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Greenberg Traurig Obtains Landmark Victory for Chalker Energy in SCOTX Oil & Gas Case

AUSTIN – March 19, 2020 – Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP vindicated Chalker Energy’s rights obtaining a major decision from the Texas Supreme Court.  

After seven years, the $240 million-dollar landmark case that came from the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas came to an end. The central argument brought before the court was the effect of unambiguous contract language precluding the creation of any agreement or legal obligations during negotiations unless and until a “definitive agreement” was executed and delivered by the parties.

Greenberg Traurig attorneys Kendyl T. Hanks and Dale Wainwright argued the appeal on behalf of Chalker Energy and successfully convinced the court that, as a matter of law, a piece of an email communication with a losing bidder in negotiations for valuable oil and gas assets in the Texas Panhandle did not constitute a definitive agreement. Thus, Chalker Energy was free to strike a deal with another buyer.

“Contracting parties in all industries across the state of Texas needed to hear that a clear condition precedent to formation of a contract will be enforced,” said Hanks and Wainwright. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling and the clarification and certainty it will bring to future negotiations in industries.”

Read the court opinion here.

Hanks is an experienced business litigator and appellate advocate who is licensed in Texas and New York and represents clients throughout the country in state and federal forums. She represents clients from entrepreneurs, investors, executives and partnerships to Fortune 500 companies and burgeoning multinational firms.

Wainwright, co-chair of the firm's National Appellate Practice, has more than three decades of experience. He represents clients in complex commercial, energy, and administrative disputes in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and is frequently engaged to handle precedent-setting and high-stakes appeals.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Appellate Practice: Greenberg Traurig’s Appellate Group has been involved in some of the most important and consequential cases of our time. In recent years, GT’s Appellate lawyers have played key roles in cases addressing voting rights and election law, federal constitutional law, environmental law, labor law, white collar criminal law, First Amendment law, real estate law, civil rights law, intellectual property and patent law, and administrative and regulatory law.  The GT appellate philosophy is to combine forum-knowledgeable lawyers who have a comprehensive understanding of their jurisdictions with colleagues who have a proven record of substantive excellence in the legal issues involved in our clients’ appellate cases.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP – Texas: Texas is important to Greenberg Traurig, LLP and part of its history. With more than 130 Texas lawyers in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Greenberg Traurig, LLP has deep roots in the Texas business, legal, and governmental communities. Greenberg Traurig Texas works with clients to address their interdisciplinary legal needs across the state utilizing the firm’s global platform. The Texas attorneys are experienced in industries key to the state’s future, including: aviation, chemicals, construction, education, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, health care, hedge funds, hospitality, infrastructure, insurance, media, medical devices, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, real estate, retail, sports, technology and software, telecommunications, transportation, and video games and esports.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has approximately 2200 attorneys in 41 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity, and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law360 400 and among the Top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. Web: Twitter: @GT_Law.