulation of the natural gas market, a Texas judge said.

Midland Firm, 2 Lawyers Sued for Alleged Forum Shopping

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Midland landman and his companies seek $1 million or more from Cotton Bledsoe Tighe & Dawson, a current shareholder, and a former shareholder for how they handled lawsuits for them in three Texas counties.

Feinberg Testifies at Watts' Trial Over BP Claim Fraud Allegations

By Miriam Rozen |

Well-known victim funds administrator testified that he sought, but failed to receive, retention agreements showing Watts and his firm represented the 25,000 to 40,000 BP oil spill claimants, which the firm had identified on a spreadsheet as being represented by it.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra poses at his office in San Antonio.

Criminal Trial Over Oil Spill Claims Opens

By Miriam Rozen |

The prosecution's arguments took less than 20 minutes and Mike McCrum, a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer who represents Mikal Watts' co-defendant, his brother David Watts, spoke for 90 minutes--presenting the two Watts brothers' case.

Sunoco Settles with EPA Over Oil Spills in Texas and Oklahoma

By Angela Neville |

Sunoco Pipeline will pay the U.S. government $850,000 in civil penalties to resolve environmental claims tied to crude oil spills from the company's Barbers Hill, Texas facility and from the Cromwell, Oklahoma, facility. Sunoco Pipeline is a subsidiary of Sunoco Logistics Partners Operations.

Dallas Lawyer Gets Back $16.9M Client Had Paid in Arbitration

By John Council |

The arbitration process has been a thorough nightmare for Tom Loose's energy company client. But Loose recently convinced Dallas Fifth Court of Appeals that his clients had a legal right to have their money back — including a finding that opposing counsel was jointly and severally liable for pre- and post-judgment interest in the case.

Prosecutors Violated Brady Rule, Mikal Watts Alleges

By Miriam Rozen |

On the first day of what is expected to unfold as his lengthy criminal trial, Mikal Watts, a well-known San Antonio, Texas, plaintiffs lawyer, filed a motion seeking to halt the prosecutors from presenting testimony and witnesses.

FERC Hits BP With $20M Fine for Alleged Texas Gas-Market Manipulation

By Angela Neville |

Federal energy regulators this week fined BP America Inc. more than $20 million for allegedly manipulating the natural gas market in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

A well drilling rig works in the eastern plains of Colorado to reach the Niobrara Shale formation.

Predictions on Fallout from the Fracking Ruling in Wyoming

By Angela Neville |

Texas Lawyer recently spoke separately to Mark Barron, a Denver partner at BakerHostetler, and with Jeffrey Reeser, a member at Sherman & Howard in Denver who practices in the firm's energy and natural resources group, about a recent Wyoming federal court ruling that struck federal fracking regulations.

Jones Day, Bracewell and Others Advise $4B Pipeline Deal

By Lizzy McLellan |

A group of attorneys from Jones Day, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Troutman Sanders and Balch & Bingham are representing Southern Co. in the planned acquisition from Kinder Morgan of a 50 percent equity interest in the Southern Natural Gas pipeline system.

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, left, walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse after the jury deliberated for a fifth full day in his trial, in Charleston, W.Va., on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

Mining Industry Groups Question Conspiracy Conviction of Ex-Massey CEO

By Angela Neville |

Three coal mining trade associations are raising concerns about the criminal conviction of ex-Massey Energy Chief Executive Officer Donald Blankenship for conspiracy to willfully violate mine health and safety regulations.

NRG GC: Energy Industry Faces a Challenging But Exciting Time

By Kristen Rasmussen |

When David Hill joined NRG Energy Inc. as the company's executive vice president and general counsel in September 2012, it was right in the middle of a big merger, and so Hill says he immediately "had to figure out how to put together two legal departments, both of which were composed of lawyers I didn't know."

The Impact of New Overtime Rules on the Texas Oil and Gas Sector

By Angela Neville |

Laura Gibson, a partner with the firm of Dentons, explains what impact the new federal overtime rules will have on the Texas oil and gas sector.