Chad M. Smith is a corporate partner in the Houston office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Chad’s practice focuses on domestic energy transactions, with an emphasis on acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures in the upstream and midstream sectors. Chad represents clients in connection with a broad range of purchase and sale transactions, including both upstream and midstream oil and gas assets and companies. Chad’s transactional experience also includes advising clients in connection with the formation of joint ventures (both upstream and midstream), farmout and participation agreements to develop oil and gas properties, oil and gas transportation and gathering agreements, natural gas processing and fractionation agreements, crude storage and terminaling agreements and other commercial transactions concerning the development of oil and gas properties.


Thought Leadership


Moderator, Asset Backed Securitizations – Structured Debt in A Shrinking RBL Bank Market, IPAA Private Capital Conference (January 2024)

Presenter, ABS Structure for Minerals, World Oilman's Mineral & Royalty Conference (April 2023)

Presenter, Recent Trends in Midstream Oil and Gas Joint Ventures, Webinar (January 2019)

Midstream Joint Ventures: Common Structures, Issues and Pitfalls in the Midstream Space, 13th Annual Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law Symposium (February 2018)


Recognized as Up and Coming for Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional) (USA) by Chambers Global, 2023–2024

Recognized as Up and Coming for Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional) (USA - Nationwide) by Chambers USA, 2022–2023

Recognized for Energy Transactions: Oil and Gas by The Legal 500 United States, 2019–2021 & 2023–2024

Memberships & Affiliations

Houston Bar Association — Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2011Texas


  • University of Texas at Austin School of LawJ.D.2010
    Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law, Editor-in-Chief (2010–2011)
  • University of Texas at AustinB.A., Philosophy & Government2008