Energy Law

3rd National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference


San Antonio, Texas, USA

Past Event

MCLE Credit will be available

Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio
205 East Houston Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Registrar: +1.972.244.3403
IEL: +1.972.244.3421
Fax: +1.972.244.3401


Designed primarily for energy attorneys under 40 years of age, this conference will (1) provide young energy professionals with opportunities to network with their peers from in-house and law firm environments to build relationships that will benefit them professionally, (2) provide significant hours of energy related CLE for a low price, and (3) provide professional development training that will help attendees to be better lawyers and to reach their goals.

Conference Co-Chairs

Jonathan Ayre
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Houston, Texas
Bryan Rohm
Assistant General Counsel – U.S. Major Claims & Litigation
Total American Services
Houston, Texas
Lauren Woodard
Legal Counsel
Shell Oil Company
Houston, Texas

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.


  • $325 - Regular Registration Fee
  • $275 - IEL Advisory Board Member
  • $275 - IEL Young Energy Professional Member
  • $275 - IEL Supporting or Sustaining Member Employee
  • $275 - San Antonio Young Lawyer Association Member
  • $275 - CAIL Member or Member Employee
  • $90 - Full-time Law Professor
  • $90 - Full-time Law Student


Wednesday, April 10

Optional Private Tour of The Alamo

Come in a little early and join us for a private tour of the world famous Alamo. Just a short walk from the hotel, the Alamo is the most revered site in Texas as it was the site of a 13 day siege by Mexican troops during the Texas Revolution. The defenders of the Alamo, such as William B. Travis, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett, lost the battle but staked their place in history in delaying the Mexican army. The tour will take approximately 1 hour, allowing everyone to return to the hotel in time for the Young Energy Professionals Committee Meeting at 3 p.m. This tour is limited to the first 20 people. The cost is $20.

3:00-4:30 pm

YEP Committee Meeting (All Welcome)

6:00-9:00 pm

Welcome Reception

Weather permitting, we will take barges up the river to the Welcome Reception.  If you want to join your fellow delegates on relaxing float for conversation, be in the hotel lobby no later than 5 p.m.  We will walk to the departure location (you may also meet the barges there) at 130 East Travis Street. Barges will leave promptly at 5:10 p.m.

  • Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden
    312 Pearl Pkwy Bldg. 3
    San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, April 11

8:30 am

Introductory Remarks

8:45 am

Keynote Presentation: Words of Advice

  • Hon. Carl J. Barbier, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana

9:15 am

An In-House Perspective: Challenges, Improvement and Success

This panel of in-house counsel will provide advice on improving your practice skills and effectiveness in representing corporate clients, including improving communications with clients and efficiency, and on how to be an effective in-house attorney. The panel will also discuss the legal issues they are experiencing and what they expect in the near future. Finally, the panel will discuss the importance and responsibility of attorneys to treat each other and their clients with respect.

Moderator: Nick S. Dhesi, Latham & Watkins LLP, Houston, Texas


  • Elizabeth V. Bernal, Americas PCRO and Implementation Manager, Shell Oil Products US, Houston, Texas
  • Stacy Feltham, Head of Legal, Petroleum, BHP, Houston, Texas
  • Christopher C. Juban, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Blue Racer Midstream LLC, Dallas, Texas
  • Tobin M. Nelson, Deputy General Counsel and Secretary, Equitrans Midstream Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

10:15 am


10:45 am

Emerging Legal Issues: Climate Change

This session will cover one of the hottest legal topics for the energy industry, analyzing key cases and legal developments with respect to climate change.

  • J. Eric Pardue, Counsel, Corporation Law – Policy Law, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Robin Schober, Managing Counsel, Special Projects, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Irving, Texas

11:30 am

Wellhead to Plastic Bag

This session will offer a technical and operational view of the oil and gas industry and how it affects the representation of an energy client.

  • W. Rob Donnell, Baker & O’Brien, Inc., Dallas, Texas
  • Amy L. Kalt, Baker & O’Brien, Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Kevin G. Waguespack, Baker & O’Brien, Inc., Houston, Texas

12:30 pm

Leader Leaders Series – A Fireside Chat

Ethel J. Johnson represents clients across the United States in the areas of labor and employment law, pharmaceutical/products liability and life sciences litigation.  Her labor and employment practice includes discrimination and retaliation matters, complex employment litigation, noncompetition/nondisclosure matters, and labor arbitrations. Her work spans multiple industries and sectors, including energy, life sciences and biotechnology, financial services and banking, telecommunications, and transportation. Ethel has been recognized as a leading employment lawyer by publications that include Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Human Resource Executive Magazine, and Lawdragon, including being named “Top Woman Lawyer” and “Most Powerful Employment Attorneys.”  

Ms. Johnson will share her insights on her career, challenges that young attorneys face, advice on having a successful career, and employment law issues.

Interviewer: Lauren Woodard, Legal Counsel, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas

: Ethel J. Johnson, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Houston, Texas

1:45 pm


Breakout Sessions

Crystal Ballroom

2:00 pm

Jail Time for a Bad Day at Work? When Oil and Gas Incidents Lead to Criminal Liability

The Department of Justice, as well as state and local authorities, continue to scrutinize environmental, health, and safety (EHS) accidents to determine whether criminal violations occurred either in advance or in the aftermath of the incident. Prosecutions can include both corporate entities and individuals, and may be influenced by local politics as well as the media. This panel discussion will cover topics associated with the criminal investigation and prosecution of incidents in the energy industry, including releases, explosions, whistleblower investigations, and other incidents. Specifically, the panelists will discuss trends in criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as considerations for attorneys responding to and managing these cases.

  • Nadira Clarke, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Benjamin H. Patton, Reed Smith LLP, Houston, Texas

2:45 pm

Transfer Break

2:50 pm

From Bow to Stern: A Quick Look at Maritime Litigation

Have you always wondered what maritime lawyers do? Do you have trouble spelling Admiralty? Or, do you just like boats? If so, this talk is for you! In this session, you will learn just enough about maritime law and its role in energy litigation to be dangerous.

  • Tod J. Everage, Kean Miller LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Kelly M. Haas, Mills Shirley LLP, Galveston, Texas

3:35 pm


3:55 pm

Trump vs the World: Sanctions, Tariffs and Trade Wars

This session will look at the current and likely effect on the energy industry of sanctions, tariffs and trade wars and explain what attorneys representing the industry need to know about the legal and business challenges facing the industry.

  • Justin McCarthy, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Washington, D.C.

Bluebonnet Room

2:00 pm

Representation and Warranty Insurance

The use of transaction-focused insurance capital continues to be an important tool to facilitate cleaner exits for sellers, while providing buyers with robust and comprehensive protection for post-closing losses related to liabilities associated with a transaction. Aon and Kirkland & Ellis will discuss the latest market trends with respect to energy M&A, including recent developments in the oilfield services, midstream and upstream sectors.

  • William J. Benitez, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Matthew Wiener, Senior Vice President, Aon, Houston, Texas

2:45 pm

Transfer Break

2:50 pm

Hot Topics and Trends of LNG

This session will look at important development topics and other market trends of the growing LNG segment of the energy industry.

  • Shaw C. Ottis, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Freeport LNG, Houston, Texas
  • Tara L. Teeter, Associate Director, CGM Legal Commodities and Global Markets, Macquarie Group, Houston, Texas

3:35 pm


3:55 pm

Executive Presence, Personal Branding and Your Reputation

This session will provide advice to attorneys regarding establishing an executive presence, effective personal branding, and developing and maintaining an excellent reputation among other professionals, clients, and the public.

  • Hon. Lori I. Valenzuela, 437th District Court, San Antonio, Texas
  • Rosa Maria Villagomez, Mountaintop Consulting LLC, Houston, Texas

4:55 pm


5:00 - 6:00 pm


Get to know other young energy professionals through an organized speednetworking session that allows you to meet many other attendees for a few minutes and gives you people to follow up with after the event, including at the optional dinner later that night.

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Reception and Dinner
  • Ácenar
    146 E. Houston St.
    San Antonio, Texas

Friday, April 12

8:45 am

Trends and Developments in Midstream M&A, Capital Raising and Structuring

The midstream industry has undergone important changes in the last couple of years. The presenters will provide observations, insights and legal developments relating to industry consolidation, the use of joint ventures, challenges in the capital markets, the influence of private equity, and the decline in the MLP markets. They will also discuss predictions and recommendations looking forward.

  • Hillary H. Holmes, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Cole Ciaburri, Vice President, EnCap Flatrock Midstream, San Antonio, Texas
  • Justin Stolte, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Houston, Texas

9:45 am

Managing the Workplace in the "#MeToo" Era

This presentation is designed to provide an overview of the #MeToo movement as it relates to employment law and litigation, and to provide insight regarding the signs, costs, and consequences of harassment in the workplace. The program will also provide guidance on how to respond to discrimination and harassment complaints and avoid retaliation claims, and discuss ways in which organizations can be proactive in minimizing the risk involved with workplace harassment.

  • Jamila S. Mensah, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Houston, Texas

10:30 am


10:45 am

Renewables Powering the Oil and Gas Industry

For much of the 2010s, technology companies such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, along with corporate and industrial (C&I) power purchasers in the financial, manufacturing and retail sectors, have aggressively sought out renewable energy projects to power their large energy needs as well as to fill their sustainability goals. As a result, 2018 was a record year, with deals representing over $6 billion in wind and solar investment announced. Importantly, 2018 was a milestone year in this sector for oil and gas companies, with ExxonMobil announcing that it had entered into deals for both wind and solar facilities to power a portion of its E&P operations. This session will provide an overview of the business case for entering into renewable energy transactions, will introduce the common models for contracting, and will discuss how these transactions can be designed to pair with an oil and gas company’s operations.

  • Giji John, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Houston, Texas

11:30 am

Ethics Gameshow

Watch as in-house and outside counsel square off in a quiz show style test of ethical conundrums.

Host: Professor David Grenardo, St. Mary’s University School of Law, San Antonio, Texas


  • Jack Massey, Eversheds Sutherland, Houston, Texas
  • Christine Raborn, Assistant General Counsel, AIG, Houston, Texas
  • John Michael Raborn, Eggleston & Briscoe, LLP, Houston Texas
  • C. Brannon Robertson, Fernelius Simon Mace Robertson Perdue PLLC, Houston, Texas
  • Laura M. Robertson, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation, Arbitration & IP, ConocoPhillips Company, Houston, Texas
  • Charlene Tsang-Kao, Assistant General Counsel – Litigation & Labor/Employment, Marathon Oil Company, Houston, Texas

CLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 8.75 hours, including 1 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 174044168. Credit hours for other states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

For this conference, IEL will directly apply (if requested) for course accreditation in the following states: California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Some of these states may not approve a program for credit hours before the program occurs. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. Attorneys filing by self-submission in certain states may be required to pay an additional fee. IEL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.

Hotel Information

The cost of housing is not included in tuition. However, rooms (in limited number) have been reserved at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio, 205 East Houston Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205. Registrants should call 1.888.999.2089 and advise them they are attending the " IEL - National YEP Conference " to receive a reduced room rate of $179++ per night. The last day to obtain this special rate is March 26, 2019. This special rate is available the nights of April 10th and 11th. The rate may also be honored on additional nights before and after the conference depending on the hotel’s availability.


Sponsorship Opportunities

Platinum & Social Event Sponsor - $5,000 each (limited to four)

  • Recognition as a Platinum Sponsor at all conference events
  • Recognition as a sponsor of the Wednesday Night Welcome Reception and the Thursday Evening Late Night Reception
  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to thousands of interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program
  • Recognition on the Conference website.
  • Recognition at the luncheon.
  • 6 complimentary registrants at the Conference
  • 3 complimentary guests at the social events
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference

Gold Sponsor - $3,500 each

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program
  • Recognition on the Conference website
  • 4 complimentary registrants at the Conference
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Silver Sponsor - $2,000 each

  • Recognition in the Conference brochure, which will be electronically mailed to several thousand interested counsel and business leaders and will reach many thousands more through social media and web announcements
  • Company/firm logo prominently displayed in the Conference brochure and final program.
  • Recognition on the Conference website
  • 2 complimentary registrants at the Conference.
  • An opportunity to display company/firm materials at the event or at the conference.

Exhibitor (Non-law Firms only) - $1,500 each

  • Space to display company/firm materials at the conference.
  • Name/logo on Conference website with link to company page

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lilly Hogarth, IEL Project Manager at +1.972.244.3424.

Other Information

Press Policy

All IEL conferences are held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants, including journalists, are free to use any information received, but comments may not be attributed to any speaker identifi ed by name or affiliation.

Visa Information

If you require a letter of invitation to obtain a visa for this conference, payment of the registration fee must first be made.  If you apply and do not receive a visa, please send us a copy of the rejection letter from the consulate, and we will cancel your registration and issue a refund. Please email for more details.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.

Privacy Policy

We do not sell or rent information to any outside parties. By providing your information, you will receive postal and electronic communications from the Institute for Energy Law (IEL) of The Center for American and International Law (CAIL) in accordance with CAIL's Privacy Policy. If we co-sponsor a program with another organization, information may be shared between the parties. All such co-sponsors will be identified on the event details and registration page. At any point, you can opt-out or unsubscribe by selecting either link at the bottom of each email or call us at 972.244.3400.

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