The Member Spotlight is an ongoing Q&A series focused on getting to know the MSC community. Today’s spotlight shines on Craig Wilson, managing partner of the Harrisburg office of K&L Gates and practice group coordinator for the firm’s global environment, land and natural resources practice group.
Q. Please give a brief introduction to K&L Gates.
K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with a rich history that dates back to 1883. In the past 137 years, the firm has grown to approximately 1800 lawyers located in 44 offices across five continents. Our broad global platform allows us to guide clients through the legal challenges inherent in the ever-changing global landscape. The deep latticework of relationships across our offices and practices enables our clients to respond to diverse legal issues and risks through the services of one law firm with a single communication.
K&L Gates represents leading global corporations in every major industry, capital markets participants, and middle-market and emerging growth companies. Our lawyers also serve public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations, and individuals. We are leaders in legal issues related to industries critical to the economies of both the developed and developing worlds – technology, manufacturing, financial services, health care, and energy, among many others.
Q. How does K&L Gates support clients in the energy space?
K&L Gates’ global oil and gas practice is built on a deep, practical understanding of the global oil and gas business and the interplay between the legal and commercial aspects of exploring for, producing, transporting, storing, marketing, and processing crude oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, natural gas liquids and other petroleum products. The firm represents participants in every segment of the oil and gas industry, including the related manufacturing, service and supply sectors.
Environmental issues continue to affect development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, and K&L Gates counsels its clients through regulatory, permitting, compliance, and enforcement proceedings involving the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the federal government, including U.S. EPA, the U.S. Army Corps, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions and local municipalities. Issues include new and existing regulations, policies, guidance, or permitting approaches affecting air emissions, water use and reuse, waste treatment and disposal, well integrity, surface impoundments, pipelines, stream crossings, threatened and endangered species, and local concerns.
K&L Gates also represents clients in oil and gas disputes throughout the Appalachian Basin. Our dispute resolution and litigation lawyers are strategically located in the major centers of the industry and actively advise clients across the oil and gas industry and all oilfield service and supply sectors. They are familiar with the range of risk mitigation problems and disputes that arise in the oil and gas business and the other service and supply industries that support it.
Finally, K&L Gates has a sophisticated policy practice at the state level in Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. We have counseled clients through a myriad of policy issues over the past decade of unconventional gas development. Our knowledge of the federal and state regulations and policies that affect the oil and natural gas industry, coupled with our commercial understanding of the competitive markets for oil and natural gas and pipeline capacity, allows us to better assist our clients in structuring the commercial and regulatory aspects of transactions involving the purchase, sale, and transportation of the commodities across the country or around the world to meet our clients’ needs, as well as the compliance and enforcement issues such transactions might present.
Q. What is a key differentiator for your firm?
K&L Gates’ oil and gas team includes lawyers licensed to practice throughout the Appalachian Basin, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Several of our partners have extensive prior experience in serving with governmental agencies, including the Pennsylvania DEP, the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions, and U.S. EPA. These lawyers also have long-standing relationships with many public officials, including governors, senators, and members of Congress, and include former members of the Pennsylvania cabinet in legislative affairs. Our litigators have been helping clients protect and advance their interests in a wide variety of energy-related areas. They’ve handled both individual and class-action disputes in courts across the nation and, in developing areas of the law, our lawyers have persuaded courts to interpret the law in ways favorable to energy clients. We pride ourselves in being responsive, resourceful, and creative in finding solutions to client problems.
Q. How has MSC membership been of value to your firm and the services you provide to clients?
K&L Gates has been a member of the MSC since the organization was formed. We actively support the work of MSC committees and regularly attend MSC functions. By staying engaged with the MSC, we stay attuned to the issues of importance to the industry and our clients and help to find solutions to problems. The MSC has been a leader in the advancement of policy affecting unconventional gas development, and our firm has been pleased to be a part of those efforts.
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