NP represented a class of underpaid royalty owners in this action against SM Energy Co. and its successors, EnerVest and FourPoint. After vigorously prosecuting this action as class co-counsel for over four years, NP obtained a partial settlement with respect to the claims against EnerVest and FourPoint totaling nearly $55 million on behalf of the class. This settlement consisted of a $52 million cash payment (which alone represents approximately 100% of the class’s principle claim for royalty underpayment) and contractually guaranteed future benefits that ensure EnerVest and FourPoint will not deduct certain specific costs from royalty payments for a period of 36 months. These binding changes to the Settling Parties’ royalty payment methodology have a present value of at least $2.9 million.
On December 23, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma granted final approval of the settlement. NP continues to prosecute the remaining claims against SM Energy Co.
NP’s complex litigation team—partners Jeffrey Angelovich, Brad Beckworth, Susan Whatley, Lisa Baldwin, Trey Duck, and Drew Pate—led the prosecution of this case.