Scott has extensive experience negotiating and handling commercial and real estate transactions and preparing their related instruments. He has worked on multi-party, multi-use, and multi-jurisdiction matters. Whether the need is structuring a purchase and sale agreement for a natural resource transaction, conducting due diligence on a multi-million dollar acquisition or preparing the instruments for and handling a real estate transaction, Scott has the experience and judgment to bring about a successful result.
Scott deals in contracts; health and safety; financing; asset and real property acquisitions and divestitures; entity formations; real property restructurings; labor and employment; coal, mineral, and energy law; and governmental compliance and affairs.
Scott spent in excess of fifteen years with Westmoreland Coal Company, then a Fortune 500 corporation, as senior in-house counsel and General Counsel and Secretary of its numerous subsidiaries. He managed the Operations Legal Department for over eleven years and was General Counsel for its sales company for four years. He has presented papers at numerous energy and mineral law seminars and conferences; successfully argued appeals before the West Virginia and Virginia Supreme Courts and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; and edited numerous law books and legal treatises and publications.
Scott is an Eagle Scout.
Foresight Energy Bolt-On Financing
We served as counsel to the issuer in Foresight Energy LLC’s $200 million bolt-on financing.
Foresight Energy Refinancing
We served as counsel in Foresight Energy, LLC’s $690 million refinancing.
We were lead counsel for Colt, LLC’s sale of $255 million in coal reserves.
Macoupin Energy, LLC
We were lead counsel for Macoupin Energy, LLC’s sale/leaseback of $143.7 million in coal reserves.
Adena Minerals, LLC
We were lead counsel for Adena Minerals, LLC’s sale of coal and transportation assets in return for a significant percentage of Natural Resource Partners, LP (NYSE: NRP) and a 22% interest in NRP’s general partner.
West Virginia 1972
United States Army Reserves 1967-1968
Select Prior Experience
Tighe, Cottrell & Logan, P.A. (Lawyer), Wilmington, DE 1998-2006
Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company (Legal Editor), Raleigh, NC 1995-1996
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Rights of Virginians with Disabilities (Senior Attorney), Richmond and Virginia Beach, VA 1996-1997
Westmoreland Coal Company and Westmoreland Coal Sales Company (Senior Attorney and General Counsel), Big Stone Gap, VA and Philadelphia, PA 1977-1992
Jackson, Kelly, Holt & O’Farrell (now Jackson Kelly) (Lawyer), Charleston, WV 1972-1977
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
Q: Let’s start out with a general overview of your practice. How do you describe to recruits or family what it is you do?
A: I work on, develop, prepare or review the documents for, do “due diligence” for, and close business and real estate deals and other transactions. I prepare a wide variety of legal instruments including contracts and agreements of all types and kinds, deeds, easements, leases, coal and mineral instruments, financing, etc. I assist on projects, law suits, claims, etc. as needed.
Q: What do you like about your practice? What is professionally satisfying?
A: There are few dull moments.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done as a lawyer?
A: What is interesting to me is that I have endured (survived?) the practice of law for 43 years. I have worked on countless transactions, real estate deals, cases, appeals, claims, corporate formations, projects, and the like over that span. I have represented many interesting individuals and numerous unique entities (both large and small and for-profit and not-for-profit). I have been a legal editor and worked in state government (representing a state agency). Five years ago I worked well over 100 continuous days on a large “re-alignment” of property interests for a significant client. More recently I worked 40 days and nights on the purchase of an ongoing business for another client. When I started my career (in addition to raising triplets!), I traveled all over the USA defending hundreds of administrative claims, each of which carried significant potential liability for numerous clients. As noted, there have been few dull moments. I have argued appeals before the WV Supreme Court, the Virginia Supreme Court, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Q: What cases are keeping you busy these days?
A: While my cases and projects are many and varied (and too many to list), most of my current work involves real property and transactions.
Q: How were you hired for those matters?
A: They normally gravitate to me since I do a lot of the real estate and transactional work for this Firm.
Q: Can you describe for us their current procedural posture, or resolution?
A: I strive to work on, finish, and resolve my assignments and matters immediately when they come to me (hopefully the same day or very shortly thereafter).
Q: What were/are some of the challenges you face?
A: Folks who are non-responsive.
Q: Are there any trends you are seeing that stand out?
A: The trend that concerns me the most is the lack of civility, both in practicing law and living in today’s world. Cooperation, trustworthiness, loyalty, civility, respect, helpfulness, courtesy, and general kindness (and the list goes on) are traits and characteristics, which in too many situations and circumstances, are lacking in today’s world. In the long run that hurts not only each of us individually but also society as a whole.
Q: What were the keys to a successful outcome in this deal?
A: Paying attention to detail, getting all the facts, going above and beyond what is expected, engaging in good and responsive communications, writing and speaking effectively and properly, and using good grammar.
Q: What was at stake for your client?
A: Everything! Get the deal done, properly, efficiently, and timely, with all angles and all facts considered and addressed.
Q: Is this the type of practice you imagined yourself practicing while in law school?
A: Not really.
Q: Why did you pursue a career in the law in the first place?
A: Personal development and improvement. When I started law school, I did not know one lawyer, and I knew nothing about what it meant to “be a lawyer” or what being a good lawyer entailed or required. I grew up quickly!
Q: What do you wish you had known or done differently in school? Or, put another way, do you have advice now for current law school students?
A: Don’t get married and consider medical or dental school!
Q: Is there anything in particular early in your career that you consider key to arriving at your current level of excellence?
A: Knowing the value of a dedicated, committed work ethic and paying attention to detail.
Q: How has your practice changed since the early part of your career?
A: Technology, technology, and technology.
Q: Can you share a lawyer you have come up against in a case/negotiation that you admire, and why?
A: There have been many; unfortunately, there have been a few who were not to be admired or liked. Is there a case/deal/client in your career that stands out as a “favorite” or one that is particularly memorable?
Q: Tell us about how you interact with clients. Do you view it as important to develop business, and if so, how do you?
A: Respond and communicate immediately and often. Do the required work or assignment immediately, with no delays or procrastination. Pay attention to detail. Keep the client fully informed, no matter what that takes. Be polite, courteous, cooperative, and respectful.
Q: Tell us about your career path. Did you start at your current firm? If so, what kept you there? If not, what persuaded you to join your current firm?
A: No, I did not start with this Firm. I have been in private practice for 24 years; in corporate practice (as in-house counsel) for 16 years; in legal writing and editing for one year; and in government service for one year.
Q: How has your firm been able to grow recently?
A: It has excellent and dedicated lawyers who achieve excellent results and who work extremely hard.
Q: There are many high-quality firms out there. What do you do try to “sell” about your firm to potential recruits – how is it unique?
A: It has excellent lawyers who achieve excellent results, on time, efficiently, and at reasonable rates.