R. Neal Pierce


Neal Pierce brings almost 40 years of oil and gas industry experience to the Steptoe & Johnson Energy Team. For over 15 years, he served as general counsel for one of the largest exploration and production companies in the Appalachian basin. He focuses on energy law, Utica and Marcellus shale gas law, and conventional oil and gas law, working in the firm’s Columbus, Ohio office. His experience includes legal due diligence in reviewing land records and in managing administrative land teams, oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures, mineral leases, joint operating agreements and contracts, and administrative regulatory practice related to mineral development, including rulemaking and legislative negotiation and drafting in several Appalachian Basin states and the Province of New Brunswick.

Representative Experience

  • Involved in numerous due diligence and transactional matters focusing on joint operating agreements and substantive oil and gas issues arising out of such transactions
  • Directed internal due diligence team in reviewing major Appalachian producer’s land records
  • Directed post-closing due diligence team reviewing land administration records
  • Conducting Unitization Hearings before the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Licensed In

  • Ohio
  • West Virginia


  • J.D. Georgetown University Law Center
  • B.A. Ohio State University


  • Trustee, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)
  • Past President, Virginia Oil and Gas Association
  • Past President, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation


  • David M. Young Award
  • John McClaugherty Award, 2004
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Energy Law (2024-Present)


  • Co-author, ” The Quick and the Dead, Cessation of Production and Shut-Ins During the Secondary Term of an Oil and Gas Lease,” 88 North Dakota Law Review, 2012
  • Co-author, “Orphans, Foundlings and Wards of the State: Liability for Orphaned and Abandoned Wells in the Eastern United States,” 14 Eastern Mineral Law Annual Institute Proceedings, 1994

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