Norman J. Nadorff is a Mayor Brown special counsel for the Houston and Rio de Janeiro offices. His practice focuses on international energy law and transactions and legal compliance. Norman spent 30 years working for the legal departments of major oil companies covering numerous countries and handling primarily transactional, compliance and regulatory matters. More recently, Norman spent nine years in Angola as Senior Counsel to BP Angola working on major development projects and day-to-day legal issues. At ARCO, he wrote the company policies on FCPA, Anti-Boycott and Export Regulation.

Norman has been Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center since 2012 and has taught International Petroleum Agreements in several US and foreign law schools, most recently at Fundação Gertúlio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro. In 2006, Norman played key roles in the creation of a pioneering international oil and gas master’s program at Angola’s national law school, which is now in its twelfth year.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • French


  • Drafting, negotiating and/or implementing host government agreements (PSA, tax and royalty, concession etc.): Mozambique (1996-98) (three blocks – including negotiation of the Temane PSC that led to a major natural gas development); Angola (Nine Blocks) 1986-8 and 2006-2015; Ecuador (Four Blocks) 1989-91; Gabon (Four Blocks) 1988-1991; Congo (Two Blocks) 1990; Colombia (Two Blocks) 1996-8; Indonesia (Six Blocks) 1991-9; Venezuela (Four Blocks) 1996-8; Brazil (Two Blocks) 2000-4; Peru (Four Blocks) 1989-91.
  • Drafting, negotiating and/or implementing joint operating agreements: Angola (Nine Blocks) 1986-8 and 2006-2015; Ecuador (Four Blocks) 1989-91; Gabon (Four Blocks) 1988-1991; Congo (Two Blocks) 1990; Colombia (Two Blocks) 1996-8; Indonesia (Six Blocks) 1991-9; Venezuela (Four Blocks) 1996-8; Brazil (Six Blocks) 1996-8 and 2000-4; Peru (Four Blocks) 1989-91; Mozambique (1996-98) (three blocks).
  • Drafting, negotiating and/or implementing major project (including EPC) contracts: Angola: (i) Angola LNG; (ii) Block 31 (PSVM) FPSO; (iii) Offshore Multi-Block Fibre Optics System; (iv) Block 18 (Greater Plutonio) FPSO; Brazil: Dunas (Belém) LNG Project (project eventually abandoned); Ecuador: Villano (Oriente Province) oil development (1996-8); Indonesia: (i) ONWJ Gas Pipeline; (ii) Kangian Island Gas Project; (iii) Tangguh LNG.
  • Drafting, negotiating and/or implementing oil and gas services agreements. Examples of agreements: Drilling, Rig Sharing, Wellsite, Transportation (air, land, aquatic); Seismic; Security; Medical; Environmental; Emergency Evacuation; Confidentiality; etc. Associated countries: Angola, Brazil, Columbia, Congo, Gabon, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, Syria, Indonesia, Dubai, Egypt, Mozambique, Yugoslavia (currently Serbia).


The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, JD

Saint Louis University, MA, Spanish and Portuguese


  • Texas
  • Ohio (inactive)


  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (former Director)
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Journal of World Energy Law and Business (AIPN/Oxford Press)
  • Member, Board of Advisors, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s International LLM Program
  • Educator of the Year, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (2009)
  • Special service award, Agostinho Neto University Faculty of Law for long-term service to post-graduate (LLM) oil and gas program.
  • Anonymously submitted comments from University of Houston law students: “A true expert in the field, Professor Nadorff is a credit to the University”. “This was one of the best courses that I have ever taken. Prof. Nadorff was an excellent instructor and the class was very beneficial”. “It was one of the best classes I've ever taken. Professor Nadorff’s human qualities and professional training are outstanding. His class is exactly what a student pursuing a career as an international petroleum negotiator requires.”
  • “Other AIPN members, such as Norman Nadorff, make significant contributions by donating their time and effort to hold courses for students in Africa and elsewhere” (President’s message, AIPN Advisor, September 2012).
  • “HOUSTON—Even in Texas, it’s rare to hear the theme song of the 1960-70s US sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies at an oil and gas conference with audience members chiming in lyrics on cue. Norman Nadorff . . . . and participants at NAPE Summit 2016 did just that on Feb. 10, using the Ballad of Jed Clampett to hear about oil and gas contracts—more specifically how they differ across the world. (“Lessons On Oil, Gas Contracts And Pitfalls: Forget The Beverly Hillbillies” Velda Addison, E&P Magazine (Hart Energy) February 11, 2016.