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Mitchell M. Murphy

Counsel
+1.713.815.7303
Fax +1.713.815.7301
Mitchell Murphy is a member of the oil, gas and resources practice group in the firm’s Houston’s office. For over fifteen years, Mr. Murphy has represented exploration and production companies, midstream energy clients and oilfield service providers in a broad spectrum of legal matters, ranging from complex business litigation to the negotiation of master service agreements. Mr. Murphy maintains a comprehensive oilfield services practice, advising providers and suppliers in contract negotiations and representing them in coverage disputes and collection efforts. Mr. Murphy is also a key member of the firm’s eminent domain practice group, assisting pipeline and utility companies in acquisition and construction projects. Mr. Murphy also retains a significant trial practice, representing energy companies in title disputes, surface use conflicts, and operational disagreements with working interest owners.

Professional Background

Mr. Murphy, previously a member of the firm’s Fort Worth office, joined the firm’s Houston office in June 2018, after his family relocated to The Woodlands. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Murphy was counsel in the Fort Worth office of a large Texas law firm. In addition, Mr. Murphy served for several years as in-house counsel for an integrated, independent oil and gas company headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Achievements

  • TYLA President's Award of Merit, 2005
  • Tarrant County's Top Attorneys, Fort Worth, Texas, 2011
  • Texas Rising Star, Texas Monthly, 2012-2013

Professional/Civic Activities

  • The Woodlands Bar Association
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
Oilfield Services Practice
  • Maintains a specialized practice representing oilfield service providers in procurement negotiations, coverage disputes and collections matters.
  • Successfully negotiated hundreds of master services agreements and drilling contracts for operators, coil tubing companies and drillers working in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
  • Recorded, collected, and foreclosed on dozens of mineral liens in Texas.
  • Litigated and secured insurance coverage for a driller in an oilfield fatality case valued at approximately one million dollars.
  • As in-house counsel, prepared multiple bid tenders for international drillers and service companies working in Turkey, Kurdistan and Bulgaria.
  • As in-house counsel, oversaw driller’s successful prosecution of a LCIA performance dispute regarding a well drilled in Kurdistan.
Eminent Domain Practice
  • Maintains specialized practice in the area of eminent domain, representing midstream energy clients and utilities in acquisitions, easement negotiations, condemnation proceedings, right to take challenges and encroachment litigation.
  • Eminent domain and transactional counsel for multi-county segments of a 790-mile natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline from the Permian Basin to Mont Belvieu, Texas.
  • Eminent domain and transactional counsel for multi-county segments of a 580-mile NGL pipeline from Skellytown, Texas to fractionation and storage facilities in Mont Belvieu, Texas.
  • Eminent domain and transactional counsel for multi-county Texas segment of a 831-mile interstate crude petroleum pipeline.
  • Eminent domain and transactional counsel for a 58 mile, 345 kV double circuit line, from the Zenith Substation in Harris County to its Gibbons Creek Substation in Grimes County.
  • Eminent domain and transactional counsel for a 345-kV CREZ electric transmission line project in Briscoe County, Texas.
Trial Practice
  • Maintains a litigation and dispute resolution practice for oil, gas and energy companies, with a special emphasis on title disputes, surface use litigation, and operational conflicts.
  • Secured summary judgment in a Texas title dispute in Denton County, Texas between an operator and an alleged unleased mineral owner relying on an estoppel by deed theory, which was upheld on appeal.
  • Won a mixed verdict in Houston, and then prevailed fully on appeal, in a complex dispute between an operator and non-participating working interest owner over a joint operating agreement.
  • Secured summary judgment in a title dispute in Tarrant County, Texas between an oil and gas lessee and an alleged unleased mineral owner centering on Texas’ strip and gore doctrine.
  • Tried to settlement a lease termination case in Fort Worth based on an alleged violation of a surface use agreement.
  • Secured summary judgment for an operator in Johnson County, Texas in a non-payment of royalty case brought by a lessor with a protection lease.