August 9, 2016

Leading Exxon's Attys A Career Capstone For GC Jack Balagia

Highlights included commentary from former McGinnis Lochridge Partner Shannon Ratliff, {…“He’s got the mind to think through any problem and the personality to sell about any position. That’s a powerful combination.”

In the early 1980s, Exxon had hired the firm to represent it in a significant arbitration involving the Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska. Balagia moved to Seattle and lived there for almost two years during the arbitration, building relationships with Exxon lawyers that extended to the time he officially joined the company.

Initially he was more of a regulatory attorney, but the arbitration changed the path of Balagia’s career and he began to handle more litigation for Exxon starting in the mid-1980s. He moved with McGinnis Lochridge to Houston in 1990 when the firm opened an office there, and his work with Exxon grew until the company asked him to join the in-house group in 1998.

Once in-house, Balagia played a role in some of Exxon’s highest-profile litigation fights, including a 2003 trial over royalties owed to Alabama for oil produced from wells in the state’s portion of the Gulf of Mexico. The jury returned a punitive damages award of nearly $12 billion, later reduced by the judge to $3.5 billion, with compensatory damages of $103 million.

Read the article:

"Leading Exxon's Attys A Career Capstone For GC Jack Balagia," Law360, August 5, 2016 (subscription required)

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