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John D. Sullivan

Biography

John Sullivan has over 35 years of litigation experience, and has tried many types of cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. He focuses on civil trials and arbitration of cases dealing with complex energy issues, commercial disputes, wrongful death and catastrophic injury, environmental contamination, and insurance claims and coverage disputes.  He was in-house litigation  counsel for two major energy companies, Texaco Inc. and Shell Oil Company, from 1989 to 2016. As in-house litigation counsel, Mr. Sullivan was involved in a wide range of litigation matters and disputes covering all aspects of the energy business including onshore and offshore exploration and production, pipelines and terminals, refineries and chemical plants, service station and retail operations, lubricants, shipping, and trading.  Mr. Sullivan has also been the recipient of multiple special recognition awards for outstanding legal practice and achievement.

 Representative Experience:  

  • Steered the negotiation of a nolo contendere plea in a criminal case brought against client by the United States Department of Justice, which was the first nolo contendere plea ever agreed to by the DOJ in this type of criminal case; resulted in the client maintaining several hundred million dollars in insurance coverage for liability claims. 
  • Represented owner of Gas to Liquids (GTL) plant in Quatar in $18 billion cost overrun dispute with construction contractor.
  • Represented owner of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Quatar in $3 billion cost overrun dispute with construction contractor.
  • Represented operators of offshore production platforms in Gulf of Mexico to recover costs of repair, debris removal, and business interruption losses caused by hurricanes.
  • Represented developer of wind energy facility in West Virginia in action brought by adjoining landowners to enjoin construction and operation of facility.
  • Represented owner of a refinery in Washington state on multiple wrongful death and bodily injury claims arising from process unit fire and explosion.
  • Represented operator of refined pipeline products in Washington state, concerning pipeline rupture, explosion, and fire with multiple fatalities. Significant property damage, and business interruption claims.
  • Represented owner of a refinery in Delaware on wrongful death and bodily injury claims arising from rupture and explosion of an above ground storage tank.
  • Represented driver and owner of a tanker truck on multiple wrongful death and catastrophic bodily injury claims arising from a collision between 15 passenger van and a tanker truck in Delaware.
  • Represented nation’s largest quick lube operator and franchisor in several cases involving wrongful death and catastrophic injury claims.
  • Recovered $20 million from construction contractor in a cost overrun dispute concerning the expansion of the chemical plant in Louisiana.
  • Recovered $100 million in environmental remediation and response costs from insurance carrier by prevailing in International arbitration in London.
  • Obtained complete reversal from Supreme Court of South Carolina of a $50 million judgment on dram shop claim involving two fatalities and several serious injuries.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of 21 wrongful death claims arising from explosion and sinking of the chemical tanker Bow Mariner off the coast of Virginia.
  • Represented major oil and gas company in lease cancellation, trespass, and accounting action.
  • Defended a refined products pipeline rupture claim for a Houston based service company.
  • Handled a defense and indemnification claim against multiple insurance carriers for a Houston based service company.
  • Expert witness on settlement issues for an international staffing company involved in insurance coverage litigation.
  • Investigated and prepared a $5 billion claim against construction contractor, and a $300 million insurance claim related to the expansion of Gulf Coast refinery in Texas.
  • Prevailed in a precedent-setting oil and gas case before New Mexico Court of Appeals in which a multi-million dollar judgment reversed on a claim of sub- surface trespass and damage to natural gas reserves.
Alternative Dispute
Resolution Experience:
  • Handled multi-million-dollar arbitration against two property insurers concerning fire damage to catalyst used in refinery operations. 
  • Represented a petroleum refinery in Washington state in London arbitration against the excess insurer on claims arising from a process unit fire with multiple fatalities.
  • Represented an captive insurance carrier in a London arbitration against reinsurer on claims arising from refined products pipeline rupture, explosion, and fire with multiple fatalities, significant property damage, and several hundred million business interruption losses.
  • Represented a major energy company in London arbitration against insurance carrier on claims arising from alleged contamination of municipal water supply of a city in California.
  • Represented a major energy company in London arbitration commenced by an excess insurer seeking a declaration on coverage for products liability claims related to MTBE gasoline additive.
  • Represented minority interest owner in multi-billion arbitration in Qatar concerning the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas facility.
  • Represented a petroleum refinery in Louisiana in arbitration against a demolition contractor on claims arising from a process unit fire and explosion.
  • Represented a petroleum refinery in Texas in arbitration against property insurers on claims arising from the failure of a processing unit.
  • Represented a petroleum refinery in Texas in arbitration against EPC contractor on claims involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented a petroleum refinery in Texas in arbitration against EPC contractor on claims involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
 

Memberships

  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Certified Arbitrator
  • American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (Certified Arbitrator)
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Colorado
  • Oklahoma Bar Association

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado

Education

  • University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
    • J.D. – 1984
  • University of Oklahoma
    • B.B.A., Finance – 1981