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Lauren Varnado
Office Managing Partner
[email protected]


MR has deep roots in the energy industry, particularly in Houston, the oil & gas capital of the country. In fact, our energy attorneys are involved in some of the most significant energy-related disputes in the U.S. and internationally. Domestically, we’ve handled cases arising from oil & gas operations in every producing jurisdiction in the U.S.—cases venued in federal and state courts, litigated through arbitration and heard in parallel with regulatory proceedings.

Our team’s experience includes defending lawsuits brought by land, royalty and working interest owners; litigation between joint operators, operators and service providers; claims arising from field operations; midstream disputes and those over oil & gas transportation; and virtually every other type of case that touches upon the power sector.

Notably, the firm’s expertise in the energy space extends beyond traditional oil & gas matters. Our team frequently advises clients on liquified natural gas (LNG), the marketing and trading of commodities, FERC enforcement proceedings, renewables (solar and wind) and power generation and transmission. We also frequently handle matters involving insurance issue that arise in the energy sector.

Areas of Expertise

Accounting Obligations
Acquisition and Divestiture of Oil & Gas Properties (including midstream assets)
Bankruptcy Matters
Class Actions
Climate Change Litigation
Contract Advice and Counsel (including upstream, midstream, power and LNG agreements)
Contract Cases
Environmental Contamination
Fraud and Tort Actions
Insurance Coverage & Litigation
Litigation Avoidance
Market Manipulation Disputes (including lawsuits involving trading in energy and commodity markets)
Oil & Gas Leases
Oil & Gas Production & Business Operations
Risk Mitigation
Royalty Payment Practices

Representative Matters

Defending the largest natural gas producer in the U.S. in putative class action in federal court alleging failure to properly calculate and pay royalties on natural gas liquids.

Defending midstream company against claims of breach of contract and tortious interference claims relating to obligations under a pipeline easement agreement.

Representing a defendant operator in connection with claims for royalty underpayments, breach of contract, trespass, fraud and alleged statutory violations relating to the timeliness of royalty payments.

Representing a midstream company in confidential arbitration of claims arising out of Winter Storm Uri.

Defending independent gas producer in Pennsylvania state court against claims alleging breach of contract. Tort claims dismissed.

Successfully tried to jury verdict a case on behalf of an international oil & gas exploration and production company involving disputed payments for oil production under production sharing contracts in the Deir Ez Zor Area in Syria.

Secondment to Shell Oil Company, Upstream Americas; drafted agreements for transactions with various third parties to manage associated risks and realize commercial objectives; provided legal advice and support to the domestic unconventionals business, covering all aspects of exploration, appraisal, development, production and operation of Shell’s onshore tight sand/shale oil & gas assets.

Defended a national fuel tank manufacturer against contribution and indemnity claims arising from the alleged defective construction of a gas station. Case dismissed in district court.

Represented an oilfield services company in connection with claims of breach of non-compete and confidentiality obligations by a former officer and owner of the company, resulting in an arbitration award in favor of the client following a seven-day evidentiary hearing.

Represented a defendant operator in connection with purported class action involving claims for royalty underpayments, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, unjust enrichment and breach of duty to market gas as a reasonably prudent operator. Case dismissed on summary judgment in the district court.

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