Brian Cody Boyle

Brian Cody Boyle

Partner

   

Direct Dial:

713-960-1488

Email:

bboyle@lightfootlaw.com

Fax:

713-960-8991

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Education

  • B.A., University of Texas, 2001
  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2004 magna cum laude, Houston Law Review, Order of the Barons

Admitted

  • Texas, 2004

Brian Boyle is a trial lawyer who represents clients in complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on the energy industry. A partner in the Houston office, Brian has had the pleasure of representing a broad range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to small business owners and investors. He has significant experience handling oil and gas litigation and arbitration across all phases of the industry. Brian also frequently handles construction disputes, trade secret claims, and government enforcement matters, including False Claims Act and Clean Water Act cases. He has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Business Litigation, a designation awarded to only the top 2.5% of eligible lawyers in Texas.

As part of his oil and gas litigation practice, Brian handles complex contract claims related to various energy-related agreements, including asset purchase and sale agreements, oil and gas leases, joint operating agreements, joint development agreements, drilling contracts, supply and trading agreements, and transportation agreements. Among other areas, Brian has significant experience with JOA disputes; royalty litigation; area of mutual interest agreements; preferential rights and right of first refusal provisions; force majeure claims; take-or-pay provisions and minimum volume commitments; and fraud claims related to the sale of upstream and midstream assets. He also frequently handles environmental contamination and indemnification claims related to oil and gas production.

In addition to energy-related litigation, Brian has significant experience with construction disputes and trade secret claims. He has handled construction claims regarding defects, delays, suspension, wrongful termination, and fraudulent liens. Brian also frequently handles claims for both injunctive relief and damages arising from trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition.

Brian represents plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts and in arbitrations under various rules, including AAA and ICC arbitrations. His cases have involved both U.S. and international transactions and projects, including assets and operations in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Haynesville Shale, Williston Basin, Powder River Basin, D-J Basin, Canadian oil sands, Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, and Chicontepec Basin. Brian frequently handles cross-border discovery, choice of law issues, and foreign law application. He also has assisted foreign clients in obtaining dismissals based on lack of jurisdiction.

Brian gained first-chair commercial trial experience early in his career when he won a unanimous jury verdict awarding the full amount of damages to an engineering company for work on a pipeline construction project. Since that time, he has tried a wide variety of cases through to a final verdict, whether that involves a bench trial, jury trial, or arbitration. He also has been brought on to assist as trial counsel shortly before trial in several cases, including recent construction and contract disputes.

In addition to representing businesses in commercial disputes, Brian tried nearly 20 cases to verdict for the City of Houston. He also previously served as a briefing intern for Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips of the Supreme Court of Texas, rounding out his experience from the trial court level through the highest civil appellate court in Texas.

Representative Matters

Some of Brian’s litigation and arbitration matters include:

  • Represented international energy company in crude oil supply and trading lawsuit alleging that it breached a crude supply agreement by failing to supply agreed-upon volumes to a crude-by-rail facility and by failing to pay alleged take-or-pay fees, resulting in the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the client
  • Represented non-creditor parties in bankruptcy trial to estimate claims for fraudulent transfer and tortious interference related to intercompany transfers among affiliated power companies with power plants subject to leveraged lease restrictions
  • Represented nuclear and radioactive waste disposal company in trade secret misappropriation lawsuit
  • Represented owner and general contractor in defending against construction subcontractor’s claims related to expansion of a petrochemical plant, including claims for wrongful termination and suspension damages
  • Represented business owner in lawsuit involving breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims against partner in petroleum marketing and fuel supply business
  • Represented oil and gas company in litigation involving breach of contract, environmental indemnification, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation claims related to its sale of oil and gas assets and the environmental condition of the properties
  • Represented exploration and production company in arbitration involving post-closing purchase price adjustments and joint interest billing disputes arising from a stock purchase transaction and assignment of oil and gas interests in the Eagle Ford Shale
  • Represented independent exploration and production company in defending against claims that it contaminated groundwater and domestic water supplies as a result of its operations in the Marcellus Shale
  • Represented independent producer in lawsuit to prevent surface owner’s interference with operator’s right to drill and service oil and gas wells
  • Represented exploration and production company in lawsuit arising from the financing of its acquisition of oil and gas interests and claims of breach of contract and fraudulent conveyance related to lender’s alleged net profits interest and overriding royalty interest
  • Represented chemical treatment company in dispute involving title issues and easements in connection with the sale of a joint interest in a refinery
  • Represented lender in dispute related to financing of non-operator’s interests in assets subject to joint operating and joint development agreements
  • Represented global real estate investment company in connection with breach of contract and fraud claims arising from the development and construction of logistics and distribution facilities servicing petrochemical plants, resulting in a favorable settlement following the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the client
  • Represented international energy company in lawsuit arising from its acquisition of oil and gas properties in Texas and Louisiana, including breach of contract, fraud, and conversion claims and the allocation of environmental liabilities, which resulted in an early settlement upon favorable commercial terms
  • Represented international oilfield services company in a cross-border dispute with a drilling subcontractor arising from an oil and gas development project in Mexico, resulting in the dismissal of all claims against the client on jurisdictional grounds following a three-day evidentiary hearing
  • Represented oilfield services company in arbitration involving breach of non-compete and confidentiality obligations and trade secret misappropriation by a former officer and owner of the company, resulting in a seven-figure arbitration award in favor of the client following a seven-day evidentiary hearing
  • Represented oilfield services and engineering company seeking payment for services rendered in connection with a pipeline construction project, resulting in a unanimous jury verdict awarding the full amount of damages to the client following a two-week trial
  • Represented international energy company in Clean Water Act lawsuit brought by the United States in connection with release of oil to waterways from storage tanks at client’s refinery, which, following a two-week trial, resulted in a penalty of less than five percent of the amount sought by the government
  • Represented international energy company in fraud and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against former company executives and third parties that facilitated executives’ fraud and self-dealing in connection with Latin America power project and related U.S. transaction, resulting in favorable settlements in both state and federal court litigation
  • Represented working interest owner and operator in lawsuit against former operator of South American oil and gas property, resulting in favorable settlement after taking over the case following years of prior litigation
  • Represented international energy company in breach of contract lawsuit related to crude oil buy-sell agreements and the application of force majeure and termination provisions, which resulted in a favorable settlement shortly before trial
  • Represented working interest owners in lawsuit against operator of Wyoming oil and gas field, resulting in favorable business resolution of the dispute
  • Represented global energy company in a trial involving environmental indemnity claims related to a stock purchase transaction
  • Represented energy trading company in breach of contract and injunctive relief claims related to the sale of electric power and scheduling coordinator services, resulting in an early settlement after pursuing the claims on an expedited schedule

In addition to handling lawsuits and arbitrations, Brian frequently provides pre-litigation counseling to clients. This includes advising clients on indemnification issues; joint operating agreements; take-or-pay and force majeure provisions in supply and trading agreements; and alter ego and corporate veil-piercing issues.

Brian is a proud alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston Law Center, where he graduated magna cum laude and was an Articles Editor for the Houston Law Review. He is a native Texan who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.

Prior to joining Lightfoot, Brian was a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston.

Accolades & Awards

  • “Rising Star” in Business Litigation, Texas Super Lawyers a Thomson Reuters publication, 2008-09, 2012-17
  • Lawyers on the Fast Track, H Texas Magazine, 2009

Professional & Community Activities

  • Institute for Energy Law
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Young Professionals in Energy
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association
  • University of Houston Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors

Authorships

  • Author, “2017 Year in Review – Energy Law,” Texas Bar Journal, January 2018
    Co-author, “The outlook for LNG disputes under current market conditions,” Gastech News, March 27, 2017
  • Author, “2016 Year in Review – Energy Law,” Texas Bar Journal, January 2017
  • Author, “2015 Year in Review – Energy Law,” Texas Bar Journal, January 2016
  • Co-author, “LNG Disputes Under Sale And Purchase Agreements: Part 4,” Law360, Nov 10, 2015
  • Co-author, “LNG Disputes Under Sale And Purchase Agreements: Part 3,” Law360, Nov 4, 2015
  • Co-author, “LNG Disputes Under Sale And Purchase Agreements: Part 2,” Law360, Oct. 28, 2015
  • Co-Author, “LNG Disputes Under Sale And Purchase Agreements: Part 1,” Law360, Oct. 21, 2015
  • Co-Author, “Outlook for LNG Disputes Under Current Market Conditions and Contracting Practices,” 14th Annual Gas and Power Institute, Houston, Texas, September 10, 2015
  • Co-author, “Obtaining Foreign Discovery in U.S. Litigation,” The Advocate State Bar of Texas Litigation Section Report, Volume 63 – International Civil Litigation in American Courts, Summer 2013
  • Co-author, “Minimize the Risk of Post-Deal Fraud Claims,” Texas Lawyer — In-House Texas, March 4, 2013
  • Co-author, “2012 Year in Review – Energy Law,” Texas Bar Journal, January 2013
  • Co-author, “Criminal Market Manipulation,” Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.’s Trends in Energy Disputes, 2011
  • Author, “The Oregon Death with Dignity Act: A Successful Model or a Legal Anomaly Vulnerable to Attack?,” 40 HOUSTON L. REV. 1359 (2003) – Awarded Shook, Hardy, Bacon L.L.P. Award for Best Comment Written for the Houston Law Review

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Recent Litigation and Regulations Affecting the Upstream,” 2016 AICPA/PDI Oil and Gas Conference, Denver, Colorado, November 14, 2016
  • Speaker, “LNG Disputes Under Current Market Conditions,” 11th Annual Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law Symposium, January 29, 2016
  • Speaker, “LNG Disputes,” Norton Rose Fulbright Energy Academy, Houston, Texas, November 3, 2015
  • Speaker, “LNG Disputes Update,” 14th Annual Gas and Power Institute, Houston, Texas, September 10, 2015
  • Speaker, “30(b)(6) Depositions,” Norton Rose Fulbright Litigation School, Houston, Texas, February 12, 2014
  • Speaker, “Preparing Witnesses for Deposition, Taking Depositions, and Defending Depositions,” Norton Rose Fulbright Annual Litigation Training Program, Houston, Texas, 2014-17
  • Speaker, Opening Statements, Norton Rose Fulbright Annual Trial Advocacy Program, Houston, Texas, 2014-17

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