Appalachian thermal coal was once the cornerstone of American energy, but its future now hangs in the balance for a host of reasons. Metallurgical coal presents a complicated problem as well, with major players reorganizing, decreased global demand, and increased competition from lower cost Australian suppliers. There is no safe harbor in this market. Now, more than ever, getting it right is critically important. And, no one can afford to be careless with financial resources.
At Gentry Locke, our attorneys are familiar with all aspects of this volatile industry, its players and its regulators. We offer a unique perspective in that we do not limit our representation to a particular segment of the industry. Rather, we represent our clients — whether they are large coal companies, contract miners (often in dispute with large coal companies), property owners (routinely in dispute with larger coal companies), individuals, or local governments in coal mining localities. We firmly believe that the experience gained from this diversity of representation allows and encourages us to see things from every angle rather than responding with reflexive impulses developed over decades of representing one particular point of view.
Our clients trust us to:
- Represent their interests in all aspects of litigation
- Assist in coal asset transactions
- Work with regulatory authorities
- Negotiate leases and other agreements
- Assist with audits
- Resolve disputes over development issues, contract miner issues, tonnage discrepancies, duties to mine, termination of agreements, waste of assets, and a host of other related issues.
The lawyers at Gentry Locke have the knowledge and the energy to take on these often difficult cases.
Recent coal cases have included the following:
- September 11, 2015: Gentry Locke obtained a multi-million judgment in favor of contract miner
- March 18, 2014: Gentry Locke obtained a large arbitration award against a major U.S. coal company
- 2013-2015: Gentry Locke represented coal owner interests in federal class action over competing property rights in coalbed methane
- 2014-2015: Gentry Locke represented long-time property owners against claims that prior conveyances were invalid
- 2015: Gentry Locke negotiated a favorable resolution to complicated regulatory claims against contract miner client
- 2014-2015: Gentry Locke represented large energy company against multi-million dollar contract claims
- 2013-2014: Gentry Locke represented Southwest Virginia local governments in negotiations with the coal industry regarding severance taxes
- On June 1, 2010, Gentry Locke completed a settlement netting $75 million for coal owners whose idle coal reserves had been used by a large coal company to store mine wastewater
- On June 6, 2008, the Virginia Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of Gentry Locke’s client, Levisa Coal Company, finding significant reserved rights under coal lease
- Obtained verdict against prep plant operator in Buchanan County, Virginia (2009)
- Represented large landowner in dispute over wheelage and property rights after coal lease terminated (ongoing)
- Judicially overturned arbitration decision denying coal owner clients’ claims that coal operator had caused coal to be come “lost or threatened” under coal lease