Carson, Derrick

Derrick Carson, FCIArb




Derrick Carson has over 20 years of experience trying cases in courts around the country and arbitrations around the world. Derrick serves as Chair of the Firm's Energy Litigation Practice Group. He has a broad dispute resolution practice primarily representing clients in the energy and construction industries. He has tried cases as lead counsel to juries, judges and arbitrators and served as lead counsel on appeals, including arguing cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeal. His arbitration experience includes international matters where he has represented clients before a host of international arbitral bodies on issues as diverse as development of oil and gas fields, construction and maritime as well as other contractual disputes.

Derrick is passionate about presenting his clients’ cases to juries, judges and arbitrators. For example, in the last four years, Derrick has:

  • Represented a fabrication subcontractor in a four-week trial in an energy-related construction dispute that resulted in an extremely rare finding of Cardinal Change and a $35 million judgment for his client. The case settled while on appeal
  • Arbitrated a dispute on behalf of a midstream energy company against a producer over the nature of the producer’s dedication and various related accounting issues. Derrick’s client prevailed on every issue
  • Defended a large banking institution in a jury trial against claims from a high-net-worth individual that resulted in a total defense judgment
  • Tried a jury trial in which his client received a unanimous jury verdict against its former CEO for embezzlement, including an award of punitive damages. The case settled after verdict
  • Tried a commercial dispute in which his client regained title to and possession of a dozen wind turbines valued at over $18 million
  • Tried a two-week jury trial in which he defended a midstream company in claims that it sold contaminated propane and butane to an international commodities trader
  • Tried a two-week arbitration in which he defended his construction-industry client against a host of claims by a joint venturer. Derrick took over the case, which had been pending for nearly three years, just months before the merits hearing. His client received an award denying recovery to the joint venturer on its $20 million claim and awarded over a million dollars to Derrick’s client
  • Arbitrated a construction defect case, which resulted in his general contractor client receiving an award against a concrete subcontractor

Representative Experience

Derrick's representative experience includes:

Representative Energy Experience

  • Represented a midstream company in collecting the full balance of a disputed minimum volume commitment payment and in defense of various business tort claims
  • Represented a multinational energy company in an ad hoc international arbitration against an African state-owned oil company regarding a tertiary development project with over $300 million dollars in controversy
  • Defended a Saudi petrochemicals company against claims of misappropriation of acetyls manufacturing technology
  • Represented offshore drilling rig contractor in an international arbitration against Egyptian operating company
  • Represented a midstream company in a dispute with a producer that challenged the nature of its dedication. The case was worth over $200 million over the remaining term of the contract
  • Represented a midstream company in a dispute with an international commodities trader regarding allegedly contaminated propane and butane
  • Represented a windfarm developer in claims related to ownership of wind turbines
  • Represented a midstream company in claims against Korean supplier of defective valves for gas processing plants
  • Represented Canadian and U.S. suppliers of natural gas and power in connection with dispute with U.S. purchaser
  • Represented owner of offshore diving vessel in an international arbitration against vessel management company
  • Defended an offshore drilling contractor against claims brought by its Saudi agents
  • Represented a publicly traded midstream company in claims arising out of purchase of marine transportation business
  • Represented an offshore diving contractor in arbitration over title to offshore support vessel
  • Represented an offshore drilling contractor in an international arbitration against an Egyptian operator
  • Regular representation of operators and non-operators in disputes related to joint operating agreements
  • Representation of buyers and sellers of Gulf of Mexico assets regarding plugging and abandonment liabilities

Representative Construction Experience

  • Represented a fabrication subcontractor in a dispute against the general contractor in developing two FPSO’s. The case resulted in an extremely rare finding of Cardinal Change and fully recovery for the subcontractor
  • Represented either the owner or general contractor in disputes arising out of the construction of seven different gas processing plants
  • Represented a general contractor in a dispute concerning the construction of an offshore to onshore natural gas pipeline involving horizontal directional drilling
  • Represented subcontractor with a several million dollar extra work claim against a general contractor on cogeneration project
  • Represented the owner in an international arbitration involving claims arising out of a pipeline construction project in Trinidad
  • Represented an offshore contractor asserting claims against the owner of a major offshore pipeline; the representation included filing a $75 million lien claim across three states
  • Represented a general contractor in disputes with both the developer and subcontractors regarding the development of a windfarm
  • Represented owner of cogeneration plant in claims against EPC contractor related to delays and defects in the plant's construction
  • Represented the developer of a windfarm in an arbitration arising out of the termination of a general contractor
  • Defended a refinery owner against extra work claim by the general contractor on a refinery expansion project
  • Defended owner of AAA professional baseball team against extra work claims arising out of the construction of the team’s ballpark
  • Represented owner in dispute with architect over design-related issues on high-rise luxury apartment building
  • Represented owner of high-rise senior living development in claims against contractor and architect
  • Advised a municipal entity regarding its development of a convention center hotel; the project was completed on time, on budget and without any claims asserted against the firm’s client

Other Representative Commercial Matters

  • Represented a business owner in a literally bet-the-company case regarding the enforceability of an agreement to sell the business
  • Defended Singaporean companies in U.S. litigation regarding global expansion of marine services business
  • Represented well-known Houston business in claims against a former CEO for embezzlement
  • Represented a minority shareholder in claims against his fellow business owners when they forced him out of the business
  • Representation of multiple banks, finance companies and mortgage servicing companies in cases alleging improper mortgage servicing practices, including class actions
  • Defense of lenders in claims alleging usury, violations of state and federal lending laws and deceptive trade practices

Professional History

  • Chair, Locke Lord Energy Litigation Practice Group (2018-Present)
  • Chair, Locke Lord Construction Law Practice Group (2013-2018)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center, “International Arbitration Advocacy” (2016-Present)
  • Partner, Locke Lord LLP (2005-Present)
  • Associate, Locke Lord LLP (1999-2004)
  • Associate, McGlinchey Stafford PLLC (1997-1999)

Reported Decisions

  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Murphy, 458 W.W.3d 912 (Tex. 2015)‎
  • Bryant v. S.A.S., 416 S.W.3d 52 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013)‎
  • Trafigura AG v. Enterprise Products Operating LLC, 995 F.Supp.2d 641, 2014 WL ‎‎501962 (S.D. Tex. 2014)‎
  • Akerblom v. Ezra Holdings, Inc., 848 F.Supp.2d 673 (S.D. Tex. 2012), aff’d 2013 WL ‎‎363112 (5th Cir. 2013)‎
  • Tremble v. Wells Fargo Home Mtg., 478 Fed. Appx. 164, 2012 WL 1957902 (5th Cir. ‎‎2013).‎
  • Howe-Baker Engineers, Ltd. v. Enterprise Products Operating, LLC, 2011 WL ‎‎1660715 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011)‎
  • Williams v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 504 F. Supp.2d 176 (S.D. Tex. 2007)‎
  • Sangi v. Fairbanks Capital Corp., 2006 WL 696565 (S.D. Tex., March 16, 2006), aff’d ‎‎2007 WL 625012 (5th Cir. 2007)‎
  • Wismer Distributing Co. v. Brink’s Inc., 2005 WL 1840149 (S.D.Tex., August 02, ‎‎2005), aff’d 202 Fed. Appx. 729, 2006 WL 2986224 (5th Cir. 2006)‎
  • Worldwide Parking, Inc. v. New Orleans City, 123 Fed.Appx. 606, 2005 WL 375945 ‎‎(5th Cir. 2005)
  • Women’s Regional Healthcare, P.A. v. FemPartners of North Texas, Inc., 175 ‎S.W.3d 365 (Tex. App.—Houston  (1 Dist.) 2005)

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2010-Present)
    • Executive Committee (2012-2015)
    • Vice Chair (Arbitrator Training & Education)
  • Advisory Board Member, Institute for Transnational Arbitration
  • Advisory Board Member, Institute for Energy Law
  • Member, American Bar Association, Construction Law Forum
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, Construction Law, International Law and Litigation Sections
  • Member, Houston International Arbitration Club
  • Named, The Best Lawyers in America®, Arbitration (2020-2021)