Lafayette
337.237.6062
New Orleans
504.581.6062
Houston
713.355.6062

Lyle Rathwell has handled a broad range of legal matters affecting business operations of his clients including litigation, energy transactions, contracts, accident investigations, insurance coverage and risk allocation, human resources and employment issues for more than 30 years. He has extensive trial experience handling matters involving oil and gas, energy contracts, state and federal administrative compliance, catastrophic construction accidents, products liability, environmental, transportation, premises liability, maritime personal injury, engineering and construction contract disputes, complex commercial disputes, OSHA investigation and citation representation, defense of bodily injury and fatality cases, risk management, insurance coverage and subrogation litigation. His practice includes representation of clients including domestic and international insurers, energy companies, oil and gas drilling and service contractors, offshore vessel and platform owners, trucking companies, construction entities, contractors and engineers in commercial, energy, industrial energy, and refinery operations.

  • Practice Areas
    • Casualty Litigation and Coverage
    • Catastrophic Construction Accidents
    • Commercial Disputes and Litigation
    • Contracts & Coverage Issues
    • Energy Transactions (Risk Allocation)
    • Engineering and Construction Contract Disputes
    • Insurance Coverage, Litigation and Recovery
    • Insurance Defense of Bodily Injury and Fatality Cases
    • Maritime Personal Injury
    • Personal Injury Litigation
    • Premises Liability
    • Products Liability
    • Transportation (Regulatory Compliance and Litigation)
  • Education
    • University of Houston J.D., Cum Laude (1988)
    • University of Calgary M.S. Engineering (1982)
    • Lakehead University B.S. Civil Engineering (1981)
  • Bar Admissions
    • Texas
  • Court Admissions
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • All Texas State Courts
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
    • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Experience
    • Served as counsel for refinery owners, operators, and maintenance and construction contractors in refinery operations including contractual issues, bodily injury, and chemical exposure litigation.
    • Drafted and negotiated master service agreements, engineering, drilling, construction and maintenance service contracts and related agreements including risk, loss allocation and indemnity.
    • Defended numerous drilling and energy service contractors, energy companies, vessel owners, product manufacturers, service contractors, and repair and maintenance facilities in fatality, bodily injury, commercial, contract, property damage and toxic tort litigation in state and federal court.
    • Defended a major wind turbine manufacturer involving construction and catastrophic property damage litigation.
    • Represented insureds and insurers in risk allocation and insurance coverage matters.
    • Litigated for a construction and transportation company in a matter over the collapse of a crane during a complex lift, resulting in serious bodily injury and property damage.
    • Assisted clients in coordination and training of HSE personnel in safety systems, accident investigation, root cause analysis, and reporting.
    • Supreme Court decision regarding the interpretation and application of the contractual indemnity obligation of a drilling contractor pursuant to the Texas Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Statute.
    • Counseled energy, engineering and construction clients in matters involving OSHA accident investigations and the defense of the prosecution of citations by the U.S. Department of Labor.
    • Represented an international insurance company in a subrogation matter over a construction defect in a refinery which resulted in a recovery in excess of $20 million.
    • Defended drilling and energy service contractors in downhole oil and gas well failure, blow out and property damage contract and litigation disputes.
    • Counseled numerous clients insured by domestic and surplus lines insurers in breach of contract, serious bodily injury, fatality, and insurance coverage litigation cases.
    • Defended clients in serious bodily injury litigation involving the alleged exposure to hazardous chemicals including benzene in oil and gas drilling and well servicing operations.
    • Experienced in drafting federal and state court contracts and assisting clients in their responsibility to comply with all applicable federal and state regulations.
    • Litigated matters involving an interstate flatbed motor carrier in bodily injury claims and commercial cargo disputes and state and federal DOT compliance issues.
  • Publications and Presentations
    • Managing Risk in Oilfield Operations, AESC, San Antonio, Texas (2018)
    • A Blowout and Broken Bones, Now What? A Look at Drilling Contract Provisions, AESC Winter Meeting, Tucson, Arizona (2013)
    • Legislative and Regulatory Impacts on the Cost of Oilfield Services, Institute of Energy Law (2012)
    • Contractual Risk Transfer – Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Statutes, International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (2011)
    • Contractual Indemnity in the Oilfield Industry in Louisiana and Texas (2008)
  • Professional and Community Affiliations
    • State Bar of Texas
    • Houston Bar Association
    • Order of the Coif
    • Order of the Barons
    • Houston Law Review
    • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
    • Maritime Law Association
    • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
    • Defense Research Institute
    • Institute for Energy Law
    • Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC)
    • International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADS)
  • Recognitions
    • AV© Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating