Mark Robeck co-chairs the firm’s Energy group. Mark’s practice ranges from the resolution of all types of energy-related litigation claims, including arbitration and the use of other alternative dispute resolution options, to navigating the most difficult and intense corporate investigations. Mark’s in-depth experience consistently helps him to make an early and accurate assessment of the risks and likely range of outcomes of a dispute, which allows him to design sound and specific strategies for managing and resolving each matter in the most effective way possible. Mark’s clients include domestic and international energy businesses and organizations, including oil and gas producers and marketers, coal producers, wholesale power generators and regulated gas and electric utilities.
Mark’s practical experience is both broad and deep, and extends to complex commercial disputes, oil and gas royalty and operations disputes, lease and joint operating disputes, price manipulation investigations, and single and multi-plaintiff class and mass action defenses. Moreover, Mark is involved in energy-related personal injury tort claims, environmental and real property damage claims, securities claims and high-stakes criminal investigations. Mark has represented clients before state and federal courts throughout the country, domestic and international arbitration panels, and state and federal regulatory agencies, including successfully defending major claims with billions of dollars at stake.
Mark is valued for his acute attention to detail, technical savvy and legal intellect. Listening, learning about and understanding each client’s objectives drive every facet of Mark’s practice. He is focused on understanding the underlying facts of a case, how the case law applies to those facts, and how to explain such facts to a variety of audiences.
Mark is also a regularly invited speaker and author on the topic of energy law and litigation techniques. In addition, he is dedicated to the community in which he lives and works, and has served on the boards of directors of a fine arts organization, a public transportation development corporation, nonprofit education foundations and youth sports associations, as well as on public school advisory committees.
Oil and Gas
Gas Producer: Advice regarding the interpretation of a joint operating agreement and the preparation of a $1.3 billion drilling program proposal.
Independent refiner: dispute over pipeline rates, contract obligations and the FERCs jurisdiction to hear the complaint.
Oil and gas producer: dispute over a leasehold assignment and development agreement.
Royalty owner: negotiation of a division order and dispute over suspended royalty payments.
Natural gas producers: defense of a class action on behalf of royalty owners alleging failure to distribute severance tax refunds.
Oil and gas producer: defense of a suit for alleged damages to a country road.
Oil and gas producer: defense of a challenge to a unit designation and an alleged superior title to minerals.
Landowner: dispute over the ownership of minerals and royalty production payments.
Oil and gas producer: ICC arbitration with a Middle East host government concerning an extension to a production sharing agreement, and the defense of allegations of reservoir mismanagement and environmental damages.
Oil and gas producer: multiparty dispute over production operations and lease interpretation.
Oil and gas producers: defense of federal False Claims Act lawsuits alleging the underpayment of royalties on federal leases.
Oil and gas producers: defense of class action lawsuits by public and private royalty owners alleging an underpayment of royalties.
Independent wind generator: dispute over a contract for the sale of renewable energy credits.
Independent power producer: AAA arbitration of a dispute with an offtaker over terms of the parties’ tolling agreement.
Independent power producer: AAA arbitration of a dispute over power and transmission contracts.
Coalition of refineries, chemical companies and electric generators: challenge to the state implementation plan for compliance with the Clean Air Act.
Power producer: defense of breach of contract and fraud claims in connection with nuclear plant construction asserted by the plant’s minority owner.
Independent power producer: defense of contract claims asserted by the power plant service provider.
Electricity and Gas Utilities
Natural gas local distribution company: defense of a class action on behalf of customers from six states alleging that a retail provider colluded with suppliers to pass on artificially inflated prices to customers.
Electric utility: prudence review of reasonableness of nuclear power plant construction costs.
Electric utility: defense of an alleged negligent closing of a contaminated metal recycling facility.
Commodity Marketing and Trading
Independent refiner: dispute over the interpretation of a crude oil contract after supply disruptions.
Energy trading executives: representation during CFTC and FERC investigations.
Refiner: representation during a CFTC investigation.
Independent power producer and gas marketer: defense of claims of collusion and manipulation of the wholesale power and gas markets before multiple courts and administrative agencies.
Independent power producer: defense of a criminal indictment under the Commodity Exchange Act for alleged manipulation of electricity prices.
Wholesale gas marketer: defense of a class action alleging a conspiracy to manipulate futures markets.
Wholesale gas marketer: U.S. Justice Department investigations of the alleged false reporting of natural gas prices in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.
Independent power producers: internal investigations and representation before the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice in connection with the financial reporting of energy trades.
Real Estate Use Restrictions
Integrated major oil and gas company: defense of a challenge to real property deed restrictions limiting the use of a former producing gas field.
Petroleum marketer: litigation over the interpretation of a real property restrictive covenant limiting the uses of a former petroleum storage facility.
Drilling rig owner: dispute with a joint venture over construction of new drilling rigs for Middle East deployment.
Offshore production platform owner: dispute with a fabricator of accommodation quarters for a new production platform.
International oil and gas reserves and investment consultants: ICC arbitration of contract disputes with a Middle East state-owned company.
Natural gas producer: dispute over the interpretation of a gathering and processing contract.
Individual clients: investigation by a U.S. Attorney and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission into alleged false statements regarding safety analysis for a nuclear plant.
Pipeline construction contractor: dispute over the costs of constructing a Middle East pipeline.
Oil and gas producer: dispute over the responsibility for an accident during well workover operations.
Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. for Litigation and Energy, 2009-2013.
Ranked as a leading practitioner by Chambers USA, 2005-2012 and named as a recognized practitioner by Chambers USA in the Energy: Oil & Gas Regulatory & Litigation area, 2017.
The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Energy Law, 2013-2018.
Recognized in Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), Texas, 2010-2011 and in Energy practice area, 2017.
Institute for Energy Law Advisory Board and Executive Committee
International Shale Oil & Gas Journal Editorial Board
Institute for Transnational Arbitration Advisory Board
Energy Bar Association
American Bar Association
Houston Bar Association
Texas Bar Foundation
Houston Bar Foundation