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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Joseph W. Buoni

Joseph W. Buoni

Partner

Expertise

  • Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction and Engineering Litigation
  • Arbitration and Mediation

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Profile

Joe is a litigation and bankruptcy partner in the firm’s Houston office.

He represents clients across many industries, but his practice focuses on the representation of energy companies, financial institutions and private equity funds, including their portfolio of companies.

Joe’s dual practice, which includes extensive experience litigating complex commercial and energy-related cases as well as representing debtors and creditors with bankruptcy proceedings, allows him to both navigate contested matters and adversary proceedings that arise during bankruptcy and address potential insolvency and collection issues that commonly arise in the federal and state court lawsuits he handles.

In his litigation practice, Joe regularly counsels his clients in cases involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty and theft of trade secrets, among other causes of action. In the area of bankruptcy, he advises energy companies and financial institutions in pre-bankruptcy planning matters and throughout bankruptcy proceedings. In particular, Joe frequently advises midstream companies on dealings with financially distressed E&P counterparties to various midstream agreements, including gathering agreements, TSAs, and purchase and buy/sell agreements concerning crude oil, natural gas and NGLs. He provides his clients with pre-bankruptcy strategies aimed to improve their recovery in the event of a counterparty bankruptcy and stands ready to represent them as creditors of E&P companies in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases (e.g., preserving lien rights post-petition, negotiating contract assumption issues, and litigating rejection damages claims based on MVC obligations).

Prior to entering private practice, Joe completed two federal clerkships over the course of three years. From 2011 to 2012, Joe was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Joe served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Marvin Isgur of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas from 2009 to 2011.

He is an active member of the community and participates as a member of both the United Way’s Law Initiative Steering Committee and the United Way’s Leadership Circle. Joe is also passionate about pro bono opportunities and provides representation through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers and Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) programs. Joe is also a leader and advocate of the firm’s efforts to support the Houston Association of Women Attorneys (AWA) Foundation as a Charter Sponsor.

Representative Experience

  • Currently representing large midstream company in bankruptcy court in pursuit of claims, which are premised on a pre-existing state court lawsuit, against exploration and production company that filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2018.
  • Currently representing global long/short credit manager in pursuing claims based on violations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Currently representing energy auction company and certain employees in defending against lawsuit concerning alleged theft of trade secrets and violation of restrictive covenants.
  • Currently representing aerospace and energy parts manufacturer in defending lawsuit alleging theft of trade secrets and violation of non-compete agreement.
  • Represented the administrator of large shipping company’s confirmed bankruptcy plan in investigating potential preserved causes of action against former representatives and insiders of bankrupt company.
  • Represented major pipeline company in recovering damages from producer of raw NGL mix who rejected the applicable, long-term purchase agreement during its Chapter 11 proceeding.
  • Represented publicly-traded construction company in defense of Sarbanes-Oxley “whistleblower” action filed by former officers of defendant’s wholly-owned subsidiary.
  • Represented subsidiary of publicly-traded power company in a prepackaged chapter 11 proceeding seeking to restructure approximately $800 million in debt owed by the subsidiary.
  • Represented major international oil and gas exploration company and certain of its joint interests partners in a commercial arbitration over the sharing of costs of the design, engineering, fabrication, transportation, installation, commissioning, and operation of a multibillion-dollar floating offshore production facility in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Represented major international oil and gas company in pursuit of over $20 million in damages against contractors based on overcharges obtained during subcontractor’s work in the response to a significant oil spill.
  • Represented large pipeline company in a dispute with a producer of natural gas who repudiated natural gas purchase and transportation agreements.
  • Represented national bank headquartered in Texas in defense of lender liability lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $60 million based on alleged misrepresentations made by bank during loan approval process for a loan that would have funded the purchase of certain oil and gas assets.
  • Represented Debtor with $400 million in secured debt in chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding that resulted in successful 363 sale of the Debtors’ assets.
  • Represented private equity fund in defense of multimillion-dollar dispute concerning an alleged oral promise of a brokerage fee, which concluded in a favorable settlement shortly after filing the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
  • Represented national bank headquartered in Texas in defense of a lender liability lawsuit brought by approximately twenty plaintiffs seeking damages in excess of $10 million by obtaining dismissal of all claims through filings motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.
  • Represented power plant in multimillion-dollar arbitration proceeding wherein the tribunal held on summary judgment that the client had properly terminated its operations and maintenance agreement.
  • Counseled financial institution in numerous adversary proceedings seeking to recover amounts ranging from $40 to $400 million based upon Bankruptcy Code and common law equitable remedies.

Education

BA, Miami University, cum laude, 2006
Areas of Practice

Arbitration and Mediation | Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights | Commercial Litigation | Construction and Engineering Litigation | Energy | Energy and Environmental Litigation | Energy Litigation | Fiduciary Litigation | Financial Services Litigation | Litigation | Oil & Gas Disputes | Securities Litigation and SEC Enforcement

Articles

  • Stop The Dominoes From Falling: Making Sure That One Affiliate’s Liabilities Do Not Bring Down The Whole Corporate Family, 35th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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