Bill Kroger is one of the leading energy litigation lawyers in the United States. In 2020, Chambers USA ranked Bill as “Band 1” for the United States as to Oil and Gas Litigation. Chambers wrote:“Bill is an esteemed attorney with considerable expertise handling lease, contract and broader oil and gas industry disputes concerning the exploration, production and transportation of oil and gas. Interviewees note ‘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.’”
The National Law Journal has recognized Bill as an “Energy Trailblazer” (2015). Legal 500 identified Bill as one of only two lawyers in the United States as a “Leading Lawyer” in “Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas,” stating that Bill “leads the team and has substantial experience in big-ticket oil and gas disputes.”
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.
He has chaired the firm’s Energy Litigation Practice for more than a decade. 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. Legal 500 US ranked the group as Tier 1 in Oil & Gas Litigation for every years for 2010 to 2020.
Bill has handled major disputes in the 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, Engie North America, The Texas Oil and Gas Association, EQT, and Dominion Resources.