Bill Jackson is managing partner of the firm’s Houston and Austin offices and co-chair of the Environmental Law practice. Bill has one of the most sophisticated and successful environmental and natural resource damages litigation practices in the country. For more than two decades, Bill has represented states, port authorities, railroads and energy-sector clients in noteworthy contamination cases that are often valued into the hundreds of millions (and even billions) of dollars at stake. Bill is known and valued as a fierce advocate for his clients and for achieving remarkable results in complex litigation that can involve literally hundreds of parties. His ability to navigate beyond obstacles that seem insurmountable is the reason his client’s turn to him again and again.
Notably, Bill was lead counsel for the state of New Jersey in the Passaic River litigation, recovering over $355 million in damages (including $67.5 million in restoration projects) and up to $400 million more in remediation costs, which is the largest settlement of its kind in the state’s history. Bill also represented the state of Louisiana and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office in the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, including leading Jindal Administration efforts to identify and quantify billions of dollars in economic and natural resource damages to the state of Louisiana, all of which were ultimately recovered as part of a $20 billion global settlement, the largest environmental and natural resource damages recovery in history.
Bill’s multi-dimensional understanding of environmental issues, proven and effectual advocacy skills, and complete understanding of the practical and policy impacts environmental regulation has on industrial, commercial and governmental enterprises, enable him to create an approach to environmental litigation that ends in the right result. Bill’s focus is to win either in or out of court in the most cost-effective way possible for his clients. He knows first-hand that environmental litigation can have huge implications to governmental actors, trustee agencies, industry and the impacted communities, and he has unique abilities to bring all parties together and to achieve lasting solutions.
With a demonstrated capacity to successfully prosecute complex environmental litigation, often in tandem with the requisite state and federal administrative processes, Bill has proven time and again that he is able to balance the public and policy needs of his clients. Bill also has extensive skill in representing parties to significant commercial litigation disputes, including suits involving partnership and corporate formation issues, alter ego and de facto merger issues, civil-RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligent misrepresentation, tortious interference and breach of contract and indemnity matters. Clients appreciate Bill’s fundamental ability to quickly analyze their case, no matter how daunting or problematic, and advise them regarding the most practical and effective course of action.
Bill is actively involved in a wide variety of civic and community organizations, especially those focused on issues impacting quality of life, the environment and children, including:
Galveston Bay Foundation, advisory board, former trustee and special counsel to the executive board
Houston Wilderness, board of directors
Trees for Houston, board of directors
Leadership Houston, Class XXIII
Justice for Children, former member of the national board of directors, and treasurer
Serving as lead counsel for the state of New Jersey in the Passaic River litigation, recovering over $355 million in damages, including $67.5 million in restoration projects, and up to $400 million more in remediation costs for the state. The Passaic River recovery is the largest settlement of its kind in the history of New Jersey.
Representing the state of Louisiana and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office in the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, including leading Jindal Administration efforts to identify and quantify billions of dollars in economic and natural resource damages to the state of Louisiana, all of which were ultimately recovered as part of a $20 billion global settlement, the largest environmental and natural resource damages recovery in history.
Currently serving as special counsel to the state of New Mexico and New Mexico Environment Department in seeking remediation, costs and damages arising from the Gold King Mine blowout and decades of mining waste contamination of the Animas and San Juan Rivers, including an original action in the United States Supreme Court.
Currently representing the commonwealth of Puerto Rico in seeking remediation costs and natural resource damages arising from island-wide groundwater contamination in both multi-district litigation and trial sites in the District of Puerto Rico.
Recovering $100 million in environmental remediation and costs, property damages and economic protections for the Port of Houston Authority, a Texas navigation district and assigned natural resource trustee, arising from the intentional discharge of DDT and other pesticides into the Houston Ship Channel.
Currently representing the San Diego Unified Port District in litigation filed in the Southern District of California that seeks costs, injunctive relief and damages for navigational impacts and injuries to the natural resources of the San Diego Bay arising from bay-wide PCB contamination.
Serving as special counsel to the Attorney General of the District of Columbia related to the federal investigation, remediation and restoration of the Anacostia River following decades of contamination from upstream military installations and industrial users.
Representing private sector clients in significant natural resource damages and remediation matters across the country, including the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Oregon, the Clark Fork River Basin Superfund Site in Montana, and the Malone Superfund Site on Galveston Bay.
Serving as co-national counsel for a major railroad in its system-wide effort to assess, remediate and recover environmental remediation costs and property damages at various sites across the country.
Representing various port authorities in pursuing claims against petrochemical and pesticides plants for releasing hazardous materials onto the ports’ properties, submerged lands and waterways, impacts to navigation and commerce, remediation and disposal costs, and resulting public economic impacts.
Representing numerous clients in litigation concerning contractual allocation, indemnity and assumption agreements.
Representing various petrochemical and pipeline companies in litigation related to reserves, royalty disputes, pipeline failures, contract and indemnity matters and take-or-pay disputes.
Representing various public and private condemning authorities in condemnation matters.
Representing foreign banks and corporations as both plaintiffs and defendants in civil-RICO and related federal bank fraud litigation.
Received the 2017 Wildlife Award from Houston Wilderness
Received the 2017 President’s Award from the University of Houston Law Alumni Association
Led the litigation team the Texas Lawyer selected as the 2015 “Litigation Group of the Year” for Environmental Litigation in the state of Texas.
The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Environmental Law, 2018.
Recognized by Chambers & Partners USA Guide, Environment, 2011-2017.
Selected as a “Top rated Environmental Litigation Attorney” in Texas by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2011-2016.
Rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.
Life Fellow of the Texas and Houston Bar Associations.
Received the Dean’s Award for outstanding service to the University of Houston Law Center in 2014.
American Association of Port Authorities, member
Gulf Ports of the Americas Association, member
Texas Ports Association, member
National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, member
University of Houston Law Foundation, president-elect, board of directors
Houston Bar Association, Board of Directors, currently serving as Environmental Section director
University of Houston Law Alumni Association, former president
Houston Young Lawyers Association, former president
Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, former chair
Texas Young Lawyers Association, former director