"Bill's “knowledge and guidance is top-notch.” “His courtroom and procedural awareness at trial is his greatest strength. He really knows what he's doing and he's very good at working with clients.”"
Chambers USA 2021
Bill Kroger is one of the leading energy litigation lawyers in the United States. He is one of only a few lawyers who Chambers USA has ranked “Band 1 for Oil and Gas Litigation - Nationwide” (2020 and 2021).
Bill has also chaired the firm's Energy Litigation group since 2008, and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Energy Pillar. The Texas Lawyer selected the firm's Energy Litigation Group as the “Energy Litigation Department of the Year” in both 2016 and 2017. In 2020, Chambers ranked the Baker Botts Energy Litigation group as "Band 1" Nationally for Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas. The Legal 500 U.S. ranked the group as "Tier 1" in Oil & Gas Litigation for every year from 2010 to 2020. The group is also recognized for its power practices.
During his career, Bill has represented energy clients in many of the most significant power, renewable, oil and gas, and other energy disputes of the past 30 years. Many of these matters involve the development of new energy projects and technologies. They include:
- Litigation and regulatory disputes for power and gas clients arising out of Winter Storm Uri that rocked the electric and gas markets in Texas in 2021;
- Defense of nuisance and construction claims against energy projects, including defense of the largest coastal wind farm in the United States against claims by the King Ranch and other plaintiffs on nuisance and other environmental claims; and
- Kinder Morgan in multiple legal proceedings by parties seeking to block development of its $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline;
- Oil, gas and power claims involving price spikes, pipeline constraints, force majeure, and NAESB and other contractual disputes; arising out of freezes, storms, pandemics, and other events;
- Corrosion claims involving crude oil tank cars, including trial against CIT Rail on $40 million of corrosion claims;
- Major Defense of litigation against major multinational oil company on claims arising out of the Lac-Mégantic explosion;
- Defense of wrongful death and property damage claims arising out of explosions and other industrial accidents at refineries, drill sites, construction sites, and other locations;
- Major arbitrations for energy companies involving title disputes;
- Representation of 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;
- Major court and regulatory proceedings arising out of the deregulation of the electric utility industry in the State of Texas, as well as the first rate case post-deregulation;
- Defense of U.S. oil and gas traders from claims by Pemex that traders had purchased more than $300 million of stolen hydrocarbons;
- Defense of Texas electric utility 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.
"His greatest strength is having good practical knowledge of what is and is not important, and know how to prepare his clients for each step of the litigation process."
Chambers USA 2020
The National Law Journal has recognized Bill as an “Energy Trailblazer” (2015). The Legal 500 U.S. (2020) identified Bill as one of only two lawyers in the United States as a “Leading Lawyer” in “Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas.
Bill 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.
"Bill leads the team and has substantial experience in big-ticket oil and gas disputes."
The Legal 500 U.S. 2020
Bill also handles complex commercial litigation in addition to energy litigation. Over his career, Bill's clients have included EOG, Engie North America, Murphy Exploration, EDP Renewables, Brookfield Renewables, 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 is also one of the leaders of the Houston legal community. He was elected and currently serves as President of the Houston Bar Association for the 2020-21 bar year, which coincides with the 150th Anniversary of the HBA. In 2020, the Anti-Defamation League awarded Bill its Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award for his dedication to the legal profession, legal history, and service to the Houston community. He has chaired or led Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the Dispute Resolution Committee, Houston Lawyers Referral Services, and the Houston Bar Foundation, among other organizations. He has also served as a director of the State Bar of Texas. In 2017, Bill was elected by his peers to the American Law Institute. In 2015, Bill received the Leon Jaworski Award from the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary for a lifetime of public service.
Bill also serves as General Counsel of the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and on the Board of Directors of Communities in Schools Houston and The Alley Theatre.