Today’s energy issues are dynamic and complex. Conner & Winters features a legal team that understands diverse and complicated energy industry challenges. The extensive experience and resources of our energy team span virtually every significant area of the energy industry — including regulatory matters, preventive planning, commercial, environmental and complex business litigation, alternative dispute resolution, funding and financing, mergers and acquisitions and divestitures. The seasoned experience and creativity of our firm’s energy team provides our clients with responsive and personalized solutions to energy issues locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
The involvement of Conner & Winters’ energy practice team in the business of the energy industry begins with the conceptualization of an energy-related project and ends with the final appellate court’s opinion. With this “cradle-to-grave” understanding of the transactional, regulatory, investigative, and litigation aspects affecting our clients’ energy business and operations, our advice includes representation before federal and state regulatory agencies, work on energy transactions, and litigation, and alternative dispute resolution.
Oil and gas and regulatory matters
Oil and gas was one of Conner & Winters’ original practices, and our energy team continues this strong 75-year tradition of advising energy clients. The experience of our attorneys in regulatory matters is both deep and wide. Our capabilities in this area include:
- Purchases and sales of oil and gas properties
- Gathering issues
- Oil and gas marketing and transportation issues
- Production payments, as well as acquisition and project financing
- Pooling and unitization matters
- Operating agreements and gas balancing questions
- Landowner issues
- Public utilities matters
- Permitting and compliance
- Environmental issues
Energy business transactions
Conner & Winters’ energy team has extensive experience in energy business transactions. The capacities of the lawyers in this section, in conjunction with attorneys in our securities and corporate governance/corporate services practices groups, embrace corporate mergers, reorganizations, purchases and sales of corporate stock and tender offers, as well as preparation of contracts, conveyances, leases and other documents pertaining to oil and gas matters. Look to our energy team transactional attorneys for skilled legal representation in:
- Mergers and acquisitions, requests for proposals (RFPs), and associated financial transactions
- Rule 144A and other capital market finance vehicles
- Private equity funding and tax-leveraged transactions
- Exploration and development deals
- Drilling project limited partnerships
- Formation of limited partnerships for drilling income program purposes
- Purchase and sale agreements relating to oil, gas, and other energy facilities, including pipelines and transmission systems
- Operating agreements
- Master service agreements
- Farm-outs and farm-ins
- Title issues
In addition to transactions that relate to typical energy sources, Conner & Winters has experience in business matters relating to the “new” and alternative energy sources, including nuclear and wind power. We provide the legal acumen critical to players in today’s energy business.
Litigation and alternative dispute resolution
Our energy team trial attorneys possess a commanding understanding of the language, issues, technology, history, business ramifications, and politics of energy industry disputes. We employ this knowledge to develop the optimum strategy to resolve our clients’ business issues in litigation and alternative dispute resolution venues. We have appeared in numerous courts — federal and state, trial and appellate — before arbitration panels and arbitrators, and before judges, regulators and mediators. The scope of our representation includes:
- Federal and state regulatory hearings
- Multidistrict litigation
- Qui tam litigation
- Multistate oil and gas class action litigation
- Interstate and intrastate pipeline rate, allocation, capacity, product quality, contract and operation issues
- Oil and gas contract disputes
- Gas marketing/gas balancing issues
- Oil and gas pricing issues
- Underground natural gas storage issues
- Oil and gas measurement issues
- Joint operating agreement issues
- Easement and encroachment issues
- Royalty owner issues
- Environmental issues, including clean-up and cost-recovery issues
- Toxic tort actions
- Groundwater issues
- Surface owner and/or landowner issues
- Lease disputes
- Gas plant operation issues
- Oil and gas refinery issues
- Public utility issues
- Well blow-outs
- Insurance coverage issues
- Day work contract indemnity disputes
- Personal injuries sustained at well site
We also prosecute cases under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, including challenges to the implementation of rules and rulemaking affecting the energy industry.
Our attorneys have practiced before courts, mediators, arbitration panels, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and state regulatory agencies regarding oil and gas, energy, and pipeline matters, and also relating to other types of energy issues, including electric power disputes.
Conner & Winters’ contemporary energy practice includes representation of entities in the nuclear power generation industry. We represent licensees of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), including owners of some of the nation’s largest nuclear power plant fleets. We also represent contractors that provide services to licensees, including security services. Our focus in the nuclear arena involves advice and counsel on regulatory issues, particularly employment-related matters. Attorneys in our employee concerns resolution and whistleblower defense practice area have nationally regarded experience in advising clients on the development of Safety Cultures and robust Safety Conscious Work Environments. For more than two decades, we have represented nuclear companies in independent assessments of work environments, the development of proactive policies to foster a safety focus, enforcement issues, defense of regulatory investigations, and litigation.
In addition, we have represented nuclear industry companies in defending scores of whistleblower cases under the Energy Reorganization Act, including before the Department of Labor and state and federal courts.
Federal and Indian lands leasing and royalties
We also assist energy clients with leasing mineral properties and with royalty matters on federal and Indian lands. The firm has a long history of practicing before the federal agencies with jurisdiction in these areas, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Minerals Management Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In addition, this practice is supported by our American Indian/Native American attorneys. Our attorneys who work in this area have experience in counseling clients on matters including state and federal royalty audits, administrative enforcement actions, and responses to administrative subpoenas.