Kristen W.  Kelly

I take a meticulous approach to dispute resolution to ensure that important details are not overlooked. Once I have a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of a case, I create a detailed strategy that puts my client in the best position to obtain a favorable outcome, either through negotiation or in the courtroom.

Known for her ability to effectively communicate with clients, adversaries and the court, Kristen Kelly advises clients in complex commercial and business disputes across several industries. Kristen has significant experience both prosecuting and defending lawsuits, and her practice has a strong emphasis on insurance, energy, financial institutions and construction.  She handles litigation in state and federal courts, and on appeal. 

As a member of the firm’s Insurance Practice Group, Kristen speaks insurance and has resolved a variety of disputes involving complex coverage issues, ranging from an insurer’s duty to defend and indemnify to additional insured status and coverage for contractual indemnity.  Kristen is also a valuable resource for clients who need advice navigating their policies, the scope of their insurance needs, and other insurance issues in commercial disputes and transactions.

Kristen’s diverse practice also covers a wide range of business litigation, including cases involving breach of contract, oil and gas rights, employment-related claims, maritime issues and others.

Before starting her private practice, Kristen served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Lynn N. Hughes of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas. During her two-year clerkship, Kristen strengthened her persuasive writing skills and gained a unique grasp of the intricacies of federal practice and procedure, making her a valuable resource for clients and other lawyers at the firm with litigation before federal courts.

Representative Experience
  • Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in the Northern District of Texas and then on appeal before the Fifth Circuit following oral argument in a coverage dispute regarding policy interpretation on a matter of first impression.
  • Successfully prosecuted a business dispute involving theft of trade secrets and breach of employment contracts in the Southern District of Texas on behalf an international plastic distributor.
  • Developed and implemented strategy that forced settlement in favor of real estate developer that did not receive the coverage for which they contracted due to negligence of the insurance agent, insurance broker, and the named insured.
  • Successfully defended a publicly-traded bank against a claim of wire fraud and breach of various banking agreements.
  • Represent a Top 100 Fortune 500 client in several major coverage disputes in litigation and arbitration concerning the scope of an additional insured endorsement and related exclusions.
  • Regularly advise clients on scope of, and disputes regarding, indemnity, additional insured and other insurance-related contract provisions.
Thought Leadership / News
January 4, 2022 
 Press Releases
July 9, 2021 
 Speeches and Presentations
Covid and Snowvid: Insurance Lessons Learned

Texas Association of Defense Counsel Summer Seminar

  • Named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2022 - 2023)
Related Employment

Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center

Organizational Involvement

Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • The Risk Management Society
  • Gray Reed Women's Forum Chair

Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations

  • Chair, Westminster United Methodist Church Council
  • Advisory Board Member, Westminster Weekday School
  • 4 Word
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Houston Law Center (2004)
  • B.A., cum laude, Vanderbilt University (2000)
Judicial Clerkships
  • Honorable Lynn N. Hughes, U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas