Kate Wade represents chemicals and chemical products manufacturers and distributors, construction products manufacturers, oilfield products manufacturers and services providers, and terminal and pipeline operators in a range of litigation. 

She represents clients in state and federal courts in Texas and around the country and has extensive experience in both trials and arbitrations. Kate handles commercial cases, cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, and accident and OSHA investigations.

Kate chairs the firm’s Women’s Initiative program and is a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Honors & Recognitions

Texas Rising Stars, Business Litigation, 2015-2016

Credentials

Education

J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 2004

B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1998

Admissions

Texas

United States District Court Southern District of Texas

Experience

Business and Construction Disputes

  • Jury trial for chemicals manufacturer in litigation over buyer’s refusal to take delivery and pay for 60,000,000 pounds of ethylene after market price tumbled by more than half. The jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict against the buyer.
  • Arbitration for joint venture partner against its Fortune 50 company partner in breach of fiduciary duty case over development of oilfield equipment maintenance tracking technology business opportunity. The arbitrator returned a favorable confidential award.
  • Jury trial for chemical products distributor in breach of fiduciary duty and fraud suit against former employee who negotiated his employer’s exclusive supply contract at the same time he was surreptitiously negotiating a competing contract with the supplier for himself. The jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict against the former employee.
  • Jury trial for construction materials supplier in breach of contract case for unpaid transportation fees. The jury returned a defense verdict and the plaintiff recovered nothing.
  • Industrial auctioneer headquartered in Canada in case brought in a Texas court. The court granted the auctioneer’s motion to enforce its contractual forum selection clause, forcing the plaintiff to dismiss its claims.
  • Chemical manufacturing facility in construction dispute with a contractor arising out of project delays. The case settled after significant litigation for an amount less than what the contractor had initially been offered and rejected.
  • Oilfield equipment manufacturer in case against former employee for theft of proprietary drawings. The court granted the client permanent injunctive relief.

Products and Warranty Claims / Personal Injury Defense

Oilfield-Related Accidents

  • Oilfield products manufacturer premises owner against wrongful death claim arising out of railroad crossing accident. The court granted summary judgment, dismissing the all of the claims.
  • Summary judgment for oilfield manufacturer and distributor defendants in personal injury case pending in plaintiff-friendly venue. The plaintiff’s demand was eight figures and he recovered nothing from either company.
  • Summary judgment for oilfield services contractor based on workers’ compensation exclusive remedy provision and borrowed servant doctrine. The defendant saved substantial litigation expense and the plaintiff recovered nothing.
  • Oilfield equipment manufacturer and distributor in personal injury case with traumatic brain injury claim arising out of a well site accident. The plaintiffs dismissed their claims after the court granted clients’ motion to stay the lawsuit until the plaintiffs’ arbitration against another party concerning the same accident was complete, effectively ending the case. The plaintiff recovered nothing.
  • Top drive manufacturer in wrongful death case. The plaintiffs dismissed their claims the night before the hearing on the defendant’s summary judgment motions and motions to strike their experts. The case dragged on for four more years, but as a result of its early exit the client saved all of that litigation expense.
  • Remote operated pipe racking system manufacturer for semisubmersible offshore drilling vessel in personal injury case involving serious injuries. The case was settled favorably for less than the cost of defense.
  • Defended manufacturer of iron roughneck in wrongful death case. After an effective Daubert challenge, the plaintiffs drastically reduced their demand and the case was settled favorably.

Premises Liability

  • Summary judgment for Wisconsin construction products manufacturer and premises owner in trucking case involving catastrophic personal injuries. The plaintiff recovered nothing and the client avoided an eight figure damages claim.
  • Early summary judgment for chemicals manufacturer based on Louisiana workers’ compensation statute and contractual statutory employer and choice of law arguments. The defendant saved substantial litigation expense and the plaintiff recovered nothing.
  • Chemicals manufacturer in burn injury case. The case was settled before significant litigation of the claims and for significantly less than the cost of defense.

Product Defect Claims

  • Dismissal of claims brought in West Virginia against pipe manufacturer and reimbursement of $50,000 in attorneys’ fees sanction against party which sued the manufacturer.
  • Drilling rig manufacturer involving property damage claim for total loss of a mobile drilling rig on the North Slope. The case was favorably settled.
  • Drilling rig manufacturer involving property damage claim for total loss of rig. The case favorably settled for less than the anticipated cost of defense.

Newsroom

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • “Legal Topics,” Westlake Chemical Projects and Engineering Managers Annual Meeting
    Speaking Engagement, 12.2018
  • Terralex Global Meeting , Managing Partners Roundtable, panelist on law firm diversity
    Speaking Engagement, 10.2018
  • "Legal Issues in Communication: The Accessibility, Impact, and Permanence of Electronic Communications," National Oilwell Varco 2014 HSE Leadership Conference
    Speaking Engagement, 10.06.2014

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas, Member

Houston Bar Association, Member

Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Volunteer

Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

Porter Hedges Women’s Initiative Chair, 2017 to present

Porter Hedges Diversity Committee Member, 2018 to present

Women’s Leadership Initiative, Harvard Law School Executive Education, 2019