Texas Bar X Limited v. Anadarko

Texas Bar X Limited, a small oil and gas company owned certain properties, along with confidential information and data concerning various acreage blocks and prospect areas, in three East Texas counties. In consideration of a potential transaction with the small company, the defendant, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, executed a confidentiality agreement to protect information, data, and analysis. The agreement provided that the information could be used solely for the purpose of evaluating a potential transaction, and that Anadarko could not compete with the smaller company within a defined Area of Mutual Interest for a period of one year. Shortly thereafter, Anadarko began purchasing properties within the AMI and failed to offer them to Texas Bar X Limited at cost as required by the agreement. 

The firm took on the large company to protect the smaller company’s interests. After a four-week trial, the jury found that defendant Anadarko breached the agreement and committed fraud. David J. Beck and Jim Taylor tried the case. The jury awarded $40 million in actual damages, and $100 million in punitive damages.