Kelly Sandill is a problem solver and a compelling courtroom advocate. She has extensive experience representing energy sector clients and governmental entities in high-stakes court proceedings at the trial and appellate levels.
Her cases often involve claims for her emergency and injunctive relief and attract media attention. In more than 17 years of trial practice, Kelly has successfully handled merger challenges, conspiracy and commercial fraud actions, energy contract disputes, fiduciary duty and partnership cases, bidder and contractor disputes, election challenges, Voting Rights Act cases, public bond validation proceedings, ultra vires claims, whistleblower suits, and constitutional litigation.
Kelly also regularly leads internal investigations for private and public sector clients relating to major accidents, ethics concerns and regulatory compliance. She is recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer in the area of business litigation, and she routinely writes and speaks on new developments in the law.
Clients value Kelly’s skill in distilling complex facts and legal arguments, shrewdly evaluating legal strategies and communicating as effectively in the boardroom as she does in the courtroom.
In addition to her active trial practice, Kelly is an involved member of the Houston community. She is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation and has been a member of the Alexis De Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Greater Houston for many years.
She is a supporter of numerous local initiatives and philanthropic causes and is married to Judge R.K. Sandill of Texas’s 127th Civil District Court.
- Trial counsel for tax-increment-funded local development association in action challenging constitutionality of entity and supporting tax increment. Obtained trial court victory on all claims.
- Trial counsel for Texas municipality in action alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act in connection with change from single-member city council districts to mixed single-member and at-large system.
- Trial counsel for Texas county in Section 1983 action alleging termination of contract in retaliation for constitutionally protected speech.
- Trial counsel for Texas school district in election contest relating to school bond election. Obtained dismissal of suit.
- Trial counsel for metropolitan transit system in action alleging violation of contract with voters over building of light rail. Obtained trial court dismissal of all claims.
- Trial and appellate counsel for largest public school system in Texas (7th largest in the nation) in action by community activists seeking to enjoin new school construction based on allegations of improper use of public bond funds. Obtained trial victory on all claims.
- Trial and appellate counsel for third largest county in the United States in action alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act in connection with redistricting of electoral maps for County Commissioners Court. Obtained trial court judgment in favor of county on all claims. Argued matter before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judgment affirmed in all respects.
- Trial counsel for Houston area sports and community venue district in action by bond insurer to compel increase in rate of taxes imposed as revenue source for outstanding public bonds. Obtained trial court dismissal of all claims.
- Trial and appellate counsel for major Texas city in action under Texas Expedited Declaratory Judgment Act to validate city ordinance adopting increase in water and sewer service rates. Obtained trial court judgment in favor of city; judgment affirmed on appeal.
- Counsel for community college district in internal investigation of campus shooting incident.
- Counsel for local governmental entity in internal investigation of sexual harassment claims against government contractor.
- Counsel for school district in internal investigation of ethics and procurement matters.
- Counsel for local governmental entity in internal investigation of suspected employee theft of governmental property.
- Counsel for pipeline manufacturer in internal investigation of fatality accident.
- Trial counsel for a leading provider of midstream energy services in bankruptcy litigation to recover for debtors’ rejection of long-term contract for delivery of natural gas liquids.
- Trial counsel for energy sector master limited partnership in Texas lawsuit over all-stock acquisition of affiliated entity in consolidation transaction resulting in combined partnership worth $7.5 billion.
- Trial counsel for the special committee of a publicly traded energy sector master limited partnership in a nationwide class action over a proposed merger transaction.
- Trial counsel for the acquirer of a Texas corporation in shareholder derivative litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the corporation’s board of directors in connection with a $203 million tender offer.
- Trial counsel for banking institution in action against former executives for usurpation of corporate opportunities.
- Trial counsel for investment fund manager in action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and negligence in management of Texas limited partnership.
- Trial counsel for oil refiner and marketer in federal court action by the production subsidiary of the national oil company of Mexico alleging conversion and conspiracy in connection with the import, purchase, and sale of natural gas condensate allegedly stolen by Mexican drug cartels.
- Trial and appellate counsel for oil and gas company in federal court action by Ukrainian company relating to dispute over joint development of natural gas fields in Ukraine.
- Obtained stay of case, pending arbitration in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Counsel for energy sector services company in connection with government investigation relating to federal export and trade regulations.
- JD, University of Houston Law Center, cum laude, Houston Law Review, Administrative Editor, 2001
- BA, Political Science, Mercer University, 1998
- US District Court, Northern District of Texas
- US District Court, Southern District of Texas
- US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- US Supreme Court
- US Tax Court
- Texas Bar Foundation – Fellow
- Houston Bar Foundation – Fellow
- American Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- Houston Association of Women Attorneys
- Human Rights Foundation – Federal Club
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2013 Fellow
- United Way of Greater Houston, Alexis De Tocqueville Societ
- Center For Houston’s Future, Spring 2015 Business/Civic Leadership Forum
- Commissioner, Harris County Appraisal District (2014)
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