Uriel E. Dutton

Of Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 3712
Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 3712
Uriel E. Dutton

Uriel E. Dutton

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Biography

Few lawyers have the history in the legal profession and a record of serving one firm that Uriel Dutton has: He joined our firm over 60 years ago and has seen it grow from approximately 50 attorneys in 1954 to over 700 attorneys today. In 2002, Uriel was one of 25 lawyers named to Best of the Best in the oil and gas practice area by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

For 60 years, Uriel has provided his clients with strategic counsel on a range of transactions. His practice in real estate has included sales and acquisitions, planning and development, construction, financing, joint ventures, partnerships, foreclosures, leasing, and management. In the areas of oil and gas, he has been involved in sales and acquisitions, exploration and development agreements, leases, farmouts, unitization agreements, joint ventures, partnerships, operating agreements, drilling contracts and financing, and oil and gas purchase contracts. His practice has also included representation of clients in the areas of coal, lignite, and hard mineral exploration; electric generating facilities operating agreements and joint ownership agreements conveyances; energy sales and transmission agreements and cogeneration transactions.


Professional experience

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LL.B, cum laude, Baylor University, 1951
Pre-Law, Howard Payne College, 1946-1948

Uriel served as editor-in-chief of the Baylor Law Review while attending law school. At Baylor he also was a member of Phi Delta Phi. He was admitted to practice law in Texas in 1951. Following law school, he served as a legal officer on the faculty and staff of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School in Charlottesville, Virginia, from 1952 to 1954. While there, he was editor of Jag Chronicle and the Annual Pocket Part to the Manual For Courts Martial.

  • Texas State Bar

Listed among his most interesting or challenging experiences are:

  • Serving as lead counsel for a mid-size New York Stock Exchange energy corporation in an eight-year long dispute with over 400 municipalities, pipelines, and industrial customers of an intra-state gas pipeline system involving claims of approximately $1.4 billion, resulting in a settlement involving the spin-off of the subsidiary that included the pipeline business that enabled each of the parent company and subsidiary to avoid bankruptcy and continue successfully and profitably with its business operations.
  • Representation of a municipal utility in extended and repeated disputes with a co-owner and operator of a large nuclear power plant, including protracted negotiations continuing for over a year that culminated in a settlement agreement providing for the exchange of the utility's interest in the nuclear plant for an interest in a lignite-fueled electric generating facility, but which was not consummated because of inability to obtain a required order from the Texas Public Utility Commission, and, some years later, following further litigation and disputes between the parties, representation of the municipal utility in negotiating agreements with the other owners of the nuclear power plant transferring control and responsibility for operation of the plant to a free-standing non-profit entity jointly controlled and funded by the four owners of the plant.
  • Serving as primary oil and gas counsel for a for-profit Alaska native-owned corporation created pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, since shortly after its formation in 1972, including negotiation of multiple exploration agreements, oil and gas leases and other agreements (including the first and only field-wide unitization agreement in Alaska involving both the State of Alaska and a private corporation as royalty owners, together with the oil companies holding leases covering the field) with major and large independent oil companies operating in northern Alaska relating to the 5,000,000 acres of oil, gas and mineral rights owned by the Alaska native-owned corporation on the Alaskan North Slope. The representation has also included negotiation of a settlement agreement between the Alaska native-owned corporation and the State of Alaska involving a dispute concerning entitlement to ownership of oil, gas and mineral rights under several hundred thousand acres of land in northern Alaska near the Beaufort Sea that now includes a substantial portion of one of the three largest producing oil fields in Alaska. The settlement agreement, which took approximately 5 years to negotiate and became effective when it was enacted as a law by the Alaska Legislature, involved an agreed division of ownership of the subsurface estate of the subject lands on a section by section basis and included complex procedures for future leasing by the state of the interests of both the state and the Alaska native-owned corporation.
  • Representation of a large insurance company as an investor and active participant in a major office and commercial real estate development in Houston from 1972 to 1996, including serving as lead counsel representing all the owners of the development in the sale of the project in 1996.
  • Representation of a prominent Houston philanthropist in her estate planning, business and charitable giving activities including her gift of her home, Bayou Bend, to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts that now operates the home as the Bayou Bend Museum, creation of the Winedale Museum on the Varner-Hogg Plantation near Round Rock, Texas, and establishment of the Ima Hogg Foundation at the University of Texas, and negotiation of a 99-year lease covering land in downtown Houston on which the Two Shell Building is situated.
  • Serving as primary oil and gas counsel for a major diversified corporation in the sale of the oil and gas properties of its subsidiary to a major oil corporation for approximately $1.4 billion and a retained contingent reverter interest dependent on payout.
  • Representation of a prominent explorationist and geologist for over twenty years in connection with his widespread oil and gas exploration activities in the lower 48 states and Alaska, including negotiation of multiple joint venture or exploration agreements with major corporate investors who participated from time to time in his exploration activities.

In 2002, Uriel was one of 25 lawyers named to Best of the Best in the oil and gas practice area by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Other professional honors include:

  • The Best Lawyers in America, natural resources, real estate, Best Lawyers, 1984 - 2010
  • Texas Top Rated Lawyer, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, 2013 - 2014
  • Texas Super Lawyer, energy & natural resources, real estate, corporate, Thomson Reuters, 2003 - 2005
  • Who's Who in America, Marquis
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Association
  • Life Fellow, Houston Bar Association
  • Life Fellow, State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • M.D. Anderson Foundation, Board of Trustees/Directors (1986 to Present)