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Hodgson Russ provides legal counsel to companies, investors, and lenders engaged in all aspects of oil and gas exploration, development, production, transportation, refining, marketing, distribution, and field services. From entity formation through ongoing operations and expansion, we focus on helping our clients achieve their business and growth objectives while avoiding risk and maintaining compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Hodgson Russ’s multidisciplinary oil and gas team is composed of attorneys from across our full-service law firm. This team approach allows us to provide efficient and effective integrated legal services that address the full range of issues an oil and gas company might face in the course of doing business. Our comprehensive services include:

  • Advising on the latest federal and state laws and regulations relating to hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a., hydrofracing and fracking) and the development of unconventional resources, including shale formations
  • Guiding clients through local, state, and federal permitting processes; helping clients navigate the federal and state environmental permit review processes; and advising oil and gas clients on environmental evaluation and risk analysis
  • Reviewing and analyzing title documents and providing title opinions for the drilling of oil and gas wells or the acquisition of wells or leasehold interests
  • Performing transactional due diligence for all sizes of contracts associated with acquisitions or the establishment of corporate entities, joint ventures, and limited partnerships
  • Drafting and negotiating industry related documents, including leases, area of mutual interest agreements, easement agreements, operating agreements, development agreements, transportation agreements, and participation agreements
  • Preparing private placement memoranda (including tax opinions) for companies seeking capital and advising on requirements for the sale of such investments, including securities filings and FINRA compliance
  • Resolving landowner/surface owner disputes
  • Assisting with complex tax matters and providing advice and representation on partnership, corporate, and personal tax disputes
  • Representing clients in all phases and types of dispute resolution, including defense of pollution and contamination claims, arbitration proceedings, administrative proceedings, and other litigation

Industry Experience

Alan J. Laurita, Hodgson Russ’s lead oil and gas partner, brings to the table more than 30 years of experience as an attorney and former business executive in the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining Hodgson Russ, Mr. Laurita served as senior vice president of a large, privately held oil and gas exploration and production company that operated more than 1,600 wells. His work included supervising the company’s land department; coordinating all drilling operations; handling purchase, sale, and mortgage transactions and title work; negotiating resolutions of transactional and other types of disputes; and representing the company before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the New York State Public Service Commission.

Hodgson Russ’s oil and gas attorneys have extensive experience providing legal services to oil and gas clients active in the Northern Appalachian Basin and throughout the continental United States. As one of only a few law firms with a full-time office in Toronto devoted exclusively to practicing U.S. law, and with one of the largest cross-border practice groups among U.S. law firms, we are also well-positioned to assist Canadian oil and gas companies in connection with the U.S. legal aspects of expanding their foothold in the U.S. market. Our services for Canadian clients include structuring tax-efficient and treaty-compliant cross-border transactions and operations; providing legal guidance through multinational mergers and acquisitions; advising on NAFTA and other trade issues; and handling the full range of labor, employment, and immigration issues associated with launching operations in the United States.