A trusted business advisor and skilled advocate, Will Petit is as effective and impactful in the C-suite as he is in the courtroom. Whether assisting clients with a wide range of commercial and environmental issues in an outside general counsel role or protecting and advancing their interests in complex litigation, Will delivers consistently proactive, cost-effective representation that has forged enduring client relationships.
A national Law360, Texas Super Lawyer, and Texas Tech “Rising Star,” Will is invested in his clients and the legal counsel he provides. In all aspects of his diverse practice, Will draws upon his understanding of contract, commercial, and environmental law, his ability to prioritize and assess risk, and his experience in resolving legal conflicts to help his clients address current challenges and position them to seize future opportunities.
A significant part of Will’s practice involves serving as outside general counsel for companies without their own legal departments or in-house counsel. Acting as a quarterback, Will plays an instrumental role in addressing all the legal needs of these clients, including general corporate matters, contract drafting, risk allocation, employment, and various regulatory issues, such as environmental permitting, responding to administrative enforcement actions, and workplace safety. His steady hand, clear guidance, and demonstrable commitment to his clients’ success have made Will an invaluable advisor and ally for businesses across a broad spectrum of industries.
An experienced and effective trial attorney, Will also represents clients on both sides of the docket and in various contexts. He represents energy, real estate, transportation, and manufacturing clients in commercial and general civil litigation, ranging from individual claims to high-stakes business disputes.
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.
Will has also counseled industry clients and public entities in 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.
Organized, prepared, responsive, and trustworthy, Will brings common sense to any situation, allowing 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.
However, when settlement is not an option, Will is prepared and ready to go to trial to achieve his clients’ desired results.
Representing a Class I railroad in a CERCLA and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act cost recovery lawsuit, resulting in a rare summary judgment ruling establishing liability in favor of the client and a seven-figure damages award after a two-week bench trial.
Representing a major U.S. oil company in an ongoing CERCLA cost recovery lawsuit against the U.S. Government, stemming from World War II era contamination of various refinery sites across the country.
Representing a publicly traded oilfield services company in ongoing environmental response actions before the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and in defense of landowner claims.
Representing a ready-mix concrete company in various environmental regulatory matters before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), including in an ongoing contested administrative trial before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) regarding the client’s pursuit of an air permit.
Representing a manufacturer of synthetic rubber products in various regulatory and compliance matters, including in defense of enforcement actions brought by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
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 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 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 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.
Ranked as one of the leading practitioners in the Environmental area by Chambers USA in 2022-2023.
Recommended in US Legal 500 for his work in the Environment Litigation area, 2019-2023.
Recognized as a 2018 Law360 Rising Star in Environmental Law.
Named a Texas “Rising Star” in 2010 for General Litigation and 2013–2019 for Environmental Litigation by Thomson Reuters for Texas Super Lawyers.
Recognized on Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hotlist in 2017 and 2018.
Received the Rising Star Award in 2014 from the Texas Tech Law School Alumni Association.
Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation, member
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
CCA, Central Houston Chapter, board member, 2011-present
Trotter Family YMCA, board member, 2012-2016