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Nicholas N. Shum
Nicholas N. Shum
Partner — Energy Litigation
Partner — Energy Litigation

Nicholas N. Shum

Nicholas N. Shum

Texas Tower
845 Texas Avenue
Suite 4700
Houston, Texas 77002

Nicholas N. Shum

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

  • (S.D. Tex. Bankruptcy) – Represented oil and gas operator in a complex contractual dispute under a joint development agreement and joint operating agreement over operatorship of over 300,000 acres and 1,800 wells in South Texas; secured complete victory for client after six-day trial in bankruptcy court

  • (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 

  • (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 

  • (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) — 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 

  • (Ad hoc Arbitration) – Represented major Australian energy company in dispute over the calculation and payment of gas royalty relating to liquified natural gas project in Eastern Australia

  • (S.D. Ohio) – Representing an upstream energy company against claims for breach of an allegedly enforceable purchase and sale agreement to purchase over 26,000 acres of deep rights in oil and gas leases located in Monroe, Noble, and Guernsey County, Ohio

  • (Cal. Super. Ct – Kern County) – Representing oil and gas operator against non-operating working interest owners relating to operatorship and claims for lack of development, failure to protect against drainage and other related claims

  • (Texas Railroad Commission) – Represented midstream company against claims by a developer of an oil and gas liquids storage and terminal facility that company violated provisions of the Texas Natural Resources Code in failing to provide an interconnection with company’s pipeline distribution system

  • (New Mexico) – Representing oil and gas operator in a dispute with large surface owner regarding claims of breach under a surface use agreement and violation of Surface Owner Protection Act relating to alleged chloride contamination in soil near oil and gas operations

  • (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 had underpaid royalties to mineral owners in Mississippi; obtained an order denying class certification leading to dismissal of the case

  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained a judgment for a producer of oil on the Alaskan North Slope for $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 

  • (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. – Tarrant Cnty.) — 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


  • 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
  • Judicial Intern for The Honorable Gray H. Miller, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2009
  • Chambers USA, Oil & Gas Litigation (Nationwide), 2022 and 2023; “Up and Coming” in Oil & Gas Litigation (Nationwide), 2022 and 2024
  • Legal 500 U.S., Energy Litigation: Oil & Gas, 2020–2023; “Next Generation Partner” in Energy Litigation: Oil & Gas, 2022-2024
  • Selected to the 500 Leading Litigators in America, Lawdragon, 2023 and 2024
  • Selected to the 500 Leading Energy Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2023 and 2024
  • Member: Houston Bar Association; Houston Young Lawyers Association; Central Houston Young Professionals; Asian American Bar Association of Houston
  • Advisory Board Member: Institute of Energy Law (IEL)
  • Board of Directors: The Brairwood School
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas
  • “Ninth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium,” V&E Houston Office, October 3, 2019 (speaker)
  • Supreme Court to Review ‘State Action’ Immunity in Hospital Case,” Antitrust News & Notes, July 2012 (co-author)
  • “U.S. Supreme Court to Dive Deeply Into Antitrust: Granting Certiorari in Two Antitrust Cases,” V&E Antitrust Updates E-communication, June 27, 2012 (co-author)
  • “DOJ and FTC’s Increased Antitrust Enforcement in Health Care—Accountable Care Organizations Beware,”  Bloomberg Law Reports Vol. 5, No. 6, March 19, 2012 (co-author)
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies General Jurisdiction Over Non-Resident Corporations,” V&E Litigation Updates E-communication, June 28, 2011