Many roads to reasonableness –

Section 38.001 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code refers to an award of “reasonable attorney’s fees” in types of cases. In Basic Energy Services v. Exco Resources, however, the parties’ contract “provide[d] for ‘all expenses of litigation, court costs, and attorneys’ fees which may be incurred by Company Group . . . ‘ and does not include any requirement that such amounts must be subsequently subjected to scrutiny for reasonableness.” Distinguishing an earlier case about a note dispute between two individuals, the Fifth Court reasoned that “two sophisticated, commercial entities” had negotiated an agreement under which the indemnitee:

. . . could either (1) tender its defense to Basic thus allowing Basic to control the costs of litigation or (2) incur litigation expenses itself, negotiating with attorneys for fees that it would then submit to Basic for indemnification, risking Basic’s refusal or inability to pay and assuring itself of the reasonableness of the fees it was paying in the process. Accordingly, in view of the fact that the agreement at issue here was between two sophisticated, commercial entities presently familiar with the expenses of litigation, court costs and attorney’s fees and free to negotiate and structure their affairs as they sought fit, we see no reason to impose additional procedures beyond those they chose for themselves.

No. 05-15-00667-CV (Jan. 26, 2018) (mem. op.)

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