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

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 Abby’s 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

In re Caustic Soda Antitrust Litigation, 19-cv-385-LJV, W.D.N.Y.

  • With Bill Merrill and Jim Southwick, Abby defends Westlake Chemical Corporation in nationwide antitrust litigation relating to the production and sale of Caustic Soda in the U.S.

Mayberry et al v. KKR et al., Case No. 17-CI-1348 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, County of Franklin Circuit Court

  • With Barry Barnett and Steven Shepard, Abby represents KKR& Co. in litigation arising out of investments made by the Kentucky Retirement System.

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, Abby 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.  Abby 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

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

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, Abby 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. Abby 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.  In 2019, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment, 930 F.3d 647, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied W&T’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

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 Jim Southwick, Geoffrey Harrison, Alex Kaplan, and Ryan Caughey, Abby represented the City of Houston in a professional malpractice and negligence suit against global actuarial consulting firm Towers Watson.  In 2018, Susman Godfrey secured a $40 million settlement for the City concerning Towers Watson’s actuarial work on pension benefits for the City’s firefighters.

Spring Creek Exploration & Production Company, LLC v. Hess Bakken Investment II, LLC, No. 14-cv-00134-PAB-KMT in the U.S. District Court of Colorado

  • With Rob Safi and Ashley McMillian, Abby represented Hess Bakken against claims for an alleged breach of an area of mutual interest agreement in the Bakken shale play in North Dakota.   Susman Godfrey obtained complete summary judgment against Plaintiffs’ liability and damages claim, and then successfully defended the result in the Tenth Circuit.

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, Abby 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, Abby 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

  • Abby 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
  • Selected to the Institute for Energy Law’s 2019-20 Leadership Class
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Texas Rising Star; 2017 – 2020 (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 Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association
  • Past Board Member, American Constitution Society, Houston Lawyer Chapter