Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell attorneys represent corporations engaged in the exploration, production and distribution of various forms of energy, including oil and gas, electricity, natural gas, and renewables. We also represent companies that manufacture capital equipment used in the energy industry.
Representative matters range from bet-the-company to precedent-setting business litigation to catastrophic torts. At each turn, WTO lawyers are leading the way to develop creative and effective legal arguments for our clients.
- Bd. of Cnty. Comm'rs of Boulder Cnty. v. Crestone Peak Res. Operating LLC, No. 19CA2040 (Colorado Ct. App. 2021) - Won a published opinion for Crestone Peak Resources, protecting strategically important aspects of the company's original $900M investment and affirming the trial court's summary judgment rulings for WTO's client after Boulder County sought to invalidate several of the company's oil and gas leases.
- Successfully negotiated a class settlement—for 2.5% of the claimed damages—for a major utility provider and its subsidiary in a 15-year-old putative antitrust class action in Colorado federal court.
- Defending utility companies and equipment manufacturers in catastrophic fire and explosion cases resulting in major burn injuries, including two cases set for trial in late 2021 and early 2022—one of which involves injuries to a minor.
- Represented a utility company at trial in Missouri in a case involving a maintenance worker who suffered loss of limb after electrocution while attempting to service a billboard. Settled for a fraction of the demand.
- United Power, Inc. et al. v. Tri-State Generation & Transmission Ass'n. Inc., No. 19F-0521E (Colo. Public Utilities Commission) - Won a $1.25 billion exit fee dispute for an electric distributor against its generation and transmission provider. The groundbreaking decision followed one of the first remote trials in the nation in the COVID-19 era.
- Serving as lead trial counsel for a public utility company in putative antitrust class actions in Colorado and Wisconsin alleging wholesale natural gas price manipulation and seeking damages in excess of $2 billion.
- Facilitated a rural electric cooperative's withdrawal from membership in a wholesale cooperative. WTO's client achieved settlement for hundreds of millions of dollars below the wholesaler's demand and can now acquire substantially cheaper and renewable green energy sources for its members.
- Represented a wholesale energy company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute with multiple counterparties, preserving tens of millions of dollars of contract value and a key long-term business objective for the client.
- Won a multimillion-dollar arbitration award for an energy company, recovering more than 15 times the last settlement offer made before trial.
- Won affirmance preserving WTO's trial court dismissal of a wrongful termination lawsuit involving the public policy exception to employment at will.
- Belmont v. BP America Production (D. Wyo. 2015) - Defeated class certification for BP in a natural gas royalties underpayment case heard in federal court in Wyoming.
- Won an arbitration award for future oil and gas royalties valued between $70,000,000 and $100,000,000 in a David v. Goliath case against a multinational oil company.
- Juwi Solar v. Maynard (Colo. Boulder Cnty. Dist. Ct. 2013) - Successfully represented employers in noncompete and trade secret litigation, including obtaining injunctive relief against a former employee of a solar power plant developer for violation of noncompete and nondisclosure agreements.
- Vestas Blades v. Randall (Colo. 2011) - Won a $4.2 million judgment for a renewable energy client in a civil trial involving an executive's embezzlement from the company.
- Mulcahy v. Rapid American (Ill. Cook Cnty. Cir.Ct.) - Won a jury verdict in Cook County, Illinois, for General Electric in an asbestos duty to warn case involving power plant land turbines.
- Obtained summary judgment for Lockheed Martin with regard to the majority of potentially $2 billion in exposure in a major federal False Claims Act case in Idaho. Allegations included false claims associated with a contract for management of the U.S. Department of Energy facility in Idaho Falls, ID. Following summary judgment, the remainder of the case settled favorably.