Thomas J. Howell

Thomas J. Howell

Of Counsel
Dallas, Texas

Thomas Howell has been practicing law in Texas since his graduation from Southern Methodist School of Law in 1975. He has been engaged in private practice since 1987. Previously, Mr. Howell served as in-house counsel for Mobil Oil Corporation and for two other New York Stock Exchange-listed energy companies. His law practice concentrates on business and oil and gas, representing both companies and individuals. Mr. Howell often acts as the quarterback or general counsel for businesses so that if a legal matter arises, he can direct them on the proper course, even if he or his firm won't be legal counsel. He was Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Certification in 1986, the first year this certification was offered.

Practice Areas:
• Corporate and general business law
• Forming and dissolving companies
• Business transactions, included mergers and acquisitions
• Contract negotiation and drafting
• Private placements under state and federal securities laws

Oil, Gas and Mineral Law
• Purchase and sale of oil and gas properties, including minerals and working interest.
• Title due diligence regarding the purchase and sale of oil and gas properties and companies.
• Title due diligence for lenders with energy company borrowers.
• Representing independent oil and gas producers and industry professionals in a variety of areas including land, title and operational matters.
• Representing landowners leasing minerals in shale plays and elsewhere.
• Representing landowners in the negotiation of pipeline rights-of-way and geophysical exploration (seismic) permits.
• Title-related matters involving estates and probate.

Estate Planning and Probate
• Drafting Wills and other planning documents
• Probating decedent's estates

Areas of Practice

  • Business
  • Oil, Gas and Mineral Law
  • Estate Planning and Probate

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Oil, Gas and Mineral Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization (1986 – 1995)


  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas
    • J.D. - 1975
  • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
    • B.S. - 1965
    • Honors: Chosen Company Commander in charge of approximately 100 Midshipmen; selected for Admiral Rickover's Nuclear Power Program
    • Major: Marine Engineering

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rated Attorney: Martindale-Hubbell
  • Past Chairman – Corporate Counsel Sections of Dallas Bar
  • Captain – Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps (Retired)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Association of Royalty Owners, Member
  • American Association of Petroleum Landmen, Member
  • Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, Member
  • Dallas Association of Petroleum Landmen, Associate Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section, Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Business Law Section, Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Corporate Counsel Section, Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Energy Law Section, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Section, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Probate, Trusts and Estates Section, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Securities Section, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • U.S. Navy, Line Officer, 1965 - 1970
  • Mobil Oil Corporation, California, Selling to Commercial Accounts and Providing Technical Advice, 1971 - 1972

Pro Bono Activities

  • Member, North Highlands Bible Church
  • Benevolence Committee, North Highlands Bible Church
  • U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association
  • U. S. Naval Academy Blue & Gold Officer, assisting with admissions
  • Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps (retired as 0-6)
  • Member, Small Business Council of Greater Dallas Chamber
  • Congressman Pete Session's Service Academy Selection Board
  • Committee Chairman, Boy Scout Troop 777
  • Congressman Sam Johnson's Service Academy Selection Board
  • Board Member, Hispanic Youth Foundation