For producers, refiners and manufacturers whose businesses are focused on natural resources, or whose operations are dependent upon these materials, real estate issues take on an extra level of complexity. In addition to widely shared concerns over the value of real estate as an asset or investment, companies engaged in the extraction, processing, distribution and sale of natural resources face a broad array of regulatory and other legal and operational hurdles. Such businesses are further challenged by the need to make long-term decisions and investments in the face of short-term economic cycles.
Hunton & Williams LLP's natural resources practice — which includes attorneys from the real estate group as well as the firm's environmental, renewable energy and regulated industries teams — advises clients throughout the United States. We provide effective legal guidance to businesses in the following industries, among others:
- Minerals and construction aggregates. We represent companies that mine, produce, process and transport minerals, rock, sand, gravel and related construction products, including concrete and asphalt. We are well versed on issues related to quarry reclamation and related redevelopment, as well as waste transportation and disposal issues, including tailings and other waste byproducts.
- Coal and coal-bed methane. Our clients include mining companies utilizing strip and underground methodologies and parties involved in coal-bed methane drilling. We frequently are called upon to deal with unitization, pooling and reclamation issues.
- Oil and gas. We advise companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and drilling, pipelines and transportation, processing and refining, and owners that lease lands to such companies for such purposes.
- Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and other renewables. We represent utilities and other companies engaged in the generation and distribution of power from alternative and nontraditional sources, including ground and rooftop-mounted solar arrays, land-based and offshore wind farms, flash steam and binary cycle geothermal plants, and thermal conversion biomass facilities.
- Timber and land conservation management. We provide guidance on timber harvesting and the acquisition, disposition and financing of such assets, public and private conservation easements and programs, and management of wildlife and cultural resources.
- Wetlands mitigation and banking. We advise a range of enterprises on all aspects of wetlands disturbance and mitigation, including land banking, mitigation credits and related transactions.
- Water and water rights. We counsel clients on water use and conservation, and other water and riparian rights.
We represent clients at every phase of a project, from due diligence of title, mineral and water rights, entitlements and other critical matters, to financing via equity infusions, joint ventures and more traditional institutional and public lending vehicles. We advise clients on acquisition of surface, mineral and other rights necessary to acquire reserves and to recover, process and transport the resource. We provide counsel on the development and construction of production and distribution facilities, from negotiation of construction, interconnection and power purchase agreements, to assistance with related permits, zoning approvals and other entitlements, and from commencement of operations following negotiation of surface and mineral leases, easements, licenses and operating agreements, to shutdown and reclamation. We draw on our extensive experience with federal and state agencies to help clients work with regulators, and we provide creative solutions and asset-maximization strategies in the re-use, development and/or sale of reclaimed lands.
As a result of our commitment to excellence in client service, our lawyers have been recognized as among the country’s top practitioners by respected legal and industry journals such as Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America®, Virginia Super Lawyers and Virginia Business.