People: Suzanna Bonham, Partner

Photo of Suzanna Bonham, Partner

Suzanna Bonham

Partner

Houston
Direct: (713) 860-0085
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Suzanna Bonham is the Chair of the Litigation Department for the Houston office.  She is an experienced litigator and trusted advisor to her clients. Whether it is giving guidance to fight or to settle, or how to structure an agreement, she takes the time to know, understand, and give voice to her clients’ needs and hopes.

Suzanna focuses her practice primarily on commercial litigation – handling litigation in the areas of energy/oil and gas, healthcare, transportation, construction and real estate. In addition to these areas, Suzanna also has significant experience handling matters involving employment issues (including non-compete and trade secret), personal injury (including environmental and asbestos exposure), and product liability.

Suzanna Bonham is the Chair of the Litigation Department for the Houston office.  She is an experienced litigator and trusted advisor to her clients. Whether it is giving guidance to fight or to settle, or how to structure an agreement, she takes the time to know, understand, and give voice to her clients’ needs and hopes.

Suzanna focuses her practice primarily on commercial litigation – handling litigation in the areas of energy/oil and gas, healthcare, transportation, construction and real estate. In addition to these areas, Suzanna also has significant experience handling matters involving employment issues (including non-compete and trade secret), personal injury (including environmental and asbestos exposure), and product liability.

Education

  • J.D., South Texas College of Law (1999)
  • B.A., University of Texas, Austin

Admissions

  • Texas

Representative Engagements

Commercial/Business
  • Representing shareholders in breach of share purchase agreements involving multi-million dollar deferred purchase payments and earn-outs from sale of oil and gas service related companies.
  • Representing company in breach of indemnity and failure to provide insurance arising out of incident involving an explosion of a steam header at a refinery.
  • Represented electric power provider in connection with claims against buyer and parent company arising out of sale of power and loans. Settled on favorable terms with parent company securing payment.
  • Defended Mexican insurance company in multi-million dollar insurance coverage dispute as a result of an airplane crash. Trial on merits with judgment in favor of client.
  • Represented originator of a concept in suit involving trade secret and confidentiality agreements against soft drink company and parking company. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended company in dispute arising out of services agreement related to permitting with FERC for a LNG terminal and associated expert pipeline project, in which damages were sought of approximately $1 million. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended company in dispute arising out of professional services agreement related to environmental study for LNG terminal. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Represented electric power broker in dispute regarding unpaid broker fee commissions and commercial royalties.
Energy/Oil & Gas Litigation
  • Defended manufacturer of oil rigs in personal injury case involving claims of exposure to asbestos.  Obtained dismissal of claims through summary judgment.
  • Defended pipe threading company in personal injury case, in which over 700 plaintiffs claim exposure to NORM/TERM as a result of cleaning oil field pipe.
  • Defended owner of facility in personal injury case brought by plaintiffs claiming environmental contamination. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended natural gas processing plant in personal injury case brought by plaintiffs as a result of a flash fire explosion. Settled favorably immediately prior to trial.
  • Defended oil and gas company in class action suit claiming property damage as a result of seismic exploration. Obtained denial of class certification.
  • Defended environmental oilfield service company in breach of contract case regarding services provided wherein counterclaims involve mismanagement and overcharges.
  • Defended natural gas processing plant in breach of contract case brought by producer claiming misallocation of residue gas and plant products under Gas Gathering, Purchase and Processing Agreement. Obtained partial summary judgment eliminating over $5 million of producer’s claims. Settled following trial on merits.
  • Defended natural gas processing plant in breach of contract case brought by interstate pipeline for recovery of over-payments/over-deliveries due to misreporting of custody meter. Obtained favorable settlement.
  • Defended rig operator in arbitration against rig contractor regarding IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) contract and onshore drilling operations in Marcellus shale formation. Settled on favorable terms.

Employment

  • Represented former employer of seven executives in temporary restraining order involving non-compete claims and trade secret issues. Obtained temporary restraining order and thereafter settled on favorable terms.
  • Represented former company with respect to non-compete claims.  Claims resolved prior to initiation of suit.
  • Defended employer with respect to false imprisonment and personal injury claims by former employees.  Settled on favorable terms prior to initiation of suit.
  • Represented former employer in breach of non-compete agreement.  Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended real estate development company employer against former employee in breach of non-compete agreement. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Represented executive against employer arising out of employment agreement and failure to pay. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended employers in various sexual harassment, hostile work environment and/or discrimination cases in Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEOC”) proceedings.
  • Defended employer in sexual harassment and hostile work environment case in EEOC proceeding. EEOC dismissed in favor of employer.
  • Defended employer in discrimination and hostile work environment case in EEOC proceeding. EEOC dismissed in favor of employer.

Personal Injury

  • Defended manufacturer of oil rigs in personal injury case involving claims of exposure to asbestos.  Obtained dismissal of claims through summary judgment.
  • Defended pipe threading company in personal injury case, in which over 700 plaintiffs claim exposure to NORM/TERM as a result of cleaning oil field pipe.
  • Defended owner of facility in personal injury case brought by plaintiffs claiming environmental contamination. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended premises owner and employer of operator in personal injury case involving a front-end loader. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended natural gas processing plant in personal injury case brought by plaintiffs as a result of a flash fire explosion. Settled favorably immediately prior to trial.
  • Represented pipe threading company in personal injury case, in which one plaintiff claimed exposure to NORM/TERM as a result of cleaning oil field pipe. Dismissal obtained in matter.
  • Defended bottling company in personal injury slip and fall case brought by plaintiff claiming over $1 million in damages. Take nothing judgment obtained in favor of client after trial on merits.

Product Liability

  • Representing chemical manufacturer in various product liability suits. Obtained dismissals.
  • Defended pipe distributor in breach of contract suit by supplier involving non-conforming goods. Obtained favorable settlement.
  • Represented steel plate distributor in breach of contract suit by purchaser involving non­conforming goods. Favorable settlement obtained.
  • Defended manufacturer of fabric in personal injury burn case involving product liability claims. Settled on favorable terms.

Admiralty & Maritime

  • Defended manufacturer of blow out preventer in product liability suit related to personal injury to offshore worker (leg amputation). Summary judgment and Daubert challenge excluding plaintiff’s expert granted for client.
  • Defended platform operator in Jones Act and un-seaworthiness suit involving personal injuries to work boat employee. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended manufacturer and designer of jack up drilling vessel in suit by owner of vessel arising out of collapse during jacking operations offshore Louisiana. Also represented manufacturer in subsequent dispute with insurer. Favorable settlement obtained.

Healthcare Litigation

  • Representing healthcare practice in physician employment dispute involving return of confidential information with counterclaims including allegations of unpaid compensation and fraudulent concealment.
  • Representing professional service providers and healthcare management and leasing companies in various matters.
  • Representing healthcare partnership in disputes involving adverse and non-adverse operative events, including non-compete and confidentiality provisions.
  • Defended healthcare leasing company against hospital claiming tortious interference and defamation. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended healthcare management company against independent contractor in breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, defamation, business disparagement suit. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Represented professional service provider with respect to non-compete agreement.
  • Represented healthcare company regarding the employment and resignation of employee involving breach of confidentiality agreement.

Transportation

  • Representing logistics and transportation companies in various transportation and warehousing agreements. Favorable settlements obtained.

Construction

  • Represented fabricator of pre-engineered metal building and components in breach of contract regarding delivery of materials to multiple project sites.
  • Defended fabricator of pre-engineered metal building in multi-million dollar breach of contract suit with counterclaims regarding the construction of a church the size of a football field. Favorable settlement obtained.
  • Represented construction company against city arising out of break in sewer line. Favorable settlement obtained.
  • Represented commercial builder in breach of contract suit by subcontractor. Favorable settlement obtained.
  • Represented various suppliers of construction materials and services in breach of contract cases. Motions for summary judgment granted in favor of clients.

Real Estate

  • Represented commercial landlords and commercial brokers and property management companies in various real estate transaction disputes.
  • Defended real estate agent in real estate transaction suit in which plaintiffs sought damages with respect to their home. Jury verdict and judgment in favor of client.
  • Represented commercial landlord in breach of contract suit. Default judgment rendered against defendants. Levied upon bank accounts of defendants in California and recovered full judgment with attorney fees.
  • Represented commercial landlord in breach of contract suit. Settled on favorable terms immediately prior to trial.
  • Represented commercial broker and property management company against owner of various buildings in real estate transaction dispute. Settled on favorable terms.

General Litigation

  • Defended chairman of religious organization in suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty and public and private nuisance among other claims. Temporary restraining order was denied and building which had been closed for alleged safety problems was re-opened.
  • Defended insurance agent in negligence and Deceptive Trade Practices Act suit against insured. Summary judgment granted at trial, reversed by Court of Appeals. Settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended rig operator in arbitration against rig contractor regarding IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) contract and onshore drilling operations in Marcellus shale formation. Settled on favorable terms.

Accolades

  • Named a Texas Super Lawyers “Rising Star” by Texas Monthly Magazine (2005, 2012-2014)
  • AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell (peer review results)

Unless otherwise indicated, this attorney is not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.