Kevin O'Gorman

Partner

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP

Kevin O

Houston

T:+1 713 651 3771

F:+1 713 651 5246

Kevin O'Gorman is a partner in the arbitration, litigation and international groups. He represents clients in international, energy, commercial, investor-state and construction disputes. He also advises clients with respect to ongoing contractual relationships and contractual and treaty-based dispute resolution procedures. In addition to his client representation, Kevin regularly serves as arbitrator in domestic and international cases. 

Kevin co-chairs the Energy Arbitrators List Steering Committee (http://www.energyarbitratorslist.com/) and serves on the board of the Houston International Arbitration Club.  He is active in the ABA Section of International Law, where he has chaired the Disputes Division and the International Arbitration Committee, and served on the Section's Council.  He also served on the Council of the State Bar of Texas Section of International Law.  Earlier in his career, Kevin was Team Leader and Senior Legal Secretary to the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Zurich, Switzerland, which decided international claims against Swiss banks relating to Holocaust-era bank accounts. At the CRT, he supervised an international team of lawyers and was a member of the Tribunal's Policy Committee.

After law school, Kevin clerked for the Honorable Howell Cobb, US District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

Kevin is admitted to practice in Texas, New York and England and Wales (Solicitor). He is a Life Fellow of the American, Texas and Houston Bar Foundations.

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  • Education

    1993 - J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan Law School
    1989-1990 - Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany
    1989 - B.A., magna cum laude, University of Houston Honors College

    Kevin is admitted in Texas, New York and England and Wales (Solicitor), and the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fifth Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Texas.

  • Representative experience

    Energy

    • Represented US company in baseball-style price redetermination arbitration regarding long term supply of industrial specialty gas
    • Represented Swiss trading company and Russian energy company in related London UNCITRAL arbitrations relating to long-term crude oil supply contract with Central European oil refiner
    • Represented Canadian utility in coal supply dispute against its supplier who claimed force majeure based on expropriation by Latin American country
    • Represented Canadian oil company in ICC arbitration concerning disputed ownership interest in West African offshore oil field
    • Represented drilling company in ICDR arbitration against Eurasian state-owned energy company regarding drilling operations
    • Represented offshore energy exploration company in arbitration under the AAA's International Rules in joint operating agreement dispute relating to the development of oil and gas field in China

    Sovereign Disputes

    • Defended West African state oil company and its officers in federal court case in which plaintiff sought $1 billion in damages for alleged bribery of an international arbitration tribunal in Geneva; the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of all claims
    • Represented US electricity company in ICSID arbitration regarding Latin American State's tax assessments on client's electricity generating subsidiary
    • Represented US power generation company against Latin American State-controlled entity in a contractual dispute under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules in Geneva based on transmission costs agreement
    • Advised clients regarding host country instruments and bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, including NAFTA, CAFTA-DR and the Energy Charter Treaty
    • Representation of clients with respect to host country agreements and maritime delimitation matters

    Corporate and Commercial Disputes

    • Represented Russian energy company in English law, London seat LCIA arbitration arising from an attempted multi-billion dollar merger with another energy company
    • Represented publicly traded energy company in working capital dispute related to the sale of 300,000 barrel/day refinery located in the Caribbean
    • Represented publicly traded transportation company in ICDR arbitration in New York to enforce $400 million agreement to acquire a Mexican transport company
    • Defended German industrial concern and its officers in suit brought by the President and controlling shareholder of its US affiliate
    • Represented Russian oil company in US Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceedings
    • Represented Eastern European company in ICC arbitrations arising out of financial instruments

    Representative International Litigation

    • Defended party in proceedings under 28 U.S.C. 1782 for discovery in aid of arbitration in Delaware and Texas federal courts and on successful appeals before the US Courts of Appeal for the Third and Fifth Circuits
    • Secured dismissal of case brought in Texas state court against Dutch client relating to the alleged failure of a wind power joint venture in China
    • Represented international chemical company in defense of $75 million RICO claim relating to production and marketing of a chemical resin
    • Represented Canadian energy company sued in commercial dispute in Texas state court; after removal to federal court, secured dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction
    • Representation of left-behind parents in Texas federal courts under the Hague Convention of Civil Aspects on International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act to secure return of clients' abducted children
    • Advised Asian state company with respect to alien tort statute litigation arising from energy operations in East Africa
    • Defended Spanish water services company in federal and state court in New York from claims arising from failed joint venture in Argentina

    Construction

    • Representation of client in engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract dispute involving platforms offshore West Africa
    • Represented industrial pressure vessel fabricator in LCIA arbitration against international construction firm
    • Represented offshore drilling company in a dispute with Gulf Coast shipyard regarding the construction of large semi-submersible drilling rig
    • Represented client in dispute relating to the construction of interstate fiber optic network
    • Representation of clients regarding court enforcement of arbitration awards relating to power and power plant construction projects in Peru and Guatemala
    Representative Work as Arbitrator
    • Co-arbitrator in expedited ICDR Arbitration involving dispute among equal partners/shareholders in 100,000 barrel/day refinery and related trading entity in which the claims exceeded $1.5 billion
    • Co-arbitrator in deepwater Gulf of Mexico operating agreement case; final award was issued within 45 days of the tribunal's constitution, as required by the parties' arbitration agreement
    • Sole arbitrator in international dispute regarding oil field services in China
    • Arbitrator in commercial, banking and distributorship cases

    Technical and Licensing Disputes

    • Represented global surveying company against the manufacturer of a defective deep-sea surveying system in ICDR arbitration in Miami
    • Represented publicly traded US computer company in ICC arbitration against German supplier of defective computer equipment
    • Represented leading medical institution in intellectual property licensing dispute
    • Represented international software company in dispute with sales and marketing company in Argentina
    • Representation of US company in pharmaceutical product dispute with Swiss company in ICC arbitration in Paris

    Maritime and Insurance

    • On brief in maritime case before the United States Supreme Court; the unanimous Court, in affirming favorable judgments of the lower courts, held that the doctrine of superseding cause exists in admiralty and is consistent with the Court's earlier adoption of comparative fault principles
    • Represented corporate insured in $100 million dispute arising from hurricane losses subject to ad hoc arbitration in London under New York law
    • Won summary judgment for publicly traded energy services client in offshore maritime personal injury action in Brazoria County, Texas, and maintained favorable judgment on appeal
    • Advised international energy company on insurance subrogation claims arising out of Piper Alpha disaster
  • Professional activities
    • Co-Chair, Energy Arbitrators List Steering Committee  http://energyarbitratorslist.com/
    • American Bar Association Section of International Law
      • Member of the Council (2010 - 2012)
      • Chair, Disputes Division (2011 - 2012). Responsible for oversight of:
        • International Arbitration Committee
        • International Courts Committee
        • International Criminal Law Committee
        • International Judicial Affairs Committee
        • International Litigation Committee
        • International Mediation Committee
      • Chair, Public International Law (Treaty) Division I (2010 - 2011). Responsible for oversight of:
        • Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee
        • International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee
        • National Security Committee
        • Private International Law Coordinating Committee, and
        • United Nations and International Institutions Coordinating Committee
      • Liaison to the American Arbitration Association (2010 - 2012)
      • International Arbitration Committee
        • Senior Advisor (2011 - 2014)
        • Immediate Past Chair (2010 - 2011)
        • Co-Chair (2008 - 2010)
        • Vice Chair (2005 - 2008)
      • ABA Representative, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) 50th Session New York 2009
    • Arbitrator Panel Member:
      • American Arbitration Association, National Roster & Energy Panel
      • Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration 
      • Energy Arbitrators List
      • Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association
      • International Centre for Dispute Resolution
    • State Bar of Texas
      • Council Member of the Section of International Law (2010 - 2013)
      • Past Chair, District 4E Grievance Committee
    • American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
      • Legal Specialist, Middle East and North Africa, Fall 2010
    • United States Department of State
      • Hague Child Abduction Convention Attorney Network
    • Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center
      • Spring 2008: International Law of Foreign Investment
    • ICC / USCIB Young Arbitrator Forum, Steering Committee (2007 - 2011)
    • Houston International Arbitration Club, Founding Member
    • Institute for International and Comparative Law, Advisory Board
    • Institute of Transnational Arbitration, Advisory Board
    • Law Society of England and Wales
    • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
    • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
    • Swiss Arbitration Association
    • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators 
    • International Bar Association
    • Houston Bar Association
    • Diploma, Trial Advocacy Skills, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
    • Contributing Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law (1992 - 1993)
    • Assistant to Herbert Helmrich, Member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Legal Committee (1990)
    • Assistant Liaison to the Canadian Delegation, 1990 G-7 Summit of Industrialized Nations
  • Professional honors
    • Lawyer of the Year - Houston international arbitration: governmental, Best Lawyers (2013)
    • Chambers USA - nationwide arbitration, Chambers and Partners (2007 - 2013)
    • Chambers Global - Chambers and Partners (2011, 2013 - 2014)
    • Chambers Latin America - USA international arbitration (2011)
    • Who's Who Legal - business, Law Business Research Ltd. (2010 - 2013)
    • Who's Who Legal - commercial arbitration, Law Business Research Ltd. (2010 - 2013)
    • Legal 500 Latin America - arbitration, The Legal 500 (2013)
    • Chair's Special Recognition Award - American Bar Association Section of International Law (2012)
    • The Best Lawyers in America - international arbitration: commercial and international arbitration: governmental, Best Lawyers (2006 - 2014) 
    • Texas Top Rated Lawyer - LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell (2012 - 2013)
    • Endorsed Arbitration Lawyer - one of only 6  lawyers in Texas endorsed for arbitration law, PLC Which Lawyer? (2011 - 2012)
    • Endorsed Dispute Resolution Lawyer - PLC Which Lawyer? (2010)
    • Recommended Lawyer - dispute resolution, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook (2009)
    • Commercial Arbitration Lawyer - Expert Guides (2008 - 2009, 2011, 2013)
    • Best of the Best USA - Expert Guides (2009)
    • The Irish Legal 100 - Irish Legal 100 (2011 - 2013)
    • Legal 500 USA - nationwide international arbitration, The Legal 500 (2011, 2013)
    • Houston's Top Lawyers - commercial litigation, H Texas magazine (2011)
    • Houston's Top Lawyers - business litigation, H Texas magazine (2013)
    • Certificate of Appreciation - representation of applicant under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, U.S. Department of State (2010)
    • Texas Super Lawyers - top 100 lawyers in Houston, Thomson Reuters (2010)
    • Partner to Know - GAR 100, Global Arbitration Review (2009 - 2010)
    • Texas Super Lawyer - Thomson Reuters (2008 - 2013)
    • Texas Rising Star - Thomson Reuters (2004 - 2007)
    • 45 Leaders in International Arbitration Under 45 - runner-up, Global Arbitration Review (2006) 
    • Pro Bono Award - Vinson & Elkins LLP (2003)
    • Life Fellow - American Bar Foundation
    • Life Fellow - Texas Bar Foundation
    • Life Fellow - Houston Bar Foundation
    • AV Rated Lawyer - LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
  • Speaking engagements

    Recent speeches include:

    • "Representing International Clients in U.S. Courts," State Bar of Texas Section of International Law, Houston, March 2014
    • Norton Rose Fulbright Sixth Annual Mergers & Acquisitions School, Houston, November 2013
    • Presentation on Joint Operating Agreements, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Institute on International Energy and Minerals Arbitration, Toronto, September 2013
    • The Energy Arbitrators List, 11th Annual ICDR Miami International Arbitration Conference, September 2013
    • Global Trends in Dispute Resolution - Latin America and the Eastern Hemisphere, Fulbright Client Seminar, May 2013
    • Lead Instructor, Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association Arbitrator Training Course, Houston, Texas, April 2013
    • "Trends in International Arbitration," Houston Bar ADR Section, South Texas College of Law, January 2013
    • Instituto Mexicano de la Mediación - Fulbright Decennial Anniversary Joint Conference, Houston, June 2012
    • "Heightened Competition in the Arbitral Venue Sweepstakes: A U.S. Response to the Challenge?" ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting, New York, April 2012
    • Advisor and Speaker, Seminar for a Delegation of Iraqi Government Officials and Judges on arbitration law and legislation, sponsored by the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce in coordination with the Iraqi State Shura Council and funded by the U.S. Department of State, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 2012
    • "Enforcement of International Arbitration Awards: Practice and Pitfalls," State Bar of Texas International Law Section 24th Annual Institute, Houston, Texas, March 2012
    • "Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Clauses," Fulbright Mergers & Acquisition School, Houston, Texas, October 2011
    • "Arbitrator Ethics, Disclosure and Challenges," ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2011
    • "Ethical Pitfalls in International Practice," State Bar of Texas International Law Section 23rd Annual Institute, Houston, Texas, February 2011
    • "How to Protect the Deal – What Corporate Lawyers Need to Know About Arbitration," ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting, Paris, France, November 2010
    • Presentation to Marshall Memorial Fellows on the Protection of Foreign Investment, World Affairs Council of Houston, Houston, Texas, October 2010
    • Advisor and Speaker, Seminar for a Delegation of Iraqi Judges on Adjudicating Disputes Related to International Commercial Contracts and Financial Transactions, sponsored by the Judicial Development Institute Iraqi Higher Judicial Council and Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce and facilitated by the U.S. Department of State, New York, October 2010
    • Co-Lead Instructor, Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association Arbitrator Training Course, Houston, Texas, September 2010
    • Speaker, Conferences on International Commercial Arbitration and International Dispute Resolution for lawyers and judges from the Middle East, Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey, September 2010 
    • "E-Discovery in International Arbitration," AIJA, ICC and ABA International joint conference, Written Evidence in International Arbitration, Charleston, South Carolina, August 2010
    • Introduction of Adrian Winstanley, Director General of the LCIA, LCIA and Fulbright & Jaworski Luncheon, Houston, Texas, June 2010
    • "Arbitration as an Alternative to Civil Trials," Houston Mariners Club Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Houston, Texas, June 2010
    • "Doing Business in China: Dispute Resolution, Enforcement and Investment Protection Issues" Fulbright Client Program, Houston, Texas, June 2010
    • "Enabling the Proceeding – Court-Assisted Evidence Gathering," Permanent Court of Arbitration, Houston International Arbitration Club and University of Texas School of Law Annual Conference on Arbitration and National Courts, Houston, Texas, May 2010
    • Guest Lecturer in International Investor State Arbitration Spring 2010, "Enforcement of International Arbitral Awards Against Sovereign Entities," University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, April 2010
    • "Consolidation and Joinder in Arbitration," Columbia Arbitration Day Conference on Aggregate Arbitration, Columbia Law School, New York, New York, April 2010
    • "Tailoring Arbitration Procedure: The Preliminary Hearing," State Bar of Texas International Law Section 22nd Annual Institute, Houston, Texas, March 2010
    • "Advocacy in Arbitration," North American Branch of the Chartered institute of Arbitrators and South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, February 2010
    • Introduction of Michael Forbes Smith, Director General of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  Houston International Arbitration Club, Houston, Texas, February 2010
    • Panelist, "The Present and Future of Electronic Disclosure in International Arbitration," Permanent Court of Arbitration, Houston International Arbitration Club and University of Texas Annual Conference on Information Exchange and Presentation of Evidence in Arbitration, The Hague, May 2009
    • Introduction of Judge Thomas Buergenthal, International Court of Justice, Houston World Affairs Council and Fulbright & Jaworski program, Houston, Texas, May 2009
    • Co-Lead Instructor, Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association Arbitrator Training Course, Houston, Texas, March 2009
    • Panelist, "Hot Issues in Attorney-Client Privilege: Investigations and International Issues," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Houston, Texas, October 2008
    • Organized ICC/USCIB Young Arbitrator Forum Seminar and moderated panel, "Advocacy in International Arbitration," Houston, Texas, June 2008
    • "Enforcing Arbitral Awards Against Foreign Sovereigns," Conference on Remedies in Commercial, Investment and Energy Arbitrations, hosted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Houston International Arbitration Club and the University of Texas School of Law, Houston, Texas, April 2008
    • "What's New in International Arbitration and Litigation – Plus 50 Years of the New York Convention," ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting, New York, New York, April 2008
    • "Enforcing Arbitral Awards Against Foreign Sovereign Entities," New York, New York, January 2008
    • Co-Lead Instructor, Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association Arbitrator Training Course, Houston, Texas, November 2007
    • "How to Handle Oil and Gas Industry Cases," Fourth Annual Seminar on International Arbitration, American University Washington College of Law, Washington D.C., October 2007
    • Co-wrote and appeared in the Institute for Transnational Arbitration's 2007 conference on Complex Energy Disputes, Dallas, Texas
    • "A Critical Comparison of Arbitration Under UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, ICDR and ICSID Rules," New York, New York, June 2007
    • "It Matters Where You Arbitrate," Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2007
    • "The Practice of International Law," University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, October 2006
    • "Developments in U.S. Arbitration Law," Fulbright Client Seminar, London, March 2006; Houston, Texas, April 2006  
  • Publications
    • Co-author, "The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: An Update after Abbott," 33 Hous. J. Int'l L. 39, 2010
    • "The Revised IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration," LCIA News Volume 15, Issue 1, Autumn 2010
    • Conference Report, "Netherlands: Weighing the Facts – The Problems of Information Exchange and Presentation of Evidence in International Arbitration," Global Arbitration Review,  Vol. 4 No. 4, September 2009
    • Co-author, "International Legal Developments in Review: 2006 - International Arbitration," 41 The International Lawyer 251, Summer 2007
    • Co-author, "U.S. Fifth Circuit Issues Significant Decision on Arbitrator Disclosure," The Institute of Transnational Arbitration News & Notes, Vol. 21 No. 2, Spring 2007
    • Co-author, "United States," Arbitration Q&A article, PLC Cross-border Dispute Resolution Handbook, Volume 2, 2007/2008
    • Co-author, "High-Stakes National and International Litigation: Management Issues," Journal of Petroleum Technology, June 2005
    • Articles on Litigation and Arbitration in the United States, Global Counsel Handbook on Dispute Resolution, Practical Law Company, 2003 and 2004-2005
    • Executive Editor, The International Arbitration News, the publication of the International Commercial Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law (2000-2004)
    • Co-author, "The American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution," Arbitration World, J. William Rowley QC ed., 2004
    • Co-author, "Enforcing an International Deal: The Ins and Outs of Arbitration," Houston Business Journal, May 16-22, 2003
  • Civic involvement
    • Christus Foundation for Healthcare
      • Board of Directors and Executive Committee
      • Past Chair, Communications Committee
    • Houston Grand Opera, Past Director and Trustee
    • Dispute Resolution Center of Harris County, Board of Directors (2003 - 2005)
  • Licenses
    • New York State Bar License
    • Texas State Bar License
    • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Languages
    • German - Proficient