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Steptoe & Johnson PLLC


  • 400 White Oaks Boulevard
  • Bridgeport
  • West Virginia
  • USA
  • WV 26330
  • Tel:+1 304 933 8000
  • Fax:+1 304 933 8183
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • CEO: Susan S Brewer 

Firm Overview:
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is nationally recognized as an energy firm serving the industry with its core strengths in Energy Law, Labor and Employment Law, Litigation, and Transactional Law. In 2013, Steptoe & Johnson celebrated serving clients for 100 years.

Main Areas of Practice:
Firm attorneys represent Fortune 500 energy producers and are nationally recognized for excellence in shale gas law. The group is ranked #1 in energy-related practice areas by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014. Steptoe & Johnson’s Energy Team:
■12th largest energy practice in the US by Energy Law 360
■Multi-billion dollar oil and gas transactions in the Marcellus and Utica shales
■Governmental affairs support to national energy developers
■One of the largest mineral title groups in the nation
■Represent regional and national entities in both the purchase and sale of mineral properties including producing coal properties and oil and gas leaseholds and producing wells
■FERC and midstream compliance management for major energy clients
■Employment and labor services to the extractive mineral industry
■Experience in private placements for natural gas drilling programs with IDC tax credits
■Litigated quiet title action relating to enforcement of a right of reconveyance found in prior assignment with respect to various oil and gas leasehold estates

Labor & Employment:
Steptoe & Johnson’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group represents employers in all aspects of labor, employment, employee benefits, and occupational injury law. Group lawyers assist clients in industries such as energy, manufacturing, education, health care, and construction. The labor and employment practice is ranked #1 by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.
■Defended oil and gas, timbering, manufacturing, and coal industry clients in deliberate intent cases involving companion claims of retaliatory discharge
■Negotiated pre-suit settlements for clients in sensitive employment matters

Real Estate & Natural Resources:
Steptoe & Johnson provides comprehensive legal services to real estate developers, commercial banks and lending institutions, governmental entities, energy companies, buyers and sellers of business assets and investors. The group’s broad experience positions the firm at the forefront of the legal profession in the region. The real estate practice is ranked #1 by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014. The natural resources practice is also ranked #1 in Ohio and West Virginia by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.
■Managed large abstracting teams in multiple states to assist a major energy client in meeting an extensive drilling plan
■Lead teams responsible for numerous asset and stock transactions, lease transactions, and land and legal due diligence for acquisitions as lead or local counsel involving over 1,000,000 gross acres

Steptoe & Johnson litigators have built a reputation in trial and appellate courts based on a strong record in dealing with complex cases. Knowing that cost control is a critical factor in any successful strategy, the firm’s attorneys are also adept at analysis, budgeting and alternative dispute resolution.
■Lead counsel energy litigation experience, including defense of claims in excess of $250 million regarding allegations of contract breach, fraud and tortious interference in a natural gas measurement dispute
■Defended an oil and gas producer in a dispute over ownership of oil and gas rights worth over $70 million
■Defended a Fortune 100 coal company in a $100 million fraud and breach of contract action
■Represented oil and gas producers in over 100 mineral title and other litigation matters

Steptoe & Johnson’s environmental attorneys are seasoned litigators who handle commercial and energy related litigation in high profile cases, and experienced counselors who help clients to meet environmental obligations. The group counsels clients on environmental issues including industry and penalty and enforcement actions, site remediation and planning, hazardous and solid waste disposal permitting and enforcement. Eight attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 in environmental law.


  • Chase Center-Second Floor,
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue,
  • Suite 250,
  • Huntington,
  • West Virginia
  • USA
  • WV 25701
  • Tel +1 304 522 8290
  • Fax +1 304 526 8089
  • Email : james.turner@steptoe-johnson.com
  • Edwin Miller Professional Centre,
  • 1250 Edwin Miller Boulevard,
  • Suite 300,
  • Martinsburg,
  • West Virginia
  • USA
  • WV 25404
  • Tel +1 304 263 6991
  • Fax +1 304 262 3541
  • Email : bridget.cohee@steptoe-johnson.com
  • Huntington Center,
  • Suite 2200,
  • 41 South High Street,
  • Columbus,
  • Ohio
  • USA
  • OH 43215
  • Tel +1 614 221 5100
  • Fax +1 614 221 0952
  • Email : kevin.west@steptoe-johnson.com

Corporate/Commercial - West Virginia

What the team is known for A distinguished team with a broad range of expertise, particularly active in the natural resources and energy sectors. Ably handles a wide range of acquisitions, financing, tax and healthcare transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are all very good, with expertise in each field." 

Notable practitioners  

"Very talented" partner Walter Williams focuses on healthcare matters. He is also highly respected for transactional work in other fields including real estate.

Frederick Williams is a tax specialist, handling matters at federal, state and local level, including oil and gas taxation. He is also noted for his activity on financing and restructuring.  

Patrick Deem has a well-rounded corporate practice, focusing predominantly on transactional work in the natural resources and real estate sectors. 

Evans King is noted for his expertise on financing transactions and is also an experienced M&A practitioner. He has recently been particularly active in the media and energy sectors.

John Stump is praised for his "complete expertise" on finance and bond matters. His recent activity includes bond issues and financing for public projects.  

Labor & Employment - West Virginia

What the team is known for Deep bench of practitioners, well versed in litigating on behalf of employers and employees at local, state and federal levels, including appellate experience in the US Supreme Court. Also highly regarded for ERISA work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have been consistently excellent." 

"They provide an excellent, prompt service and reasonable pricing."

Work highlights Defended an employer in an age discrimination case which was settled in mediation for a lesser sum than the potential defense costs.

Advised the owners of a large chemical plant on preparations for a workers' strike.

Notable practitioners  

Highly reputed practitioner Robert Steptoe continues to be a valuable resource for clients across a wide spectrum of employment matters. He is also adept in advising on alternative dispute resolution.

Bryan Cokeley has an excellent reputation in the market. He demonstrates wide-ranging experience on employment cases including discrimination claims, breach of contract and allegations of retaliatory discharge. He heads the labor department in the firm's Charleston office.

David Morrison offers deep expertise in labor law, one source going so far as to say that "he is exceptional." He also has a highly respected practice for employment law work.

Rodney Bean in Morgantown leads the firm's labor and employment department, counseling employers and employees in relation to affirmative action, discrimination and wage laws.

Christopher Slaughter has a well-rounded practice that covers both employment litigation and counseling work. His client base includes employers from the natural resources and manufacturing sectors.

David Dick advises clients on a range of employment matters, including discrimination allegations, occupational safety and contract negotiation. A client describes him as "one of the best labor law attorneys, in all respects, that we have ever used."

Litigation - West Virginia

What the team is known for Renowned litigation team that advises on a full spectrum of trial matters ranging from business disputes to malpractice and personal injury. Excellent geographical reach due to its network of offices across the country.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We usually use their service for complex matters with high-risk exposures. Their lawyers have a high level of experience across many disciplines and care for the client's best interest."

"They are extremely smart people, who are very clear on what the next step to take is. They could offer the best approach and strategy for the case."

Notable practitioners  

Morgantown partner William Galeota is highlighted for his "hands-on" approach. He is particularly noted for his expertise handling personal injury and medical liability cases.

The firm's CEO Susan Slenker Brewer is a key figure in the team's litigation group and is highly respected by both peers and clients. She has extensive experience in handling complicated malpractice work and appellate proceedings. 

Joanna Tabit regularly appears as defense counsel on personal injury and product liability litigation. She is highly rated by clients, one noting that "she is one of my go-to lawyers."

Jeffrey Phillips is praised for his sound analysis of risk and his depth of knowledge in the field. He litigates on a variety of commercial disputes on behalf of companies and business owners.

Huntington-based Ancil Ramey specializes in appellate matters. He has huge experience appearing before a range of courts, including the US Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

Jonathan Ellis is developing a strong reputation in the mining sector, where he acts for a number of owners and operators. He frequently advises on personal injury, contractual disputes and regulatory compliance.

Natural Resources - West Virginia

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent reputation for energy work, both regionally and nationally. Adept at representing clients on environmental due diligence, permit negotiations and litigation. Also has particular experience working with shale gas companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The energy team are the leaders in mineral and property law in the Northern Appalachian basin."

"Always highly professional and very efficient." 

What's new? David Flannery, formerly of Jackson Kelly, joined the team in 2013. 

Notable practitioners  

Bridgeport-based Patrick Deem is "very highly reputed" in the market, and is praised for his skillful handling of financing and M&A in the mineral and oil and gas sectors. He also has significant experience advising on real estate matters for energy clients. 

Sharon Flanery has an excellent reputation in the energy industry, with broad expertise on M&A, joint ventures, contract mining agreements, mineral leases and regulatory issues.  

David Flannery earns acclaim for his 30 years of experience advising on environmental regulations and litigation. Sources confirm he is "extremely knowledgeable," with one opining that he is "the best in West Virginia in this field." 

James Russell is based in the firm's Morgantown office. Peers note that he is "very well respected" and praise his high-caliber transactional work. He has experience advising an array of natural resources corporations. 

Real Estate - West Virginia

What the team is known for Highly experienced team with a real estate practice that covers a full range of work. Adept in overseeing high-value commercial transactions and also renowned for its mineral and gas expertise. 

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Deem is a prominent figure in the real estate market, with a focus on advising natural resources companies. His work encompasses acquisition and lease of properties, title insurance and financing.  

Randall Light receives praise from sources, one of whom noted: "He is one of the most knowledgeable guys I've worked with." He is a popular choice among energy clients, including those from the renewables sector. Clients also benefit from the expertise he has developed as a title insurance agent.

Louis Enderle is highlighted for his real estate work for energy clients, especially mineral companies. He is particularly adept at title work.