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Richard J. Wilson

Partner

Richard J. Wilson

Houston

T:+1 713 651 3609

Richard Wilson is a partner in the Houston office. His practice is focused primarily on energy, environmental and complex commercial litigation. He is a trial attorney practicing in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and before arbitration panels.

Richard has handled a variety of energy industry cases, including cases involving energy trading agreements, gas plant operating agreements, royalty disputes, oilfield fraud, offshore drilling platforms and long term supply agreements. He is knowledgeable about energy trading agreements (including NAESB, EEI, and ISDA) and has litigated their treatment under the Bankruptcy Code. He is also knowledgeable about FERC, CFTC, and FTC rules and regulations pertaining to energy trading and market manipulation and related compliance issues. Richard  has also worked on several governmental investigations of companies in the energy industry.

Richard has been involved in a variety of complex litigation, including an ERISA class action and a billion dollar preference action in bankruptcy court.  Richard has also handled a variety of general civil litigation matters involving causes of action for breach of contract, tortious interference, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, director and officer liability, misappropriation of trade secret, civil conspiracy, deceptive trade practices, legal malpractice, breach of warranty, products liability and premises liability.

Richard has defended a substantial number of toxic tort cases involving property damage and personal injury claims, including work-site, waste-site and neighborhood cases.  He has litigated ambient air and groundwater contamination cases involving a wide variety of chemicals and is well versed in the full range of expert witness issues encountered in toxic tort litigation. 

Richard previously clerked for Judge Charles F. Campbell on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

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  • Education

    1984 - J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center
    1979 - B.A., cum laude, Sociology, Tufts University

    While attending law school, Richard was a member of The Order of the Coif, The Order of Barristers and The Order of the Barons. In 1984, he was admitted to practice in Texas. He is also admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits and the Southern District of Texas.

     

  • Representative experience

    Energy:

    • Representing an oil field services company in an FCPA investigation relating to the Oil for Food program
    • Represented a mid-stream energy company in connection with the CFTC's 2008 national crude oil investigation; no action taken against client
    • Litigated multiple termination payment disputes for several different energy companies under various trading agreements in the Calpine, Mirant, and Enron bankruptcies
    • Litigated a force majeure claim under a NAESB agreement for a large natural gas marketer that was unable to deliver gas at certain locations in Louisiana following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina
    • Represented an electric power wholesaler in a dispute with a REP over whether a master power purchase agreement was an exclusive dealings contract. Obtained a settlement for client
    • Represented an oil and gas consultant in obtaining a pre-litigation settlement attributable to his interest in an oil and gas field offshore West Africa

    Complex Commercial:

    • Co-counsel for one of the defendants in the Enron ERISA MDL class action litigation
    • Co-counsel for one of the defendants in a billion dollar preference action in the Enron bankruptcy brought against various holders and sellers of Enron's commercial paper
    • Co-counsel for a member of the Texas Medical Center in a 3 week arbitration hearing over the ownership of a multimillion dollar fund being held by another member of the Texas Medical Center

    Environmental:

    • Defended a petroleum refinery in a multi-million dollar property damage class action brought by residents of "refinery row" in Corpus Christi, Texas
    • Defended a seller of commercial property in Houston in a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by the buyer who claimed inadequate disclosure of the extent of environmental contamination on the property
    • Defended an independent petroleum refiner and marketer in a groundwater contamination case in Jefferson County, Texas
  • Admissions
    • Pennsylvania State Bar License
    • Texas State Bar License
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Texas Top Rated Lawyer, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 2013 - 2018
  • Publications
    • Co-author, "Look To Pa. Case On Standard Of Liability For Fracking," Law360, March 30, 2015 
    • Contributing Author, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Trends in Energy Litigation, 2007
    • Contributing Author, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Trends in Energy Litigation, 2004
    • Past editorial board member, The Houston Lawyer
  • Memberships and activities
    • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
    • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • American Bar Association
    • State Bar of Texas
    • Houston Bar Association
    • Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
    • Institute for Energy Law, Advisory Board Member
    • City of West University Place Zoning Board of Adjustment, member (2003 - 2005)
      • Chair (2007 - present) 
      • Vice-Chair (2005 - 2007)
    • University of Houston Law Alumni Board