Andrew Stakelum is an energy and maritime lawyer in King & Spalding’s Houston Office. His practice focuses on tort, environmental, and commercial disputes involving the energy and maritime industries. Mr. Stakelum is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana where he practiced before joining King & Spalding. He is licensed in Texas and Louisiana and has broad experience litigating disputes involving onshore and offshore energy operations, as well as shipping and other maritime claims. He also counsels these industries on potential issues before litigation arises, including the review of contractual risk allocation provisions and compliance with offshore and marine regulations enforced by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
Mr. Stakelum maintains an active trial practice, including extensive admiralty and maritime trial work. He has represented energy and marine clients in state and federal courts, before regulatory proceedings, and in arbitrations before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators and Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association. Mr. Stakelum has tried to verdict personal injury claims, cargo claims, pollution and contamination claims, and other casualty losses. He has also arbitrated claims for vessel damage and involving charter disputes. Representing vessel owners, charterers, terminal operators, and other companies operating on domestic and international waters, he assists clients in resolving a wide range of maritime issues including vessel arrests, charter disputes, collisions, cargo liabilities and pollution liability (OPA 90).
Mr. Stakelum’s regulatory practice is devoted to the maritime and offshore energy industries. He has advised operators and service companies on compliance issues concerning BSEE’s evolving post-Macondo regulations and shared oversight with the USCG, and defended companies investigated by BSEE for alleged regulatory misconduct. Additionally, Mr. Stakelum advises vessel owners on crewing requirements, customs issues, and Jones Act compliance.
Mr. Stakelum has presented at various conferences in the U.S. and U.K. on offshore regulatory developments, including the reorganization of BSEE, BOEM, and ONRR; BSEE’s expanded jurisdiction over service companies; the potential impact of SEMS on contractual risk allocation; and Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP) requirements.
- Defense of major E&P company in Louisiana state court involving allegations that historical oilfield operations contaminated soil and groundwater with salts and heavy metals; after three week trial, jury returned defense verdict rejecting plaintiffs’ claim for more than $115 million in damages;
- Defense of major E&P company in docket of cases in Louisiana alleging environmental contamination and coastal land loss to property from historical oil and gas operations;
- Defense of company that owned fuel product in storage tanks when tank farm exploded during vessel discharge operations;
- Prosecution of damage claim against a responsible party under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990;
- Defense of oilfield contractors against whistleblower allegations of offshore regulatory violations;
- Defense of drilling contractors, service companies, operators, and vessel owners against claims for personal injuries, property damage, and pollution;
- Prosecution of lost and deferred production claims on behalf of operator whose platform was damaged by passing vessel;