Bill Kroger of Baker Botts L.L.P. took office as 2020-2021 HBA President on May 12, succeeding Benny Agosto Jr. of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. With nearly 11,000 members, the HBA is the one of the largest metropolitan bar associations in the nation and is celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2020.
Other new officers are Jennifer A. Hasley of Hasley Scarano, L.L.P., president-elect; David Harrell of Locke Lord LLP, first vice president; Diana Gomez of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, second vice president; Chris Popov of Vinson & Elkins LLP, treasurer; and Daniella D. Landers of Reed Smith LLP, secretary. Directors are Collin Cox of Yetter Coleman LLP; Hon. Erin Lunceford of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; Pamela Medina of Cadence Bank; Greg Moore of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; Robert Painter of Painter Law Firm PLLC; Colin Pogge of Gibbs & Bruns LLP; Mitch Reid of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP; and Greg Ulmer of BakerHostetler LLP. Agosto will serve on the board as immediate past president.
Kroger’s goals for the coming bar year include forging strategic partnerships to help Houston recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, providing enhanced HBA services as members meet new challenges in the practice of law, and increasing pro bono service to meet the legal needs of low-income Houstonians struggling with unemployment and other issues related to the pandemic.
Kroger has practiced law at Baker Botts during his entire 31-year legal career. As chair of Baker Botts’ Energy Litigation Practice Group for over a decade, Kroger has represented the oil and gas, power, renewable and real estate industries on many significant matters. He was recognized by The National Law Journal as an “Energy Trailblazer” in 2015. The Texas Lawyer selected his practice group as the “Energy Litigation Department of the Year” in both 2016 and 2017. Legal 500 US ranked the group as Tier 1 in Oil & Gas Litigation from 2010 through 2019, and Chambers ranked both Kroger and his Energy Litigation Group as Band 1, National, for oil and gas litigation.
An active figure in the legal and local Houston community for years, Kroger is the 2020 Recipient of the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, given annually to an outstanding member of the legal community who exhibits an exceptional commitment to equality, justice, fairness, and community service. In 2017, he was elected by his peers to the American Law Institute. In 2015, Kroger received the Leon Jaworski Award from the HBA Auxiliary for a lifetime of public service. He has served on the boards of Communities in Schools Houston, The Alley Theatre, the Houston Bar Foundation, and the State Bar of Texas, among other organizations.
Kroger earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Kroger grew up in Houston, working in his parent’s music company, Parker Music, and attending Memorial High School, where his children also attended.
Kroger is married to Elizabeth Mata Kroger, a lawyer with Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom’s labor and employment law section. They have three children: Ben (age 25, second year at Southwestern Medical School), Rebecca (age 21, incoming senior at Trinity University), and Caroline (age 18, incoming sophomore at Carnegie Mellon).
Pictured left: Elizabeth and Bill Kroger. Pictured right: Elizabeth, Caroline, Rebecca and Bill, holding family pets Arwen, Starbuck and Gandalf; Not pictured is son Ben, who is attending Southwestern Medical School.
Read The Texas Lawbook's profile on Bill Kroger, "New HBA Prez Bill Kroger Talks Billy Gibbons, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Yellow Fever and ‘Monumental Challenges,’" online or on PDF.