"Flexible, creative, willing to get into the sausage making. The brand of Baker Botts in my mind means “true partner, part of the team”. An extremely hard-working group of brilliant lawyers.”
The Legal 500 U.S. 2022
Bill Kroger is a leading energy litigation lawyer in the United States, and one of only a few lawyers who Chambers USA has ranked “Band 1 for Oil and Gas Litigation - Nationwide” (2020-2022).
He also regularly handles major real estate and other complex commercial litigation throughout Texas and other states. Over his career, Bill's clients have included Hines Interests Limited Partnership, Lovett Development, EOG, Engie North America, Murphy Oil, EDP Renewables, Brookfield Renewables, CenterPoint Energy, Hecate Energy, Avangrid, Ford Motor Company, BASF, Shell Oil, Kinder Morgan, BHP Petroleum, Courson Oil and Gas, Vega Energy, Matador Resources, Enable Energy, Carlyle Group, The Texas Oil and Gas Association, EQT, and Dominion Resources.
“Bill's “knowledge and guidance is top-notch.” “His courtroom and procedural awareness at trial is his greatest strength. He really knows what he's doing and he's very good at working with clients.”"
Chambers USA 2021
Bill has chaired the firm's Energy Litigation group since 2008, and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Energy Pillar. The Texas Lawyer selected the firm's Energy Litigation Group as the “Energy Litigation Department of the Year” in both 2016 and 2017. In 2020-2022, Chambers ranked the Baker Botts Energy Litigation group as the only practice group "Band 1" Nationally for Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas. The Legal 500 U.S. ranked the group as "Tier 1" in Oil & Gas Litigation for every year from 2010 to 2022. The group is also recognized for its power practices.
During his career, Bill has represented energy clients in many of the most significant power, renewable, oil and gas, and other energy disputes of the past 30 years. Many of these matters involve the development of new energy projects and technologies. They include:
- Litigation and regulatory disputes for renewable, co-gen, and other power and gas clients arising out of Winter Storm Uri that rocked the electric and gas markets in Texas in 2021;
- Defense of nuisance and construction claims against solar, pipeline, wind, oil and gas, and other energy projects, including defense of the largest coastal wind farm in the United States; and
- Kinder Morgan in multiple legal proceedings by parties seeking to block development of its $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline;
- Oil, gas and power claims involving price spikes, pipeline constraints, force majeure, and NAESB and other contractual disputes; arising out of freezes, storms, pandemics, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and other events;
- Corrosion claims involving crude oil tank cars, including trial against CIT Rail on $40 million of corrosion claims;
- Major defense of litigation against major multinational oil company on claims arising out of the Lac-Mégantic explosion;
- Defense of wrongful death and property damage claims arising out of explosions and other industrial accidents at refineries, drill sites, construction sites, and other locations;
- Major arbitrations for energy companies involving major contractual disputes;
- Representation of The Texas Oil and Gas Association against the City of Denton, seeking to impose the first ban on fracking in a shale play in Texas. The litigation resulted in the termination of the ban and major changes in state regulation of oil and gas;
- Major court and regulatory proceedings arising out of the deregulation of the electric utility industry in the State of Texas, as well as the first rate case post-deregulation;
- Defense of U.S. oil and gas traders from claims by Pemex that traders had purchased more than $300 million of stolen hydrocarbons;
- Defense of Texas electric utility before the Texas Supreme Court on the Auchan case, dealing with the issue of the enforceability of its limitation of liability provision in its tariff. This case established the legal viability of tariff provisions in the State of Texas.
"His greatest strength is having good practical knowledge of what is and is not important, and know how to prepare his clients for each step of the litigation process."
Chambers USA 2020
The National Law Journal has recognized Bill as an “Energy Trailblazer” (2015). The Legal 500 U.S. (2020) identified Bill as one of only two lawyers in the United States as a “Leading Lawyer” in “Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas.
"Bill leads the team and has substantial experience in big-ticket oil and gas disputes."
The Legal 500 U.S. 2020
Bill has represented clients in state and federal courts and in arbitrations throughout the United States. He has also appeared before numerous state and federal energy regulatory agencies.
Bill is also one of the leaders of the Houston legal community. He was elected as President of the Houston Bar Association for the 2020-21 bar year, which coincides with the 150th Anniversary of the HBA. He has chaired or led Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the Dispute Resolution Committee, Houston Lawyers Referral Services, and the Houston Bar Foundation, among other organizations. He has also served as a director of the State Bar of Texas for two different terms.
“He is a fantastic lawyer and a good, big-picture thinker.”
Chambers USA 2022
In 2021, the Houston Bar Foundation awarded Bill the James B. Sales Pro Bono Award, for a lifetime of pro bono leadership. It is the highest award given by HBF. In 2022, the HBF asked Bill to be its Keynote Speaker for the HBF's 150th anniversary luncheon. In 2020, the Anti-Defamation League awarded Bill its Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award for his dedication to the legal profession, legal history, and service to the Houston community. In 2017, Bill was elected by his peers to the American Law Institute. In 2015, Bill received the Leon Jaworski Award from the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary for a lifetime of public service.
“Bill Kroger is one of the most impressive legal minds in the oil business”
Chambers USA 2022
Bill is a graduate of both the McCombs School of Business and the School of Law at the University of Texas. In 2021, the Dean of the University of Houston Law Center named Bill an "Honorary Alumnus." In 2022. the Dean of the South Texas School of Law named Bill to its Board of Visitors in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the law school.
Bill also serves as General Counsel of the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and on the Board of Directors of Communities in Schools Houston and The Alley Theatre.