Sean Gorman focuses on high-risk and high-value U.S. and international business disputes.
Sean's strategic thinking, outstanding courtroom advocacy, and grit receive consistent and extraordinary recognition. In 2019, Chambers USA reported that clients describe Sean as "a brilliant litigator and masterful strategist,” and that he is "very effective and personable in court." In 2018, Chambers USA reported that clients consider Sean "a very compelling strategic thinker" as well as "very responsive, knowledgeable, practical and insightful," further commenting that "his courtroom presence is polished and he also projects a genuineness and humility that allow him to connect effectively with people." In 2017, Chambers USA noted client commentary that Sean "is efficient and practical, I have absolute confidence in his advice." In 2016, Chambers USA described Sean as "a very effective advocate and a brilliant strategist," while the 2015 edition noted that he is a "respected commercial litigator with particular expertise in disputes affecting clients in the energy and financial services industries," and reported that Sean is "recommended by clients for his 'immediate laser focus on the issue and his ability to quickly and confidently formulate a strategy.'" In 2014, Chambers USA highlighted another client's outstanding experience: "[Sean] achieved results in trial beyond my highest expectations—I was really impressed with his toughness as a trial lawyer. He's also a skilled strategist in litigation—you don't always get that combination together." And in 2013, Chambers USA noted one client's particular praise: "Sean has been like a miracle worker."
Sean handles complex business litigation and arbitration matters, including contract, fraud, oil & gas, antitrust, force majeure, trade secrets, business disparagement, and real estate matters, for both plaintiffs and defendants. He has represented clients based in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East in the energy, chemical, petrochemical, steel, communications, oil field services, medical products, software, accounting, financial services, construction, real estate, and manufacturing sectors.
Recent Notable Matters
Eni S.p.A. — Defeated entirely a $6.4 billion claim for the value of an oil and gas concession off the coast of West Africa by establishing that Eni’s U.S. subsidiary’s contacts with Texas, and Eni’s own contacts with Texas, were insufficient to support the court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction.
Mueller Chen & Co. — Obtained complete dismissal of a $46.5 million claim for fraud and breach of contract asserted against an energy investment bank in connection with the purchase by a private Chinese energy company of energy assets in South Asia worth around $1 billion.
InterChem USA Inc. — Recovered damages, greater than the client’s expected transaction profit, against a petrochemical producer seeking to use a claim of force majeure as an excuse for its non-performance of a petrochemical supply contract.
Aquila, Inc. — Resolved, for a nominal amount following an early and decisive jurisdictional victory, the significant class action and related litigation seeking more than $2 billion brought against a major utility and its gas trading subsidiary alleging manipulation of the California natural gas market.
NextiraOne — Prevailed in the trial court, and through the appellate process ending in the Texas Supreme Court, in a case for a market-leading provider of telecommunications hardware and services against the company it retained to provide outsourced marketing.
Publications and Speeches
“US Gulf Coast Midstream Infrastructure and Export Capacity Update,” Platts 8th Annual NGLs Conference, September 11, 2018.
“Ethical Hazards That Confront In-House Counsel,” UT Corporate Counsel Institute with Lennox International Deputy General Counsel, May 18, 2018.
“Ethical Hazards That Confront Corporate Counsel,” Association of Corporate Counsel with Huntsman Corporation General Counsel, The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2018.
“Ethical Hazards That Confront Corporate Counsel,” Association of Corporate Counsel with BMC Corporation Senior Litigation Counsel, Houston, April 11, 2018.
“Ethics In 21st-Century Litigation,” Consero – Corporate Litigation Executive Roundtable, Houston, March 22, 2018.
“What Keeps Boards Up At Night,” UT Corporate Counsel Institute, May 11, 2017.
“What Keeps Boards Up At Night,” Corporate Compliance Insights, November 28, 2016.
“What Keeps Your Board Up at Night: 2016 Edition,” Association of Corporate Counsel Houston Chapter Meeting with Dynegy, Inc. General Counsel and Rowan, Inc. Deputy General Counsel, July 12, 2016.
"Trust Me, I Have Records," Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, January 12, 2016.
"Combating Fraud at Home and Abroad," Oil & Gas Monitor, December 23, 2015.