Kirkland partners Ragan Naresh, Anna Rotman and Kenneth Young and associates Grace Brier and Dustin Womack were recognized as runners-up in The Am Law Litigation Daily’s "Litigator of the Week" column for their work for Rice Drilling D. Partner Dan Donovan was also recognized for the representation of codefendant Gulfport Energy Corp.
"... Runners-up honors also go to a Kirkland & Ellis team led by Ragan Naresh and Anna Rotman. Chief U.S. District Court Chief Judge Algenon Marbley in Columbus, Ohio denied class certification this week in a case involving more than 1,200 oil and gas leases in Eastern Ohio facing their client Rice Drilling D, a subsidiary of energy company EQT. Plaintiffs claim the leases allowed for drilling in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale formations, but the company and codefendants drilled deeper than allowed. The judge found that the plaintiffs’ claims of common law trespass, conversion, and unjust enrichment require individualized inquiries. The judge also pointed to a $40 million award won by an individual plaintiff in a similar case against Rice Drilling and codefendant Gulfport that’s currently on appeal. The judge wrote: “[T]his type of award indicates that class members could be motivated to not only pursue litigation individually, but individual litigation would be feasible given the size of the potential awards and the presence of both individuals and entities in the putative class.” The Kirkland team included Kenneth Young, Grace Brier and Dustin Womack. A separate team at Kirkland led by Dan Donovan represents Gulfport, while a team at Reed Smith represents codefendants Ascent and XTO."