Patrick E. Gaas




Houston, Texas

Phone: 713.653.7387

Fax: 713.651.0220

Practice Areas:

Construction/Surety Law

Insurance Law



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Patrick E. Gaas

Pat is a Director of Coats | Rose and Section Head of one of the largest and most accomplished construction practice groups in the Southwest. With over 25 years of experience, Pat is regularly engaged by owners, contractors and design professionals to handle some of the largest and most challenging commercial and industrial disputes and transactions in the USA and internationally. In addition, Pat handles or manages a broad variety of other matters for a select group of clients, including financial institutions, engaged in business both domestically and abroad. Under his leadership, Coats Rose has been ranked by U. S. News & World Report as a national Tier I law firm in the area of Construction Law.

Pat began his legal career as an associate with Winstead, McGuire, Sechrest & Minick in 1988 and later joined the firm of Brewer & Pritchard, where he became a shareholder in 1994. Pat joined Coats Rose as a Director of the firm in March 2003.

Pat has presented seminars to the American Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association and many client groups, with topics ranging from litigation strategy, project delivery methods, and construction/design and/or procurement contract provisions, to suretyship, lien laws and insurance issues.

Pat has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbel, and has repeatedly been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer. H Texas Magazine has repeatedly named him one of Houston’s Top Lawyers and Pat has also been continuously selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and Texas’ Best Lawyers® in the area of Construction Law.

Practice Emphasis

Pat’s practice focuses on representing owners, sureties, general contractors and subcontractors, emphasizing the investigation and administration of construction contract and subcontract defaults on behalf of owners, sureties and general contractors in workouts, document preparation, litigation and arbitration.


  • Texas A & M University (B.B.A., cum laude, 1985)
  • University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1988)


  • 1988, Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and Ninth Circuits


  • American Bar Association (Forum Committee on Construction Industry)
  • State Bar of Texas (Construction and Insurance Sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (Construction and Litigation Sections)
  • Associated General Contractors of America, Inc. – Houston Chapter
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of America (Industrial Committee; Government Relations Committee; PAC Member)
  • London Court of International Arbitration, Member
  • Institute of Transnational Arbitration, Member of the Advisory Board
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Representative Engagements

  • Recently secured a seven digit verdict for a financial services company in a lawsuit alleging the breach of commercial lease, arising out the redevelopment of a shopping center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The dispute centered on whether a fire in an adjacent building, caused sufficient structural, smoke and water damage, to trigger the casualty termination provisions of the lease. Also at issue was the insurable value of the shopping center, whether it was feasible to restore electrical power to the building, and whether the necessary repairs, including building code upgrades, could be completed with the available insurance proceeds. Gaas and Hubbard argued that the decision to terminate was unrelated to the fire and the casualty provision of the lease, but instead the real motive for the termination was the opportunity to sell a large tract of land, including the demised premises, to Wal-Mart. Coats Rose attorneys secured the verdict in favor of the client in a two-week jury trial before Judge Stith in the 319th District Court in Nueces County, located in Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • Represented an EPC contractor in providing advice and document review of Front End Engineering and Design and Engineering Procurement and Construction contracts, together with the related third party financing documents required of the contractor, for construction of an industrial plant facility incorporating two (2) C3 Oleflex Process units and one (1) UOP Huels Selective Hydrogenation Process unit with a combined production capacity of 1,020,000 metric tons per annum of polymer grade propylene and chemical grade propylene.
  • Lead Trial Counsel for EPC Contractor in International Arbitration (Helsinki, Finland) with Subcontractor arising out of the design and construction of two peat fired electrical power plants located in Ireland — amount in controversy approximately 20,000,000 Euros; length of arbitration hearing — approximately 50 days.
  • Represented EPC contractor in International Arbitration (London, England) with owner regarding delay and extra work claims regarding two power plants located in former Soviet Union. Amount in controversy approximately 100,000,000 Euros; length of arbitration hearing — approximately 6 weeks.
  • Lead Trial Counsel for non-destructive examination contractor in lawsuit with pipeline operator arising out of the remediation of a 31 mile natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Indiana — amount in controversy approximately $60,000,000; length of jury trial — approximately 5 weeks.
  • Represented international chemical company in defense of contractor’s delay, productivity and other claims arising out of construction of air separation plant – the revised claim was alleged to be approximately $11,000,000, exclusive of fees and costs; length of arbitration hearing — approximately 2 months.
  • Represented EPC Contractor in a contract dispute involving basic engineering design and front end engineering design services for all process and auxiliary units, utilities, interconnecting pipe and all other facilities and associated integration, including technical assistance services for two premium refineries in Brazil, with capacities of 600,000 BPD and 300,000 BPD, respectively.
  • Represented EPC Contractor in a contract dispute involving alleged defects in the fabrication of refractory for furnaces of a delayed coking unit, and arising from conduct as a procurement agent for owner and as the project manager for the Delayed Coking Facility portion of the Modernization Project.
  • Successfully represented the Mexican affiliate of an international manufacturer of industrial gases in connection with the evaluation and negotiated resolution of claims (civil, mechanical and electrical) and project audit of the regional affiliate of a Kuwaiti contractor relating to delay, productivity and extra work, arising out of the construction of an air separation plant for Altos Hornos do Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. at Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
  • Represented an international EPC Contractor in the defense and prosecution of claims relating to the performance of a civil subcontractor in connection with the construction of a Hydrogen Plant for Canadian Natural Resources Limited in the oil sands of Alberta Canada.
  • Successfully procured a seven digit settlement of a lawsuit involving claims on behalf of the payment and performance bond surety against Harris County a flood control district (the obligee) for the unpaid contract balance, plus additional compensation for work performed by the surety, following the default by the contractor (the bond principal) in connection with the construction of a flood control basin.
  • Retained by aviation authority in connection with preparation of all procurement documentation, including program management, design, engineering, construction and construction management in connection with the Mickey Leland International Terminal Development Program at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Representative Speeches/Publications

  • “Managing the Cost of E-Discovery – Save on Legal Fees with an Electronic Document Retention and Destruction Policy,” ABC – Construction Executive, July 2012
  • “Avoiding E-Disasters – Practical Guidance for Electronic Data Management and the E-Discovery Process,” presented to the 25th Annual Construction Law Conference – San Antonio, Texas, March 1, 2012
  • “Conquering the Courtroom,”, October/November 2011
  • “The Surety’s Exposure for Property Damage and Bodily Injury: Identification, Allocation, and Avoidance of Risk,” presented to the Surety and Fidelity Committed of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association; Annual Mid-Winter Meeting; Waldorf Astoria, New York City – January 28, 2006
  • “Considerations when Drafting Arbitration Agreements – The Evolving Unpredictability of Class Arbitration,” For the Defense, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar – Vol. 47, No. 6, June 2005 “False Financial Statements as the Basis for the Non-Dischargeable Debt – Identifying the Bad Guys and Making Them Pay,” presented to the 16th Annual Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, Charleston, S.C.; 2005
  • “Legal Responsibilities Regarding Ethical Obligations of Architects & Engineers,” presented to the Office of Facilities Management, University of Texas System, Houston, Texas; February 21, 2005
  • “Subcontract Drafting Considerations,” presented to The University of Texas School of Law – Construction Law Conference, Houston, Texas, October 21-22, 2004
  • “Legal Responsibilities Regarding Ethical Obligations of Architects Advisory Opinions and Decisions,” Texas Society of Architects State Convention, September 17, 2005
  • “Design Specs vs. Performance Specs: What’s The Difference?,” presented at the 15th Annual Construction Law Conference; Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and The Texas Institute of Continuing Legal Education; San Antonio, Texas, (2002)

Representative Published Cases

  • Partners In Funding Inc. v. Quest CapitalResources, LLC, 2007 WL 471128, (S.D. Tex. 2007)
  • Hardin v. First Cash Financial Services, Inc., 465 F.3d 470 (10th Cir. (Okla.) 2006)
  • Halliburton Subsea v. Oceanografia, 2006 WL 1470366, (S.D. Tex. 2006)
  • Barron v. Vanier, 190 S.W.3d 841 ( Tex.App.-Fort Worth –2006, no writ)
  • Fidelity & Guar. Ins. Underwriters Inc. v. Wells Fargo Bank, 2005 WL 1801970 (S.D.Tex. 2005)
  • E.E.O.C. v. Cash & Go., Ltd., 2005 WL 1527663, (S.D. (Tex.) 2005)
  • Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. v. Johnson, 167 S.W.3d 460 (Tex.App.- Houston [14 Dist.] 2005)
  • Schuchmann v. Miraglia, 2004 WL 2626532 (N.D. Tex. 2004)
  • Powell v. Miraglia, 2004 WL 2452024 (N.D. Tex. 2004)
  • Wessel v. Miraglia, 2004 WL 1943776, (N.D. Tex., 2004)
  • In re Redman Homes, Inc., 134 S.W.3d 296 (Tex.App.-Waco 2003, no writ)
  • Johnson v. Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., 73 S.W.3d 193 (Tex. 2002)
  • U.S. Quest Ltd. v. Kimmons, 228 F.3d 399 (5th Cir. (Tex. 2000)
  • Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. v. Johnson, 7 S.W.3d 862 (Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.] 1999)
  • Gundle Lining Const. Corp. v. Adams County Asphalt, Inc., 85 F.3d 201 (5th Cir. (Tex.) 1996)
  • Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Robertson-Ceco Corp., 84 F.3d 560 (2nd Cir. (Vt.) 1996)
  • Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Robertson-Ceco Corp., 879 F.Supp. 407 (D. Vt. 1995)
  • Harvey Const. Co. v. Robertson-CECO Corp., 10 F.3d 300 (5th Cir. (Tex.) 1994)
  • U.S. for Use of American Bank v. C.I.T. Const. Inc. of Texas, 944 F.2d 253 (5th Cir. (Tex.) 1991)