Austin – Attorneys with the law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP represented Brigham Exploration Co. and the former members of its Board of Directors (“Brigham”) in a shareholder class action suit. An Austin, Texas trial court had certified a class of shareholders who alleged that Brigham was undervalued in its $4.4 billion acquisition by Statoil. On August 15th, the Austin Court of Appeals decertified the class action, holding that the plaintiffs’ trial plan was legally deficient and that the substance of Brigham and Statoil’s defenses must be analyzed, and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
Statoil acquired Brigham in 2011 to gain access to significant natural gas deposits in North Dakota and Montana and to get more involved in unconventional oil plays in North America, particularly the production of shale oil and gas through fracking. Brigham, headquartered in Austin, developed the Bakken and Three Forks oil plays, complementing Statoil’s strong presence in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shale plays.
Thompson & Knight Partners Debora B. Alsup, Timothy E. Hudson, Timothy R. McCormick, and Michael W. Stockham, and Associates Danley K. Cornyn and Mackenzie S. Wallace represented Brigham, both in the trial court and on appeal.