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Rob Vartabedian represents oil and gas companies in a wide range of litigation matters, including lease termination litigation, claims for breaches of implied covenants to an oil and gas lease, contract interpretation issues, royalty disputes, suits for breaches of joint operating agreements, and surface use disputes. In addition to his energy litigation expertise, Rob also handles commercial disputes in other industries. Rob has successfully tried more than fifteen cases to verdict and handled multiple successful appeals, including appeals for oil, gas, and energy clients, in Texas courts and the Fifth Circuit.

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel for successful appellant in WTX v. Holt et al. (Tex. App.—El Paso 2020), where the El Paso Court applied the historical 1/8 and estate misconceptions when construing a 1951 deed to determine that his client, WTX, owned all of a disputed royalty interest; reversing the trial court’s decision that WTX did not own even a fraction of the disputed interest
  • Secured a unanimous jury verdict as lead counsel for a Dallas-based water company in saltwater lease termination dispute in Martin County, Texas
  • Lead counsel for a Midland-based operator that defeated a lease termination challenge to an almost 5,000 acre lease in Reeves County, Texas, by securing ratifications of the lease without the payment of any settlement
  • Represented BP as lead counsel in the successful retrial of BP America v. Laddex, 513 S.W.3d 476 (Tex. 2017); in the original trial in 2013, a different firm represented BP, and the Roberts County jury unanimously found BP’s lease terminated for failure to turn a profit; BP hired TK to assist with appeals and further proceedings, and the Texas Supreme Court ultimately reversed the trial verdict and remanded for a new trial; in the 2019 retrial, BP received a defense verdict when the jury unanimously determined that BP’s lease produced in paying quantities
  • Prevailed on summary judgment on the eve of trial as lead counsel for the primary defendant—a Fort Worth-based oil and gas company—in a 4,000 gross mineral acre, multi-section lease termination dispute in the heart of the Delaware Basin
  • Lead counsel for a defendant oil company who prevailed on summary judgment by defeating an over $50 million damages claim related to an oil and gas lease in Loving County, Texas
  • Prevailed on summary judgment as lead counsel for the plaintiff in a dispute over ownership of a lease located in Scurry County, Texas
  • Represented BP as co-lead counsel at trial over claims for termination of a multi-million-dollar oil and gas lease; obtained a finding that the lease in question produced in paying quantities after a two-week jury trial and ultimately obtaining a take-nothing judgment from the Texas Supreme Court in BP v. Red Deer, 526 S.W.3d 389 (Tex. 2017)
  • Successfully represented a Dallas-based oil company as lead counsel in a dispute over a high-value lease in Reeves County, Texas
  • Secured a favorable settlement as lead counsel for an Oklahoma-based operator sued based upon the allegation that a multi-million-dollar lease terminated due to an improper invocation of the shut-in royalty clause
  • Jointly represented a Colorado-based operator and a super-major as lead counsel in a suit claiming lease termination and breaches of the implied covenant to reasonably develop the lease; obtained a dismissal of the case without payment of any settlement
  • Lead counsel for an oil company CEO sued for $3.5 million; secured a dismissal of the case without payment of any settlement
  • Secured a favorable settlement for a Texas-based oil company as lead counsel in a suit over disputed ownership of valuable mineral acreage in the heart of the Midland Basin
  • Secured a favorable settlement as lead counsel for a Texas-based operator in a dispute with a contractor over a failed fracking attempt
  • Advised a Texas-based operator as lead counsel on an acquisition of leasehold in the Permian Basin for a price substantially lower than market value due to a looming potential title dispute; able to resolve all rival claims without the need for litigation, and the client sold the property a year later for a $40 million profit
  • Represented the successful appellant, Unit, in one of only two Texas cases where an appellate court has ruled on the rights, limitations, and meaning of a wellbore-only lease; Unit Petroleum v. David Pond, 439 S.W.3d 389 (Tex.App.—Amarillo 2014)
  • Secured a favorable settlement on behalf of plaintiff mineral owners for trespass and conversion claims against a major oil company
  • Following a two-week jury trial, won a defense verdict on behalf of the largest working interest owner in an oil and gas lease on a lease termination dispute in Moore County, Texas

Honors & Affiliations


  • Chambers USA by Chambers and Partners (Oil & Gas Litigation), 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Oil and Gas Law), 2019-2020
  • Recognized Attorney, The Legal 500 United States by Legalease (Industry Focus: Energy Litigation – Oil and Gas), 2016-2020
  • Under 40 Hot List, Benchmark: Litigation, The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys, 2016-2018
  • Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (Business Litigation), 2011-2019
  • Top Attorneys (Oil & Gas, Civil Law-Litigation) by Fort Worth, Texas magazine, 2015-2019


  • Board of Directors, Opportunity School, 2008-2015; President, 2011
  • Member, Lone Star Runners Club, 2012-present
  • Board of Directors, American Heart Association, Amarillo Chapter, 2006-2008

Education & Admissions


  • J.D., 2005, University of California Berkeley School of Law; Berkeley Technology Law Journal; Moot Court Board; Texas Young Lawyers Association Mock Trial Team; California Asylum and Refugee Clinic; 2004 National Champion, Best Oral Argument, and Best Brief in a national moot court competition
  • B.A., 2002, summa cum laude, Texas Tech University; Top Ranked Parliamentary Debate team in the nation in 2001; Texas State Champion and National Finalist in Impromptu Public Speaking


  • Texas
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Fifth Circuit

Related Team

Conrad Hester

Oil and Gas Litigation

Nicholas S. Davis

Oil and Gas Litigation

Alix D. Allison

Oil and Gas Litigation

Wesley P. Williams

Corporate and Securities