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Nicholas Nathaniel Shum

Nicholas Nathaniel Shum Counsel, Energy Litigation

Nick is a trial attorney who represents and advises clients in their complex commercial disputes in both litigation and arbitration. Nick has litigated and arbitrated many cases through a jury verdict or final award, and has resolved many more disputes without the necessity of trial to achieve favorable outcomes for his clients.

Nick’s practice focuses on handling complex commercial disputes in the energy industry, including various upstream and midstream contract disputes, fracing disputes, royalty disputes, leasing disputes, joint development/operating agreement disputes, and disputes arising from purchase and sale transactions. Nick also has significant experience handling other types of complex commercial disputes, such as antitrust cases, trade secrets cases, and transnational litigation matters.

Experience Highlights

  • (Colo. Dist. – Denver Cnty.) — Obtained a nearly $96 million (net) jury verdict on behalf of an energy company against two purchasers of natural gas for breaching long-term contracts to purchase gas; the jury also rejected the purchasers’ force majeure defense and breach of contract claims against our client, the energy company, for approximately $35 million
  • (D. Colo.) — Represented an energy company in a dispute regarding whether a Market Disruption Event had occurred under the terms of their long term NAESB contracts for natural gas, impacting price to be paid; the jury unanimously found that the plaintiff breached the contracts and awarded a $60 million (net) verdict in favor of the client
  • (Pa. Super. − Allegheny Cnty.) — Successfully defended an energy company in a preliminary injunction proceeding against claims that its hydraulic fracturing activities in the Marcellus Shale would harm the plaintiff’s business, the environment, and public safety; pursued counterclaims on behalf of energy company against plaintiff’s unreasonable interference with operations 
  • (W. Va.) — Successfully defended an exploration and production company on proceedings related to an attempt to enjoin hydraulic fracturing and completion operations on wells drilled on the Ohio River in West Virginia 
  • (Colo. Dist. – Denver Cnty. and Arbitration) — Secured an arbitration award on behalf of an energy company rejecting the claimants’ attempt to substitute an alternate index price into long term NAESB gas purchase agreements, which was affirmed by a state district court in Denver, Colorado 
  • (Tex. Dist. − McMullen Cnty.) — Obtained a take nothing judgment on a motion for summary judgment for an upstream oil and gas company in a South Texas state court against the plaintiffs’ damage claims of over $90 million for an alleged failure to reassign leases
  • (AAA Arbitration) — Represented an Eagle Ford Shale non-operator in breach of contract claims against operator for excessive affiliate charges under the parties’ agreements, seeking recovery of over $150 million overcharges 

Energy Litigation

  • (AAA Arbitration) — Represented an Eagle Ford Shale non-operator in pursuing breach of fiduciary duty, breach of agency and other contract claims against operator relating to operator’s decision to amend gas gathering contract with affiliate prior to sale of midstream assets 
  • (AAA/ICDR Arbitration) — Successfully defended Australian energy company against numerous contract and tort claims by holder of contractually reserved revenue interest relating to gas production from Australian oil and gas field and obtained award of attorney’s fees and costs
  • (AAA Arbitration) — Defended a Colorado energy company in an AAA arbitration against a co-working interest holder regarding an Area of Mutual Interest Agreement; obtained favorable result from the arbitrator 
  • (S.D. Miss) —  Represented an oil and gas production company against a putative class action alleging that it has underpaid royalties to mineral owners in Mississippi; obtained an Order denying class certification 
  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained a judgment for a producer of oil on the Alaskan North Slope for more than $14 million (net) for breach of the pricing formula of a crude oil sales contract involving price adjustments for Quality Bank credits on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
  • (Tex. Dist. − Marshall Cnty.) — Member of trial team in representing an energy company against breach of contract claims relating to its leasing activities in the Haynesville Shale
  • (AAA Arbitration) — Assisted in obtaining a major victory for a U.S. E&P company in an AAA arbitration in connection with the purchase of more than 20,000 acres of leases in the Utica Shale for US $120 million; after discovery and evidentiary hearings, the arbitrator ruled in favor of our client 
  • (W.D. Okla.) — Represented an energy company against royalty underpayment claims in Oklahoma federal court, successfully obtaining a denial of class certification over the putative class action claims 

Other Complex Commercial Litigation

  • (Tex. 171st) – Representing exploration and production company in prosecuting trade secret dispute in Texas state court
  • (W.D. Tex.) — Represented a Fortune 500 company against federal and state antitrust claims involving the allergy testing and allergy immunotherapy markets
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Successfully represented producer of Akaushi Beef against claims of conspiracy to restrain trade and monopolization in the market for premium beef in the United States; after a seven day trial, the jury found in favor of the client, awarding both actual and exemplary damages
  • (E.D. La.) — Represented a major exploration and production company against conspiracy and monopolization antitrust claims in federal court relating to its training programs for contractors traveling offshore in the Gulf of Mexico 
  • (Tex. Dist. – Harris Cnty.) — Represented an oil field services company and officer against claims of alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-compete, and other contract and business tort claims relating to oilfield waste disposal business

Contact Details


T +1.713.758.2109
F +1.713.615.5028
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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Nick's Practices

  • University of Houston Law Center, J.D. magna cum laude, 2010 (Order of the Coif; Order of the Barons; Articles Editor, Houston Law Review)
  • Southwestern University, B.A., Business and Political Science, 2007
  • Admitted to practice: Texas
  • Judicial Intern for The Honorable Gray H. Miller, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2009
    • Member: Houston Bar Association; Houston Young Lawyers Association; Central Houston Young Professionals; Asian American Bar Association of Houston