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Bruce D. Oakley

Office Managing Partner

Bruce D. Oakley

Drawing on his 25 years as a trial lawyer in Houston, Bruce Oakley helps commercial clients solve problems through advice, analysis, and advocacy. Having served as a judge presiding over thousands of lawsuits, Bruce knows particularly well the risks and opportunities facing clients with business disputes; and what works and does not work at the courthouse.

Bruce uses that knowledge to develop and carry out strategies both in the boardroom and in the courtroom, especially for clients facing complex cross-border disputes. He regularly represents businesses across the energy spectrum — from exploration and production, drilling operations, refineries, pipelines, and to the services sector.

As Managing Partner of our Houston office, Bruce works with lawyers throughout our global practice. Before joining our firm 10 years ago, Bruce served as Judge of the 234th Judicial District Court. Prior to being appointed and then reelected to the court, he was a partner in a major Texas firm trying lawsuits in state and federal courts. He is ranked by Chambers, the Legal 500, Texas SuperLawyers, and BTI. He also holds a certification in Civil Trial Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Bruce continues his public service having previously served as President of Children's Protective Services and now as a Director of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority. He is married and has five children.


"The highly experienced Bruce Oakley heads Hogan Lovells US LLP's Texas litigation team. He has previously served as a Texas state court judge and is described by clients as an 'exceptionally capable advocate' with 'a very good, analytical' approach."


Areas of focus

Representative experience

Representing a deepwater drilling contractor against claims relating to the dissolution of a Brazilian joint venture.

Representing innovative shale logistics company in trade secret lawsuit.

Representing an exploration and production company in a dispute over rig failure during drilling operation in the Eagle Ford Shale formation.

Defended foreign sovereign integrated energy company against series of lawsuits under the Alien Tort Claims Act and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Representing offshore drilling contractor in federal litigation against a multinational oil and gas company concerning deepwater drilling operations.

Defended clean energy manufacturing company in defense of a lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.

Defended independent power producer in litigation brought by former officer arising out of a DOJ investigation and prosecution.

Arbitrator in variety of energy and insurance related disputes.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., cum laude; Leon Jaworski Scholarship in Advocacy, Baylor University School of Law, 1989
  • B.A., Baylor University, 1986


  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Member, Houston Bar Association
  • Member, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • Texas

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Litigation: General Commercial (Texas)

Chambers USA


Board Certified, Civil Trial Law

Texas Board of Legal Specialization


Texas Super Lawyers


Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Aerospace/Aviation

Legal 500 US


BTI Client Service All-Star


Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, Business Litigation

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