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Shih, Kate

Kate Kaufmann Shih

Direct Tel: +1 713-221-7011, Direct Fax: +1 713-221-7100
Tel: +1 713 221 7000 Fax: +1 713 221 7100

Kate is a Partner in Quinn Emanuel’s Houston Office.  Her practice focuses on complex, high-stakes energy and infrastructure litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on matters arising out of distressed assets and bankruptcies.  She has appeared in federal and state courts and international and domestic arbitrations in forums across the country.  Known for her relentless, creative approach to problem-solving and her unique ability to distill complex topics into simple, compelling stories, Kate has achieved stellar results for clients on both sides of the docket, including nine-figure awards and settlements for plaintiffs and complete dismissals for defendants.  Recently, Kate was a key part of the team that won and confirmed a $720 million ICDR arbitral award on behalf of Vantage Deepwater.

Kate clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  Kate is President of the Federal Bar Association and is also a founder and co-chair of the Chapter’s Inclusion Initiative, which seeks to bring greater diversity to federal practice in Houston.

  • Vantage Drilling International
  • SH 130 Concession Company
  • Talen Energy Corporation
  • Trial counsel for Vantage Drilling International in an ICDR arbitration to recover damages for pretextual termination of long-term deepwater drilling contract.  The arbitration resulted in a $720 million award in Vantage’s favor that the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas confirmed in 2019.  Appellate proceedings regarding the confirmation are ongoing.
  • Trial counsel for Reorganized SH 130 Concession Company, LLC, in an adversary proceeding pending in the Western District of Texas that seeks to recover more than $300 million in fraudulent transfers out of the estate and to recover for breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Trial counsel for Reorganized SH 130 Concession Company, LLC, in an ICC arbitration to recover for damages under a contract to construct Segments 5 and 6 of Texas State Highway 130, between Austin and Seguin.
  • Trial counsel for Talen Energy Corporation in breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfer litigation concerning legacy coal-fired assets in Montana.
  • Trial counsel for TOTAL E&P USA in a series of contract disputes in the Southern District of Texas concerning decommissioning of deepwater oil wells and pipeline.
  • Trial counsel in confidential international arbitration for oil major in dispute regarding a net profits interest in an oil and gas venture.  Proceedings are ongoing.
  • Lead trial counsel for Momentum Telecom in opposition to breach of contract and motion for TRO filed in the Southern District of Texas.  Defendants voluntarily dismissed after the TRO was denied.
  • Trial counsel for major pharmaceutical company in defending a trade secret action filed in Texas state court.  The parties reached a favorable settlement after targeted discovery.
  • Trial counsel for individual defendant in currently pending FERC market manipulation action.
  • Trial counsel for major dialysis company in defending a False Claims Act qui tam action in the Eastern District of Texas.  The parties reached a favorable settlement.
  • Columbia Law School
    (J.D., 2006)
    • Columbia Law Review:
      • Articles Editor
    • James Kent Scholar
    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Hamilton Fellow
  • Stanford University
    (B.A., with honors, with distinction, Music & Philosophy, 2003)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The State Bar of New York
  • United States District Court:
    • Northern District of Texas
    • Eastern District of Texas
    • Southern District of Texas
    • Western District of Texas
    • Southern District of New York
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2009-2010
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Lee H. Rosenthal:
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2008-2009
  • Recognized as a “Key Lawyer” for Energy litigation: oil and gas by Legal 500 (2022)
  • Named “Up and Coming Lawyer” for General Commercial Litigation in Houston, Texas by Chambers USA (2022)
  • Law360 Top Attorney Under 40 – Energy (2020)
  • Kate Shih & Nico Caluda, 6 Key Issues from Foreign Discovery Argument at Hight Court, Law360 (March 29, 2022)
  • Author, 10 Tips for a Successful Remote Arbitration Hearing, Law360 (June 29, 2020)
  • Panel presenter, 2018 Houston Bar Association, ADR Conference, regarding vacatur of arbitral awards
  • Federal Bar Association, Southern District of Texas Chapter:
    • Secretary
    • Founder and Co-Chair, Inclusion Initiative