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New Civil Antitrust Claims Filed Against Chesapeake, SandRidge Energy

Oil and gas royalty owners say defendants liable for bid-rigging, limiting competition

DALLAS — A class of oil and gas royalty owners has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy Corporation, SandRidge Energy Corp. and former SandRidge CEO Tom Ward.

The 14-page lawsuit, filed by attorneys with the Dallas-based law firm Burns Charest LLP, alleges that the defendants violated federal antitrust laws by rigging bids and limiting competition for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma. The lawsuit states that the class could ultimately include thousands of affected royalty owners in the geological formation known as the Anadarko Basin Region.

“This case is about cleaning up the oil patch,” says Burns Charest founder and co-managing partner Warren Burns, who represents the proposed class. “In a rush to reap illegal profits, the defendants violated the trust and confidence of these royalty owners. Their actions demonstrate that they were willing to betray my clients and violate the law. We are suing to recover damages and to promote legal competition in the oil and gas industry.”

The case is Thieme v. Chesapeake Energy Corp., et al. filed in federal court in the Western District of Oklahoma.

The attorneys at Burns Charest have years of experience in complex antitrust class actions and oil and gas royalty disputes. In late 2015, the firm secured a favorable, confidential settlement for members of the Bass family in Fort Worth as part of a separate lawsuit against Chesapeake over unpaid royalties for oil and gas-producing properties in north Texas.