Education and Honors

  • J.D. (with honors), The University of Texas School of Law, 1990
  • B.A. (magna cum laude), Wellesley College, 1987
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • Recognized by Chambers USA since 2009

    Recognized by Chambers Global, since 2013

    Recognized in The International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration Lawyers, 2013

    Recognized in The International Who’s Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers, 2012

    Shortlist for “Best in Commercial Arbitration” by Euromoney since 2012

    Recommended in Expert Guides for Commercial Arbitration since 2009

    Recommended in Expert Guides for Women in Business Law since 2011

    Recommended in The Legal 500 U.S., 2013

Admissions and Affiliations

State Bar of Texas

Qualified Solicitor, England and Wales

Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Executive Committee (Communications Committee Chair)

Institute for Energy Law, Advisory Board

Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law, Advisory Board

London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

International Bar Association

American Bar Association

Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

Houston World Affairs Council, Director

Jennifer M. Smith


One Shell Plaza
910 Louisiana Street
Houston, Texas 77002-4995
United States


International arbitration and dispute resolution


Jennifer Smith is a partner with over twenty three years’ experience in the resolution of international disputes. She is qualified to practice law in the United States and in England and Wales. Her primary focus is complex international arbitration and international law, with substantial experience in the resolution of cross-border disputes arising out of international contracts, as counsel and arbitrator. She has represented both claimants and respondents in ad hoc arbitrations and UNCITRAL Rules proceedings as well as arbitrations conducted under the auspices of many arbitral institutes, including the PCA, the ICC, the SCC, the LCIA, the AAA, GAFTA, SCMA and the ICDR.

Jennifer has significant experience in many industry sectors, including energy, petrochemicals, shipping and technology.

Following graduation from law school, Ms. Smith served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lynn N. Hughes of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Representative Engagements

International Arbitrations

  • ICC arbitration involving a dispute over the development of a rotary steerable tool for use in directional drilling
  • ICC arbitration (arbitrator) involving breach of a shareholder agreement, hydrocarbon exploration under a Middle Eastern production sharing contract, fiduciary obligations under Channel Island of Jersey law and disclosure requirements on the Canadian National Stock Exchange
  • Dispute involving a contract of affreightment between a Philippine power producer and a Dutch disponet owner under the rules of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration
  • A number of disputes arising under a series of gas supply agreements in Western Africa between two large independent upstream energy companies
  • ICC arbitration concerning a pricing dispute under an offtake agreement between a multinational manufacturer of polyolefins and a Polish company subject to Belgian law
  • Intellectual property dispute between a U.S. marine and offshore entity and Indian software developers
  • ICC arbitration concerning rights under a shareholders’ agreement between an independent U.S. oil and gas producer and a Swiss joint venture involving governance of a Trinidadian ammonia plant
  • ICDR arbitration and later enforcement proceedings in U.S., UK and Turkey between Georgian and Turkish companies arising out of breach of a drilling rig contract
  • LCIA arbitration between a U.S. oil and gas company and a Norwegian crude oil transportation company over a purchase and sale agreement for an FPSO operating offshore Western Africa
  • ICC arbitration between a consortium of exploration and production companies and a Middle Eastern state arising out of the state’s attempted termination of a production sharing agreement and issues of alleged reservoir mismanagement, underpayment of taxes and improper cost recovery under the concession
  • ICDR arbitration between U.S. and UK research and development companies arising out of a Commercialization Agreement for nanopore technology
  • Ad hoc arbitration between a multinational drilling contractor and an Indian oil and gas company concerning an agreement to indemnify against customs duties contained in a sale and purchase agreement for a jack-up drilling rig
  • SCC arbitration between co-venturers to a gold mining venture in the Republic of Georgia under UNCITRAL rules
  • Insurance dispute concerning land contamination in France, ad hoc, subject to the English Arbitration Act, London
  • Enforcement proceeding arising out of the breach of a multinational grain contract, originally arbitrated before the Grain and Fee Trade Organization (GAFTA) in London
  • Dispute over maritime delimitation in the Red Sea between two sovereign states, ad hoc


  • Dispute between a British independent oil company and a Spanish energy company relating to the enforcement of an “area of mutual interest” clause in an operating agreement for exploration of oil and gas in Indonesia
  • Action brought by a Scottish exploration and production company against the Chinese national oil company arising out of an Indonesian joint operating agreement
  • Action brought by a London-based investment bank against a U.S. telecommunications company arising out of a failed bid to acquire German cable operations
  • Dispute between an international drilling company and a Belgian bank arising out of failure to pay on an irrevocable letter of credit
  • Parallel litigation in Texas and England arising out of the cancelation of a multimillion-dollar drilling rig contract by a consortium of co-venturers

Publications, Speeches and Presentations

  • Speaker, “The Ethics of Ex Parte Contacts with Governmental Agencies,” February 2014
  • “The Importance of a Strong Force Majeure Clause in an Unstable Geopolitical Environment,” The Journal of World Energy Law & Business Advance Access, March 15, 2015
  • Speaker, ICDR Miami International Arbitration Conference: International Dispute Resolution in the Americas, January, 2015
  • Co-Chair, 2nd Annual ITA-IEL Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration, January 2015
  • Panelist, Second Annual Houston Legal Market conference, December 2014
  • Moderator, “Oil and Gas Investment Arbitrations: Protecting Oil and Gas Projects against Political Risk,” October 2014
  • Speaker, ICCA Congress 2014 (XXII), “Legitimacy: Myths, Realities, Challenges - Panel: Proof—A Plea for Precision,” April 2014
  • Speaker, Women In Leadership Conference, A View From The Top: “Global Business,” February 2014
  • Panelist, Argyle Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum: “The General Counsel as a Strategic Business Partner,” October 2013
  • Co-chair, CBAr-ITA-CCBC Joint Conference on International Arbitration, São Paulo, Brazil, September 2013
  • Panelist, 2013 American Inns of Court National Symposium: “Advocacy in Specialized Forums”
  • Faculty Member for Women in Law Institute 2013: “Communicate with Impact Workshop”
  • Co-chair, 23rd Annual ITA Workshop, June 2012
  • Speaker and Faculty Member, 22nd Annual ITA Workshop, June 2011
  • “Introduction,” The American Review of International Arbitration 2010 Volume 21 Nos. 1-4, 2011
  • Moderator, “Getting Help: International Arbitration Resources When You Are Uncertain or Need Some Help,” Conference of International Association of Procedural Law, Toronto, June 2009
  • “Planning For and Trying the International Dispute: The Yemeni File,” State Bar of Texas International Law Section Annual Institute, San Antonio, March 2008
  • “International Arbitration: What Is It? How Do You Get In? How Do You Get Out?” 16th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, Houston, February 2008
  • Texas Republic Oil Company (South America) Inc. vs. Repùblica Socialista de Playas Hermosas: A Hypothetical Arbitration.” 58th Annual Oil and Gas Law Conference, Houston, February 2007
  • “Winning in Commercial Arbitration: Selecting the Right Forum,” Texas General Counsel Forum, Corporate Counsel Conference, Dallas, November 2000