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Baker Botts Secures Major Appellate Victory for Vitol Americas Corp. in $147 Million Breach of Contract Dispute


On September 13, Baker Botts scored a major appellate victory when a unanimous panel of the Texas Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District affirmed a $147 million judgment for Vitol Americas Corp. (“Vitol”) in a long-running contract dispute.  Vitol filed suit in Harris County District Court and, after a five-week bench trial, recovered a judgment for $147 million in breach of contract damages and prejudgment interest.

After the judgment, Vitol retained Baker Botts to handle post-trial motions and to defend the judgment on appeal to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals.  The court of appeals held that the plain language of the Agreement unambiguously supported the contract damages awarded by the trial court.  It modified the judgment to remove a smaller, additional award of fraud damages, which Vitol did not oppose, and affirmed the judgment as modified.

The Baker Botts appellate team consisted of Macey Reasoner Stokes, Tony Lucisano, Elisabeth Butler, and John Ormiston. Lee Kaplan, Land Murphy, and Eugene Zilberman of Smyser Kaplan & Veselka represented Vitol at trial and as co-counsel on appeal.

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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