Meghan Dawson McElvy

Partner

[email protected]

Houston

P: +1.713.229.1196
F: +1.713.229.2896
Meghan McElvy

Meghan McElvy is skilled in representing clients in a broad range of matters with a primary focus on energy litigation and regulatory proceedings, including before international arbitral tribunals. She also handles construction and lien disputes and defends high exposure personal injury matters.

Ms. McElvy advises energy clients on most aspects of legal and operational issues arising from the development of shale plays and horizontal drilling throughout Texas, including disputes about oil and gas leases, joint operating and joint development agreements, participation agreements, royalty obligations, surface use, mineral title, service contractors, commingling and allocation wells. Her energy practice also extends internationally, where she has represented and counseled clients on matters subject to ICC and UNCITRAL arbitration. She also counsels clients about offshore decommissioning obligations for Gulf of Mexico E&P facilities. Ms. McElvy also routinely represents clients in contested regulatory proceedings before the Texas Public Utility Commission and Texas Railroad Commission concerning rates, permits, and licensing or abandonment of energy infrastructure. Her clients include Shell Oil Company, Chevron, EOG Resources, Murphy Oil Corporation, Marathon Oil Company, CenterPoint Energy, and others.

In addition to energy litigation, Ms. McElvy represents commercial and industrial clients concerning construction and manufacturing defects, warranties and material and mechanic's liens.

Following graduation from law school, Ms. McElvy served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew S. Hanen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Prior to law school, she worked for two years in a large, multi-terminal tank farm for Motiva Enterprises, LLC (a joint venture between Shell Oil Company and Saudi Refining) in Port Everglades, Florida.

Related Experience

Energy Litigation

  • International oil and gas independent – represented non-operator in two international arbitrations (before ICC and UNCITRAL tribunals) against foreign operator on claims for improper charges to the joint account and various other accounting abuses in connection with onshore gas project in Africa
  • Oil and gas producer – represented client in claims against electric cooperative relating to electrification of oilfield assets
  • Oil and gas producer – bonded off improperly filed mineral liens and compelled arbitration of six lawsuits filed by service contractor in various state courts over alleged breaches of master service agreement and tortious interference with business relations
  • Oil and gas producer – prosecuted claims for unpaid JIBs against working interest owners under multiple agreements, including joint exploration and development agreement and joint operating agreement
  • Major oil company – granted arbitration award, including full recovery of attorneys’ fees, against contractor arising from fraudulent invoices
  • Oil and gas producer – defended operator in arbitration over proper interpretation of Area of Mutual Interest provision participation agreement covering thousands of acres of Permian Basin oil and gas leases
  • Wind energy producer – granted summary judgment in favor of large wind farm developer against negligence claim by radio station alleging signal interference
  • Oil and gas producer – ongoing representation in appeal of trial court judgment (handled by different counsel) involving alleged breaches of joint operating agreement covering large lease in the Eagle Ford Shale play based on commingling and other claims
  • Oil and gas producer – granted summary judgment in favor of operator in lawsuit filed by lessor for alleged breaches of offset well provision in oil and gas lease
  • Oil and gas producer – represented offshore oil and gas operator in suit to recover decommissioning expenses arising from Gulf of Mexico assets
  • Major oil company and petrochemical processor – received summary judgment in favor of major oil company and large petrochemical processor in conversion of hydrocarbons lawsuit filed by Pemex
  • Oil and gas producer – defended multiple surface and lease disputes with landowners in the Eagle Ford Shale play
  • Oil and gas producer – granted summary judgment in favor of operator in nuisance action filed by lessors claiming nearby oil and gas activities caused health problems and damage to their homestead
  • Wind energy producer – granted summary judgment in favor of large wind farm operator and turbine manufacturer in "aesthetic nuisance" lawsuit filed by neighboring ranch owner; judgment affirmed by Texas Supreme Court
  • Large oilfield services company – member of trial team in patent infringement action involving downhole tools that resulted in a favorable outcome for the client of a $35 million verdict in Dallas federal court
  • Oil and gas producer – member of trial team that defended wrongful termination/FCPA whistleblower action resulting in a favorable outcome for the client with a defense verdict of zero damages

Energy Regulatory

  • Large intrastate NGL pipeline – defended rate complaints filed by several shippers before Railroad Commission of Texas
  • Large electric utility – defended multiple disputed rate cases before the Public Utility Commission of Texas
  • Large electric utility – granted certificate of convenience and necessity from Public Utility Commission of Texas for new transmission line project worth approximately $400 million over opposition by large power generators and dozens of landowners and other interest groups
  • Generation and transmission electric cooperative – overturned municipal ordinance purporting to regulate location of substation by electric cooperative within city limits before Public Utility Commission of Texas
  • Generation and transmission electric cooperative – represented cooperative in litigation involving dispute over joint venture for lignite-fired electrical generating unit
  • Radioactive waste disposal company – defended company in rate and other regulatory agency disputes before TCEQ and TLLRWDC concerning the disposal of radioactive waste

Construction

  • Industrial food manufacturer – prosecuted construction defects claims against various contractors and design professionals arising out of defects in refrigeration system for industrial dessert manufacturing facility
  • National restaurant chain – defended various commercial contract, construction disputes, and lien matters

Other

  • Large electric utility – defended numerous high exposure personal injury and property damage claims, including multiple defense verdicts following jury trials
  • Large real estate developer – prosecuted breach of commercial lease dispute in arbitration against large corporate tenant of downtown Houston office space
  • Large real estate developer – defended breach of lease dispute in arbitration involving alleged preferential rights to multiple floors of downtown office space in Class A office building
  • Large real estate developer – granted summary judgment in nuisance action brought by adjoining landowner against owner of boutique office building located off major Houston thoroughfare

Representative Reported Cases

  • Mzyk v. Murphy Exploration & Production Company-USA, No. 04-15-00677-CV, 2017 WL 2797479 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Jun. 28, 2017); affirming take-nothing summary judgment against lessor claiming breach of offset well provision in Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas lease
  • Ladd v. Silver Star I Power Partners, LLC et al, No. 11-11-00188-CV, 2013 WL 3377290 (Tex. App.—Eastland May 16, 2013); affirming take-nothing summary judgment in favor of wind farm owner and wind turbine manufacturer brought by neighboring landowner who claimed that placement of twenty-four wind turbines near his 5,500-acre ranch constituted a visual, noise, and aesthetic nuisance

Awards & Community

Recognized as "Band 1" for Oil & Gas Litigation in Chambers USA, 2021

Recognized as "Up & Coming" for Oil & Gas Litigation in Chambers USA, 2020

Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018

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