Rebecca J. Cole
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
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Rebecca Cole joined the Houston office in 1991, following her graduation from law school. As Senior Counsel, Becky has been immersed in a trial and appellate practice covering a wide range of complex business and commercial matters, including class actions, with a focus on oil and gas/energy litigation matters. She has developed a particular expertise in advising clients regarding complex contractual issues, and litigation avoidance.
In addition, she is often sought out for her brief writing skills in both state and federal court, and at the trial and appellate levels, and has obtained numerous pre-trial dismissals for clients based on jurisdictional, forum, and summary judgment grounds.
Becky has prosecuted and defended a wide variety of cases involving complex contractual disputes, including disputes arising under or related to: oil and gas lease agreements, area of mutual interest agreements, arbitration agreements, drilling contracts, gas purchase and sale agreements, crude oil trading agreements (buy/sell and balancing agreements), geophysical/seismic data acquisition and use agreements, joint operating agreements, pipeline construction and operating agreements, government contracts, stock purchase and sale agreements, merger agreements, right of first refusal agreements, and asset purchase agreements.
These disputes have involved a wide variety of claims other than breach of contract, including tortious interference, common law and statutory fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, negligent misrepresentation, product liability, nuisance, trespass, conversion, insurance coverage, and breach of fiduciary duty. Becky has recently handled oil and gas disputes involving production in paying quantities/cessation of production claims, alleged improper deduction of post-production costs from royalty/incorrect royalty payment, breach of implied duty to market gas, alleged improper flaring of gas, failure to offer preferential rights to purchase, alleged surface damages, claims of force majeure/supply disruptions caused by hurricanes, and tort claims related to hydraulic fracturing and disposal and injection wells.
Becky has also defended various energy and chemical manufacturing companies in a wide variety of large docket cases, including tort and environmental litigation matters. She has successfully participated in the representation of cases at both the trial and appellate level in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, California, and the Virgin Islands, and is well versed in oil and gas law in most producing states. Becky has defended a substantial number of toxic tort cases involving both property damage and personal injury claims, including work-site, waste-site and neighbourhood cases.
Becky's litigation practice also includes advising clients on litigation avoidance strategies, and litigation preparedness in connection with disputes that appear likely to result in litigation. In particular, she has an expertise in advising clients regarding avoidance of litigation over oil and gas production practices, royalty payment practices and procedures under oil and gas leases.
JD, magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center, 1991
BA, with honors, University of Wisconsin, 1987
While in law school, Becky served as a Case Note and Comment Editor of the Houston Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif. She was admitted to practice in Texas in 1991.
- Texas State Bar
- Wisconsin State Bar
- Co-author, Practical Guide for Conducting Extraterritorial Discovery for Use in U.S. Litigation, 2001
- Co-author, A Tale of Two Old Messes, Discharge of Environmental Claims, University of Texas Bankruptcy Conference, 2000
- American Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
Becky was active for years as a volunteer at St. Catherine's Montessori School, including three years as an officer (Vice President and Treasurer) and member of the Board of Directors, two years as a member of the Development Committee, and one year as President of the Parent Service Organization. She was also the 9 year co-captain of her MS 150 cycling team, which raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and has volunteered at cycling events for the Special Olympics.