• Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Mineral Title Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Shale Gas Law
  • Toxic Tort Litigation
  • Utility Law
  • West Virginia Energy Users Group
  • expectEXPERIENCE
    • Energy Law
    • Environmental Law
    • Mineral Title Services
    • Natural Resources
    • Shale Gas Law
    • Toxic Tort Litigation
    • Utility Law
    • West Virginia Energy Users Group
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Results
    • Resources

    Spilman Thomas & Battle’s attorneys provide counsel and support in energy law matters for clients throughout the nation from offices in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia.

    We represent commercial and industrial clients in every aspect of production, processing and energy use, from evaluating specific strategies, to negotiations, preparation of documents and approval at the appropriate government agency.

    We have provided counsel and assistance in every area of energy law, including:
    • Natural gas
    • Electricity
    • Water and sewer
    • Coal
    • Transportation
    • Telecommunications
    • Landfill
    • Wind power
    The goal of the Energy Practice Group is to keep our clients well-informed by providing accurate and timely assessments of emerging national and state energy developments. We regularly assist our clients in analyzing and developing strategic plans to cope with energy purchases and fuel management, production and transportation issues, and to obtain regulatory approvals. Our energy lawyers have evaluated opportunities, negotiated terms and conditions, and prepared and revised documents for every type of energy agreement – purchase, transportation, production and fuel management.

    If our client’s energy needs move from corporate to litigation, we have many years of experience representing utilities, energy development companies, and industrial and commercial consumers. We also provide representation before other government bodies including state legislatures, arbitration panels, circuit courts, state courts of appeals, and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

    During the past 30 years, our extensive experience in industrial and commercial energy law has allowed our Energy Law Group and Utility Law Group to participate in major and "cutting edge" developments and cases, including:
    • Certificates for natural gas and coal-fired power plants and wind power projects
    • Restructuring of the electric industry
    • Planning and litigating the first LDC bypasses
    • Negotiating and drafting energy contracts
    • Curtailment and interruption cases
    • Drafting rules, regulations and statutes
    For more information regarding our energy law practice, contact:

    William M. Herlihy

    Nicholas S. Preservati
    John F. Allevato Michael J. Basile H. Dill Battle III Samuel M. Brock III Kevin L. Carr Mark D. Clark Hon. Tom Corbett James S. Crockett Jr. K. Paul Davis Paula L. Durst Travis H. Eckley James D. Elliott Lee F. Feinberg David P. Ferretti Lisa M. Hawrot Mark E. Heath William M. Herlihy Eric W. Iskra Bruce M. Jacobs Heather Heiskell Jones Kelly J. Kimble Neva G. Lusk Nicholas P. Mooney II Thomas J. O'Neill Jeffrey D. Patton Niall A. Paul Kelly G. Pawlowski Jason C. Pizatella Nicholas S. Preservati Susan J. Riggs David L. Robertson Scott Rotruck Joseph V. Schaeffer Ronald W. Schuler Grant P. H. Shuman Christina S. Terek James A. Walls Ryan W. Weld John C. (Max) Wilkinson Derrick Price Williamson Charles L. Woody David L. Yaussy Oil & Gas Operating Unit No Longer in Jeopardy After WV Supreme Court Win
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Results
    • Resources

    Spilman represents an array of business clients in the complex and expanding area of environmental law and regulation from offices in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.
    Our Environmental Practice Group is poised to resolve the environmental challenges facing our clients in a cost-effective manner, using negotiation, mediation, compliance planning, regulatory or legislative changes, and, where necessary, litigation. Our attorneys provide environmental counseling to a wide range of businesses and industries, including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas development and transmission, banking and lending, and retail establishments.
    Through the extensive experience of our lawyers, our firm is able to provide regional representation on environmental matters. The areas covered by our Environmental Practice Group include:
    • Surface water quality regulation, storm water and NPDES permits
    • Section 404 permitting, compliance and defense of enforcement actions
    • Groundwater issues, including groundwater pollution prevention plans and state quality standards
    • UIC permitting, compliance and defense of enforcement actions
    • Air emissions regulation and permitting, and defense of enforcement actions
    • Oil and gas permitting, regulatory compliance and defense of enforcement actions
    • Mine permitting and reclamation, regulatory compliance and defense of enforcement actions
    • Development and implementation of legal strategies for clearing contaminated sites through Brownfields programs
    • Human health and ecological risk assessment applications
    • Underground storage tank liability litigation and defense of administrative orders
    • Aboveground storage tanks
    • Hazardous and solid waste management regulatory programs
    • Federal and state Superfund and remediation laws
    • Asbestos, lead, mercury, PCBs, dioxin and other hazardous or toxic materials
    • Community right-to-know requirements
    • Due diligence investigations with regard to mergers and acquisitions
    • Representation in administrative appeals before environmental boards
    • Defense of civil environmental enforcement actions before trial courts
    • Counseling municipalities and other governmental entities regarding environmental compliance
    • Strategic planning and permitting of commercial solid waste facilities
    • Defense of criminal investigations and indictments alleging environmental crimes

    Spilman has a long tradition of guiding clients through environmental challenges. For more information about our environmental practice, contact:

    David L. Yaussy

    John C. (Max) Wilkinson
    Samuel M. Brock III Mark D. Clark James S. Crockett Jr. James D. Elliott William M. Herlihy Niall A. Paul Nicholas S. Preservati Joseph V. Schaeffer John C. (Max) Wilkinson Derrick Price Williamson David L. Yaussy Spilman Represents O&G Association on AST Regulations Spilman Works with Trade Association to Shape WV's Environmental Policies
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Results
    • Resources

    From its beginnings 150 years ago in West Virginia, where natural resources have historically played a significant role in the state’s economy, Spilman has worked with numerous oil and natural gas producers, gas and electric utilities, power suppliers, energy user groups, and coal suppliers. Over the years this work has given us a deep understanding of the energy industry. Through that experience, we have developed a comprehensive, detail-driven title examination process to provide clients with the essential information they need to maximize their mineral assets.

    Spilman has extensive experience in curative actions and possesses broad experience in evaluating the litigation potential of both general title defects and of defects particular to oil and gas titles. Most importantly, we understand that each defect in each title must be given special consideration. Whether to utilize a quitclaim deed, curative lease or to seek a judicial remedy, the degree of curative action and the proper tool to implement is sometimes unclear. Spilman can capitalize on its experience and prudent judgment to advise on a proper balance between care and economy in curative decisions.

    We can provide you with advice, counseling and representation in all aspects of oil and gas contracts and assist you in clearing title problems, gaps, probate and heirship determinations. In addition, Spilman is capable and ready to vigorously pursue your litigation needs, such as partition suit actions, to provide the assurances you require in operational rights. Take advantage of our skills and years of title experience to secure a title opinion that contains the information you need to make proper business decisions.

    For more information, please contact:

    Carl H. Cather, III

    Travis H. Eckley
    Carl H. Cather III Travis H. Eckley Joyce Fleming Ofsa Thomas J. O'Neill Spilman Secures Important Ruling on Gas Pooling and Unitization for NPRIs
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Results
    • Resources

    We have assisted clients in solving the increasing challenges facing the mining and extraction industries for years.

    The firm has extensive experience in the acquisition, disposition and leasing of assets in the coal, oil and gas, and timber industries. Specifically, we have participated in transactional negotiations and analysis, due diligence investigations, real property title reports, document preparation, and regulatory approvals.

    We also assist our clients in the environmental aspects of the natural resources industry, including:
    • Permit applications, amendments and renewals
    • Responses to notices of violation and orders of regulatory agencies
    • Intervention with agencies such as Division of Environmental Protection, Federal Office of Surface Mining, Environmental Protection Agency, United States Army Corps of Engineers and other regulatory agencies
    • Representation in litigation and administrative processes

    The attorneys in our firm also have experience with other regulatory matters relating to the natural resources industry.

    We have successfully represented members of the industry with issues that concern Rockefeller Act retirement liabilities, labor and employment negotiations, collective bargaining matters, black lung liability, and workers’ compensation claims.

    Our practice also covers the financial aspects of the industry. We have assisted our clients with loan transactions, collateral management and credit enhancement matters. We also participate in bankruptcy, work-out and loan take-out situations.

    For more information about our natural resources practice, contact:

    William M. Herlihy
    Michael J. Basile H. Dill Battle III Kevin L. Carr Carl H. Cather III Mark D. Clark K. Paul Davis Travis H. Eckley Lee F. Feinberg David P. Ferretti Mark E. Heath William M. Herlihy Heather Heiskell Jones Neva G. Lusk Ronald M. Musser Barry A. Naum Joyce Fleming Ofsa Niall A. Paul Susan J. Riggs Scott Rotruck Ronald W. Schuler James A. Walls Charles L. Woody Oil & Gas Operating Unit No Longer in Jeopardy After WV Supreme Court Win Spilman Secures Important Ruling on Gas Pooling and Unitization for NPRIs
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Results
    • Resources

    While Marcellus and Utica shale operations are relatively new in the Mid-Atlantic region, Spilman's oil and gas attorneys have been at the forefront of representing producers, service companies and investors in the oil and natural gas industries for more than 30 years. Some of our lawyers have worked as executives within oil and gas companies and draw upon their extensive practical knowledge of the day-to-day functions of businesses within these industries in advising Spilman’s clients.

    We are licensed to practice in all areas of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, including in all Pennsylvania and West Virginia state and federal courts.

    Spilman Thomas & Battle serves the following types of clients in a wide range of oil and gas matters:
    • Exploration and production companies
    • Midstream companies
    • Trade associations
    • Pipeline operators
    • Storage and distributors
    • Drilling contractors
    • Service companies
    • Public utilities
    • Commercial lenders 

    Our Oil & Gas Legal Services



    Spilman attorneys have experience defending clients’ interests across a broad range of matters in the oil and gas industry, including:
    • Oil and gas drilling rights disputes
    • Fracking ban disputes
    • Royalty and bonus payment disputes
    • Joint venture and co-ownership disputes
    • Real property disputes
    • Lease challenges
    • Breach of contracts
    • Federal and state regulatory disputes
    • Fraudulent mispresentation
    • Hazardous Site Cleanup Act violations
    • Negligence and private nuisance claims
    • Temporary easements
    • Torts to land disputes
    • Condemnation

    Our recent experience includes:
    • Representing Texas-based gas producers and land companies in disputes over natural gas leases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia
    • Representing Marcellus and Utica Shale exploration and production companies in litigation in state and federal courts, including defending against claims for bonus and anniversary payments under oil and gas leases, defending declaratory judgment actions, and defending against claims attempting to repudiate leases 
    • Representing exploration and production companies in quiet title and curative actions in Pennsylvania
    • Representing and advising companies involved in exploration and production in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, including providing advice on issues including operations, joint ventures, top leases, preferential rights, bonus and anniversary payments, exercising lease options, and rights-of-way for pipelines   

    Finance, mergers and acquisitions

    Our attorneys understand the legal aspects of exploring for, producing, transporting, storing, marketing and processing natural gas petroleum products. In fact, one of our attorneys served as chief administrative and senior operations executive for a $100+ million Appalachian oil and gas production company.

    Some of our recent experience includes:
    • Representing a large Pennsylvania-based gas producer in its acquisition of Marcellus Shale drilling rights on 40,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania and West Virginia
    • Representing a West Virginia-based producer in its $100 million equity financing for the development of Marcellus Shale properties
    • Providing day-to-day legal advice to gas producers on matters ranging from drilling partnerships and joint ventures to gas marketing, leasing and other similar commercial arrangements
    • Representing and advising companies involved in exploration and development in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, including providing advice regarding lease documents and on issues such as the exercise of lease options and rights-of-way for pipelines  

    Environmental regulation

    Our firm counsels clients across all environmental law matters and regularly deals with the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, Pennsylvania and West Virginia Departments of Environmental Protection and regional bodies such as SRBC. We are active with industry coalitions (Independent Oil and Gas Associations of Pennsylvania (IOGA), and the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Association (POGAM)) with respect to regulatory developments.

    Real estate/land use

    Our real estate attorneys handle matters ranging from structuring large, multi-asset transactions for businesses to serving as counsel for multi-state transactions and managing local real estate matters for developers, lenders and individuals. Our capabilities include leasing, acquisition, land-use, real estate-related litigation, construction, and buying and selling natural resource companies and properties. We have significant experience with real estate throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    Public utility law

    Spilman's energy attorneys have extensive experience in representing and advising clients on matters related to state and federal regulation of utility industries, including natural gas, water and wastewater development and distribution. We are well-versed on the principles employed by public utility regulators on issues related to regulatory jurisdiction, standards of utility conduct, and the development and approval of utility rates. Our firm is well-placed to assist clients with a broad range of public utility matters, including navigation of regulatory rules and policies, formation of utility supply contracts, and general representation in regulatory commission proceedings. We have many years of experience representing clients before the Public Service Commission of West Virginia and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

    Labor and employment law

    Our firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, which is ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report, consists of more than 25 lawyers and an extraordinary support staff. Whether it is counseling on complex issues, partnering to manage union relations, or defending employee claims and lawsuits, we have earned an exemplary reputation throughout the region. Our lawyers are well-versed in every specific federal, state and local employment law that affects the employment relationship.

    Intellectual property

    Spilman intellectual property attorneys assist our clients as they develop technologies specifically related to Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale and other natural gas exploration and production. Specifically, we provide the following capabilities to the Marcellus Shale industry:
    • Infringement matters involving patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret law
    • Preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications
    • Evaluation of invention disclosures and new/proposed trademarks
    • Trademark clearance and risk assessment
    • Unfair competition and false advertising issues
    • Commercial IP issues relating to employment matters, commercial agreements, product development, and sales and marketing
    • Technology licensing, joint development agreements and confidentiality/nondisclosure agreements


    For more information about our shale gas practice, please contact:

    James A. Walls

    Nathan B. Atkinson
    Michael J. Basile Samuel M. Brock III Mark D. Clark Travis H. Eckley James D. Elliott Lee F. Feinberg David P. Ferretti Michael S. Garrison Lisa M. Hawrot Matthew P. Heiskell William M. Herlihy Eric W. Iskra Heather Heiskell Jones Neva G. Lusk Barry A. Naum Thomas J. O'Neill Niall A. Paul Sharon L. (Shari) Potter Peter R. Rich Scott Rotruck Joseph V. Schaeffer Ronald W. Schuler Christina S. Terek Gerald M. Titus III James A. Walls John C. (Max) Wilkinson Derrick Price Williamson Oil & Gas Operating Unit No Longer in Jeopardy After WV Supreme Court Win Spilman Secures Important Ruling on Gas Pooling and Unitization for NPRIs
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Resources

    The firm’s toxic tort litigation practice includes the defense of claims by consumers, employees and residents. The claims range from purported exposures to one toxic substance to purported exposures to hundreds of unidentified and unknown toxic substances. Given the firm’s proximity to a large number of chemical manufacturers and our clients’ needs to defend toxic tort lawsuits, our toxic tort lawyers have developed a broad-based toxic tort litigation practice.

    Many states, particularly West Virginia, have seen an increase in mass tort claims, such as when a group of plaintiffs files a toxic tort claim, in the past decade. Accordingly, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals created a separate judicial process, known as the Mass Litigation Panel (“MLP”), for handling mass litigation. The MLP process in West Virginia is unique and navigating its rules and procedures requires knowledge and experience that Spilman attorneys possess.

    Toxic tort litigation cases frequently involve many defendants relying on the same medical and causation defenses. The firm’s attorneys routinely play leading roles in preparing common defenses for joint defense groups.

    The firm has close relationships with experts who have earned national acclaim in their fields. Our toxic tort lawyers develop and present common experts and take the lead in presenting common legal arguments. As a result, we litigate toxic tort claims using the most recent and sophisticated evidence available.

    In addition to our skills in the litigation process, Spilman Thomas & Battle also serves clients in the regulatory field. The firm’s Environmental Practice Group assists clients with regulatory programs for air, water, hazardous and solid waste; corrective action programs; and right to know issues. By addressing these issues and advising our clients in regulatory areas, the firm identifies potential environmental problems before they become toxic tort lawsuits.

    In short, Spilman provides excellent legal representation in the field of toxic tort litigation, whether the case be a simple, one plaintiff/one injury civil action or a complex, multiple plaintiff/multiple injury lawsuit.

    For more information about our Toxic Tort Litigation Practice Group, contact:

    Heather Heiskell Jones

    Clifford F. Kinney, Jr.
    Andrew P. Arbogast James S. Crockett Jr. Paula L. Durst Stephanie U. Eaton Mark A. Fiorilli Joseph A. (Jay) Ford Heather Heiskell Jones Clifford F. Kinney Jr. Charity K. Lawrence Robert R. Leight Neva G. Lusk Bryan S. Neft Niall A. Paul Edward W. Rugeley III James E. Simon James A. Walls Karin L. Weingart John C. (Max) Wilkinson
    • Overview
    • Professionals
    • Resources

    Spilman's Utility, Energy & Communications Law Group provides litigation, regulatory compliance, and counseling in every energy and utility area, including electricity, natural gas, communications, cable television, water, wastewater and renewable energy. Our skilled team of utility and energy attorneys serve clients throughout the region from offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

    Our team of attorneys and support staff has many years of litigation experience in the regulatory arena and beyond. We provide aggressive representation before state public service/utility commissions, arbitration panels, circuit courts, and state courts of appeal in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia, and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

    Services provided by the Utility Law Practice Group include:
    • Representing industrial, manufacturing, institutional, and commercial end-users of electricity, natural gas and other utility services in regulatory litigation (including ratemaking, general investigation and rulemaking proceedings) before state public utility/service commissions and appellate courts
    • Providing legislative assistance and input related to federal and state energy laws and regulations on an as-needed basis for large end-user clients
    • Providing advice and counsel to individual large users in contract or service agreement negotiation and quality of service and contract disputes involving the utility providers of such services
    • Representing and counseling large users with respect to energy efficiency, demand-response, and on-site generation issues
    • Representing developers of generation projects, including on-site generation projects, large-scale renewable (wind) energy projects and natural gas-fired generation projects
    • Representing competitive providers of energy and communications services before state commissions, focusing on due diligence and regulatory compliance and, as necessary, litigation, including acquisitions, transfers of permits and complaint defense
    • Representing municipal and public service district clients in water and wastewater regulatory matters

    The goal of the Utility Law Practice Group is to assist our clients in anticipating and meeting their business needs as they are affected by utility services and regulation. We provide advice and counsel informed by the current regulatory landscape, and we offer our clients accurate and timely assessments of emerging national and state energy developments and trends. As necessary, we will vigorously represent our clients’ interests in litigation.

    To learn more about our Utility, Energy & Communications Law Practice Group, please contact:


    Derrick Price Williamson
    Co-Chair, Utility Law Group

    Lee F. Feinberg
    Co-Chair, Utility Law Group
    Stephanie U. Eaton Lee F. Feinberg Carrie M. Harris Alexander Macia Barry A. Naum Jason C. Pizatella Susan J. Riggs Grant P. H. Shuman Derrick Price Williamson
    • Overview
    • Professionals

    The West Virginia Energy Users Group (“WVEUG”) is a statewide association of large, energy intensive industrial, chemical, manufacturing and institutional concerns. WVEUG members pool their resources to put as much downward pressure as possible on energy rates, which are a key cost of production in their ever more competitive national and global markets. WVEUG does this principally through active participation in litigated cases and investigations before the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. For more information on our services, please see Utility Law.


    • Advanced Graphite Materials, LLC
    • ArcelorMittal USA LLC
    • Argos-US
    • The Chemours Company
    • Constellium - Ravenswood
    • Eagle Manufacturing Company
    • Linde LLC
    • Marathon Petroleum
    • Novelis Corporation
    • Quad/Graphics, Inc.
    • Resolute Forest Products
    • U.S. Silica Company
    • Westlake Chemical Company
    • Weyerhaeuser NR
    • WVA Manufacturing, LLC
    • Zoetis LLC


    • Chair, Michael K. Messer, Linde LLC
    • Vice Chair, Russ Lang, WVA Manufacturing, LLC
    • General Counsel, Derrick Price Williamson, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

    Current Major Cases

    • Corporate Tax Rate Reduction Investigation; GO 236.1
    • FE and American Bituminous Power Partners, L.P. ("AmBit") Joint Petition for Approval of Electric Energy Purchase Agreement ("EEPA"); Case No. 17-0631-E-P
    • AEP 2018 ENEC; Case No. 18-0503-E- ENEC
    • AEP 2018 VMP; Case No. 18-0504-E-P
    • AEP 2018 Base Rate Case; Case No. 18-0646-E-42T
    • AEP 2018 Depreciation Rate Case; Case No. 18-0645-E-D

    For more information regarding the West Virginia Energy Users Group, please contact:

    Derrick Price Williamson

    WVEUG Member Log-In
    Carrie M. Harris Alexander Macia Barry A. Naum Susan J. Riggs Derrick Price Williamson