Gary D. Holland


Gary Holland focuses his practice on energy, mineral, and natural resources law, property law, and commercial and real estate transactions. Clients across the energy industry trust his sophisticated and strategic deal counsel to (i) negotiate and handle all facets of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and financing related to coal, oil and gas, coalbed methane, and other commercial assets and operations, (ii) lead wide-scale transactional due diligence projects, and (iii) advise on various operational and business development matters, including evaluating appropriate curative measures. Gary is adept in leading and managing multi-million-dollar stock and asset deals and effectively preparing the associated transactional and corporate instruments.

Armed with a practical understanding of his client’s overall business goals, Gary regularly represents (i) coal companies in the purchase and sale of active and idled mining assets and coal operations and (ii) E&P companies in the negotiation and preparation of asset purchase agreements, operating agreements, acreage trade agreements and other contractual agreements, and arrangements concerning the acquisition and disposition of shale assets, leases, and leasehold interests. Working together with in-house counsel and legal and land departments, clients also seek his advice on day-to-day operational issues, risk assessment, and related business matters.

Serving in his management role as Title Coordinator of Steptoe’s Mineral Title & Property Practice Group, Gary is an Assistant Practice Group Leader and an integral part of the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Department and energy management team. In addition to Gary’s strong transactional background, he has extensive experience in abstracting and preparing complex coal, oil and gas, and other mineral titles throughout multiple states. His deep understanding of mineral title and property law has provided a practical approach in drafting, reviewing, and issuing coal and mining title opinions, oil and gas drilling title opinions, and division order title opinions to assist clients with strategic developmental efforts throughout the Appalachian Basin.

In addition to his energy department role as Title Coordinator, Gary has held a variety of leadership and project management positions throughout the firm and was a past member of S&J’s leadership development summit for attorneys displaying high potential for leadership and opportunities.

Representative Experience

  • Led, managed, and coordinated multi-state large-scale title and due diligence projects and drafted deal documents to assist energy clients with drilling, mining, operational, and development plans involving transactions exceeding $500 million
  • Represented coal company in stock sale divestiture of coal-producing assets, including pre-closing internal entity reorganizations, preparation of transactional instruments transferring coal and mining assets, and conducted associated due diligence review, and defect curative work
  • Performed title examinations, drafted corresponding mineral title opinions, and prepared transactional documents, including curative-related agreements, to assist energy clients in acquiring property and leasehold rights for development
  • Managed and coordinated due diligence analysis and title and curative work on behalf of E&P company for the divestiture of approximately 1,500 legacy wells throughout twenty counties and across five states in a deal exceeding $25 million in value
  • Negotiated, implemented, and drafted transactional documents and agreements on behalf of a coal mining company in the divestiture of mining assets and associated liabilities for cash consideration of $325 million
  • Assisted in and facilitated the deal negotiation, drafting, and implementation of credit facility on behalf of a coal mining company exceeding $92 million
  • Prepared complex Drilling Title Opinions and Division Order Title Opinions for oil and gas exploration and production companies developing throughout the Appalachian Basin
  • Negotiated deal terms, drafted, and implemented $15 million stock purchase of an active coal mining operation
  • Negotiated deal terms, drafted, and implemented $20 million asset divestiture of idled mining operations on behalf of a coal mining company
  • Negotiated and facilitated the acquisition of coal mining assets from Chapter 11 debtors in several ¬ß363 bids
  • Secured financing and development loans ranging from $10 million to $15 million on behalf of commercial and business clients
  • Represented an energy client in negotiating and implementing emissions offset credit agreement and other carbon capture and sequestration-related projects
  • Prepared subsidence analysis and mining due diligence on behalf of a coal client for submission to the appropriate West Virginia regulatory authority
  • Experienced in drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, trade agreements, letter and side agreements, contracts, surface use agreements, deeds, easements, leases, subleases, and other related transactional and contractual instruments for energy companies

Licensed In

  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia


  • J.D. Appalachian School of Law
  • B.S. University of Kentucky


  • Buchanan County YMCA, former member of Board of Directors
  • Dean’s List, Appalachian School of Law
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Institute for Energy Law
  • American Association of Professional Landmen
  • Southern Appalachian Association of Professional Landmen
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association


  • Book Award, Virginia Civil Procedure

Speaking Engagements

  • Guest Lecturer, “Lease Transfers,” Oil & Gas Law Course, West Virginia State University, 2018 & 2019
  • Panelist, “Rare Earth Elements – Who Gets to Recover Them & How,” Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, 2017
  • Guest Lecturer, “Externship,” Appalachian School of Law, 2015
  • Guest Lecturer, “Interpretive Problems in Oil and Gas Conveyancing,” Oil & Gas Law Course, West Virginia State University, 2014
  • Speaker, “Appalachian Due Diligence,” Steptoe & Johnson PLLC Acquisition & Disposition of Shale Assets in Appalachia, Transactional Seminar, 2012
  • Speaker, “Basics of the Oil and Gas Lease,” West Virginia University Extension Service Natural Gas Program, 2011
  • Speaker, “An Introduction to the Marcellus/Utica Shale Plays,” Appalachian Association of Professional Landmen, 2011
  • In addition to the foregoing engagements, Gary routinely provides in-house client educational presentations and seminars covering a wide range of energy topics. Topics have included:
    • Virginia Coal Mine Void Statute
    • Declaration of Oil and Gas Notices Application
    • History of Virginia and West Virginia Intestate Succession
    • Preparation of Affidavits of Heirship
    • Recording Requirements
    • Oil and Gas Royalty Interest v. In-Place Interest
    • West Virginia Co-Tenancy Legislation
    • Overview of Purchase and Sale Agreements and Deal Structures
    • Coal mining and subsidence-related rights
    • Drafting Contractual Documents, Deeds, Easements, Leases, Amendments, and Assignments
    • Due diligence analysis and curative work
    • Comprehensive Coal, Oil, and Gas Title Opinion Preparation


  • “Kentucky,” University of Oklahoma Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal, 2020 Survey on Oil & Gas, 6 Oil & Gas, Nat. Resources & Energy J. 133
  • “Kentucky,” University of Oklahoma Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal, 2019 Survey on Oil & Gas, 5 Oil & Gas, Nat. Resources & Energy J. 141
  • “Kentucky,” University of Oklahoma Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal, 2018 Survey on Oil & Gas, 4 Oil & Gas, Nat. Resources & Energy J. 339
  • “Tennessee,” University of Oklahoma Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal, 2017 Survey on Oil & Gas, 3 Oil & Gas, Nat. Resources & Energy J. 813
  • “Tennessee,” University of Oklahoma Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal, 2016 Survey on Oil & Gas, 2 Oil & Gas, Nat. Resources & Energy J. 307
  • “Tennessee,” Texas A&M Law Review, 2015 Oil & Gas Survey, 2 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 349
  • “Tennessee,” Texas A&M Law Review, 2014 Oil & Gas Survey, 1 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 339
  • “Tennessee,” Texas Wesleyan Law Review, 2013 Oil and Gas Update, 19 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 569
  • “Tennessee,” Texas Wesleyan Law Review, 2012 Oil and Gas Update, 18 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 619

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