Zabel Freeman attorneys have handled many subrogation cases throughout the years and the addition of Brook Minx brings with him over twenty five years of successful subrogation recoveries and multi-million dollar settlements achieved throughout his career. Mr. Minx has written the single most thorough, authoritative and informative book on the subject of subrogation titled SUBROGATION: From Loss to Verdict.



Obtained take nothing final judgment in favor of large, multinational oil and gas company, after two week trial on largest land vacancy claim in recent Texas history (the King Vacancy Claim) where the claimed amount in dispute exceeded $10 billion dollars, and involved over five thousand land, mineral and leasehold owners. Also served on a task force which worked with oil and gas industry participants, NARO, TIPRO, TxOGA, the GLO Staff, surveyors and legislators to successfully amend and reform the vacancy statutes, and appeared at a legislature committee hearing to testify in support of the new legislation.

Obtained dismissal of a major oil company from large vacancy claim involving close to one thousand affected landowners, based on constitutional amendment which was originally prepared for the King Vacancy Claim and was revised to include the Smith County Vacancy Claim.

Mr. Minx is well known throughout the insurance industry and represents many of the major insurers seeking recovery through subrogation. His subrogation recoveries approach $1 billion. Mr. Minx has a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BGS in Chemistry from the University of Kansas. He has extensive background in refineries, chemical plants, petrochemical plants, chemical processes, centrifugal pumps, salt water disposal facilities, lightning protection systems, power generation facilities, auto-transformers, etc. during his engineering career and as a lawyer in many varied subrogation recovery cases. Zabel Freeman has an extensive directory of the best experts to use in these subrogation recovery actions. Zabel Freeman has extensive experience using large database management systems and the tools developed during the management of millions of documents in the Deep Water Horizon Macondo Well Blowout litigation. The best practice is to retain Zabel Freeman early on all potential recovery actions, ideally as close to the notice of loss as possible, so we can coordinate the subrogation Cause & Origin investigation, interface with various governmental agencies who will be on site, retain the best experts for the specific loss that occurred, ensure all relevant evidence is preserved, interview witnesses and obtain statements as necessary (see a more in depth procedure and planning in the Mr. Minx’s book mentioned above).When cases do not settle at mediation, Zabel Freeman has tried many cases, both on the plaintiff and defense side, with great results. The largest such trial was Mr. Zabel’s $185 million verdict in the Lee v. Lee case in Harris County, Texas, which was followed by a $150 million and $50 million final judgments in two separate bench trials. Mr. Zabel has secured take nothing judgments in three billion dollar cases in which he has defended large oil and gas companies and dismissals in three other billion dollar lawsuits, one involving a large proposed LNG facility, another involving two large midstream companies, and third involving a large tax assessment on offshore vessels and related facilities. Mr. Zabel has over three decades of experience trying cases before state and federal courts in numerous states, administrative agencies and arbitration panels domestically and internationally, and handling numerous appeals; including handling appeals before almost every Texas Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Zabel holds an AV peer review rating as reported by Martindale Hubbell for over 20 years, and has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer in Energy & Natural Resources by Texas Monthly magazine every year since 2003, and as a Top 100 Super Lawyer in Texas and by H-Magazine as a Top Energy Attorney in Houston. Mr. Zabel has been board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Oil, Gas & Mineral Law since 1991. Tom has authored several publications and has been a speaker at numerous continuing legal education seminars.



Zabel Freeman represents insureds of various insurance companies in liability defense matters. We carefully and quickly evaluate the liability facts, potential exposure, and offsetting negligence of the involved parties to arrive at the settlement value of each case allowing the insurer to quantify their exposure for each matter/case. These defense maters include both representation of insureds in third-party liability cases as well as defending insurance companies in first party cases.

Among the types of cases we handle include:

  • Personal injury defense

  • Third-party liability defense

  • Construction Defect defense

  • First party claim litigation

Zabel Freeman is skilled at drafting Reservation of Rights and Denial Letters (see also the short legal treatise on preparing ROR letters authored by Mr. Minx)



At Zabel Freeman, we have prepared numerous insurance coverage opinions for various insurers. We have worked with many varied insurance policies and manuscript insurance policies and are familiar with their content and the case law interpretations of those policies. These policies include insurance policies such as First Party Property, Comprehensive General Liability, Auto Liability, and Homeowner’s Policies to name a few and the most common. Where necessary we file and litigate Declaratory Judgments Actions, both state and federal, to determine the duties and obligations of the insurer with regards to the insured’s insurance policy.



Zabel Freeman | Houston
1135 Heights Blvd
Houston, TX 77008

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