Neil E.  Giles

With a primary focus on the energy and oil and gas sectors, Neil Giles concentrates his practice in complex commercial and insurance litigation. He has a special emphasis on complex cases involving upstream and midstream oil and gas commercial, financial and technical issues.  

Twenty-two years in the making, Neil’s legal career has been marked by a stellar record of success in trials, arbitrations and appeals. He has represented large, integrated energy companies, independent E&P companies, gas transmission and processing companies, wholesale electricity trading companies, insurance companies, as well as a variety of other publicly traded and privately owned businesses and individuals. Representing clients in both tort and contract matters, Neil’s broad depth of experience plays well in the areas of general commercial litigation, energy/oil and gas, insurance coverage and subrogation, securities litigation/arbitration, admiralty and maritime, personal injury/products liability, toxic torts, environmental litigation and real estate. 

What Neil finds most enjoyable about his practice and the work he does for clients is distilling down the critical elements within a large quantity of information, synthesizing the essentials into a coherent story, and communicating simplified concepts to a diverse audience. In short, years of experience enable Neil to quickly analyze the crux of an issue and develop a strategy to best achieve his client’s goals. 

Prior to joining Hall Maines Lugrin in 2009, Neil was a partner in the Trial Section of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. He learned early on that exhaustive preparation and encyclopedic recall, along with an effective working knowledge of industries, businesses and scientific concepts, would enable him to adapt to diverse groups and help conflicting factions come together.

Experience
  • Represented successor operator of gas processing plant in defense of $150 million dollar suit brought by ExxonMobil alleging breach of contract, fraud and conversion involving dispute over complex technical accounting for NGLs (state court jury trial and appeal). Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Kinder Morgan Operating L.P. “A”, 192 S.W.3d 120 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, no pet.).
  • Represented E&P company in defense of lawsuits by royalty owners involving breach of contract and breach of implied covenant claims, primarily over alleged failure to drill offset wells and/or pay lieu royalties (state court).
  • Represented Midwestern local distribution company in $20 million dollar contract dispute with major corporation regarding management of natural gas storage assets on major interstate pipeline (private arbitration).
  • Represented Canadian electricity producer/marketer in various litigation and regulatory matters arising out of California’s post-deregulation wholesale power crisis (state and federal courts, FERC proceedings, state regulatory agencies). Also advised companies on issues of U.S. antitrust law implicated in distributing wholesale electricity into Western U.S. states and partnered with Canadian law firm in developing combined Canadian/U.S. antitrust employee manual for traders and their managers.
  • Represented Lloyd’s syndicates and London insurance companies in $200 million dollar coverage dispute with oil and gas operator involving destruction of Gulf of Mexico offshore platform in Hurricane Rita, including issues relating to decommissioning of downed platform and plugging and abandonment of 24 wellbores (state court bench trial).
  • Represented Lloyd’s syndicates and London insurance companies in $50 million dollar coverage dispute with oil and gas company involving destruction of five Gulf of Mexico offshore platforms in Hurricane Katrina, including issues relating to decommissioning of five downed platforms and eleven pipelines, and plugging and abandonment of 50+ wellbores (state court jury trial).
  • Represent Lloyd’s syndicates and London insurance companies in $100 million dollar coverage dispute with working interest owner involving claims arising out of Deepwater Horizon disaster/oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (state court).
  • Defended independent oil and gas operator against complex breach of contract, fraud and conversion claims involving farmout agreement of oil & gas leases (state court jury trial).
  • Represented lease finance company against $20 million dollar complex fraud claims involving sale of accounting system brought by more than 30 plaintiffs (state court jury trial).
  • Represented manufacturer of road construction products in suit to enforce promissory notes and defense of complex fraud and product defect counterclaims (state court jury trial and appeal).
Education
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1992
  • Emory University, BBA Finance, 1988
Admissions
  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts of Texas (all districts)
Community Involvement
  • Member, Chancellor’s Council of The University of Texas System
  • Vestryman, Finance Chairman, Council Chairman, Sunday School Teacher, Christ Church Cathedral
  • Secretary, Treasurer and President-Elect, St. Charles Bay Club, Board of Governors
Memberships
  • Houston Bar Association
Outside the Office

What I do when not practicing law
Mostly I spend time with my family. I also love the outdoors: fishing, hunting, hiking, sailing, and climbing. I enjoy participating in service ministries and leadership councils at my church. The best is combining outdoors or church ministries with family activities—the things we do together change us, change the world and last a lifetime.

Last read
The Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Quote I live by
"To me, every hour of the day is an unspeakably perfect miracle."
Walt Whitman

Most satisfying personal accomplishment
Raising three happy, well-adjusted, compassionate and intellectually inquisitive children (work in progress).