Clyde W. Lea, ConocoPhillips' Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Arbitration, has been named as the 2013 recipient of the IEL's prestigious Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award.
Lea began his career with Phillips Petroleum Company in 1974 as a senior attorney on the legal staff in Bartlesville, Okla. He transferred to London as senior counsel in 1985 and remained there for four years. He served as special project counsel responsible for all claims and legal issues arising out of the 1989 fire and explosion at the Houston Chemical Complex which killed 23 workers. Returning to Bartlesville in 1995, he served as Associate General Counsel for Claims, Disputes and Litigation. In 1999 he was named associate general counsel for Finance, Human Resources and Governance, a position he held until the ConocoPhillips merger occurred August 2002. Since the merger, he has been Deputy General Counsel responsible for litigation and both domestic and international arbitration, including expropriation claims against Venezuela and Ecuador. Over his career he has been responsible for a wide variety of litigation, including claims arising from catastrophic accidents and international oil spills, claims arising from alleged environmental contamination and toxic exposure, as well as major contractual disputes with Enron and others.
Commenting on his selection for the award, Lea remarked, "I am honored to receive this award from the IEL and deeply appreciate the support of those who thought me worthy of nomination. I am especially honored in view of the achievements of the prior recipients. After a long career of dealing with always contentious and costly disputes, I find this award both satisfying and humbling."
Lea was born in 1948, in Mississippi. He graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. In 1974, he received his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.
Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Arbitration