Commercial Disputes

Your toughest cases are SKV’s passion and priority.


SKV lawyers handle high-stakes commercial disputes for clients in the energy, oil and gas, banking, construction, tech and healthcare industries, just to name a few.

Since the firm’s founding more than 27 years ago, commercial disputes have constituted a significant portion of SKV’s practice. SKV lawyers handle high-stakes commercial disputes for clients in the energy, oil and gas, banking, construction, tech, and healthcare industries, just to name a few. We have developed a reputation as tenacious, but principled and efficient, trial lawyers. Chambers USA ranks SKV among the top law firms in the country, citing SKV’s “expertise in preparing complex cases for trials before juries.” Similarly, Benchmark Litigation has for years ranked SKV as one of the 10 best trial boutiques in the United States.  Our lawyers try cases in state and federal courts across the country. We have the experience, intelligence, and energy needed to win important cases. 

While we love to try cases, we are aware that a traditional trial is not always the best option for every commercial dispute. We have participated in hundreds of mediations and arbitrations, recently obtaining a complete victory for our client in an ICDR arbitration involving a multi-billion dollar natural gas storage contract. Moreover, the firm’s established track record of being willing to take difficult cases to trial often allows us to negotiate favorable settlements in the early stages of a dispute. 

SKV’s boutique size and entrepreneurial spirit give clients numerous advantages.  First, we are not a distinctly defense or plaintiff-side firm; while the majority of our work is on the defense side, we have a substantial plaintiff-side practice, including for small or medium-sized businesses suing larger companies.  Second, because we are a trial firm, nearly all of our team, from senior partners to paralegals and secretaries, has significant experience in trials and arbitrations.  Third, we staff matters leanly, which means that as a client, you will receive a dedicated and appropriately-sized team that learns your case thoroughly and is always available to address your needs.  And finally, we have never been wedded to the billable hour and are always willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements with clients. At SKV, we use a straightforward approach to evaluating your case and your needs, making sure we never lose sight of your goals.

Representative Matters

  • In re Texas Opioid Litigation:  An SKV team led by Craig Smyser and Crystal Robles successfully represented McKesson Corporation, one of the ten largest companies in the United States, in multiple lawsuits brought by governmental entities claiming billions of dollars in damages related to the opioid epidemic.  SKV further served as liaison counsel on behalf of all pharmaceutical distributor defendants in the Texas MDL.
  • Enduring Resources v. American Energy Permian Basin: An SKV team led by Larry Veselka was lead counsel to Enduring, which sold its Permian Basin oil shale play to a unit of American Energy Partners (the late Aubrey McClendon’s post-Chesapeake venture) for $2.5 billion. When American Energy did not pay the approximately $25 million post-closing purchase price adjustment due Enduring, Enduring sued to collect the $25 million.  American Energy counterclaimed for $150-178 million.  SKV pushed the matter to trial in less than 16 months, and ultimately settled confidentially on the eve of trial.
  • American Plant Food Corp. NeuAg LLC et al.: After a week of trial in Harris County State District Court, an SKV trial team lead by Craig Smyser, David Isaak, Karima Maloney, and Eugene Zilberman in January 2023 engineered a confidential settlement on behalf of Plaintiff in a closely watched and vigorously fought business fraud case involving major players in the U.S. agricultural industry.
  • BBVA v. Fleming, et al.: An SKV team led by Crystal Robles successfully represented former officers of Nobilis Healthcare in a fraud suit brought by lenders to recover the proceeds of a $50 million loan to the company.  The matter ultimately settled on confidential terms.
  • Southbrook Dev. Corp. Diversified Site-Work, Inc., et al. Land Murphy and Samantha Jarvis won a $5.8 million jury verdict in a real estate fraud suit brought on behalf of Southbrook Development
  • Symmetry Energy Solutions, LLC Optimus Steel, LLC: Justin Waggoner, David Isaak, and Samantha Jarvis brought suit on behalf of energy provider Symmetry in connection with unpaid invoices for natural gas supplied by Symmetry during Winter Storm Uri in 2021. The matter ultimately settled confidentially.
  • Fagio Joint Venture, et al. v. Rocky Lai & Associates, Inc., et al.:  An SKV team led by Crystal Robles, Alex Wolf, and Lee Kaplan successfully defended Rocky Lai & Associates in a claim alleging tens of millions of dollars in real estate fraud.  The matter ultimately settled confidentially.
  • Cheniere Energy, Inc., et al. v. Souki: An SKV team led by Craig Smyser, Karima Maloney, and Justin Waggoner brought suit on behalf of Cheniere alleging that Souki, its former CEO and Chairman, conspired to transfer substantially all of the assets of Parallax Enterprises – a company loaned nearly $50 million by Cheniere in connection with a proposed joint venture – to a new venture he formed shortly after leaving the company.  The matter ultimately settled confidentially.
  • Targa Gas Marketing LLC v. Vitol Inc.: Lee Kaplan and Land Murphy represent Vitol in an action brought by Targa seeking to declare its failure to deliver natural gas to Vitol a matter of force majeure on account of extremely cold weather in the winter of 2021.