Bill Kroger is one of the leading energy litigation lawyers in the United States and has been recognized as an “Energy Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal (2015). He has chaired the firm’s Energy Litigation Practice for more than a decade, covering the entire shale-play oil and gas revolution. The Texas Lawyer selected the Energy Litigation group as the “Energy Litigation Department of the Year” in both 2016 and 2017 and Legal 500 US ranked the group as Tier 1 in Oil & Gas Litigation (2010-2019).
Bill has handled major disputes in the major oil and gas plays in the United States, including the Permian Basin (Texas), Gulf of Mexico, Eagle Ford (Texas), Wolfcamp (Texas), Uinta (Utah), Bakken (North Dakota), Utica (Ohio) and Marcellus (Pennsylvania/West Virginia). He has represented clients in state and federal courts and in arbitrations throughout the United States. He has also appeared before numerous state and federal energy regulatory agencies.
During his career, Bill has represented clients in many of the most significant energy disputes of the past 30 years, including:
- Kinder Morgan in multiple legal proceedings seeking to block its $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline;
- Oil and gas producers against railcar owners on corrosion claims on crude oil tank cars, including trial against CIT Rail on $40 million of corrosion claims;
- Major multinational oil company on claims arising out of the Lac-Mégantic explosion;
- Major refiner on wrongful death and property damage claims from the explosion at its refinery;
- Multiple, major arbitrations for multinational oil companies involving title disputes in the Permian Basin and other major shale plays;
- Oil and gas producer in Cerny, the most important oil and gas nuisance decision involving Texas shale plays;
- The Texas Oil and Gas Association against the City of Denton, seeking to impose the first ban on fracking in a shale play in Texas. The litigation resulted in the termination of the ban and major changes in state regulation of oil and gas;
- CenterPoint Energy on its major proceedings before the Texas Public Utility Commission for the deregulation of the electric utility industry in the State of Texas;
- U.S. oil and gas traders by Pemex that traders had purchased more than $300 million of stolen hydrocarbons;
- Largest coastal windfarm in the United States against claims by the King Ranch and other plaintiffs on nuisance and other environmental claims; and
- HL&P before the Texas Supreme Court on the Auchan case, dealing with the issue of the enforceability of its limitation of liability provision in its tariff. This case established the legal viability of tariff provisions in the State of Texas.
Bill also handles complex commercial litigation in addition to energy litigation. Over his career, Bill’s clients have included EOG, Murphy Exploration, CenterPoint Energy, Hines Interests Limited Partnership, Ford Motor Company, BASF, Shell Oil, Kinder Morgan, BHP Petroleum, Courson Oil and Gas, Vega Energy, Matador Resources, Enable Energy, Carlyle Group, The Texas Oil and Gas Association, EQT, and Dominion Resources.
Bill has been active in the legal and local Houston community for years. He was recently elected President of the Houston Bar Association for its 150th Anniversary year (2020-2021). Bill is the 2020 Recipient of the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, which is awarded annually “to an outstanding member of the legal community who exhibits an exceptional commitment to equality, justice, fairness, and community service.” In 2017, he was elected by his peers to the American Law Institute. In 2015, Bill received the Leon Jaworski Award from the Houston Bar for a lifetime of public service. Earlier in his career, Bill was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer for the City of Houston and for the State of Texas by Houston Young Lawyers Association and Texas Young Lawyers Association, and one of the Five Outstanding Young Houstonians and Texans by the Houston and Texas Jaycees.
In 2019, Bill was asked to co-host the Baker Institute/Baker Botts Third Annual Energy Conference at Rice University, which will take place in October 2019.