Chris Paul concentrates his practice on business issues and complex transactional and regulatory matters. He assists clients with resolution of all aspects of transactions, including pre-transaction due diligence, risk assessment and evaluation and preparation of contracts, and post-transaction implementation of contractual protections and best operating practices.
Chris has substantial legal and management experience in providing counseling to refining and manufacturing operations in areas of liabilities and exposures, environmental requirements, risk communication, environmental program auditing and upgrading, operational compliance, security regulations and programs, and development of compliance training, tracking and management systems. He also works with emerging regulatory issues involving environmental, health and safety issues associated with nanotechnology. He has done extensive work with companies to establish systems for managing large numbers of risks and liabilities with a coordinated team approach that increases efficiencies and results in more predictable and consistent outcomes. Additionally, he has a background in energy regulation, having been responsible for transitioning plant natural gas supply to a deregulated environment, and work with pipeline tariff issues.
Chris also does extensive work with midstream and downstream energy companies, with a particular focus on pipeline and storage logistics for oil and gas companies. He has significant and unique experience in products, crude oil, NGL, natural gas transmission and natural gas distribution pipeline management and operations, including system acquisitions and divestitures, capacity leasing, real estate transactions, feedstock and product quality issues, employment issues, operating agreements and contracting, security issues, SCADA issues, and coordination of compliance (Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Transportation Security Administration), emergency response, and litigation activities. His SCADA and security work is also of particular interest to utility and transportation companies.
His practice also includes significant environmental work involving site remediation and issues of natural resource damage claims, application of risk-based closure requirements, cost recovery actions, and environmental compliance planning and programs.
As part of his counseling practice, he is a frequent guest speaker before such audiences as the Association of Oil Pipelines, the American Petroleum Institute, NACE International (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), ARMA International, Environmental Federation of Oklahoma, Air and Waste Management Association, OSU Environmental Management Program, ENTELEC (Energy Telecommunications and Electrical Association),IRWA (International Right of Way Association), various other industry, professional and educational organizations, and for specific client programs.
Chris is an adjunct instructor for the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Engineering Extension Environmental Management Certificate Program. He is also certified as a mediator by The Mediation Institute and is TWIC (transportation worker identification credential) qualified.
Chris’s achievements have earned him recognition by The Best Lawyers in America (energy law; environmental law; environmental litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers. He has also been honored for his professional and civic contributions. In addition to being a 2010 recipient of The Journal Record’s Leadership in Law Award, Chris was named to the Tulsa Business Journal's list of Power Attorneys and Legal Professionals in 2012.
Prior to joining McAfee & Taft in 2009, Chris was a partner with Joyce & Paul, PLLC, a law firm he co-founded in 2000. His extensive career experience includes serving as in-house counsel for Sun Company and Sun Pipe Line Company, environmental manager for Sun Company, Tulsa Refinery, and partner at Gardere & Wynne, LLP. He also served on active duty for four years as a U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps lawyer with the Seventh Infantry Division where he concentrated in criminal trial work and military operations law and concurrently served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.