Mark S. Barron is the head of energy litigation for the firm’s Denver office and serves as the office’s business development partner. Named a Law360 Energy MVP in 2016, Mark enjoys a reputation as a nationally influential energy lawyer.
Mark has guided some of the country’s largest producers of oil and gas through high-profile litigation and is a “go to” author for energy companies and trade associations developing technical comments responsive to regulatory initiatives.
Mark routinely assists clients in the administrative rulemaking process, interacting with government decision makers, developing strategic policy initiatives, and litigating disputes.
A prolific author and speaker on topics affecting energy producers, Mark has testified before Congress and been featured or quoted in dozens of industry and mainstream media outlets on topics related to energy policy, hydraulic fracturing, and commercial development on public lands. In 2015, Law 360 named Mark one of five national “Rising Stars” in Energy – a designation given to the best attorneys in America under 40 years of age.
- Obtained a first-of-its-kind mandatory injunction under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, directing the Bureau of Land Management to immediately approve ten applications for permit to drill or provide substantial evidence supporting a decision to delay. EnerVest Ltd v. Jewell, No. 16-CV-1256, Mem. Decision and Order (D. Utah Dec. 30, 2016). The court’s decision allowed operator to complete drilling within four-month seasonal drilling window.
- Lead counsel for national oil and gas trade associations in the industry’s successful opposition to the United States Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. Drafted and argued a successful petition to have BLM’s final hydraulic fracturing rule set aside as beyond BLM’s statutory authority and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Wyoming v. Dep’t of the Interior, 2016 WL 3509415 (D. Wyo. June 21, 2016).
- Lead counsel for a North Dakota oil and gas lease broker in a suit concerning validity of lease issued through an emergency trust. Negotiated a comprehensive settlement that preserved the validity of the lease and provided client with full release from all liability at no cost.
- Defense counsel for an upstream exploration and production company in a successful challenge to historic lease approvals on Indian lands for failure to conduct adequate NEPA analysis in advance of the Bureau of Indian Affair’s approval of the leases. Developed jurisdictional and administrative law arguments that resulted in the successful dismissal of the lawsuit in Oklahoma federal district court.
- Lead counsel to an E&P company regarding the scope of company’s ability to earn acreage under a Carry and Earning Agreement in the San Juan Basin after the assets that are subject to the Carry and Earning Agreement were included within an undivided federal exploratory unit.
- Advised an oil and gas operator on the maintenance of midstream service obligations to a development partner after the operator’s divestiture of its assets in the joint venture.
- Counsel for an oil storage provider in a storage facility expansion project. Authored a brokerage agreement that earned the client a percentage of the revenues for oil stored in associated facilities in North Dakota and Texas.
- Western Energy Alliance: Board of Advisors
- Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer Club): Advisory Board
- Chi of Psi Upsilon Fraternity, Cornell University: Board of Governors
- United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association: Board of Governors (2011 to 2014)
- Denver Petroleum Club: Membership Committee
- Strangers United Football Club
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Team in Training Program – National Capital Area Chapter, Volunteer
- J.D., The University of New Mexico School of Law, 2006; magna cum laude; New Mexico Law Review, Manuscript Editor; Order of the Coif
- B.A., History, Cornell University, 1999
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- New Mexico
- District of Columbia
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