News & Insights

Cox Smith Secures Arbitration Award in Eagle Ford Royalty Case

February 21, 2013

Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated (“Cox Smith”) today announced that its energy litigation team secured an arbitration award declaring title to valuable royalty interests in favor of client Phoenix Fund, Inc., a San Antonio-based oil and gas royalty prospector.

The case, which was tried before the Tribunal of the American Arbitration Association, involved title to productive royalty interests located in Gonzales County, Texas.  Six Eagle Ford oil and gas wells are already producing on the property, generating several hundred thousands of dollars in royalty in only the early stages of the life of the wells.    

“The counties where commercial Eagle Ford has been established after 2008 were oftentimes developed for oil and gas at shallower intervals decades ago.  Non-participating royalty interests were created in these counties by reservation or grant during periods of production, but in the long span of drilling inactivity leading up to 2008 these non-participating royalty interests have been largely forgotten in estate planning,” said Marty Truss, head of Cox Smith’s energy litigation team. “For this reason, titles to royalty interests in the Eagle Ford are frequently a mess.  When profitable wells are eventually drilled, litigation commonly follows.”  

Cox Smith shareholder Corey Wehmeyer headed up the energy litigation trial team for Phoenix Fund, Inc., assisted by Cox Smith attorneys Amy Davis and Ben Robertson. Cox Smith’s energy team traces its history to the firm’s founding in 1939 and is viewed as a “go to” resource on energy matters in South Texas and the Eagle Ford Shale. Recognized with a Tier 1 ranking from U.S. News-Best Lawyers in Energy Law, Oil & Gas Law and Natural Resources Law, its attorneys were named “Outstanding Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation by the San Antonio Business Journal in 2011. The firm enjoys a close geographic proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale and its attorneys are engaged on numerous matters involving the wide variety of issues facing midstream and E&P companies and mineral and royalty owners.    

“As the Eagle Ford and other shale plays continue to develop, we are assisting clients with litigation on a variety of fronts, and this arbitration award confirms our ability to provide world-class services to energy-related clients on complex litigation and transactional matters arising out of the Eagle Ford shale play,” said Jamie Smith, managing director of Cox Smith. “Corey and the Cox Smith team did an excellent job establishing our client’s title and litigating this royalty case to a successful outcome.”

The case number was 70 115 00094 12.