Rafe A. Schaefer

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

United States
T:+1 713 651 5255
United States
T:+1 713 651 5255
Rafe A. Schaefer

Rafe A. Schaefer


Related services and key industries


Rafe Schaefer is a partner in the Houston office. Rafe focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation matters, including ConTort disputes, disputes involving governance of partnerships, joint ventures, LLCs and corporations, and energy and infrastructure disputes. For six months in 2014, Rafe was seconded to a London market insurance syndicate where Rafe handled US and international professional liability claims involving attorneys, accountants, architects, and engineers. Rafe is also a Certified Public Accountant by the Illinois Board of Examiners in 2012


Professional experience

Expand all Collapse all

JD, high honors, The University of Texas School of Law, 2012
BS, summa cum laude, Accounting and Business Administration, Friends University, 2009

During law school, Rafe was honored as a member of the 2012 Chancellor's Honors Society and the Order of the Coif. Rafe also served as a member of the Texas Law Review and competed with the University of Texas' Interscholastic Mock Trial Team. While at Friends University, Rafe played defensive line for the university football team. 

Rafe is admitted to practice law in Texas.

  • Texas State Bar
  • Rafe first-chaired a AAA arbitration involving breach of a partnership agreement, where Rafe obtained an arbitration awarding all of the damages sought by his client, as well as attorney's fees.
  • In a breach of contract arbitration, Rafe defended a company accused of breaching a brokerage fee agreement relating to a multi-hundred million dollar joint venture transaction.  Following a week-long AAA arbitration hearing, the claimant was awarded less than 10% of the damages sought in the arbitration.
  • Rafe defended a hospital system against accusations of fraud and billings that allegedly violated the False Claims Act.  Rafe obtained a final judgment dismissing all of the claims brought against his client.
  • Rafe first-chaired a jury trial on behalf of a plaintiff involving breach of contract claims under an LLC Agreement, where Rafe's client obtained every penny requested from the jury. Defendant was represented by two well-known Houston firms. Rafe handled briefing on Defendants' appeal of the judgment, which was affirmed by the First Court of Appeals.
  • Rafe represented a large energy company in a dispute involving theft of the company's product in South Texas. After an expansive investigation involving theft, fraudulent billing, and the sale of stolen goods, Rafe helped his client obtain a federal court judgment against the fraudster and recoup its losses from the entity that "purchased" the stolen goods.
  • After obtaining favourable admissions through depositions he took, Rafe obtained summary judgment victory in favor of plaintiff involving breach of contract claims under an LLC Agreement relating to the agreement's distribution waterfall provisions, including recouping all attorney's fees spent by Rafe's client. Rafe also handled briefing on appeal of the judgment, which was affirmed by the First Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Rafe represented twenty minority unitholders in a closely-held chemicals business in a dispute involving wrongful dilution by the majority owner. Rafe drafted the briefing that defeated defendants' attempt to obtain early dismissal of the case, handled most of the depositions, and helped his clients secure a favor settlement that restored the value they had lost and helped them achieve a business divorce.
  • Rafe represented an insurer in a dispute brought by its insured after a tornado destroyed its pharmacy. Insurer paid more than $6 million but later learned that the claim and insured's business model were not legitimate. After Rafe dug into the facts, plaintiff moved to stay the suit that it had been affirmatively pursuing, claiming the discovery implicated Fifth Amendment issues and, soon thereafter, dismissing the case. After dismissal, the insured was raided by the FBI and several of its owners were indicted in connection with an alleged kickback scheme.
  • Rafe successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of his client, a lawyer, who was sued for RICO conspiracy claims. Rafe handled appeal of the judgment, which was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit.
  • Obtained take-nothing jury verdict in favor of a large oilfield services company in a class action lawsuit in Federal Court under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") related to claims that employees were forced to work off the clock.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment rulings for general contractor resulting in favorable settlement during jury selection in construction dispute relating to more than fifteen alleged construction defects at Las Vegas high-rise casino.
  • Obtained favorable settlement during jury selection for general contractor in construction dispute relating to water intrusion issues brought by Home Owner's Association in several condominium complexes in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Obtained favorable settlement in favor of contractor in construction dispute relating to alleged failure of glass panels in a City of Santa Monica, California public building.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of a Fortune 50 insurance company in Federal Court in coverage litigation relating to professional liability exclusion in a D&O policy.
  • Obtained summary judgment and attorneys' fees in defense of Houston-based construction company against former LLC member.
  • Obtained favorable settlement in favor of construction company in dispute with subcontractor related to an improperly-performed horizontal directional drill project.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment and attorneys' fees on behalf of minority unitholder for damages caused by Company's breach of limited liability company agreement.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of claims and award of attorneys' fees under Texas Anti-SLAPP statute against defamation claims brought against client.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of attorney malpractice grievance against Texas attorney filed with the State Bar of Texas.
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 50 home improvement store in Federal District Court and on appeal in the Fifth Circuit on $5 million contractual indemnity claims related to a joint venture project.
  • Obtained favorable settlement in defense of attorney against claims of legal malpractice in a lawsuit filed in state court.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal in favor of U.S.-based energy company in Arkansas Federal Court suit alleging damages caused by hydraulic fracturing activities.
  • Texas Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, 2020 - 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers, 2021 - 2024
  • Lawdragon 500 X – The Next Generation, Lawdragon, 2023
  • "State and Federal Regulations of the Transport of Oil Products by Rail," CLE, Houston, Texas, April 2015
  • "Global Litigation School--United States," London, England, November 2014
  • "Gulf Coast/Southeast Insurance Case Law Update," Windstorm Insurance Network Conference, Orlando, FL, January 2013
  • "Texas Rule 9a: Dismissal of Baseless Causes of Action," CLE, Houston, Texas, January 2013
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Litigation Section
    • Construction Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Construction Law Section
    • Lawyers for Literacy committee
    • HBA Speakers Bureau
  • Young Professionals in Energy
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program