Downstream – Chemicals and Refining

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Foley is known for its boots-on-the-ground representation of chemical, refining and energy companies – from the world’s largest refineries to middle market plastics manufacturers and smaller chemical producers. With the Gulf Coast being home to the largest concentration of chemical companies in the United States, Foley’s Houston office is entrenched in the issues that represent our clients’ greatest opportunities and their greatest concerns.
Particular strengths of Foley’s Chemical and Refining Industry Team include complex litigation of all kinds, environmental compliance and litigation, workplace exposure matters, employment counseling and litigation, air compliance, internal investigations and intellectual property, such as chemical technology patent prosecution and protection.

Clients remark how thorough yet practical we are, and they appreciate the efficiency of how we work. With degrees in science and engineering, we are viewed as knowledgeable and important assets in the plant setting – comfortable getting our boots dirty – and always willing to do what it takes to get a matter resolved as quickly as possible.

Foley’s industry knowledge together with its sophisticated transactional and litigation services are the foundation for what works most effectively for our clients. Our specific experience includes:

Complex and Multiparty Litigation

  • Complex business lawsuits
  • Lawsuits involving contract formation and compliance, commercial agreements and transactions, force majeure, joint ventures, computer system integration claims, infrastructure projects and construction, trade secrets, insurance coverage, indemnity, pricing issues and antitrust
  • Toxic tort litigation
  • Workplace exposure cases
  • Benzene, asbestos, vinyl chloride, styrene, pesticides and silicosis
  • Environmental litigation
  • Regulatory litigation
  • Underground water contamination
  • Superfund litigation
  • Patent litigation

Major Infrastructure Projects/Development, Construction and Procurement/Operations

  • In-fence cogeneration facilities
  • Engineering, procurement and construction contracts
  • Operations and maintenance agreements
  • Service agreements
  • Common shared facilities agreements

Combinations and Divestitures

  • Acquisition and divestiture agreements
  • Joint ventures

Commercial Transactions

  • Strategic supply and sales contracts
  • Toll processing agreements
  • Off-taker agreements

Compliance/Internal Investigations/White Collar Crime

  • Audit committee and internal investigations
  • Commodity price reporting policies
  • Compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), environmental laws and permit issues
  • Document retention policies
  • Price fixing and antitrust
  • Operations integrity programs, incident reporting systems and risk management

Intellectual Property

  • Patent prosecution in various arts including chemical engineering equipment, chemical reactions, chemical processes, organic chemistry and polymer chemistry
  • Freedom to operate and noninfringement opinion
  • Trade secret protection


  • Resolution of employment and immigration issues
  • Union elections, contract negotiation, strikes and labor boycotts
  • Wage and hour disputes, including collective actions
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) planning and defense of citations and safety counseling and process preparation
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and discrimination claims
  • Workers’ compensation retaliation claims


  • Lending
  • Negotiating credit agreements
  • Finance agreements


  • Short- and long-term planning of both permanent and temporary international transfers of personnel for corporate companies
  • Obtaining U.S. nonimmigrant visas
  • Obtaining U.S. permanent residence through employment, investment or family relationships

Environmental/Permitting and Regulatory Compliance

  • Permitting for the release of pollutants into the air, water, groundwater, municipal sewage systems, and municipal and industrial landfills
  • Permitting for fungicides, pesticides, insecticides, rodenticides and toxic substances
  • Administrative regulatory compliance matters at the state, federal and local level involving hazardous waste management, wastewater discharges, air emissions, oil pollution and stormwater management
  • Environmental risk and compliance issues relating to the acquisition, divestiture and remediation of real property

Tax Planning/Transfer Pricing

  • Local, state, federal and international tax advice in connection with reorganizations, spinoffs, mergers, asset acquisitions and partnerships
  • Transfer pricing issues
  • Tax disputes


  • Litigation, arbitration and negotiation of insurance coverage disputes involving property, business interruption, liability, directors and officers, and errors and omissions coverage
  • Policy reviews

Financial Restructuring and Reorganization

  • Creditor, debtor and creditor committee work


  • Developing and coordinating comprehensive legal, legislative and public relations strategies
  • Engaging in direct advocacy with government decision-makers
  • Monitoring activities in the legislative and executive branches
  • Drafting, analyzing and monitoring bills
  • Testifying before legislative committees