- Commercial Litigation
- White Collar Litigation & Government Investigations
- Oil & Gas
- Energy Litigation
- International Arbitration
- Insurance Recovery
- Class Actions
- Real Estate Litigation
- Environmental Practice: Energy Industry
- Government & Private Antitrust Litigation & Investigations
honors + affiliations
Noted in The US Legal 500 for Energy: Litigation (2014)
Listed, Who’s Who in Energy, Houston Business Journal (2013–2014)
Member, American Bar Association's Litigation Section Member, Houston Bar Association
Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
Fellow, Houston Bar Foundation
Member, Texas Association of Defense Counsel
Member, Advisory Committee, Harris County District Court Clerk
- U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
1000 Louisiana St., Suite 4000
Houston, TX 77002-5006
United States of America
Hugh E. Tanner is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Litigation Practice and Managing Partner of the Houston office. He also serves as chair of the firm's Oil and Gas Litigation Practice Initiative. Mr. Tanner concentrates his practice in the area of complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis in the oil and gas industry. He has regularly represented clients in federal grand jury investigations and internal investigations. Mr. Tanner has handled numerous mediations, arbitrations, and trials in energy-related matters, as well as construction, bankruptcy, professional liability, real estate, antitrust, banking, and commercial contract law. He also has handled a variety of class action matters. In addition, Mr. Tanner has assisted a number of entities in the evaluation, development, and implementation of comprehensive records management and eDiscovery programs.
For more than two decades, Mr. Tanner has served as counsel for a global oilfield and information services company with a primary focus on the energy industry. During this representation, he has handled a range of matters advising on everything from general business issues to trying significant cases to verdict. Mr. Tanner has also assisted in many mediations and arbitrations arising out of the company's oilfield services operations.
Examples of Mr. Tanner's energy and trial experience include:
- Lead trial counsel for oil field services company in the Deepwater Horizon matter. Heading up all aspects of the multi district litigation as well as congressional and executive branch investigations.
- Lead trial counsel for oil field services company in nine cases brought in federal and state court in the United States arising out of the explosion and collapse of the Usumacinta rig in the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. The Usumacinta incident involved the largest loss of life in a Gulf of Mexico incident.
- Lead trial counsel for multinational supplier of technology to oil and gas industry in case of first impression seeking to set aside a release involving mining offshore South Africa; tried case to jury and defeated $800 million claim against client based on allegations of fraud and breach of contract.
- Lead trial counsel for oilfield services company in $5 billion dollar Federal Grand Jury Investigation of visa and immigration fraud; successfully negotiated settlement of $18 million with no indictments and no convictions.
- Lead trial counsel for international marine and land seismic company in $38 million ICC arbitration involving claims of breach of contract and fraud related to seismic contracts in Africa; successfully obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Lead trial counsel for multinational supplier of technology to oil and gas industry in $12 million UNCITRAL arbitration involving claims of breach of contract, deceit, and fraud in alliance agreement involving aquifer storage and recovery projects in the middle east; successfully obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Trial counsel for oilfield services company in $70 million lawsuit involving claims of fraud, breach of contract and civil RICO in the fracturing and cementing of wells in West Texas for oil and gas producer; successfully tried to jury and resolved.
- National coordinating counsel for oilfield services company on claims involving benzene and naturally occurring radioactive materials.
- Lead counsel and trial counsel for multinational exploration and production companies in two separate multimillion dollar actions involving windfall profits tax; successfully tried and resolved.
- Lead trial counsel in numerous mediations involving a myriad of claims for clients in the oil and gas industry.
- Led internal investigations, audits, and performed best practice analyses for a variety of energy related clients.
- Advised a number of oil and gas clients on matters of governmental and regulatory compliance as well as coordinating responses to Federal Grand Jury, DOJ and SEC investigations.
Mr. Tanner received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1985, where he was managing editor for the Mississippi Law Journal. Prior to attending law school, he spent two years as a tax accountant with the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse. Mr. Tanner received his B.B.A., cum laude, in accounting from the University of Mississippi in 1980. Mr. Tanner is a member of the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame.
Mr. Tanner is admitted to practice in Texas and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas. Mr. Tanner is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Claims Court.
- University of Mississippi School of Law, 1985, J.D.
- University of Mississippi, 1980, B.B.A., Cum Laude