Charles Kelley is the Houston office Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice leader. With active practices in both commercial litigation and restructuring and bankruptcy, Charles regularly represents global corporations in the oil, energy, construction, engineering, manufacturing, financial services and real estate sectors, among others.
Charles has litigated commercial cases in federal and state courts for twenty four years and also offers significant experience with international arbitration and other dispute resolution proceedings. He has obtained successful awards, verdicts and judgments at trial, and has facilitated the successful resolution of hundreds of other cases through settlements.
In his bankruptcy and restructuring practice, Charles has represented clients in numerous bankruptcies, workouts, adversary proceedings, evidentiary proceedings and contested matters. Charles has also represented numerous lenders, creditors and other parties in business restructurings in the energy, hospitality, construction, manufacturing and transportation industries.
Having previously worked as a mechanical engineer for Amoco Oil Company, in the capacities of project engineer, inspection engineer, and unit maintenance engineer in Amoco's largest and most complex refinery, Charles brings a commercial business approach to his practice of law.
A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, he also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Charles been trying commercial cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States for twenty four years. He offers deep experience with bench and jury trials, as well as with arbitrations and alternative dispute proceedings. His experience includes numerous class action lawsuits, including cases in which he was able to defeat class certification efforts quickly and efficiently. He has also negotiated the successful resolution of hundreds of other cases by crafting suitable settlements that are beneficial to his clients.
Charles’ experience includes class actions and cases involving complex claims regarding federal and state statutes, securities, breach of contract/warranty, trade secrets, tortious interference, fraud, malpractice and other common law and commercial claims. His experience is particularly deep with disputes involving construction, energy, real estate and insurance and surety coverage, and in the federal and state courts of Texas and the Southern United States.
In the first few months of 2015, Charles completed a full evidentiary arbitration involving an international multi-lingual drilling case regarding a Nicaraguan project that was litigated in New York, and, in April, he will be going to trial in Houston for a dispute involving a Terminal Storage agreement between two, international companies.
Bankruptcy and Restructuring: Charles has represented various secured and unsecured financial institutions, administrative agents, debtors, trade creditors, and general creditors, such as international banks, lending institutions, private equity and hedge funds, energy service companies, exploration and production companies, real estate developers, special servicers for securitized financings, industrial businesses and other commercial entities, in numerous bankruptcies, workouts, adversary proceedings, evidentiary proceedings and contested matters.
Importantly, Charles has also represented numerous lenders, creditors and other parties in business restructurings in the energy, hospitality, construction, manufacturing and transportation industries, that have occurred outside of any formal proceedings, including under the US Bankruptcy Code or other domestic or international laws.
In 2014, Charles’ work as Lead Debtor’s counsel for ATP in one of the largest offshore exploration and production company bankruptcies was well covered in the media as this matter involved more than $3 billion in energy assets.
Representations that are public or can be disclosed include the following selection of matters in Litigation and Dispute Resolution - Construction; Bankruptcy and Restructuring – Energy; and Bankruptcy and Restructuring – Construction, Engineering, Financial Services and Real Estate.
- Defense of an international bank as agent and issuing bank of a syndicated project finance loan in several lawsuits related to hundreds of million of dollars in alleged defects in construction and insurance claims related to borrower’s construction of refinery tail gas processing plants in Louisiana.
- Defense of an international contractor on the design/build of a LNG gasification facility involving hundreds of millions of dollars in project delays and cost overrun claims against multiple contractors.
- Defense of an engineering team in connection with claims of processing plant design deficiency and delay from an owner seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.
- An engineer and designer of off-shore oil platforms against a Korean company in a multi-million dollar litigation involving termination of licensing rights and unpaid construction and design costs.
- A corporate owner and operator of a shopping mall in Fort Worth, Texas pursuing claims for defective work on a mall expansion project against the designer, contractor, and equipment manufacturers.
- Defense of a drilling contractor against a down-hole damage claim regarding measurement and installation of down-hole equipment allegedly damaged during the installation process.
- An investment bank owner and operator of Houston industrial office facilities in claims against a contractor for defective roof construction.
- An international company in bringing defective construction claims against the contractor, designer, concrete company, subcontractors and inspectors related to a parking garage on a multi-family residential apartment project.
- A REIT in claims against California architects for defective construction and title defects related to an apartment project in San Francisco.
- Defense of an industrial service company for alleged failures to properly design and construct a storm and run-off treatment facility in an East Texas refinery in a case alleging millions in damages.
- Defense of an industrial service company in a lawsuit alleging failure to utilize proper materials in repair work for turnaround in a Baytown, Texas refinery causing tens of millions of dollars in actual and interruption damages.
- A REIT in arbitration against a contractor in a multi-million dollar claim for failure to properly construct a retention pond and walls in a Portland, Oregon apartment complex.
- An owner of retail space in an insurance dispute involving actual cost/value of replacing lease space in the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 events.
- A catalyst company seeking insurance coverage and indemnification associated with multi-million dollar claims stemming from a paraxylene plant shutdown after the performance of construction work.
- A supplier of motors and electrical switchgear for oil and gas rigs in collecting payment and defending claims arising out of alleged substandard equipment.
- A petrochemical company in negotiations for damages under the liquidated damages provision of a licensing agreement from a large international developer of proprietary refining technology.
- An international petrochemical manufacturer against a damage claim arising from alleged combustion of feedstock stored as inventory in a California asphalt plant.
- A subcontractor on an offshore rig construction project in bringing a coverage action against insurers for failure to defend and indemnify a subcontractor, general contractor and oil company in connection with a toxic exposure claim.
- A public corporation in the negotiation of claims against a surety company arising out of the default of a public road contractor on eight downtown Houston, Texas street projects.
- A REIT in a Nashville, Tennessee apartment complex in litigation arising out of an alleged defective and incomplete project associated with the termination of the general contractor.
- Lead debtor’s counsel for ATP in one of the largest offshore exploration and production company bankruptcies, involving more than $3 billion in energy assets, in In re ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. This matter was awarded “Energy & Services Turnaround of the Year” by Global M&A Network.
- ATP’s United Kingdom wholly owned subsidiary in one of the only prepackaged administration/restructuring under UK law as part of a sale of assets to Alpha Petroleum in proceedings in the UK, and in associated proceedings in the ATP case in the United States.
- Lead counsel for Natixis, a prepetition secured lender and swap counterparty, in the exploration and production bankruptcy of Cano Petroleum, in In re Cano Petroleum, No. 12-31549, In the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.
- Lead counsel for Rosetta Resources, Inc. regarding its role as purchaser of over $1 billion of oil and gas assets from Calpine Corporation shortly before its bankruptcy filing, and defending against one of the largest fraudulent conveyance oil and gas actions filed, as well as negotiating the completion of the transfer of over $80 million in assets from the incomplete sale of those assets in In re Calpine Corp., Southern District of New York, Manhattan Division.
- Lead counsel for Bank of Montreal as a prepetition agent bank, involving a claim in excess of $80 million against an oil and gas production company, in In re CDX, Inc., in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
- Lead counsel for Amegy, a prepetition agent bank, involving a claim in amounts greater than $20 million from an oil and gas production borrower in In re TriDimension, Inc., in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.
- Lead counsel for Bank of Montreal, an agent bank, in an energy bankruptcy case involving exploration and production company, Dune Energy, Inc., and its affiliates, in In re Dune Energy, Inc. and Dune Operating Company, No. 15-10336, in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division.
- Halliburton, an unsecured creditor and counterparty to multiple executor contracts with Global Geophysical Services, in the bankruptcy of a seismic oilfield services company in In re Autoseis, Inc., No. 14-20130, in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.
- Lead counsel for Allied Irish Bank, a prepetition lender, involving a claim in excess of $70 million against a petroleum company,in In re Triad Resources, Inc., in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio.
- Lead counsel Koch Producer Services, as the largest secured lender, in two bankruptcies involving $20-27 million of oil and gas properties, in In re Pi Energy, Inc. and In re Redfish Bay Development Co., United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.
- Lead Counsel for Bank of America in an unwind and resale of a volumetric production payment (VPP) from oil and gas properties to estate to facilitate its auction of $40-45 million in oil and gas properties in In re Mid-Con Offshore Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.
- TIAA-CREF, an unsecured creditor, landlord and contractual counterparty under numerous agreements and for numerous properties in the multi-billion dollar bankruptcy of a property management and development company in In re Grubb & Ellis Company, et al., No. 12-10685, In the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, Manhattan Division.
- Lead counsel for Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd. and SC Lowy Primary Investments, Ltd., as agent banks, in a multi-billion dollar bankruptcy involving a large, Taiwanese shipping company, that owned VLOO tanker/ore combination carriers, ro-ro car/equipment carriers, bulk carriers, and merchant carriers, with regard to bank claims in excess of $415 million in unpaid debt in In re TMT Procurement Corporation, et al., No. 13-33763-11, in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, including an evidentiary trial concerning bad faith filing.
- Lead counsel for Mansa LLC, the largest secured lender, in a multimillion dollar bankruptcy case filed by the owner of four hotels, Couture, in In re Couture Hotel Corporation, No. 14-34874, in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.
- Lead Debtor’s Counsel in a $14-17 million bankruptcy involving the owner of 70 convenience stores in In re Houston Convenience, L.P., in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
- Lead Counsel for Banco Nacional de Mexico, as largest secured lender, in a $4-5 million bankruptcy of a Golf Course and Real Estate Developer in In re Treasure Hills N.V., United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division.
- Lead counsel for the first lien agent in the CDX bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
- Lead counsel for TriDimension, a first lien agent bank, in a bankruptcy in Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.
The University of Texas School of Law, JD, with honors
Order of the Coif
Executive Editor, Texas Law Review
The University of Texas, Cockrell School of Engineering, BSME
- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Western District of Texas
- US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- Executive Board of Directors, Texas Appleseed
- Board of Directors, Texas Defenders Service
- Board of Trustees, Annunciation Orthodox School
- Founding Member, Houston Pro Bono Initiative