• Partner

Barclay Nicholson

Barclay Nicholson is a partner in Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.'s Houston office, where he focuses his practice on business disputes. He has represented a broad range of clients from among the largest of the Fortune 500 Companies to individual business owners. He has significant experience in handling energy related litigation and construction litigation cases and has represented some of the world's major oil and gas producing and refining companies. Chambers USA noted Barclay is, "intelligent, good natured and more than capable of handling a large-scale case."

Barclay serves on the firm's Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force and recently has authored a number of articles and given several speeches across the nation on this topic.

Barclay has handled commercial cases that involve amounts exceeding one billion dollars. He has represented clients in numerous proceedings both in the United States (in federal and state courts) and abroad (in the LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL and ICDR). Additionally, he has represented clients before various administrative and congressional oversight boards.

Prior to joining the firm, Barclay served as Briefing Attorney for Justice Alberto Gonzales of the Texas Supreme Court, who later served as the United States Attorney General. Barclay also served as Briefing Clerk for Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips of the Texas Supreme Court.


Recent, significant litigation and arbitration activities include:

Energy Related Representations include:

Litigation arising from various lease contracts and oil and gas related contracts

Counseled companies regarding the disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids

Dispute regarding Joint Operating Agreement between oil and gas operators

Lawsuits involving claims of groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing operations

Major oil and gas drilling company in dispute regarding drilling operation

British LNG provider in commercial dispute concerning multiple multinational JOA and contracts pending before LCIA

Major oil producer in ICC arbitration involving a failed merger

Canadian oil and gas company in ICC arbitration dispute concerning West African offshore oil fields

Major multinational producer and refiner in $500 million dispute with government over offshore oil rights

Russian multinational oil producer and refiner over government related claims in ICC arbitration

International gas company in multiple take-or-pay contract disputes

Regional drilling and exploration company in well damage case in Texas State Court

Local oil and gas exploration company regarding a deceptive trade practices action pending in Federal Court in Houston

Commercial Litigation Representations include:

Served as lead trial counsel for national, daily newspaper in complex breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty case in State Court in Travis county, retained 10 days prior to trial

Small manufacturing business owner in a state court dispute regarding a buy-sell agreement

International law firm in a malpractice action

Major media company in a wrongful death case

Premises owner in a suit that involved catastrophic personal injury

Lead attorney in arbitration involving oil field equipment manufacturer in contractual business dispute regarding a buy-out agreement

Prosecuted over 20 claims on behalf of the City of Houston, as first chair attorney

Construction Related Representations include:

One of the world's largest oil and gas companies in construction dispute involving multinational EPC contract

Regional pipeline company in AAA arbitration involving construction delay dispute, served as lead plaintiff's attorney

National manufacturing company in bench trial in South Texas that resulted in a take nothing judgment and recovery on counter-claim

Intellectual Property Representations include:

Fortune 500 Company in a week long complex patent infringement jury trial in Federal Court for the Eastern District of Texas

Major media company as defendant in TV related technology matter in Federal Court for the Eastern District of Texas

International consumer electronics company in patent case involving MP3 players in Federal Court in Southern District of Texas

International medical device manufacturing company in patent case involving surgical devices in Federal Court for the Eastern District of Texas

First Party Insurance and Bad-Faith Representations include:

Fortune 500 Insurance Company in coverage and bad-faith lawsuits in state and federal court with exposure totaling over $175 million

One of the world's leading insurance companies in a four week trial in Jefferson Parrish, State Court in Louisiana

Multinational insurance company against bad faith claims brought in Federal Court in Missouri

International insurance carrier in first party litigation case involving bad faith claims arising out of excess insurance policy

National insurance company in appeal involving contractual dispute between companies which resulted in published court of appeals decision

National insurance company in case of first impression that involved bad faith; case was won at summary judgment and subsequently upheld at appellate level and published opinion has become widely cited as precedent


American Bar Association

International Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Vice-Chair

Environment, Energy and Resources Section

Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Former Co-Chair

Continuing Legal Education Committee, Standing Committee Member, Standing

Advisory Panel

Litigation Section

State Bar of Texas

Litigation Section

Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Section

Construction Section

Professional Liability Section

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

Federal Bar Association

College of the State Bar of Texas (2006 - 2010)

Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas (2006 - 2010)

Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow

Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

Houston Bar Association

Continuing Legal Education Committee (2011 - 2012)

Membership Committee (2011 - 2012)

Dispute Resolution Committee, Board of Director (2008 - 2010)

Speakers Bureau Committee (2008, 2009, 2011 - 2012)

Professionalism Committee (2007 - 2009)

Fee Disputes Committee (2006 - 2008)

Houston Young Lawyers Association

Bench Book Committee, Chairman (2005 - 2007)

World Affairs Council of Houston

Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

The Institute for Energy Law

Independent Petroleum Association of America

Texas Association of Defense Counsel

Texas Supreme Court Historical Society

New York State Bar Association

Colorado State Bar Association


Chambers USA (2011)

"Texas Rising Star," Commercial Litigation Law & Politics (2005 - 2010)

"Houston's Top Lawyers," H Texas Magazine (2006 - 2009)

Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals (2008 - 2011)

Martindale rated as "AV® Preeminent™" with a rating of 4.8 out of a possible 5

"Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers," LexisNexis (2009)

"Lawyer on the Fast Track," Commercial Litigation, H Texas Magazine (2004 - 2006)


Barclay has authored a number of articles on hydraulic fracturing litigation. He has also authored articles on other topics including: breach of contract damage issues, construction litigation issues, insurance coverage disputes, insurance bad faith and causation issues and international arbitration case studies. Barclay also has authored several articles for in-house legal departments.

Other publications include:

Co-author, "Texas Supreme Court Issues Three Key Energy Opinions in August," Fulbright Briefing, September 15, 2011

Author, "Key Issues Plague the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas," Houston Business Journal, week of August 19-25, 2011

Interviewed, "Examining Texas' Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Law," E&P Magazine, Hart Energy, August 2, 2011

Co-author, "Texas Joins States Requiring Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids," International Law Office, June 27, 2011

Author, "Hydraulic Fracing: An Overview of the Issues," Trends in Energy Disputes 2011, Fulbright & Jaworski, June 8, 2011

Co-author, "Texas Legislature Joins Growing Number of States in Requiring Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids," Fulbright Briefing, June 16, 2011

Co-author, "U.K. House of Commons Committee Urges Support for Shale Gas Extraction," Fulbright Briefing, June 6, 2011

Co-author, "Duke University Releases Study Reporting Methane Contamination in Areas of Natural Gas Extraction," Fulbright Briefing, May 11, 2011

Co-author, "FracFocus Website Launched As Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Registry," Fulbright Alert - Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force, April 12, 2011

Co-author, "Texas Supreme Court Defers to Railroad Commission's Interpretation of 'Public Interest' in Injection Well Permit Decisions," Fulbright Briefing, March 28, 2011

"Fracking and the Courts," Oil and Gas Investor, July 2010

Harris County Bench Book

Editor in Chief, 2007

Editor, 2004 - 2006

Contributing Writer, Property Loss Research Bureau, (PLRB/LIRB) First Party Litigation Manual, 2006

Contributing Writer, Property Loss Research Bureau, (PLRB/LIRB), Claims Conference & Insurance Service Expo, 2004

Co-author, The Fourteen Points: How to Prepare for Deposition or Trial Testimony in First Party Insurance Litigation, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, New York City, 2002


Barclay has given speeches on various topics at seminars and conventions as well as in the continuing legal education setting. Barclay has also given in-house presentations to major insurance companies, oil and gas companies and construction companies in New York, Houston and Chicago on a number of topics including electronic discovery and attorney-client privilege issues in major companies.

Most recent speeches include:

Upcoming Program Chair and Speech, "Litigation Arising from Various Lease Contacts and Oil and Gas Related Contracts," 13th Annual Energy Contract Management in Oil and Gas, Houston, Texas, December 5-6, 2011

Upcoming Speech, "Water Issues in Oil and Gas Development: Fracking and Wastewater Disposal Issues," The Second Annual Conference on Tribal Water Law, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 27-28, 2011

Upcoming Speech, "Ten Things Everybody Should Know About an Oil and Gas Lease," National Oil & Gas Royalty Conference, Houston, Texas, October 17-18, 2011

"Fracking -- Are the Regulators Coming or Not? A Review of the State of the Industry," 57th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 21-23, 2011

"Shale Gas: the Plays and the Playing Field. The Transactional, Regulatory and Litigation Landscape," Fulbright & Jaworski Breakfast Seminar, The Houstonian Hotel, June 23, 2011

"Hydraulic Fracking: An Overview of the Issues," Fulbright Forum: Trends in Energy Disputes 2011, June 7, 2011

"Gulf Oil Spill: Developments & Economic Losses for Claims," Property Loss Research Bureau, 2011 Claims Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, April 3-6, 2011

"Adjustment and Enforcement Issues Related to Energy Code and Green Compliance Claims," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Winter Meeting 2011, Indian Wells, California, February 26-March 5, 2011

"Case Law Update on Bad Faith Topics from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida," 12th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference, Houston, Texas, January 24-27, 2011

"Effective Depositions," given at request of client, Vancouver, B.C., May 7, 2009

"Update on Texas Bad Faith Law," given to client group attending State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, June 26, 2008

"Litigation Update on Construction Matters," given to a break out group attending 21st Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, February 28, 2008

"Construction Contracts Short Course for Board Members and Administrators," Texas Association of School Boards/Texas Association of School Administrators, Dallas, Texas, September 30, 2007

"The Fourteen Points on How to Properly Prepare for Deposition," given at request of client, Chicago, Illinois, September 20, 2007

"Update on Recent Developments in Texas Regarding Construction Contracts," given at request of client, Vancouver, B.C., March 13, 2007


1999 - J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston

1995 - B.A., honors, The University of Texas

While in law school Barclay was Associate Editor of the Houston Law Review. He was also selected to be a member of the Order of the Coif and is also a member of the Order of the Barons. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, the State of New York, the State of Colorado, and in the United States District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas, as well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.


In his time away from the office, Barclay enjoys spending time with his wife and their three year old son. As a native Houstonian, he enjoys all outdoor activities. He especially enjoys bird hunting and fishing in Texas and Louisiana. Barclay is also an avid UT football fan and tries to make as many UT games as possible. Barclay is an amateur cook and wine collector and enjoys going out to eat and spending time with his friends and family.


Barclay happily serves as a Wish Grantor for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In this capacity he tries to help pool resources to grant special requests or "wishes" to children with life threatening illnesses. Also, he is active with the Hobby Center and its Broadway Across America series and with Houston's Theater Under the Stars. Barclay also leads the firm's participation in the Houston Bar Association's Veterans Clinic. During these monthly clinics, held at the Houston VA Hospital, lawyers assist veterans with various legal issues on a pro bono basis. Barclay is also a member of the Rotary Club of West U.