Ayesha Najam

Partner
713.751.5213

[email protected]

Terry Dinwiddie

Assistant
713.751.5261

[email protected]

Ayesha Najam focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, with a more recent focus on disputes involving energy and construction.  With over a decade of litigation experience, Ayesha’s client base has spanned a swath of industries, including energy, manufacturing, health care, software, construction, and commercial real estate.

Following law school, Ayesha was a law clerk to Judge Stephen H. Glickman, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, from 2004 to 2005.

Representative Matters

Enterprise Products Operating LLC v. Amec Foster Wheeler USA Corp.
Representing Enterprise in massive engineering/construction lawsuit concerning large petrochemical refinery recently constructed in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Enterprise seeks several hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns and lost profits from terminated EPC contractor.

US Pipeline, Inc. v. Northern Natural Gas Company
Represented U.S. Pipeline in lawsuit regarding pipeline construction in Omaha, Nebraska. Tried case to the bench for approximately one and a half weeks and obtained judgment in favor of U.S. Pipeline. Argued appeal to Nebraska Supreme Court, who affirmed the judgment.

Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc., et al. v. NuStar Logistics, LP
Represented Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc. and Oxy Ingleside LPG Pipeline, LLC in lawsuit focused on pipeline integrity.  Dispute arose from project to refurbish and reverse flow on existing NuStar pipeline for Oxy to transport and export LPG—which pipeline ruptured during the commissioning phase, resulting in Oxy terminating take-or-pay and related contracts with NuStar. Tried case to the bench for several weeks.  Case settled after trial.

TexCal Energy South Texas, L.P. and Venoco, Inc. v. Denbury Onshore, LLC
Represented Venoco, Inc. in contract dispute regarding reversionary interest in oilfield centered on meaning of CO2-cost-related provisions.  After week-long arbitration hearing, three-member panel entered unanimous award in favor of Venoco.

Plains Gas Solutions, LLC v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, et al.
Represented Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, in lawsuit relating to gas processing contract and divesture of certain offshore pipeline assets by TGP to a third company.  The parties settled on the eve of trial, with TGP paying nothing under the settlement agreement.

Houston Community College v. Renee Byas
Represented Houston Community College in lawsuit with former General Counsel and Acting Chancellor, who alleged termination in retaliation for attempts to expose allegedly illegal activity by college’s Board of Trustees.  The case settled prior to trial.

Gardner Denver, Inc. v. Houston Service Industries
Represented defendant in trade secrets case involving multistage centrifugal blowers utilized in wastewater systems and industrial applications.  In the middle of discovery, the plaintiff non-suited its claims with prejudice.

Eliel Ntakirutimana, et al. v. CHS/Community Health Systems, Inc., et al. 
Represented CEO of national hospital system in lawsuit brought by two doctors alleging violations of federal RICO laws in connection with a Laredo hospital’s CEO having requested side payments from plaintiffs to maintain their contracts.  The case settled on in the weeks preceding trial.

Pemex Exploracion y Produccion v. Big Star Gathering Ltd., LLP, et al. 
Represented Big Star Gathering Ltd, LLP in lawsuit filed by production subsidiary of national oil company of Mexico against several defendants, alleging conspiracy to import, purchase, and/or sell natural gas condensate originally stolen from PEMEX by members of Mexican drug cartels.  Big Star and its principal settled the claims.

D. Bobbitt Noel, Jr. v. Devon Energy Production Co., LP, et al.
Represented the plaintiff in a fraud and breach of fiduciary duty case involving the buy-out of his minority interests in Chief Holdings, LLC (later acquired by Devon).  After five-week jury trial, court entered $196 million verdict in plaintiff’s favor. The case settled on appeal.

In Re: Estate of John M. O’Quinn, Deceased
Represented John M. O’Quinn Foundation, the sole beneficiary under the will of the late, legendary trial lawyer John O’Quinn, in dispute with Darla Lexington, O’Quinn’s companion who claimed to have been his common law wife.  The case settled on the eve of trial.

William S. Kaye v. Lone Star Fund V (U.S), LP, et al.
Represented former officers of Bruno’s Supermarkets, LLC in suit brought on behalf of unsecured creditors alleging breaches of fiduciary duty. Obtained dismissal of all claims at motion to dismiss stage.

Litigation Against Former Directors of Peregrine Systems, Inc.
Represented certain former directors of Peregrine Systems, Inc. in various lawsuits alleging securities fraud.

In re Guardianship of Lenny C. Katz: Jerold B. Katz v. Gross, et al.
GC Services Limited Partnership, et al. v. Gross
Represented individual in related actions involving allegations of malfeasances as trustee of several large trusts and as officer of two privately held companies. All claims against the client were either dismissed at summary judgment stage or pursuant to a settlement agreement (entered into on the eve of trial) under which the client paid nothing.

Kay Dobbs, as Trustee on behalf of The Jeffrey P. Dobbs Irrevocable Trust, et al. v. American International Group, Inc.et al.
Represented life insurance beneficiaries in suit against insurer to recover $25 million in benefits owed, which had been denied under suicide exclusion. Weeks before trial, the parties entered into a settlement agreement.

Willis Group, LLC and Seis-Strat Services, L.L.C. v. Antares Enterprises, L.P. et al.
Represented claimants in arbitration proceeding regarding earn-out payments pursuant to company purchase agreement. Claimants prevailed after week-long arbitration.

Education

Harvard Law SchoolJ.D.cum laude2004

Rice UniversityB.A.magna cum laude2001

Recognition

Listed in Chambers USA, 2017
  Named “Up and Coming” – Texas, Litigation: Energy & Natural Resources

Named in Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2019
  Named to the “Under 40 Hot List,” 2017-2019

Named in Legal 500 US
  Recommended in General Commercial Disputes, 2019
  Recommended in Energy Litigation – Oil & Gas, 2019, 2013

Named a “Texas Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers, 2013-2018

Admissions and Certifications

State Bar of Texas
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

Memberships and Affiliations

Houston Bar Association, Member
Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

Presentations and Publications

Speaker: “What Attorneys Expect from Systems Administrators Preserving & Collecting ESI and from Computer Forensics Experts”  University of Houston – Computer Forensics Class, April 2013, Houston, TX

Panelist: “The Beginning of the End: Opportunities and Pitfalls in the Run-up to Trial,” North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) Convention, June 25, 2011, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker: “Your Honor, May It Please The Court…”: Working in the Area That Best Suits Your Interests, National Association of Muslim Lawyers Annual Conference, April 2006, Washington, DC

Press