Jennifer M. Smith

Jennifer M. Smith

Senior Counsel

Email jennifer.smith@​

Phone +1 713 632 1415

Fax +1 713 632 1401

Practice groupLitigation, Arbitration, and Employment

"Clients praise Jennifer's ability to 'dissect complex concepts and present her arguments based on those concepts in a clear way' and describe her as 'very bright, hard-working, and well-organized.'"

Chambers Global

Jennifer Smith has significant experience when it comes to international dispute resolution. A recognized leader in her field, she has advocated for companies involved in complex international commercial disputes for more than 25 years, frequently in far-flung corners of the world. She prides herself on being well-versed in the business and cultural realities of cross-border disputes, as well as on having a deep understanding of almost every facet of the energy industry.

Dual-qualified in England and Texas, Jennifer enjoys dissecting difficult international legal concepts and teaming with her clients to distill and present the issues in a straight-forward manner to the arbitral tribunal. Her extensive hands-on trial experience combined with experience sitting as an arbitrator gives her the tools to develop creative solutions to complex business disputes.

Jennifer advises corporations on disputes concerning a wide range of issues: from those involving drilling rigs, reservoir management, LNG, production sharing agreements and FPSOs, to issues of corporate governance and joint ventures. The governing laws of the arbitrations that she has handled are equally broad and include those of England, Trinidad & Tobago, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Ecuador, Poland, the Philippines, Texas, and even principles of Sharia law.

Jennifer practiced in the United Kingdom for eight years. She began her legal career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Lynn N. Hughes of the United States District court for the Southern District of Texas.

Jennifer enjoys devoting time to both professional and community service organizations. She presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration, on the International Advisory Committee of the ICDR, on the Advisory Council of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business, on the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of Houston, and as a Trustee of Wellesley College.

Awards and recognitions


Who's Who Legal (in association with Global Arbitration Review)


Acritas Star
Acritas Stars Independently Rated Lawyers


Who's Who Legal


UK - Dispute Resolution, Foreign Expert Based in USA
Chambers Global


International Arbitration (USA)
Chambers Global


Best in Commercial Arbitration, Shortlist


International Arbitration (Nationwide)
Chambers USA

Education and admissions


J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, with honors, 1990

B.A., Wellesley College, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1987


Advisory Board, KBH Center for Energy, Law, and Business

Director, Houston World Affairs Council

Executive Committee, Institute for Transnational Arbitration

Advisory Board, Institute for Energy Law

International Advisory Committee of the ICDR

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

International Bar Association

London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

Bar admissions and qualifications


Solicitor, England and Wales

Representative experience

Represented a large natural gas and crude oil pipeline company on a high-dollar dispute arising out of a gas processing agreement in Texas.

Represented a U.S. oil and gas shareholder in a London-based ICC arbitration relating to governance rights in a Trinidadian ammonia production facility.*

Represented a French helicopter engine manufacturer in an ICDR arbitration with its U.S. distributor and service provider.

Represented a Japanese diversified industrial company on claims related to mechanical issues on an ethylene export terminal chiller causing product contamination.

Represented an independent oil and gas company in an expert determination in London on shutdown of an offshore production platform in the UK Continental Shelf and related loss production issues.

Represented a U.S. independent oil and gas company in an ad hoc arbitration against a midstream company relating to gas gathering, processing and fractionation facilities.

Advised an oil and gas company in a dispute with a state-owned Caribbean natural gas transmission and distribution company regarding gas curtailments in long-term gas supply contracts.

Represented a global chemical company in a high-dollar UNCITRAL arbitration between shareholders of an Eastern European polyolefins producer.*

Represented a Philippine power producer in a Singapore arbitration brought by a Dutch disponent owner relating to a contract of affreightment.*

Represented a U.S. directional drilling service company in an ICDR arbitration brought against a UK developer of rotary steerable systems.*

Defended a global grain trading company in an ICDR arbitration arising out of a series of contracts with a Korean investor.*

Represented energy companies in a multibillion dollar ICC arbitration against a Middle Eastern state arising out of a production sharing contract.*

Represented an energy company in a London-seated LCIA arbitration on construction and warranties in a purchase and sale agreement for an FPSO operating offshore Western Africa.*

Represented a Georgian company in an ICDR arbitration concerning a drilling rig contract and related enforcement proceedings in several countries.*

*Matter handled prior to joining Hogan Lovells.

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