Bill Kroger

Practice Group Chair - Energy Litigation (Firmwide) Partner

Bill Kroger

Houston

P: +1.713.229.1736
F: +1.713.229.2836

"Bill Kroger is one of the most impressive legal minds in the oil business"

Chambers USA 2022

"His strategy for cases has always been first-rate and puts us in the strongest position to win."

"He is a creative thinker and a great litigator who knows the industry very well."

Chambers USA 2023

Bill Kroger is a leading energy litigation lawyer in the United States, and one of only a few lawyers who Chambers USA has ranked “Band 1 for Oil and Gas Litigation - Nationwide” (2020-2023). The Legal 500 U.S. likewise ranks Bill as “Hall of Fame" for Energy Litigation. He also regularly handles major real estate and other complex commercial litigation throughout Texas and other states.

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 has 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 2020-2023, Chambers ranked the Baker Botts Energy Litigation group as the only practice group "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 2023, and Tier 2 for Energy Litigation: Electric Power.

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 renewable, co-gen, and other 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 solar, pipeline, wind, oil and gas, and other energy projects, including defense of the largest coastal wind farm in the United States;
  • 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, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and other events;
  • Commercial arbitration dispute between LNG operator and customer over cargos shipped by operator allegedly prior to COD, which customer disputes. 
  • Corrosion claims involving crude oil tank cars carrying Bakken crude, 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;
  • Defended 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;
  • Represented Houston utility in 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

"Bill leads the team and has substantial experience in big-ticket oil and gas disputes."

The Legal 500 U.S. 2020

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.

Over his career, Bill's clients have included Hines Interests Limited Partnership, EOG Resources, Engie North America, Murphy Oil, NRG Energy, EDP Renewables, Brookfield Renewables, CenterPoint Energy, Hecate Energy, Avangrid, Ford Motor Company, Galp Energia, BASF, Shell Oil, Kinder Morgan, Naturgy Energy Group, BHP Petroleum, Courson Oil and Gas, Vega Energy, Matador Resources, Enable Energy, Carlyle Group, Freeport Power, Pine Gate Renewables, The Texas Oil and Gas Association, EQT, Dominion Resources, Lovett Industrial and Lovett Commercial, and Texas legend Earl Campbell.

Bill is also one of the leaders of the Houston legal community. He was elected as President of the Houston Bar Association for the 2020-21 bar year, which coincided with the 150th Anniversary of the HBA and the Covid year. 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 for two different terms,and served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas during the 2023-2024 year.

"He is a fantastic lawyer and a good, big-picture thinker."

Chambers USA 2022

In 2021, the Houston Bar Foundation awarded Bill the James B. Sales Pro Bono Award, for a lifetime of pro bono leadership. It is the highest award given by HBF. In 2022, the HBF asked Bill to be its Keynote Speaker for the HBF's 150th anniversary luncheon. 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. 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 is a graduate of both the McCombs School of Business and the School of Law at the University of Texas. In 2021, the Dean of the University of Houston Law Center named Bill an "Honorary Alumnus." In 2022, the Dean of the South Texas College of Law named Bill to its Board of Visitors in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the law school. In 2024, as part of its 100th Anniversary Celebration, South Texas College of Law asked Bill to interview its alumnus, Dan Rather of CBS, about his time at the school in the 1950s.

Since 2008, Bill has served as Historian of Baker Botts, and created the Firm’s “Founders Room” in 2015. In 2010, the Texas Supreme Court appointed Bill to chair the Texas Supreme Court Historical Court Records Task Force. Bill’s work led to the preservation of thousands of historical court records across Texas, including records pertaining to Charles Goodnight, Satanta, John Wesley Hardin, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Lyndon Johnson, Lead Belly, the KKK, Civil Rights, the Balinese Ballroom, and the boxer Jack Johnson. Bill’s work was featured in Texas Monthly and the Texas Bar Journal in 2012.

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 as Vice-Chair. Bill also served on the Board of the Alley Theatre from 2015 to 2023.

Bill also has been active in the arts and serves as General Counsel of the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Bill worked with Houston Grand Opera on a new opera about Emeline, an illegally enslaved African American who was kidnapped and sold on the Houston slavery market in 1848. She was represented by Peter W. Gray, one of the founders of Baker Botts, and working together they secured her freedom. The story of Emeline, the opera, and Bill’s work on it are featured in a 2016 story in Texas Monthly. Bill has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alley Theatre from 2016 to 2023.

Starting in 2017, Bill represented the daughter and estate of Mack McCormick, one of the most important Texas folklorists, who passed away in 2015, leaving behind an archive comprising thousands of photos, documents, and tapes concerning Texas blues and folk music and the blues musicians Robert Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins and Mance Lipscomb. Bill and Roger Fulghum of the firm represented the Estate pro bono for seven years. As a result of their efforts, the McCormick archive now resides at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Smithsonian Books published McCormick’s book on Robert Johnson, and Folkways Records released an anthology of more than 70 unreleased songs, which was nominated for two Grammys.

In 2023, Bill was nominated by the Bishop of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and elected by Conference delegates, to serve as Chancellor and provide legal advice to the Bishop and the Conference starting in 2023. The Conference covers 304 congregations and a region encompassing Galveston, Houston, Beaumont, Texarkana, Longview, Tyler and towns in between. Bill's work as Chancellor is ongoing.

Bill has also been active with Communities in Schools Houston since 1992, having served on the Board of Directors since 1993. He currently serves on the Executive Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. He also created and helped sustain the CISH/HBA Legal Internship Program, which has employed more than 800 young people since 1992.