Tom Bayko represents clients in a wide range of commercial disputes, including successfully prosecuting and defending claims involving derivatives, futures, financial instruments, off balance sheet, and commodities trading; expropriations; offshore and onshore blowouts and explosions; tortious interference with contractual and prospective contractual relationships; production sharing agreements; joint operating agreements; royalty, pipeline, and other transportation agreements; theft of trade secrets; all forms of fraud; and construction claims.
His extensive international experience includes trials or arbitrations under the applicable laws of Afghanistan, Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, the United States, Venezuela, and Yemen. Many of Tom’s trials have been the subject of extensive media coverage.
Honors & Recognitions
Leading lawyer: Litigation: Energy and Natural Resources, Chambers USA, (2004-2018)
Leading lawyer: Litigation: General Commercial, Chambers USA, 2009-2018
Leading lawyer: U.S. Trial Lawyer, Chambers Global, 2011-2013 (recognized as one of the 58 best active trial lawyers in the United States)
Listed, Energy Litigation, The Legal 500 United States, 2008-2013
Listed, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition: Business Litigation, 2008-2018 (selected as one of the top business litigators in the United States)
Listed, Texas Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2004-2018
Listed, PLC Which Lawyer?, Construction Litigation and Arbitration, 2009-2012
Who's Who in America
Who's Who in American Law
Chambers Global: “Tom Bayko has a successful energy and commercial litigation practice and is commended by sources as ‘an excellent lawyer with an uncanny ability to build credibility and understanding with the judge and jury.’ He is noted for handling ‘monstrous international matters’ and currently represents the government of Antigua and Barbuda in work arising from the Stanford fallout. Tom Bayko is a Houston-based trial and arbitration expert [and] … is renowned as a leading authority in energy sector-related cases, and for his in-depth experience of cross-border and international litigation.”
Chambers US A-- America's Leading Business Lawyers wrote that “Bayko is praised as a 'real gentleman, with the brains and organizational skills to tackle any case’” and described as a “‘Senior litigator [who] impresses clients with his 'good analysis, knowledge of the law and superior advocacy skills.' Peers praise his ‘warrior-like approach to disputes and his skills as a trial lawyer.’ Tom Bayko has a formidable reputation in trials and arbitrations. Clients value his ‘excellent leadership skills.' Clients appreciate his responsive service and noted his 'vast credibility in court with both judges and juries.' Clients spoke highly of senior litigation partner Tom Bayko who is 'calm and compelling in his argument.' He excels in international litigation and arbitration matters in a range of energy-related matters including construction claims, tortious interference and trade secrets theft."
The Legal 500: Tom "is described by clients as an 'astute negotiator' and 'fantastic'" and that Tom "makes use of what clients describe as his 'captivating oratory skills' and 'supreme credibility in international courts.'" PLC: Which Lawyer? describes Tom as "an excellent commercial litigator, recognized for his international experience in energy and construction-related matters."
J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, with honors
Order of the Coif
B.A., Kent State University
District of Columbia
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, Federal, Second, Third, Fifth, and Seventh Circuits
United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
United States District Courts for the Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
United States District Court for the District of Columbia United States District Court for the District of Delaware
United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana
United States District Courts for the Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- Represented Apache Corporation and its subsidiaries in prosecuting breach of contract claims against Pioneer National Resources and its subsidiaries regarding the sale of Pioneer’s Argentine oil and gas assets to Apache.
- Represented the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in defending four class actions over that Government’s alleged involvement in the R. Allen Stanford $7.2 Billion Ponzi scheme. Three of the class actions have been dismissed (one by the Fifth Circuit and two by the federal district court), and the fourth is still pending in federal district court.
- Represented Apache Corporation, Chevron Corporation and International Paper in defending allegations that they improperly drained a hydrocarbon reservoir in the Gulf of Mexico. After securing a complete dismissal by the federal district court, the clients settled for less than 1% of the claimed damages after the Fifth Circuit remanded a small part of the case for trial.
- Represented Apache Corporation in defending a class action brought by 30,000 royalty owners in Texas and New Mexico. the court denied the class action, and the case settled for a few pennies on the dollar.
- Represented Apache Corporation and its Australian subsidiaries in defending two consolidated lawsuits regarding gas supply issues in Western Australia; obtained dismissals on the ground of forum non conveniens, and the lawsuits settled favorably for the clients after the lawsuits were transferred to Australia.
- Assisted the Department of Justice and the US Attorney’s Office in the successful criminal prosecution of R. Allen Stanford and his co-conspirators regarding Stanford’s $8 Billion Ponzi scheme. Stanford was sentenced to 110
years in prison and his conspirators were sentenced to 20 years.
- Represented Dyna-Drill Technologies in defending allegations that it and its chief metallurgist stole trade secrets from its largest competitor in the energy industry; the jury returned a complete defense verdict.
- Represented an individual in an investment fraud jury trial, achieving a complete defense verdict.
- Represented Delta Oil Company of Saudi Arabia and Unocal in defending a $15 billion lawsuit involving the rights to construct the "Peace Pipeline" from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan. The court returned a complete defense verdict.
- Represented Chinatrust Commercial Bank, one of Taiwan's largest commercial banks, in defending a $2.43 billion lawsuit involving alleged tortious interference with another company's contract to purchase the controlling interest in the Shenzhen Development Bank of China. This was the first time the Chinese government permitted a foreign company to purchase a controlling interest in a Mainland Chinese bank. The client paid $0 in damages.
- Represented a National Oilwell Varco subsidiary as defense counsel in the second longest trial in the history of Scotland, in which $500 million in damages resulted from an offshore blowout and subsequent drilling rig explosion; obtained a complete defense verdict for the client (and settled the related lawsuits in the United States for 1/10th of 1 percent of the actual damages).
- Represented Chevron in a pipeline rate dispute against another major international integrated energy company; obtained a multi-million-dollar award.
- Represented Apache Corporation in prosecuting a declaratory judgment action regarding the right of Apache under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(7) to exclude a shareholder's proposal from Apache's proxy materials.
- Represented Union Pacific, the nation's largest railroad, in a trademark infringement, defamation, and fraud lawsuit against several major companies in the entertainment industry; obtained an injunction prohibiting them from distributing and broadcasting a music video that portrayed the railroad in a defamatory light.
- Represented Eni S.p.A., a major international integrated energy company, in defense against another major international oil company in a lawsuit over the sale of oil and gas producing properties; obtained a 100 cents-on-the-dollar settlement for the client for less than $25,000 in legal fees.
- Represented a Halliburton subsidiary and a subsidiary of National Oilwell Varco in defending a suit for $300 million under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act regarding the sale of equipment for use in three offshore drilling rigs; obtained a complete defense verdict.
- Represented Halliburton as defense counsel in a $46.4 million international arbitration. The client paid $0 in damages and recovered its attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and costs.
- Represented KBR, a major international engineering and construction firm, in prosecuting a construction claim against a Nigerian subsidiary of a major international integrated energy company, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement for the client.
- Represented Occidental Petroleum in prosecuting claims in international arbitration; obtained an award for the client declaring the adverse party to be in default of a joint operating agreement and related agreements.
- Represented a Halliburton subsidiary in a $53 million international arbitration, prosecuting construction claims involving an offshore production platform; obtained a 90 cents-on-the-dollar settlement for the client.
- Represented a Halliburton subsidiary in defending a $265 million antitrust lawsuit; the client paid only $10,000 in settlement.
- Represented Sinopec, a Chinese energy and chemical company, in a $50 million suit alleging breach of an exclusive dealing arrangement; the client paid less than 1/10th of 1 percent of the alleged damages to settle.
- Represented the London market, led by Youell & Companies, in defending a $65 million bad faith lawsuit involving indemnities, anti-indemnity statutes, contractual liability insurance, alleged additional assured status, broad as primary riders, and notice requirements.
- Represented a consortium of 17 foreign banks in defending a $200 million lender liability suit; the banks paid $0 in damages.
- Represented Saudi Aramco, the owner of a gas compression station that exploded at startup, in both defending claims and prosecuting breach of warranty, negligent design and manufacture, and products liability claims, resulting in full recovery for the client.
- Represented NL Industries, a chemical company, in obtaining a $2 million-plus settlement in a fraud suit involving the nuclear waste industry.
- Represented NL Industries in obtaining a $32 million judgment in a real estate suit.
- Represented Moody Tottrup International, a pipe inspection company, in defending claims in a pipeline explosion case in which the client paid $0 in damages, and the other defendants paid $27 million.
- Represented Prudential Insurance Company in defending a fraudulent transfer-leveraged buyout, lender liability suit in which the insurance company paid $0 in damages, and the other defendants were hit with a $63 million jury verdict.
- Represented NL Industries in defending a $62.5 million contractual indemnity suit. The client paid $0 in damages (This suit was the subject of an article in Texas Lawyer entitled "The Best of the Big Suits in 1991.")
- Represented TH. Goldschmidt AG, a German chemical company, in obtaining a writ of mandamus in a case of first impression under The Hague Evidence Convention.
- Represented Olin Corporation, a chemical company, in overturning a summary judgment on appeal in a case of first impression under the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act (Texas' version of CERCLA).
- Represented Neal Adams International, an international oil field fire fighter, in trial defense related to extinguishing fires in Kuwait in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The jury returned a complete defense verdict.
- Represented Georgia-Pacific, a Fortune 25 forest products company, in a trial defending defamation and age discrimination claims. The jury returned a complete defense verdict.
- Represented a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company in prosecuting a claim for breach of a gas transportation agreement that was tied to a long-term take-or-pay gas purchase agreement; obtained a multi-million-dollar settlement for the client.
- Represented a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank in arguing several cases before appellate courts, including the Penn Central Bankruptcy before the Third Circuit.
In addition to his trials involving oil and gas and sophisticated financial products, Tom has successfully prosecuted and defended more than 700 lawsuits involving breach of contract; the Deceptive Trade Practice Act; fraud and securities fraud; antitrust; insurance coverage; defamation; trade disparagement; personal injury and wrongful death; UCC articles 2, 3, 4, and 9; corporate takeover; shareholder derivative; trademark, copyright, and patent infringement; and covenant not to compete and employment-related matters.
- The Legal 500 Ranks Porter Hedges Among the Leading Firms in the Country for Oil & Gas and ConstructionFirm News, 06.06.2019
- Firm News, 09.07.2018
- Firm News, 05.04.2018
- Firm News, 09.05.2017
- Firm News, 05.26.2017
- Firm News, 10.11.2016
- Media Mention, 11.22.2016
- Media Mention, 10.24.2016
- Media Mention, 10.11.2016
American Bar Association, Member
State Bar of Texas, Member
Houston Bar Association, Member