John W. Petrelli III

Partner

Houston
T +1 713.646.1340  |  F +1 713.751.1717

John Petrelli focuses his practice on the complex commercial litigation needs of clients, including energy, oil field services and healthcare companies. Devoted to the concerns of his clients throughout often complicated, highly adverse and precarious situations, John strives to ensure that he is protecting their immediate and long-term goals at all times, while vigorously advocating their positions. John’s ability to develop an in-depth understanding quickly of the strengths and weakness of his clients’ positions allows him to prepare litigation and dispute resolution plans that advance the clients’ interests and promote effective, efficient and successful outcomes. John’s goal in representing clients in litigation and pre-litigation matters is not only to address their legal needs, but also to further their business cases.

Select Experience

  • Represented and defended a Fortune 500 global oil field services company in both U.S.- and Canadian-based arbitration matters concerning an alleged breach of a technology agreement and claims of fraud, fraudulent inducement and estoppel. Was actively involved in preparing and presenting the case to the three-member panel, including developing case strategy, legal arguments and defenses; overseeing discovery matters; arguing motions to the panel; formulating strategy for the final arbitration hearing; preparing all exhibits for the final hearing; preparing and presenting witnesses at the final hearing; preparing experts for deposition and the final hearing; and drafting all briefs and motion work. After a two-and-a-half-week final hearing, a full defense ruling and take-nothing judgment was rendered in favor of the client. The final arbitration award was confirmed in Texas state court.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 global energy company in a multifaceted international supplier dispute involving complex contractual and legal issues, including claims of fraud and estoppel. In negotiating a successful pre-arbitration resolution, took the lead on preparing the case strategy, formulating the legal defenses and arguments, formulating and asserting counterclaims, and handling the settlement discussions. Due to strong efforts, a successful pre-arbitration resolution and settlement was reached, which was critical to the client’s future business case.
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Experience

  • Represented and defended a Fortune 500 global oil field services company in both U.S.- and Canadian-based arbitration matters concerning an alleged breach of a technology agreement and claims of fraud, fraudulent inducement and estoppel. Was actively involved in preparing and presenting the case to the three-member panel, including developing case strategy, legal arguments and defenses; overseeing discovery matters; arguing motions to the panel; formulating strategy for the final arbitration hearing; preparing all exhibits for the final hearing; preparing and presenting witnesses at the final hearing; preparing experts for deposition and the final hearing; and drafting all briefs and motion work. After a two-and-a-half-week final hearing, a full defense ruling and take-nothing judgment was rendered in favor of the client. The final arbitration award was confirmed in Texas state court.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 global energy company in a multifaceted international supplier dispute involving complex contractual and legal issues, including claims of fraud and estoppel. In negotiating a successful pre-arbitration resolution, took the lead on preparing the case strategy, formulating the legal defenses and arguments, formulating and asserting counterclaims, and handling the settlement discussions. Due to strong efforts, a successful pre-arbitration resolution and settlement was reached, which was critical to the client’s future business case.
  • Seconded assignment to a Fortune 500 global oil field services company and served as in-house legal counsel for multiple divisions of the client. Negotiated transactions on behalf of the company, investigated and handled compliance and personnel matters, oversaw the divisions’ litigation matters, and advised on numerous legal issues addressing the company’s business segments.
  • Represented and defended an energy operations company against claims of breach of contract, fraud and wrongful discharge. In co-first chairing the arbitration matter, gave an opening statement to the three-member panel, presented and cross-examined witnesses, assisted in briefing matters to the panel, and argued multiple motions to the panel. After a week-long final hearing, a full defense ruling and take-nothing judgment was rendered for the client.
  • Represented a professional oncology association in a breach of contract, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty case involving highly complex and technical issues, including professional service and billing issues. Took multiple depositions of key witnesses, argued motions before the court, prepared and presented witnesses at trial, cross-examined witnesses at trial, worked with and prepared experts for deposition and trial, drafted all briefs and motions to the trial court, and assisted in briefing the case to the appellate court. After a split verdict at trial, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s adverse rulings and held in favor of the client. Shortly after the appellate court ruled in the client’s favor, a favorable settlement was reached.
  • Represented a state health institution of higher learning against the federal False Claims Act and retaliation claims involving federal research grants. Prepared the dismissal motions and memorandums to the district court, which resulted in a dismissal with prejudice of all claims against the client. Assisted in preparing the appellee briefing to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the district court’s dismissal in favor of the client. 

Recognitions

  • Texas Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2010 to 2012)

Memberships

  • Texas State Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association

News

Community

  • St. Anne Catholic Community
  • St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church
  • Houston Special Olympics: Volunteer

Services

Industries

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • Texas, 2006

Education

  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2006; magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Order of the Barons; Editor, Houston Journal of International Law
  • B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 2002