Benedict J. Kirchner

Biography

Ben Kirchner understands that for his energy clients to be successful while conducting business, he has to be a responsive, detailed, and thorough attorney. Ben is integral to legal teams who service clients who are drafting, buying, selling, and developing energy assets in the Appalachian Basin and Texas. He also assists energy and other companies with supply chain, foreign investment matters, and international trade and related compliance issues.

Approaching his work like a complex puzzle, he enjoys analyzing mineral titles and figuring out how the pieces fit together, in support of his clients’ strategic vision. Ben’s clients include upstream exploration and production companies, midstream companies, renewable and alternative energy companies, and private equity firms. Known for his self-deprecating humor and willingness to go above and beyond, Ben leaves colleagues and clients with a smile and the comfort that he has their back.

Ben is an active and respected member of organizations that support the energy industry, such as the Institute for Energy Law and Marcellus Shale Coalition. He is serving as the Rule of Law Officer for the American Bar Association International Law Section. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was a member of the Institute for Energy Law’s First Leadership Class.

Representative Experience

  • Counseled an international solar developer with oil, gas, and mineral due diligence, for the pursuance of proper surface use waivers and non-disturbance agreements
  • Assisted upstream and midstream energy and natural resource companies in the acquisition and disposition of mineral rights and properties including leasing, asset sale, and purchase transactions, and due diligence associated with such transactions including the drafting of rights-of-way, option agreements, affidavits, corrective deeds, and division orders
  • Acted as local counsel at a lease signing event which aided a major oil and gas production company in the acquisition of more than 80,000 leasehold acres
  • Coordinated teams of attorneys, abstractors, and landmen in the performance of pre-closing and post-closing due diligence for oil and gas transactions; reviewing title opinions; organizing defect and curative reports; and preparing closing documents
  • Performed oil, gas, and coal title examinations and drafted the corresponding title opinions and related curative documents to assist a wide variety of clients in acquiring desired property rights
  • Aided Private Equity firm in the acquisition of oil and gas portfolio companies, minority interests in upstream and midstream companies and projects, and other oil and gas assets in the Marcellus Shale
  • Researched and analyzed statutes, regulations, and cases for oil and gas transactions in preparation for an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange
  • Performed title examinations for solar energy companies and prepared documents to assist in leasing property for utility and community-scale solar developments
  • Drafted contracts for importing and exporting goods in cross-border transactions, including the analysis of relevant customs regulations, border controls, and bilateral trade agreements
  • Prepared by-laws for private and public corporations, and government agencies
  • Analyzed and summarized Palestinian bank secrecy laws for use in U.S. civil litigation
  • Edited, updated, and expanded a legal guide to doing business in Palestine
  • Drafted Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related compliance policies for export clients
  • Advised on transactions involving foreign investors and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process and the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)
  • Counseled clients on U.S. Anti-Boycott Laws
  • Assisted advanced manufacturing company in responding to subpoena from U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security regarding alleged Export Administration Regulations (EAR) violations related to exports to Russia, China, India, and Turkey
  • Update and implement company’s export management and compliance program, technology control plan, and related compliance programs
  • Advised clients on U.S. Export and Import laws and regulations
  • Advised U.S.-based international chemical company on Russia, Venezuela, Libya, and Burma sanctions and trade compliance issues
  • Advised clients on Incoterms and contractual issues related to customs agents and freight forwarders
  • Assisted cryptocurrency company with the import of miners to the U.S. including customs issues and the impact of China tariffs
  • Prepared client to secure its supply chain from the risk presented by the implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act including updating their Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Advised clients on the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) as it pertains to their purchase and sale agreements
  • Advised mining company on importing $40 million worth of equipment to the U.S.
  • Assisted client in recovering goods from a freight forwarder after the termination of a sales contract with an overseas buyer

Licensed In

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

Education

  • J.D. Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • B.A. The Pennsylvania State University

Memberships

  • Institute for Energy Law, Member: Strategic Planning Committee; Advisory Board; ESG Committee; Energy Transactions Committee; International Committee; Renewables Committee, and Past Member of the Young Energy Professionals Leadership Council
  • Association of International Energy Negotiators: ESG Task Force
  • American Association of Professional Landmen
  • The Corporate Advisory Board for the Program in Energy Land Management at Penn State
  • Marcellus shale Coalition: Legal, Natural Gas Use, Surface Use, and Midstream, and Pipeline Committees
  • Attorney Volunteer, Wills for Heroes
  • Rule of Law Officer, ABA International Law Section
  • Past Division Chair of the Contract, Transportation, Energy & Environment Division, ABA International Law Section
  • Past Deputy Technology Officer, ABA International Law Section
  • Past Co-Chair, International Investment & Development Committee, ABA International Law Section
  • Past Co-Chair, International Energy & Environmental Law Committee, ABA International Law Section
  • Past Co-Chair, Eurasia Committee, ABA International Law Section
  • Liaison from the ABA International Law Section to the Institute for Energy Law
  • Past Chair, Subcommittee on Hydraulic Fracturing, International Energy & Environmental Law Committee, ABA International Law Section
  • ABA International Law Section: Belt & Road Task Force, Customs Law Committee, Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee, International Anti-Corruption Committee, International Private Equity Committee, International Trade Committee
  • Admitted to practice before the United States Court of International Trade
  • Admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Achievements

  • Awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships
  • Awarded Social Science Research Council Grant
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow
  • Institute for Energy Law 1st Leadership Class

Speaking Engagements

  • “Hydrogen’s New Frontiers,” Co-Chair and Speaker, ABA ILS Future of Energy Across the Americas, Houston, TX, February, 2024
  • “Legal Aspects of Hydrogen and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Development,” Washington County (PA) Bar Association Winter Bench Bar, Canonsburg, PA, January 2024
  • “Introduction to Hydrogen Hubs,” 2nd Annual Power Appalachia Tri-State Symposium Conference presented by the Appalachian Pipeliners Association and Women’s Energy Network, Canonsburg, PA, October 2023
  • “Real Estate Investment in the U.S. Energy Sector,” ABA ILS Cross Border Real Estate Committee, June 2023
  • “Have You Checked OFAC Lately? Sanctions and Their Effects on Transactional Matters,” Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, August 2022
  • “Sanctions on the Russian Energy and Natural Resources Sector from the EU and Ukrainian Perspective‚” Co-Chair and Moderator, ABA International Law Section International Energy & Natural Resources Committee, June 2022
  • “1st – 6th Appalachia Young Energy Professionals General Counsel Forum,” Co-Chair and Moderator, Institute for Energy Law, Pittsburgh, PA, 2014 – 2019
  • “Foreign Direct Investment into the United States Natural Resources Sector,” 61st Congress of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), Toronto, Canada, October 2017
  • “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Brief Overview; An Introduction to Incoterms; and A Guide to Legal Issues Regarding the Export of Goods from the U.S.,” The Export Council of West Virginia and West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, 2012-2023
  • “Oil and Gas Under Roads, Railroads, Schools, Churches, Cemeteries and Waterways in OH, PA, & WV,” Greater Appalachian Basin Association of Lease & Title Analysts 2017 Summer Seminar, Canonsburg, PA, August 2017
  • “Trending Title Topics from Around the Country,” 1st National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference, Institute for Energy Law, New Orleans, LA, April 2017
  • “BOOM or Bust: How it is Shaping the Future of the Petroleum Industry in the Americas,” American Bar Association Section of International Law 2016 Spring Meeting, New York, NY, April 2016
  • “International Petroleum Transactions and Global Negotiations,” Institute for Energy Law Hartrick Symposium: Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector, Houston, TX, March 2015
  • “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Brief Overview,” An Introduction to Incoterms,” and “A Guide to Legal Issues Regarding the Export of Goods from the U.S.” Guest Lectures at the West Virginia Export Manager class at West Virginia University and Marshall University, 2012-2016

Publications

  • “New Guidance for Pennsylvania Unconventional Natural Gas Operators Following Settlement Relating to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78a”, Institute for Energy Law Oil & Gas E-Report, April 2021
  • “Annual Survey on Oil & Gas Developments: New York Chapter (2016, 2017, 2020, and 2021) and Pennsylvania Chapter (2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023),” University of Oklahoma College of Law Oil, Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Journal (ONE J)

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