Sydney A. Scott


Sydney Scott represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide array of complex commercial litigation matters.   Ms. Scott also has experience representing individuals and corporate clients in white-collar criminal defense matters.  Sydney focuses on developing pragmatic, efficient, and cost-effective strategies to resolve even the most complex disputes.   

Sydney received her B.A. in English from Dartmouth College, where she won three Ivy League Championships with the Dartmouth women’s basketball team and served as a senior co-captain.  She also attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as an Articles Editor on the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the Vice President of the Black Law Students Association, and a research assistant for Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff.  Prior to starting law school, Sydney played two basketball seasons with BK Amager in Copenhagen Denmark.  

After graduating from law school, Sydney clerked for the Honorable James J. Brady on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, and the Honorable Carl E. Stewart on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, before joining the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins, LLP. Sydney joined SKV in 2017. 

Representative Matters

  • Obtained $3.3 million judgment for Eagle Ford oil-and-gas operator after a jury trial on a breach-of-contract claim against non-operating working interest owner under the parties’ joint operating agreement.  Performed second-chair responsibilities, including making the opening statement and conducting direct examination of witness on damages.
  • Representing operator and non-operating working interest owner in dispute against oil-and-gas transporters for damages arising from the transporters’ spilling of 450 barrels of oil on lessor’s property.  
  • Representing a family group of mineral interest owners in a multi-million dollar royalty dispute against an Eagle Ford oil-and-gas operator and its non-operating working interest owners.  Advising clients on issues involving operator’s Chapter 11 proceedings.  
  • Represented family-group of mineral interest owners in a multi-million dollar royalty dispute against oil-and-gas operator in the Permian Basin involving complex field operations, accounting procedures, and novel issues of Texas co-tenancy common law.  Negotiated favorable pre-trial settlement.
  • Represented private-equity-backed owner of a peaking power plant in a breach-of-contract dispute against its contractor, which also involved claims for delay and string-along fraud.
  • Represented owner against contractor in a breach-of-contract dispute involving construction of a food and entertainment development project.  Obtained favorable pre-arbitration settlement.  
  • Represented energy client-owner in construction defect dispute against contractor involving multi-project construction and renovation of catalyst processing plant.  Obtained early favorable pre-arbitration settlement despite contractor initially bringing suit against owner in state court. 
  • Successfully briefed and argued appeal to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a matter involving a large class-action settlement facility’s dispute with a foreign class of claimants.  
  • Represented client against former business partner in breach-of-contract dispute involving partner dividends.  Obtained favorable pre-suit settlement.  
  • Representing individual defendant in federal criminal proceeding in the Western District of Louisiana involving charges of wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Represented individual defendant and company in criminal and civil antitrust proceedings involving price-fixing claims.  Obtained favorable resolutions in both the criminal and civil proceedings.

State Bar of Texas
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

American Bar Association
Houston Bar Association
Houston Young Lawyers Association
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

One is Not Born, But Becomes a Woman: A Fourteenth Amendment Argument in Support of Having Male to Female Transgender Inmates in Female Facilities, 15 U. PA. J. Const. L. 1259 (2013)

Dartmouth College
B.A., English, June 2008

University of Pennsylvania Law School
J.D., 2013
Articles Editor, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law

Law Clerk
to the Hon. James Brady
United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, 2013-2014

Law Clerk
to the Hon. Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2014-2015

Vinson & Elkins
2015-May, 2017

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.
June, 2017-Present

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P. 
January 2021-Present