John Shely

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

$ $$$

Travis Street 600
Houston 77002 TX US

John B. Shely’s practice includes all aspects of managed care litigation, with an emphasis on provider litigation, ERISA benefits litigation, and bad faith insurance practices litigation.
He also has significant experience handling commercial litigation and products liability cases.

John has served as first chair in jury and bench trials and has argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Tenth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas, various Texas appellate courts and other appellate courts on many occasions.

He represents insurers, plan administrators, preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations, employers, trustees, banks, fiduciaries and claims administrators.

For more than two decades, John has represented managed care companies as lead counsel in high profile cases forming much of the law that governs this industry today. These cases include the representation of managed care companies in their successful challenge to Texas’ HMO Health Care Liability Act.

Additionally, in a case brought under this Act, John was lead counsel in the lower courts for two of the three cases that were consolidated and decided in Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila, 542 U.S. 200 (2004).

Recently, much of John’s practice has involved representing managed care companies in disputes with providers. These disputes include arbitrations or lawsuits with network providers, putative class actions by physicians, countering chargemaster abuse by out-of-network providers, and defending claims for millions of dollars in prompt pay penalties.

A significant area of his practice involves providers alleged to have engaged in large scale schemes involving improper or fraudulent billing practices. Notable among these is a case in which the client obtained a $41 million judgment against an out-of-network hospital for billing fraud involving fee forgiveness and kickbacks to physician-owners.

John has handled many cases relating to pension claims and breach of fiduciary duty claims under ERISA. He also has defended many suits seeking to certify a plaintiff class. For instance, John represented managed care companies, winning class action suits that asserted i) a breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA for the alleged failure to disclose financial incentive arrangements, and ii) alleged violations of the Lanham Act.

He has significant experience with respect to the scope of ERISA preemption and the application of the doctrine to various factual settings. John also has tried numerous ERISA benefits suits in federal court including injunction cases relating to COBRA issues and deselection of providers from managed care networks. Additionally, many other cases have been resolved in favor of clients, prior to trial, as a result of the granting of pretrial motions.


  • JD, University of Houston Law Center, Phi Delta Phi, Order of the Coif, Houston Law Review, Member, 1986
  • BA, Albion College, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, 1980


  • Texas


  • US District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Western District of Texas
  • US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court, District of Colorado
  • US District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma
  • US District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • US Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit


  • Houston Bar Association


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Travis Street 600
Houston 77002 TX US
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