Tracey K. Rice


Phone: 832-849-1805

Fax: 832-849-1799

Having practiced law for nearly two decades, I recognize every case is a story and all stories have multiple sides. Known for distilling all details into a compelling story, I choose to handle each unique case on an individual basis, allowing ample time and energy to advance my clients interests the right way and with integrity.

Being a business owner and understanding the challenges of operating a successful law firm equips me to guide upstream, midstream, and integrated energy companies, product manufacturers, mining concerns, and other businesses in resolving complex business disputes in and out of the courtroom. Clients value my thoughtful, strategic, and disciplined approach to providing smart, actionable solutions that help advance their business goals.

My litigation practice spans a broad range of commercial litigation issues, including breach of contract disputes, environmental and toxic tort matters, oil and gas litigation, and personal injury cases. Whether preparing cases for trial or interviewing pipeline engineers, forensic accountants, and other industry experts, my goal is for my clients to sleep at night knowing I’m managing their best interests. My affinity for numbers means I also pay close attention to the final result and financial impact of every case.

Graduating first in my class in Finance from the Business Honors Program at Texas A&M University, I apply an analytical approach to legal problem-solving. I received my law degree from the University of Houston Law Center, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Working closely with Morgan Copeland, I began my career in the Litigation Department of Vinson & Elkins LLP. Wanting to offer clients a less costly, more flexible environment with fewer conflicts, we became partners and have been running a litigation boutique since 2014. I’m honored to be one of few litigation boutiques owned and managed by a female attorney under 50.

When not managing the firm or handling client cases, I can be found sneaking in a tennis match, cooking, gardening, or enjoying time with my three children and their varied interests.

Publications & Presentations

  • Institute of Energy Law 75th Annual Energy Law Conference, Speaker, Defending Environmental Contamination Cases: Making the Best Out of a Bad Situation, February 22, 2024
  • Institute of Energy Law Annual Conference, Moderator, ESG at a Time of Energy Insecurity, February 17, 2022
  • Proving Your Attorney Fees in Litigation – Presented to 38th Annual Page Keeton Civil Litigation Conference, October 23, 2014
  • “Disaster Response – A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective”, The State Bar of Texas Corporate Counsel Section Newsletter, Summer 2012 (co-author)
  • Dealing with Foreign Counsel – Presented to the International Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, February 25, 2011
  • “Proportionate Responsibility,” State Bar of Texas 26th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course, 2010 (co-author)
  • “Litigation Planning and Responding to the Next Disaster – A Litigator’s Perspective,” Energy Litigation Journal, American Bar Association, Winter 2008 (co-author)
  • “Attorney’s Fees Update,” 16th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, February 2008 (co-author)

Representative Matters

  • In federal court, represented private equity firm holding majority ownership interest in oilfield services company in defense of trade secret misappropriation claims brought by supplier of downhole gas separators in connection with firm’s sale of company to third-party, which was sued for misappropriation, patent infringement, and fraud.
  • Represented joint venture owner of pipeline in suit brought by construction company claiming breach of contract and fraud, and seeking $120 million in damages, arising from a construction project covering a 95 mile segment of a 20 inch crude oil pipeline.
  • Representing gas marketing subsidiary of major E&P company in seeking declaratory judgment that construction contract for gas storage facility in Wyoming terminated by its terms for defendant’s failure to achieve commercial service by date certain, relieving subsidiary from obligation under dependent long-term storage agreement.
  • Assisted in the representation of the owner and operator of a large natural gas pipeline that was struck by a third-party contractor resulting in an explosion that killed one person and injured others and resulted in multiple lawsuits and regulatory actions. My involvement began in the immediate aftermath of the incident and continued through the resolution of the litigation.
  • Assisted in the representation of Firestone in a products liability lawsuit arising from a bus accident involving hundreds of plaintiffs.  Also represented Firestone in dozens of other products liability cases arising from accidents occurring in both Texas and Mexico; such cases often presented forum non conveniens, venue, and foreign law issues.
  • Assisted in the representation of an interstate common carrier of petroleum products in a suit arising from accident at an industrial facility.
  • Assisted in the representation of a major international mining company in a case filed by a public entity asserting property damage to a road system allegedly arising from the historical use of byproducts taken from a nearby smelter (that ceased operations decades before suit was filed) over a long period of time for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. The case involved claims of soil contamination from arsenic, lead, and cadmium, and allegations of nuisance, trespass, and strict liability, and plaintiff sought damages and injunctive relief. The mining company obtained a significant victory on dispositive motions and the case was subsequently resolved prior to trial.
  • Represented a leading chemical manufacturer in several personal injury and products cases, including a case arising from a chemical explosion that was ultimately dismissed after the court granted the manufacturer’s dispositive motion.
  • Assisted in the representation of a client in several state and federal court cases against claims of extortion and fraud from hundreds of plaintiffs in connection with a global silica settlement; the case settled during the second week of trial.
  • Assisted in the representation of a major energy company in an 18-month, worldwide investigation related to potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act associated with the use of a freight forwarding agent.
  • Assisted in the successful prosecution of a breach of contract claim at trial in Kentucky against a major coal producer related to a contract mining agreement.
  • Represented energy company in technology licensing contract dispute in the Southern District of Texas. Obtained take-nothing judgment on the pleadings for client, successfully terminated contract at issue, and recovered attorney’s fees for client.
  • Represented E&P company in suit arising from a well control event in South Texas that resulted in evacuations, airborne emissions, and other hydrocarbon releases over a two-week period. Over 60 plaintiffs, including landowners and residents, claimed property damage and personal injury and alleged nuisance, trespass, negligence, and other claims against our client, a service company, and another working interest owner.
  • Represented chemical company in various premises liability cases arising from injuries sustained by contractors at client’s plants in Texas.
  • Represented oil and gas company in a Harris County wrongful death case arising from a trucking accident in which client’s equipment—while being transported by a subcontractor motor carrier—fell onto highway and into path of traffic. Plaintiffs asserted claims for negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent undertaking, and negligence per se related to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.  The case was resolved on favorable terms.
  • Represented oilfield services company in personal injury lawsuit brought by plaintiff injured by a dropped powerline during a construction project.  The case was resolved on favorable terms.
  • Represented oil and gas company in two eminent domain cases in Ector County involving a partial taking by a public utility.
  • Represented midstream company in commercial dispute over liability for throughput fees on volumes shipped under the parties’ decades-old venture agreement.  The lawsuit was filed in Harris County and the plaintiff asserted claims for breach of contract, suit on a sworn account, and a declaratory judgment.  The case was resolved on favorable terms.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.