Bob Bruner

Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 5216
Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 5216

Biography

Bob is a financial restructuring and insolvency lawyer based in Norton Rose Fulbright's Houston office.  Bob represents debtors, committees, and individual creditors in all aspects of commercial bankruptcy cases, particularly oil and gas and other energy matters. Bob is also an insolvency litigator with substantial experience successfully defending lien avoidance actions and other adversary claims, including fraudulent transfer claims. 

Prior to joining the firm, Bob clerked for Judge Marvin Isgur, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Texas. Bob's clerkship experience gives him unique perspective on bankruptcy issues that arise in reorganization cases in the Southern District of Texas.


Professional experience

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JD, with honors, University of Texas School of Law, 2007
BS, with distinction, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2004

During law school, Bob was an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. Bob also interned with the Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Attorney's office and represented individuals at commitment hearings with the University of Texas School of Law Mental Health Clinic. At the University of Wisconsin, Bob received individual majors in history, psychology, political science and legal studies and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.   

  • Texas State Bar

Avoidance Action and Adversary Proceeding Defense Representations

  • DJH Minerals, LP and Cathexis Royalties & Minerals, LP v. SN Catrina, LLC et. al, Civil Act. No. H-20-2979 (S.D. Tex.) - defending royalty underpayment and declaratory judgment claims regarding the extent, validity, and priority of liens on oil and gas production and proceeds asserted by oil and gas lessors and royalty interest holders
  • Southland Royalty Company, LLC v. MRC Global (US) Inc., Adv. No. 20-50740 (Bankr. D. Del.) - defending declaratory judgment action regarding the extent, priority, and value of statutory oil and gas mechanic's lien 
  • Searcy v. Bank of America, N.A., Adv. No. 17-03002 (Bankr. N.D. Tex.) -obtained summary judgment on $30 million mortgage avoidance claims and defeated summary judgment on $10 million preference claims
  • White Operating v. Bank of America, N.A., Adv. No. 16-03158 (Bankr. N. D. Tex) - obtained summary judgment on $30 million lien priority dispute with oil and gas producers and equitable subordination claims
  • Katchadurian v. NGP Capital Management, Adv. No. 18-03079 - defeated motion to dismiss on over $100 million in fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty claims related to sale transactions between affiliated entities
  • Tow v. Lozier ADL LLC, et al (In re ATP Oil & Gas Corp.), Adv. No. 15-03179, Bankr. S.D. Texas - obtained dismissal of over $10 million in avoidance claims asserted against over a dozen financial institutions that allegedly received dividend payments from ATP following motion to dismiss briefing and an evidentiary hearing on the Trustee's assertion of an equitable tolling defense
  • Crescent Resources Litigation Trust v. Duke Energy Corporation, et al., Case No. 12-CA-009, W.D. Tex. - obtained summary judgment on over a billion dollas in fraudulent transfer claims asserted against Duke Energy based on a leveraged recapatlizatin
  • Trevino v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc., Adv. No. 13-07031, Bankr.S.D. Tex. - respsented mortgage service provider in connection with over a dozen claims, including abuse of process, violation of federal and state debt collection statutes, and orders of the court and subsequently obtained a favorable settlement following dismissal of the majoirty of the claims and mediation


Oil, Gas, and Energy Representations

  • In re Cobalt International, Inc., et al., Case No. 17-36709, Bankr. S.D. Tex. – represented major oil and gas exploration company with respect to defending rights of first refusal, participation in auction process, and P&A liabilities 
  • In re Connect Transport, LLC, et al., Case No. 16-33971, Bankr. N.D. Texas  – represented pre-petitoin and DIP lender of  midstream oil and gas storage and transportation company, including defense of lien challenges and priority disputes with oil and gas producers asserting first purchaser liens under Okahoma and Texas statutes
  • In re GenOn Energy, Inc, Case No. 17-33695, Bankr. S.D. Tex. - represented, as co-counsel, owner lessors of non-debtor coal and natural gas plants with respect to pursuing substantial fraudulent transfer, breach of contract, and related claims arising from debtor's  alleged improper dividend distributions, charges under a shared services agreement, and breach of credit support obligations
  • In re Panda Temple Power LLC et al., Case No. 17-10839, Bankr. D. Del. - represnted debtors' energy manager with respect to negotation of an agreed termination of energy managment and related agreements and release of claims
  • In re Ryckman Creek Resources, LLC, et al., case No. 16-10292, Bankr. D. Del.– represented major oil and gas exploration company in connection with obtaining termination of a storage agreement and release of claims.
  • In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., et al., Case No. 16-32202, Bankr. S.D. Tex.  – represented, as co-counsel, ad hoc committee of bond holders,  in connection wtih obtaining payment in full of the bond holder claims as  "unimpaired creditors, " including a $400 million claim for a make-whole premium
  • In re Peabody Energy Corp., et al, Case No. 16-42529, U.S. Bankr. E.D. Missouri  - represented net-profit interest holder with respect to dispute over characterization of the interest as a real property interest under Wyoming state law and obtained a favorable settlement that resulted in the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in past-due amounts and preservation of the net-profit interest.    
  • In re Energy XXI., et al., Case No. 16-31928, Bankr. S.D. Tex. – represented, as co-counsel, ad hoc committee of second lien noteholders in connection with obtaining 84% of the reorganized debtors' equity. 
  • In re MidStates Petroleum Co., et al., Case No. 16-32237, and In re SandRidge Energy, Inc., et al., Case No. 16-32488, U.S. Bankr. S.D. Tex.   - represented one of the debtors' primary electricity providers in connection with negotiating increased adequate assurance deposits, payment of outstanding cure amounts, surety bonds for future security, and the release of any preference or other avoidance claims
  • Trinity River Resources, LP., Case No. 16-10472, Bankr. W.D. Tex. - represented operator and working interest owner with respect to claims for unpaid royalties and related obligations 
  • Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC, Case No. 15-34287, Bankr. S.D. Texas  —represented operator and co-working interest owner with respect to certain offshore leases and platforms that had significant (in excess of $20 million) P&A obligations, including in connection with negotiating the acquisition of certain of the debtors' revenue-generating interests, waiver of claims, as well as an allowed claim for contingent P&A obligations 


Debtor Representations

  • Pioneer Energy Services Corp., Case No. 20-31425 (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) - co-debtor's counsel  for oil and gas exploration company
  • Southern Foods Co. et al., Case No. 19-36313 (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) - co-debtor's counsel for largest U.S. dairy processer
  • Francis' Drilling Fluids, Ltd., Case No. 18-35441 (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) - debtor's counsel for oil and gas service provider
  • Buccaneer Resources, LLC et al., Case No. 14-60041 (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) - debtor's counsel offshore oil and gas driller
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, Best Lawyers, 2021
  • "The Unexplored Limits of Moore v. Bay: Statutory and Equitable Basis for Limiting Money Damage Awards on Fraudulent Transfer Claims," 26 Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, 3, June 2017
  • "Limiting Fraudulent Transfer Damages to the Amount of "Innocent" Creditor Claims," 33 American Bankruptcy Institute Jounral 3, March 2014 
  • "Seventh Circuit Protects Creditor's Choice To Gamble on Real Estate Over U.S. Treasuries," Fulbright Briefing, February 8, 2012
  • "The Collapse of the In Pari Delicto Defense to Bankruptcy Trustee Claims: How the Fifth Circuit Has Opened a New Door for Trustee Litigation," 17 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 91, Winter 2011
  • "The Art of Valuations in Bankruptcy," 29th Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, Austin, Texas, November 2010
  • Co-author, "Intercreditor Agreements: A Review of Courts' Treatment of Intercreditor Agreements," 28th Annual Advanced Business Bankruptcy Conference, Dallas, Texas, June 2010
  • Co-author, "Bankruptcy Case Update: A Review of Commercial Bankruptcy Cases from the Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, and Texas, New York, and Delaware District and Bankruptcy Courts," 4th Annual TMA Southwest Regional Conference, Austin, Texas, April 2010
  • "Supreme Court Previews I: Espinoza v. United Student Aid Funds, Inc.," State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Law Section Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 2, November 2009
  • "The Fifth Circuit's Limited Adoption of the 'Forward Looking' Approach to Calculating 'Project Income,'" State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Law Section Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 2, November 2009
  • Co-author, "Bob and Bryan's Basics: A Technology Reference Guide for New Bankruptcy Attorneys," Starting Out Right CLE, Houston, Texas, May 2009
  • Co-author, "Recent Developments in Consumer Bankruptcy Law: Consumer Bankruptcy Case Summaries," 4th Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Conference, Galveston, Texas, June 2008
  • "Appraisal - the Nitty Gritty in Preparation and Presentation," Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference, Corpus Christi, Texas, Apr. 20-22, 2016
  • "Bankruptcy Law in a Nutshell," Houston ALP Certification Course, Houston, Texas, October 9, 2010
  • Co-presenter with Bryan Rogers, "Courtroom Antics," Starting Out Right CLE, Houston, Texas, May 2009
  • American Inns of Court – The Honorable Arthur L. Moller/David B. Foltz, Jr. Bankruptcy Inn
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar
  • The Southern District of Texas
  • The Northenrn District of Texas
  • The Eastern District of Texas
  • The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals