Nicholas E. Petree
Pennzoil Place—South Tower
711 Louisiana, Suite 2150
Houston, TX 77002
Nick Petree is a seasoned trial lawyer who handles high-stakes litigation in federal and state courts, and before arbitration panels across the country. Nick has successfully prosecuted and defended claims ranging from breach of contract, fraud, and tortious interference to breach of fiduciary duties, defamation, and RICO. He regularly represents plaintiffs and defendants from a variety of industries, including oil and gas (upstream, midstream, export, retail, and oilfield services), investments and banking, healthcare, aerospace, construction, and real estate development.
Nick has a knack for connecting with any audience—his energetic and compassionate demeanor make him a natural at clearly and persuasively presenting to a jury, court, or arbitration panel. But attention to detail and a determined work ethic are the keys to Nick’s ability to consistently deliver on behalf of his clients. He is committed to understanding his client’s business and concerns to address their goals inside and outside of the courtroom.
Nick has tried multiple cases to verdict/judgment in courts and final award in arbitrations. He is experienced in all aspects of litigation, from preparation of demand or original pleading to direct and cross-examination at trial and briefing on appeal. Nick also regularly advises clients concerning business and compliance risks, as well as negotiation of service contracts, sale and purchase agreements, and governing company agreements. He has also been honored for his pro bono efforts, including receiving multiple awards for his representation of students challenging the constitutionality of their school’s discriminatory dress and grooming code.
Nick honed his trial practice at an international law firm and large regional law firm prior to joining Ajamie LLP.
- The University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 2012
- Order of the Coif
- Order of the Barons
- Editor of the Houston Journal of International Law
- Mock Trial Team
- Texas A&M University, BBA, 2009
- President/CEO of the Memorial Student Center
- Chair of Memorial Student Center Board of Directors
- Co-Founder of Texas A&M Foundation Maroon Coats
- Chair of MSC Town Hall
- Old Army Gentlemen’s Society (Ol’ Ags)
- Texas, 2012
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Represented multinational energy company in international arbitration involving competing claims for delays to the completion of two LNG plant conversion projects. Member of legal team that obtained multimillion arbitration award in client’s favor. Served as lead counsel to confirm disputed arbitration award in adversary bankruptcy proceedings.
- Defended LNG export company against allegations that it usurped an LNG project business opportunity allegedly valued at $200-$300 million from a different company indebted to the opposing party. Following grant of partial summary judgment in client’s favor on eve of jury selection, successfully obtained dismissal of all claims against client without client making any payment.
- Represented oil production company in lawsuit concerning terms of a crude oil purchase agreement executed with one of the world’s largest crude traders. Opposing party asserted claims for breach of contract, mutual mistake, unilateral mistake, and fraud, while client asserted counterclaim for breach of the agreement. Obtained $42.5 million settlement in client’s favor.
- Defended oil production company in lawsuit from royalty interest owners regarding alleged failure to reasonably develop oil and gas minerals. Negotiated settlement for nuisance value following the filing of summary judgment against plaintiffs’ claims.
- Represented fuel retailer in arbitration brought by former parent company for defense and indemnity against third-party claims pursuant to the parties’ spinoff agreement. The third-party claims involved multiple actions brought by state attorneys general for remediation of underground storage tanks. Negotiated favorable settlement for client.
- Retained by real estate developer three days before trial to take over defense against claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Obtained declaration of mistrial during course of the jury trial.
- Defended seismic company against claims for breach of contract and trespass. Successfully moved to reopen previously closed bankruptcy proceeding, removed ongoing claims to bankruptcy court, and secured dismissal of all claims in contested adversary proceeding.
- Represented commercial real estate operator in lawsuit against commercial tenant concerning violations of its lease. Obtained judgment in client’s favor following trial.
- Represented shareholder and director asserting and defending against claims for breach of fiduciary duties against other shareholders and directors. Obtained contested injunction from arbitration panel against opposing party’s involvement in company operations.
- Defended national financial services company against claims of fraud, fraudulent inducement, tortious interference, slander, and breach of contract in connection with secured financing transactions. Successfully obtained order of dismissal on all claims.
- Retained to defend individual in ongoing adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court against claims for recovery on a secured note. Obtained reversal of prior sanctions order against client. Also secured order of dismissal of claims on first day of trial.
- Represented partner prosecuting claims against other business partner for breach of fiduciary duty concerning freeze out from the business. Obtained a favorable settlement for client during settlement conference with magistrate judge. Following the settlement, obtained orders for enforcement of the settlement agreement as a result of opposing party’s non-compliance.
- Defended individual at trial regarding a claim for recovery of attorney’s fees under a contract. Obtained take nothing judgment notwithstanding the verdict following conclusion of the jury trial.
- Retained by individual and his company for post-judgment and appellate proceedings, including motion for new trial, net worth contest and discovery (and related mandamus), defense against attachment and collection efforts, and appeal.
- In pro bono partnership with NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., represented students challenging the constitutionality of their school’s discriminatory dress and grooming code. Following weeklong hearing, obtained injunction against school’s enforcement of the policy on grounds of race and sex discrimination, as well as violation of the students’ free speech rights.
- In pro bono partnership with NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., represented community activist organizations challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s newly enacted “anti-protest” criminal law. Obtained injunction against the State of Florida’s enforcement of the new criminal statute.
- David Ammons and Nick Petree, Lessor Development Expectations During Downturn, TEXAS LAWYER, April 6, 2015
- Nick Petree, Born in the USA: An All-American View of Birthright Citizenship and International Human Rights, 34 HOUS. J. INT’L L. 147 (2011)