Leading industry directory Legal 500 released its 2015 rankings, placing Gibbs & Bruns LLP in the top tier of law firms servicing the energy industry.  Trial lawyers Robin Gibbs, Kathy Patrick, Grant Harvey and Barrett Reasoner are named on the “Leading US Trial Lawyers” shortlist.  In addition, Gibbs & Bruns is lauded for its securities litigation experience and accomplishments in this year’s directory.

Leading Trial Lawyers
Robin Gibbs
Kathy Patrick
Barrett Reasoner
Grant Harvey

Name partner Robin Gibbs continues to excel in trials, usually with a Texas and an energy bent. In a highlight, Gibbs joined forces with the ‘very talented’ Barrett Reasoner to represent Waste Management in Harris County Texas et al v International Paper Company et al in which it was alleged that 40 years of daily industrial paper mill waste discharges into the San Jacinto River were the fault of the client and other defendants, with damages of $3.6bn sought. Shortly before a scheduled trial, the firm obtained a summary judgment dismissal of all claims against Waste Management. Gibbs is also defending DaVita in a qui tam suit involving the allegedly improper billing to Medicare for drug ‘wastage’ over the course of nine years. This ‘brilliant attorney’ has also undertaken significant work for Vantage Drilling and Baker Botts L.L.P. recently.

Texas-based Kathy Patrick is ‘consistently better prepared than opposing counsel, and very cost-effective in her research, brief prep, and argument. She gives sound advice on strategy and tactics with respect to each case’. Patrick attained a notable victory on January 31 2014, when an $8.5bn settlement orchestrated by her on behalf of 22 institutional investors including PIMCO, BlackRock and MetLife was approved by the New York Supreme Court. Patrick is also active on behalf of Fannie Mae in Federal National Mortgage Association v Barclays, in a bid to recover $800m in damages resulting from the alleged manipulation of LIBOR.

Energy Litigation
Gibbs & Bruns was ranked in the highest tier in a shortlist of just five firms for Energy Litigation in the US.  Robin Gibbs is also ranked as one of the Leading Lawyer for Energy Litigation in this year’s directory, among just 11 lawyers from the US.

Operating out of a single office in Houston, Gibbs & Bruns LLP’s comparatively small team of 30 trial lawyers punches well above its weight, enjoying a dominant position for litigation on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Name partner Robin Gibbs, who has years of experience handling complex energy litigation, led the team acting for Vantage Drilling, pursuing a breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and other claims against a former director of the company. Barrett Reasoner has a strong track record in oil and gas disputes and led advice to Venoco and TexCal Energy South Texas on a contract dispute with Denbury Onshore regarding Venoco’s reversionary interest in a Texas oilfield; the team obtained a unanimous award of approximately $100m in favor of the client with respect to all three contractual interpretation declarations sought. Other high-profile client names include Chevron and Kinder Morgan.

Securities Litigation
Gibbs & Bruns securities litigation achievements were highlighted in this year’s editorial:

Gibbs & Bruns LLP in Houston is respected for the advocacy skills of its ‘curious and creative lawyers’. Kathy Patrick and founding partner Robin Gibbs lead a team that has seen many successes in mortgage-backed securities cases. Patrick, Scott Humphries, Robert Madden and David Sheeren achieved approval of an $8.5bn settlement for institutional investors such as PIMCO and BlackRock from Countrywide and its corporate parent BNY Mellon in claims relating to 530 RMBS deals. The same team achieved a $4.5bn settlement with JP Morgan for 21 institutional investors relating to 303 RMBS Trusts.