Solos/Small Firms

Phone Call Launches N.Y. Solo’s Oil and Gas Practice


A phone call in 1999 changed the course of Chris Denton’s law practice.

Denton was a solo practitioner in upstate New York when he got a call from an acquaintance in the petroleum industry who told him he needed to start studying oil and gas law, the New York Times reports.

The acquaintance told him of an oil well in upstate New York with a quality that matches wells in Texas. Denton told the Times he was told: “You won’t be able to do real estate law unless you start learning this stuff. There’s going to be a lot of drilling, it’s going to mean a lot of money, and you need to learn it now.”

Denton obliged. Now he is organizing forums for landowners and farmers about the leasing process and how to protect themselves, the newspaper says. He also helped put together groups of landowners to help give them more clout in negotiations with energy companies and pollution regulators.

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