Press Release

Haynes and Boone Team Wins Ninth Circuit Decision for Superior Energy

March 08, 2016

Haynes and Boone, LLP litigators Mark Trachtenberg and Will Feldman of the firm's Houston office secured a Ninth Circuit appellate victory on behalf of client Superior Energy Services in a long-running dispute over unpaid invoices.

In a 3-to-0 decision, the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that court to compel arbitration in Superior's conflict with Cabinda Gulf Oil Co. Ltd. (CABGOC), a Chevron subsidiary. The Ninth Circuit adopted Superior’s argument that it was a third-party beneficiary of the relevant contract under California law and was thus entitled to invoke the contract's arbitration clause.

The case arose out of a dispute between Superior and CABGOC over unpaid invoices for subsea work Superior performed while assisting CABGOC with oil exploration off the Angolan coast.

CABGOC refused to arbitrate the dispute, and a federal district court in San Francisco denied Superior’s petition to compel arbitration, setting up the appeal handled by Trachtenberg and Feldman.

View Law360 coverage of the case here (subscription required).

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