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About Stephen

Stephen Crain, chair of the firm's litigation section and a member of the firm's management committee, focuses predominantly on matters arising in the energy industry including representing developers and producers, commodity traders, and suppliers to the energy industry; disputes involving alleged violations of securities laws including representing public companies, officers and directors, and special committees; and large-scale construction disputes. In the past ten years, Stephen has tried or arbitrated more than 20 cases to verdict or final award. He has first chair jury and non-jury trial experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal district courts. He has also represented numerous clients in obtaining injunctive relief from state and federal courts. Stephen has arbitrated U.S. and international matters to awards under various arbitration regimes including the American Arbitration Association (AAA), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL); and he has served as an arbitrator in US-based and international arbitrations.

Stephen is recommended in The Legal 500 United States in Energy Litigation (2012-2019) and is ranked in Chambers USA in General Commercial Litigation in Texas (2012-2019). Chambers USA noted in 2012 his “strong market endorsement” and quotes sources that say Stephen “is very bright and knowledgeable” and that “he’s diligent, he’s on top of things, he’s pragmatic; he takes complex situations and boils them down to their fundamentals and provides practical advice on how to move forward.”

Observers note: 'One of the smartest,' 'His understanding of the law and how receptive judges will be to different arguments is uncanny,' and describe him as 'very cost-effective'
Chambers USA, 2017


Publications and Speeches

“In-House Counsel: Conflicts and Other Complexities,” Association of Corporate Counsel, The Woodlands, January 24, 2017 and Houston, January 10, 2017.

“4 Ways To Get Associates Trial Ready,” Law360, November 2, 2016.

“When Your Job Description Is Your Self-Incrimination: The RCO Doctrine and Strict Liability,” Corporate Counsel, October 31, 2016.

“Jail Time for Not Knowing: Strict Liability for Executives Under the Park Doctrine,” Corporate Compliance Insights, July 18, 2016.

“Two Companies Formed Partnership After All, Jury Finds,” Oil & Gas Investor, March 2014.

“‘Forgotten’ Clauses in Contracts - force majeure clauses, damages limitations and dispute resolution,” American Conference Institute's 2nd National Forum on Oil & Gas Litigation, Houston, TX, August 2, 2013.

“Conducting and Managing Corporate Investigations,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston Chapter CLE, August 2013.

“Bolstering Defense Strategies in Lease Termination Suits,” American Conference Institute's 2nd National Forum on Oil & Gas Litigation, Houston, TX, September 2013.

“The Forgotten Clauses: Drafting Litigation-Ready Contracts,” Association of Corporate Counsel Houston Chapter Meeting, December 2012.



The University of Texas School of Law,
Duke University,

Bar Admissions



State Bar of Texas
Litigation Section
Houston Bar Association
Litigation Section, Past-Chair
University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association
Executive Committee, 2012 - 2015



A Unified Team Equals Success

August 1, 2017
Texas Lawyer

Prominent White Collar Partners Join Bracewell's Dallas Office

October 13, 2016
Kinney Recruiting's Texas Chronicles

Texas Super Lawyers 2013 Recognizes Thirty-Nine Bracewell Attorneys

August 19, 2013
Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters



Dallas Court of Appeals Reverses Partnership Verdict: Preliminary Agreements Precluded Partnership

On Tuesday, July 18, 2017, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed a $535 million judgment against Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. (Enterprise), finding that unfulfilled conditions precedent in Enterprise’s written agreements with Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (ETP) precluded the formation of a partnership between the parties. The jury verdict had generated concerns in the business community that parties could unwittingly form a partnership and be subject to the attendant fiduciary duties. The court of appeals’ decision signals that the risk of an inadvertent partnership can be minimized...

Partnership Verdict In Dallas: You May Be Married and Not Know It

March 6, 2014

On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, a Dallas jury found that Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. ("Enterprise") had entered into a partnership with Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. ("ETP") to jointly develop a crude oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Texas Gulf Coast despite the lack of executed partnership agreements and the inclusion of express non-binding provisions in their preliminary agreements. In awarding damages of $319MM to ETP, the jury concluded that a partnership had in fact been created and that Enterprise breached its partnership duties to ETP when it subsequently entered into a...



Chambers USA
Texas Litigation: General Commercial, 2012 - 2019; Texas Litigation: Energy & Natural Resources, 2019
The Legal 500 United States
General Commercial Disputes, 2017 - 2019; Commercial Litigation, 2015 - 2016; Energy Litigation: Conventional Power, 2017 - 2019; Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas, 2017 - 2019; Energy: Litigation, 2012 - 2016; Securities Litigation: Defense, 2018
Euromoney PLC
Benchmark Litigation
Texas Local Litigation Star, 2010 - 2018
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers
2006 - 2018
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition
2008 - 2014
Woodward/White, Inc.
Best Lawyers
Commercial Litigation, 2018 - 2019
The Center for American and International Law
Institute for Energy Law
Advisory Board Member, 2018-2019
Internet Brands, Inc.
Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Rating
Houston Bar Foundation