Royalty questions are complicated math equations that can come with an unpredictable formula: layers of emotions. Adept at looking at accounting documents with an eye for business practicality, we have a depth of knowledge that allows us to understand your point of view, and pinpoint your risk and liability without having to sift through the history of the field.
Liskow has been doing royalty litigation since the firm’s inception in the 1930s. In fact, there was a Liskow lawyer involved in every single one of the most formative royalty litigation cases. We were involved at every step of the Marcellus shale exploration, and at the Haynesville shale we’ve worked on assets through multiple owners –at times we fill in the gap better than our clients. In short, we’ve been in the trenches of royalty issues, and we continue to evolve together with this area of law.
We are actively involved in pre-litigation, effectively responding to a multitude of royalty demands, and ensuring that we help you do so within the allocated time periods, and without incurring additional penalties. We make full-fledged attempts to find a solution, whether by drafting substantive responses, conducting informal mediation and, if not, filing motions for summary judgment. When negotiating, we look at the big picture: sometimes it makes sense to pay a certain rate but, in turn, extend the terms of lease. With a focus on your business objectives, we search for solutions to avoid the courtroom, but if needed, we leverage litigation to achieve them.
Because there’s no certainty as to how much oil and gas exists under the surface, the point of valuation can become a complicated dispute we solve on your behalf. We also help clients who face measurement and post-production cost allocation issues, as well as commingled production disputes, and end-of-lease termination issues
Deep knowledge of a regional firm; scalability of an AmLaw 100 firm
There are a lot of firms in the oil- and gas-producing regions that specialize in litigation against landowners. We are that: because of our historic presence in Texas and Louisiana, we’ve been at the forefront of the development of exploration and production, building on the foundation of our knowledge in oil and gas. But unlike the much smaller firms, we have the internal resources to scale up and tackle the bigger cases, including class actions. While some of our lawyers concentrate on royalties – which are in essence the post-production clauses of oil and gas lease contracts – we have the full support of other Liskow lawyers who focus on regulatory, business, tax and more. We understand your big picture and are covering you on all fronts.
Working well with others is part of our success
We know that operators of wells may get demand letters every day. That’s why we work with your in-house counsel to share our knowledge of how to deal with some standard situations that we see over and over again, thus cutting your legal spend. Also, with intimate knowledge of how the government systems work, we are more than prepared to work with regulators. When an audit comes in, we hit the ground running, given our familiarity with how the regulators are set up and the company- and industry-specific information we already possess.
Because we’ve worked in the field for decades, we also know most of the attorneys on the other side. That rapport helps curtail unnecessary spending and immediately cut to the heart of the issue – enabling us to resolve the matter in the most efficient manner. Whether it’s a volume statement or a deduction issue, we immediately see the part of the contract that is challenged, and our initial fact-finding is already filtered: we send the specific questions we know target the issue at hand.
Sometimes companies spin their wheels with the landowners – as disputes can be emotional. We take the time to understand their motivation, but go straight through to the landowner attorneys to resolve the matter in a way that makes sense for your business.