Abby Noebels
Houston Office Phone: (713) 653-7816 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF


  • The University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 2012)
  • Carleton College (B.A., Sociology and Anthropology, magna cum laude, 2008)
  • The School for Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Middle Eastern Politics and History, 2006)
Judicial Clerkship

Law clerk to the Honorable Catharina Haynes, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2012-2013)

Abby Noebels has successfully handled complex civil litigation and appellate matters in state and federal courts across the country.  Abby has a diverse practice of energy, breach of contract, professional malpractice, employment, and partnership disputes.  In particular, Abby has extensive experience with different types of oil and gas disputes, including lease termination, production handling agreements, seismic data licensing, area of mutual interest agreements, and joint operating agreements.

In 2017, one of Noebels’ cases, a trial win for Apache Corporation, was included on The National Law Journal’s 2016 “Top 100 Verdicts” List (ALM Publication). 

Abby joined Susman Godfrey in 2013 after clerking for the Honorable Catharina Haynes on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Originally from Houston, Abby earned her college degree from Carleton College, and her law degree from The University of Chicago.

Current Representations

City of Houston v. Towers Watson, No. 14-cv-2213 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division

  • With Geoffrey Harrison, Jim Southwick, and Alex Kaplan, Noebels currently represents the City of Houston in a multi-hundred million dollar professional malpractice and negligence suit against global actuarial consulting firm Towers Watson related to the City’s firefighter pension fund.

Apache Corporation v. W&T Offshore, Inc., No. 15-cv-00063 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division 

  • With Geoffrey Harrison, Bill Merrill, and Ashley McMillian, Noebels represents operator Apache Corporation against non-operator W&T Offshore in a breach-of-contract suit to recover W&T’s 49% share of the governmentally-required costs to plug and abandon three jointly-owned wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Noebels cross-examined W&T’s damages expert at trial.  In October 2016 after a two-week trial, the jury returned an approximately $43.2 million damages award for Apache, which the National Law Journal listed as one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2016.  The court granted Apache final judgment in mid-2017 based on the jury’s $43.2 million verdict, plus $2.5 million in attorney’s fees and expenses, and $2.8 million in pre-judgment interest.

Fairfield Industries, Inc. d/b/a FairfieldNodal v. EP Energy E&P Company, LP f/k/a El Paso E&P Company, LP, No. 2014-11062 in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 157th Judicial District

  • With Thomas Paterson and Ryan Caughey, Noebels defended exploration and production company EP Energy against seismic data licensor Fairfield Industries, who sought over $60 million dollars in penalty license fees after EP Energy underwent a corporate change in control and divested its offshore properties.  Noebels and the team obtained complete summary judgment victory on all of Fairfield’s claims in the trial court.  The matter is currently on appeal.

KIND Pro Bono Representation 

  • Noebels represents two undocumented minor siblings who have been abandoned by their parents in pursuing legal guardianship in the United States.

W&T Offshore, Inc. v. Apache Corporation, No. 11-cv-2931 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division 

  • With Geoffrey Harrison and Bill Merrill, Noebels won a two week federal court jury trial defending Apache Corporation against W&T Offshore’s oil and gas misallocation claims arising from an offshore production handling agreement.  It took the jury less than 45 minutes to return its “no-breach” verdict in favor of Apache.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed (3-0) the district court’s judgment in favor of Apache.  644 F. App’x 349 (5th Cir. 2016).

Kelich v. Hess Corp. and Griffith v. Hess Corp.,  Nos. 13-cv-140 and 14-cv-337, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio 

  • With Thomas Paterson and Weston O’Black, Noebels defended Hess Ohio Resources in two suits brought by Ohio oil and gas lessors in a lease termination dispute.  The lessors claimed that their oil and gas leases had terminated after a five-year primary term, despite language providing for an extension of the primary term.  Susman Godfrey was retained in late 2013 to persuade the two federal district courts in Ohio to reconsider their rulings that the leases had terminated. The team consolidated both cases for appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded, agreeing with Susman Godfrey’s position that (1) the leases had two consecutive five-year primary terms and (2) the leases had not terminated at the end of the first five-year term. 2014 WL 7331014 (6th Cir. Dec. 23, 2014)

Confidential Pipeline Sale Arbitration 

  • Noebels was part of a trial team defending a large oil and gas company against fraud, breach of contract, and breach of warranty claims relating to the sale of a natural gas pipeline with alleged defects.   The matter settled favorably before the final hearing.
Honors and Distinctions
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Texas Rising Star; 2017 (top 2.5% of Texas lawyers under 40) (Law & Politics Magazine, Thomson Reuters)
  • Member, The University of Chicago Legal Forum
  • Judicial intern to the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Carleton College, Awarded Distinction on Comprehensive Thesis (The Coming Anomie: Globalization and the Decline of Social Order), and graduated with Distinction in Sociology and Anthropology
Admissions and Professional Memberships
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • Board Member, American Constitution Society, Houston Lawyer Chapter
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association