Rees-Jones, Thompson & Knight Announce Plans to Appeal in Claimed $116 Million Houston Verdict

Mar 15, 2011, 21:34 ET from Thompson & Knight

HOUSTON, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys representing Dallas oil and gas entrepreneur Trevor Rees-Jones are announcing plans to appeal a Houston jury verdict awarded to a career business lawyer who claims he was duped into signing a buyout agreement prior to the sale of Chief Holdings LLC.

The lawsuit was filed by bankruptcy lawyer D. Bobbitt Noel Jr., a partner in Houston's Vinson & Elkins, who alleged he was misled into signing a $6.5 million buyout agreement two years before Mr. Rees-Jones sold Chief to Devon Energy Production Company in 2006. The case is D. Bobbitt Noel Jr. v. Devon Energy Production Co., et al., No. 2008-39598.

"This verdict is not supported by the facts or the law, and that is exactly what we plan to prove in our appeal," says Dallas attorney Craig Haynes from Thompson & Knight, counsel for Mr. Rees-Jones.

The March 14, 2011, verdict in the 127th District Court in Harris County has not been signed as a judgment, although a press release issued by Mr. Noel's trial counsel claimed the jury awarded $116 million in damages. The trial court will decide the final award amount, which may be as little as $8 million under the terms of the verdict.

A similar lawsuit filed by another former minority partner in Chief Holdings was dismissed on a motion for summary judgment in another Houston state district court more than two years ago.

"Mr. Noel voluntarily redeemed his $504 stake in Chief under a 2004 agreement that paid him some $6.5 million, which included releasing the very claims he filed against our client in this lawsuit," says Mr. Haynes. "Trevor Rees-Jones is known for his integrity, honesty and hard work, which are the same traits he used to build his company and to make significant contributions to the community, along with his wife Jan, through the Rees-Jones Foundation. Trevor is extremely disappointed that Mr. Noel is continuing to pursue these claims after doing nothing to increase the value of Chief and taking none of the risks after cashing out nearly seven years ago."

About Thompson & Knight

Established in 1887, Thompson & Knight is a full-service firm providing legal solutions to public and private companies, governments, and individuals in all areas, including commercial and tort litigation, finance, banking, securities, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, intellectual property, corporate governance, creditors rights, real estate, labor, white collar defense, and environmental matters, among others.  We are particularly recognized for our depth of experience and capabilities on behalf of clients in the energy industry, both domestically and around the world.  Thompson & Knight has approximately 350 attorneys with offices in Texas and New York and international offices and associations in the Americas, North Africa, Europe, and Asia.

For additional information:

Becky S. Jackson

Chief Client Services Officer


SOURCE Thompson & Knight