Clay Steely's practice focuses on negotiating and litigating eminent domain, contract, and tort matters mainly in the energy, infrastructure, and commercial real estate industries. He has tried cases to a jury verdict and arbitrated cases to a final award for more than two decades.
Clay’s experience includes matters related to condemnation/eminent domain, trespass, easements, agency and partnership agreements, employment agreements (including non-compete and non-solicitation claims), trade secrets, fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of corporate duties and fiduciary duties.
He handles cases including personal injury work on both an hourly and contingent fee basis.
Honors & Recognitions
Texas Super Lawyers, Business Litigation
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Member
American Lawyer Media, Top Rated Lawyer in Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources
H Texas Magazine, "Houston Top Lawyer," Business Litigation
- Infrastructure Projects
- Project Development
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Antitrust Litigation & Counseling
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Energy Litigation
- Financial Institution Litigation
- International Arbitration
- Products Liability and Pharmaceuticals
- Professional Services and Malpractice
- Shareholder, Partnership and LLC Litigation
- White Collar & Corporate Internal Investigations
- Real Estate
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
- Midstream Oil and Gas
- Real Estate Litigation and Disputes
- Renewable & Alternative
- Trade Secret Litigation
- Upstream Oil and Gas
J.D., South Texas College of Law, 1994
B.A., Texas A&M University, 1991
United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court Colorado
United States Supreme Court
Condemnation/Eminent Domain Proceedings
- Trial and lead counsel on pipeline case argued to the Texas Supreme Court on pipeline company’s right to take under the Texas Constitution, under Texas Statutes, and a landowners right to testify about the market value of the taking including under the Property Owner Rule.
- Lead counsel on multiple pipeline cases in Brazoria, Wharton, Harris, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston, Denton, Kerns, and Dallas Counties, involving various products, and various claims including counterclaims of negligence and trespass.
- Lead counsel for multifamily developer in highway expansion case.
- Lead counsel for rail yard owner in highway development case.
- Lead counsel on proceedings with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on an electrical transmission project.
- Lead counsel in highway expansion cases for various parties in various counties in Texas.
- Lead counsel in negotiations of electrical transmission line and substation easements.
- Lead counsel to a Fortune 500 company in condemnation proceedings relating to the construction of a professional sports stadium in Arlington, Texas.
- Lead counsel for an industry-leading provider of track and transit system construction services in condemnation proceedings with a municipality.
- Lead counsel in an easement dispute over the alleged improper placement of a pipeline placed across the plaintiff's property and successful resolution of client's counter-claim of damages for pipeline repair.
- Trial counsel in condemnation proceedings involving pipeline easement and bad faith trespass issues.
- Lead counsel in AAA arbitration involving sports agency contract and claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and misrepresentation.
- Lead counsel in case involving claims of Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and conversion surrounding partnership interests in multi-family projects in Texas.
- Lead counsel in a libel case involving environmental consulting.
- Lead counsel in arbitration in construction disputes for a nationwide electrical subcontractor in cases against owners for breach of contract, delay and lien claims, and counterclaims of defective work.
- Lead counsel on a motion to dissolve an injunction and garnishment for investment entities.
- Lead counsel for defendants in federal kickback and fraud investigation and claims.
- Lead counsel for a natural gas storage and transportation company in a breach of contract and fraud claim surrounding the construction of a gas handling facility and associated meter/interconnect sites and pipelines.
- Lead counsel on breach of contract claims involving rail cars and equipment in the rail industry.
- Lead counsel on fraud and Texas Theft Act claims surrounding theft of oil field tankers.
- Lead counsel on breach of contract claims on service agreements for oilfield services and equipment.
- Lead counsel on negotiations of several pipeline construction and purchase contracts.
- Lead counsel on breach of contract claims and product defect claims related to gas handling and storage facility equipment.
- Trial counsel and jury verdict for a publicly traded real estate investment trust in declaratory judgment, breach of contract and promissory estoppel claim surrounding roof damage to a commercial warehouse facility and associated deductible.
- Trial counsel and jury verdict in a case involving breach of contract and negligence related to construction and demolition services.
- Lead counsel on a construction indemnity claim, including pipeline construction defect and property contamination issues.
- Lead counsel for a national hardware co-op in a breach of membership agreement claim against a member and multi-million-dollar counterclaims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, as well as claims under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Business Opportunities Act.
- Trial counsel and jury verdict for a leading manufacturer of corrugated material on breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligent misrepresentation claims, as well as counterclaims for breach of contract claims.
- Lead counsel on a contractual indemnity claim by a third party against an international transportation client for settlement of a personal injury claim.
- Trial counsel and jury verdict for an equipment manufacturer on a breach of contract claim with counterclaims of negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation.
- Co-counsel on matters in bankruptcy or with bankruptcy implications involving real property, notes, and liens.
- Lead counsel on several contract matters for an international product supplier of equipment to the shipping and oil and gas industries, as well as a False Claims Act investigation.
- Trial counsel and jury verdict for a franchisor in a dispute over unpaid royalties and breach of license agreement with counterclaims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, as well as claims under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Business Opportunities Act.
- Representation of various franchisors in commercial litigation involving allegations of breach of franchise contracts and alleged fraud associated with a franchisor/franchisee relationship.
- Lead arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for an international ground transportation company in a case involving contract and indemnity claims arising out of a purchase agreement for a taxi business in Denver, Colorado.
- Lead arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for a sculpted specialized concrete company in a construction contract dispute involving defect and delay claims.
Real Estate/Environmental/Mass Tort Matters
- Trial counsel and jury verdict for the owner of a shopping center on common area use and reimbursement agreements.
- Lead counsel in injunction, boundary dispute and claims on easements involved with sale of commercial property/buildings in Houston, Texas.
- Lead counsel for a large property owner on claims of adverse possession and easements by use.
- Lead counsel in injunction proceedings against the State of Texas involving access to property and oil and gas leases.
- Lead counsel in a review of natural gas storage facility and related contracts for potential purchase.
- Lead counsel on a pipeline easement dispute on trespass and conversion claims for lines running from Texas City to Chocolate Bayou.
- Lead counsel on a downhole oil and gas trespass and conversion suit.
- Lead counsel for a Fortune 500 company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
- CERCLA cost recovery case involving alleged disposal of oil field waste products.
- Lead counsel for a realty trust company for breach of contract, fraud, breach of warranty, and Solid Waste Disposal Act claims involving the sale of allegedly contaminated property (surface and groundwater issues).
- Lead counsel in a negligence, nuisance, and trespass case surrounding an alleged improper disposal in a landfill for a Fortune 500 company in Texas.
- Lead counsel on behalf of a major energy services company in two cases involving negligence, nuisance and trespass claims surrounding groundwater contamination in Harris County, Texas.
- Lead counsel for a realty company in a CERCLA case involving abandoned containers of unlabeled waste and lubricating oils.
- Lead counsel for a chemical company in claims of personal injury, nuisance, and trespass of multiple plaintiffs due to alleged improper air emissions in Jefferson County, Texas.
- Trial counsel and jury verdict for a Fortune 500 company in a breach of contract/lease case involving alleged contamination of multiple sites in Houston, Texas.
- Lead counsel and judgment in the client's favor dismissing more than 3,000 claims arising from multi-party litigation surrounding alleged airborne chemical releases.
- Lead counsel to various companies on asbestos claims, including boiler, heat exchanger, and premise defendants.
- Lead counsel including a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction proceedings in a non-compete, non-solicitation, and alleged theft of trade secrets dispute involving multi-level marketing.
- Lead counsel in a non-compete, non-solicitation and theft of trade secrets dispute involving the manufacturing of fracking material.
- Lead counsel in a non-compete, non-solicitation, theft of trade secrets and conversion/theft including temporary restraining order and temporary injunction proceedings case between partners in veterinarian medicine.
- Lead counsel in a partnership dispute involving severance and client ownership issues.
- Lead counsel on an employment dispute including a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction proceedings for an oil & gas field services provider on breach of contract, tortuous interference, non-compete, and non-solicitation claims.
- Lead counsel for an energy management company in a case involving breach of contract, misrepresentation, and fraud claims surrounding commissions allegedly due to a former employee in an employment agreement.
- Lead counsel to a professional Indy Racing League driver in an action against a team owner surrounding the driver's written employment contract.
- Lead arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for a major transportation company in a case involving contract claims and employment disputes regarding the termination of a former owner of a company sold to the client.
- Arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for a financial management and advisory company in an employment dispute involving alleged breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and defamation claims.
Medical and Health Care Matters
- Lead counsel on a partnership dispute involving freestanding medical facilities.
- Lead counsel on shareholder claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary claims against medical facility management and operators.
- Lead counsel for medial entities over equipment leases (IT), breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence claims.
- Lead counsel for a medical provider in claims with a hospital over prompt payment of services and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act and the Texas Insurance Code.
- Lead counsel for a large medical system (hospital and physicians group) based in Houston Texas over prompt payment of medical invoices from insurers.
- Lead counsel in civil and criminal proceedings involving pharmacists and the False Claims Act.
- Lead counsel in a partnership dispute involving allergists.
Personal Injury Litigation
- Lead counsel on a double operated/fractured hip case.
- Lead counsel in head on a truck collision case involving fusion of the client's foot and ankle.
- Lead counsel in a wrongful death and survival claim involving foundry equipment.
- Lead counsel for a transportation company in a dual fatality involving a motorcycle collision with a company vehicle.
- Counsel in various wrongful death cases including claims surrounding equipment maintenance and operation, work procedures, and various OSHA violations.
- Trial counsel defending several personal injury matters, including chemical exposure, product liability, negligence, gross negligence, Federal Employers Liability Act, and indemnity issues.
- Firm News, 07.20.2023
- Recognition, 06.07.2023
- The Houston Business Journal Once Again Names Porter Hedges Among the Largest Real Estate Firms in HoustonRecognition, 06.02.2023
- Firm News, 06.15.2022
- Firm News, 06.03.2022
- Firm News, 06.08.2021
- Recognition, 09.08.2020
- Recognition, 09.03.2019
- Firm News, 07.10.2019
- Recognition, 09.07.2018
- Recognition, 09.05.2017
- Recognition, 09.06.2016
- Recognition, 09.08.2015
- Recognition, 05.20.2015
- Media Mention, 07.25.2023
- Media Mention, 07.24.2023
- Media Mention, 06.06.2022
- Media Mention, 05.27.2022
- "Pipelines vs. landowners: Texas Supreme Court to settle fight over private property rights," Caller TimesMedia Mention, 03.20.2022
- Media Mention, 03.07.2022
- Media Mention, 02.23.2022
- "Chron: Brazoria County Landowner Wins Eminent Domain Fight Against Pipeline Giant," The Texas LawbookMedia Mention, 06.19.2020
- Media Mention, 06.19.2020
- Publication, 09.02.2020
- Publication, 05.13.2019
- Publication, 06.13.2017
- Construction Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Opinion Impacts General Contractor's Statutory Indemnity Rights Against Manufacturers of Construction Products"Publication, 06.28.2016
- Texas Supreme Court Update: "Arbitration Review Under the Texas Arbitration Act - Are Common Law Grounds for Review Dead?"Publication, 06.15.2016
- Publication, 11.16.2015
- Construction Client Alert: "Texas Legislature Passes Bill that Could Void Certain Contractual Indemnity Agreements in Pipeline Construction Contracts"Publication, 08.01.2011
- Texas Construction Law Blog, 06.25.2020
State Bar of Texas, Member
American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
Houston Bar Association, Member
Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Member
Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Member
Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, Member
National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Former Member
Houston Young Lawyers Association, Former Member