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Thomas Cubbage
Thomas L. Cubbage III
Washington +1 202 662 5464 Download V-card

T.L. Cubbage is a seasoned advocate who represents energy businesses and others before courts and arbitral tribunals. He has appeared as first-chair counsel in cases involving multi-billion dollar amounts in controversy.

While devoting much of his time to clients in the oil and gas sector and co-chairing Covington’s Energy Litigation group, Mr. Cubbage represents clients in other industries and in disputes ranging from treaty claims to patent enforcement. He has litigated many cases against the federal government and argued before arbitrators in both commercial and investor-state disputes. For three years, he served as a senior in-house counsel for a global oil, natural gas, and chemicals business.

  • Representation of ExxonMobil subsidiaries in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela seeking full compensation under the Netherlands-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty and international law for the expropriation of their investments in Venezuela. The amount in controversy exceeds $2 billion.
  • Acted as co-lead counsel for an international oil company in an ICC arbitration to enforce a contractual indemnity against a national oil company in Latin America, resulting in a U.S. $907 million award.
  • Represented a natural gas pipeline operator in arbitration and court proceedings against insurers after a rupture and fire, resulting in favorable settlements to secure coverage for government investigations and liability claims arising from the accident.
  • Appeared before an ICSID tribunal in an arbitration arising from the expropriation of interests in an oil production services business in Latin America, resulting in a tribunal award for more than U.S. $60 million.
  • Represented numerous upstream oil and gas companies in royalty or lease development disputes with the U.S. federal government.
  • Prosecuted CERCLA contribution action against the federal government that obtained more than U.S. $20 million and a commitment to contribute to remediation costs at a formerly government-owned, contractor-operated site.
  • Obtained the dismissal of claims brought in New York under the Alien Tort Statute by foreign plaintiffs alleging violations of international law by operations of a mining and smelting business.
  • Defeated an effort by plaintiffs in an ERISA class action to block a Fortune 20 company’s purchase of an annuity contract to settle U.S. $7.5 billion in pension liabilities.
  • Secured summary judgment in favor of a Fortune 50 company in an ERISA class action alleging excessive 401(k) plan expenses.
  • Defended a Fortune 20 company against ERISA “stock drop” claims alleging breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the employer company stock.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Law Institute, Member
    • Members Consultative Group on the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration
    • Members Consultative Group on the Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance
  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

Previous Experience

  • Kerr-McGee Corporation, Senior Counsel (2003-2006) 
  • Chambers USA, ERISA Litigation (2014-2017)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Energy & Resources (2013-2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - ERISA (2013-2017)
  • Legal 500 US, Energy: Litigation (2013-2017) and ERISA Litigation (2010-2015)    
  • Legal 500 Latin America, International Arbitration (2012-2015)