Jonathan Smith


Direct  713 490 3810
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  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1999 (Order of the Coif)
  • B.A. (magna cum laude), Economics and Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 1996 (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Judicial Clerk, Hon. Edward E. Carnes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


Jonathan Smith’s trial and arbitration practice involves a wide range of commercial disputes, from contract disputes among small businesses to the dissolution of complex, international joint ventures. In his appellate practice, he represents clients in federal and state appellate courts on a variety of matters, which have included challenging and defending judgments in commercial, personal injury and employment disputes, eminent domain claims, and enforcement of arbitration awards, as well as providing legal strategy and briefing support in litigation matters.

Mr. Smith practiced in the Houston office of Baker Botts before joining Shipley Snell.

Selected Matters

  • Represented a refining company in New York federal and state courts to recover cost overruns and liquidated damages from an international contractor in disputes arising from an engineering, procurement, and construction project for a low sulfur diesel unit.
  • Represented an international petrochemical company in arbitration arising from a partner’s efforts to exit or dissolve a long-term petrochemical joint venture.
  • Provided legal analysis and strategic advice to petroleum company with respect to contractual and insurance claims arising from the collapse of an offshore platform. 
  • Represented an international petrochemical company in an arbitration to determine the fair market value of a joint venture interest in a propylene oxide/styrene monomer manufacturing facility.
  • Represented a Texas-based consulting services firm in lawsuit brought by a former employee alleging breach of a partnership agreement.
  • Represented a Texas electrical transmission and distribution utility in several personal injury and property damage cases, obtaining favorable jury verdicts and summary judgments.
  • Obtained reversal of judgment against property owner on statute of frauds grounds and successfully defended the court of appeals’ decision before the Texas Supreme Court: Alattar v. Ganim, 355 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, pet. denied improv. granted).
  • Obtained, and successfully defended on appeal, a judgment in excess of $10 million resulting from the forced relocation of electrical and gas utility facilities from right-of-way: CenterPoint Energy Houston Elec., L.L.C. v. Harris County Toll Road Auth., 436 F.3d 541 (5th Cir. 2006).



  • State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit


  • Texas


  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Southern District/Bankruptcy Court


  • Named as a "Texas SuperLawyer Rising Star," (a Thomson Reuters service) 2007-2009, 2011-2014