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About Bob

For more than 29 years, Bob Nichols has represented employers in litigation, administrative investigations, and other actions related to employment including the defense of claims of alleged discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, and occupational safety and health violations.

Bob frequently represents employers in matters pending with government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), state Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) agencies, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and a variety of other federal and state agencies.

Additionally, Bob also advises companies on union matters and other employment issues associated with mergers and acquisitions. He also provides day-to-day legal advice to employers concerning executive compensation, employment-related documents, occupational safety and health, and all aspects of the employment relationship.

Experience

Recent Notable Matters

Great Plains Energy Incorporated — revised stock-for-stock merger of equals transaction with Westar Energy, Inc., creating a company with a combined equity value of approximately $14 billion, and with nearly 13,000 MW of generation capacity and more than 51,000 miles of distribution lines; advised on employment aspects

Drilling Tools International, Inc. — a portfolio company of Hicks Equity Partners LLC, in its acquisition of the drill pipeline rental division of Premium Oilfield Services LLC; advised on employment aspects

Basalt Infrastructure Partners II LP — acquisition of Detroit Renewable Energy LLC, an integrated renewable energy system comprised of Detroit Thermal, Detroit Renewable Power and Hamtramck Energy Services; advised on employment aspects

Parsley Energy, Inc. — $2.8 billion acquisition of certain entities holding undeveloped acreage and producing oil and gas properties in the core of the Midland Basin from Double Eagle Energy Permian LLC and certain of its affiliates consisting of approximately $1.4 billion in cash and approximately 39.8 million units of Parsley Energy; advised on employment aspects

Three Rivers Natural Resource Holdings III LLC — equity commitments from Riverstone Holdings LLC; advised on employment aspects

Vopak North America Inc. — binding agreement to sell three terminals and undeveloped land to a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc. for $158 million; advised on employment aspects

Rockland Capital, LLC — and its wholly owned affiliate, Main Line Generation, LLC, in the acquisition of three natural gas-fired generation facilities from a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation; advised on employment aspects

Lufkin Industries Inc. — approximately $3.3 billion acquisition by General Electric Co.; advised on employment aspects

Publications and Speeches

"State Legislatures, Local Governments and Courts Attack Employer Use of Salary History," Texas Lawyer, April 23, 2018.

"Criminal Prosecutions over No-Poaching Arrangements Are Coming," Society for Human Resource Management, April 5, 2018.

"End of an era? Growing list of laws is ending the use of comp history in hiring," Westlaw, January 2018.

"The case for uniform ban-the-box laws," Strategic HR Review, December 2017.

"New Laws Complicate Employee Marijuana Use Rules," Today's General Counsel, August 2017.

"A Growing Number of State and Local Governments Ban Salary History Inquiries to Prospective Employees," Bloomberg Law, August 2017.

"OSHA Sharpens Focus on Businesses’ Obligations to Contingent Workers," Society for Human Resource Management, December 2015. 

"Review of case laws provides insight into jurisdiction of federal agencies," Offshore, November 2015.

"OSHA vs. PHMSA: The Tangled Web of Jurisdiction Over Midstream Operations," North American Oil & Gas Pipelines, July 2015.

"Producers can use CVS case as guidance when engaging in workforce reductions," Oil & Gas Journal, February 2015.

“Effects Bargaining: Understanding the Impact on the Sale of Businesses,” Inside Counsel, October 27, 2014.

"Drafting Effective Separation Agreements to Withstand EEOC Scrutiny," State Bar of Texas Corporate Counsel Section, Fall 2014.

“Attorney-Client Privilege in OSHA Compliance Self-Audits,” Corporate Counsel, August 2014.

"National Labor Relations Board Increases its Focus on Issues Impacting Nonunionized Employers," State Bar of Texas Corporate Counsel, July 2013.

"EEOC V. US Steel Gives New Hope To Employers," Law360, March 2013.

Credentials

Education

Baylor University School of Law,
J.D.
1987
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Bachelor of Arts
1984
with distinction

Bar Admissions

Texas

Certifications

Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 1993

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas

News

News

Criminal Prosecutions Over No-Poaching Arrangements Are Coming

April 5, 2018
Society for Human Resource Management

The Case for Uniform Ban-the-Box Laws

December 6, 2017
Strategic HR Review

New Laws Complicate Employee Marijuana Use Rules

August 29, 2017
Today's General Counsel

REGULATORY PERSPECTIVES

November 5, 2015
Offshore (UK) - Online

OSHA vs. PHMSA: Tangled Web of Jurisdiction

July 20, 2015
North American Pipelines - Online

Munger Tolles Helps Buffett End 2013 With One More Deal

December 31, 2013
American Lawyer - Online

National Labor Relations Board Increases its Focus on Issues Impacting Nonunionized Employers

July 1, 2013
State Bar of Texas Corporate Counsel Section Newsletter

GE gets green light for Lufkin deal worth $3.3B

May 7, 2013
Houston Business Journal - Online

Deal of the Week: Lots of Energy

May 3, 2013
Texas Lawyer - Houston Bureau

Texas Super Lawyers 2012 Recognizes Thirty-One Bracewell Attorneys

September 10, 2012
Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters

Insights

Insights

OSHA's Permian Expansion Signals Increased Scrutiny of Safety in the Oil Patch

June 19, 2014

During a 2013 visit to Texas, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor and Administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA"), spoke at multiple stakeholder events of OSHA's growing concerns with respect to worker safety in the Texas oil patch. Dr. Michaels left no doubt during his Texas visit that he and his agency would devote greater resources to regulating the industry. Last week, as part of that enhanced enforcement focus, OSHA announced that it is elevating its Lubbock location from a district office under the El Paso area office to a full area office...

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

The Legal 500 United States
Labor-Management Relations, 2018
BTI Consulting Group
BTI Client Service All-Stars
2018
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers
2004, 2008 - 2012
Thomson Reuters
Super Lawyers
Corporate Counsel Edition, 2009
Baylor Law School
Baylor Law Review
Lead Articles Editor, 1986 - 1987

Events