Will Petit represents clients in the litigation and trial of environmental, commercial and general civil matters. He also provides practical, cost-effective legal advice on general business and environmental matters designed to help his clients address their current and future legal and business needs. To deliver consistently proactive legal counsel, Will draws upon his understanding of contract, commercial and environmental law; his ability to prioritize and assess risk; his experience in resolving legal conflict, including in litigation and through trial; and his familiarity with his clients’ business objectives.
Will represents clients on both sides of the docket and in a variety of contexts. He has counseled public entity and industry clients in several high-profile environmental contamination cases. In those cases, Will has pursued and defended claims involving property damages, tort damages, remediation, allocation, cost recovery and natural resource damages under state and federal statutes and the common law.
At the same time, Will has devoted a significant portion of his practice to the representation of energy, real estate, transportation and manufacturing clients in commercial and general civil litigation. He has handled lawsuits involving real estate transactions, commercial contracts, eminent domain, oil and gas matters, partnership disputes, wrongful discharge and employment discrimination, trade secrets, non-compete agreements and other business-related torts.
Over the last few years in particular, Will’s practice has expanded to include advising businesses and other organizations faced with a broad range of challenges. These matters include general business, contract drafting and regulatory matters, such as environmental permitting, responding to administrative enforcement actions and workplace safety issues. Will also serves as outside general counsel to a manufacturing and transportation industry client.
A Super Lawyers and Texas Tech “Rising Star,” Will is invested in his clients and the legal counsel he provides. A testament to his dedication, many of Will’s clients have stayed with him over years of practice, and consistently ask him to handle a broader range of their legal needs. Organized, prepared, responsive and trustworthy, Will’s innate skill as a people-person allows him to streamline communication and identify not only what is important to his clients, but also to opposing counsel and their clients—a skill that often leads to efficient and favorable outcomes for his clients. However, when settlement is not an option, Will is prepared and ready to go to trial to achieve the results that his clients deserve.
CCA, Central Houston Chapter, board member, 2011-present
Trotter Family YMCA, board member, 2012-2016
Representing a U.S. state, as part of a trial team serving as special counsel to the attorney general, in pursuing remediation costs, natural resource assessment costs and damages, and other damages associated with the contamination of the Passaic River and Newark Bay.
Representing a U.S. territory, as part of a trial team serving as special counsel to the Department of Justice, in pursuing costs and damages associated with the island-wide contamination of groundwater resulting from MTBE.
Representing a ready-mix concrete company in various regulatory matters, including in a contested administrative trial regarding the client’s pursuit of an air permit.
Representing a publicly traded oilfield services company in response to a Notice of Citizen’s Suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Representing landowners and businesses in response to various enforcement actions brought by local (e.g., Harris County, Texas), state (e.g., the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)), and federal (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)) regulatory agencies.
Representing a Class I railroad in various cost recovery matters under state and federal statutes and the common law in connection with the remediation of contaminated sites located in Texas.
Representing the Galveston Bay Foundation in connection with the removal and remedial actions underway at the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site in Harris County, Texas.
Business, Commercial and General Civil Litigation
Representing a limited partner involved in a real estate development who was sued for breach of fiduciary duty, among other claims, resulting in a defense jury verdict in favor of the client after a two-week trial.
Representing various landowners in eminent domain matters, including serving as trial counsel in a condemnation lawsuit resulting in a multimillion-dollar jury verdict in favor of the client.
Representing the largest private port in Texas in a dispute arising from an allision in the port, resulting in the recovery of all damages, costs and fees suffered by the port before a lawsuit was even filed.
Representing an exploration and production company against a former independent contractor who sued under quantum merit, promissory estoppel, fraud and trade secret misappropriation theories resulting in dismissal of the lawsuit on summary judgment.
Representing a real estate brokerage firm and its listing agent against a property owner who sued under DTPA, fraud and negligent misrepresentation theories resulting in a complete defense verdict following a bench trial.
Representing a commercial landlord against a tenant who sued for breach of lease and injunctive relief, resulting in a favorable settlement after the denial of a temporary injunction.
Representing a commercial property owner asserting claims for trespass and injunctive relief against a neighboring high-rise, resulting in equitable relief followed by a favorable settlement.
Representing an oil and gas company in a dispute against an operator and other interest owners concerning interests in—and title to—produced oil and gas, resulting in an assignment of all interests to the client as part of a settlement.
Will was named a Texas Rising Star in 2010 for General Litigation and 2013-2017 for Environmental Litigation by Thomson Reuters for Texas Super Lawyers.
He received the Rising Star Award in 2014 from the Texas Tech Law School Alumni Association.
The Institute for Energy Law, advisory board member, 2017
Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, allied member, 2015–present
Texas Tech Law Review Emeritus Editors Advisory Board, member, 2015–present
Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, fellow
Houston Young Lawyers Association, member
Houston Bar Association, Environmental Law and Litigation Sections, member
State Bar of Texas, Environmental Law and Litigation Sections, member
American Bar Association, Energy & Resources Section, member