CHARLESTON -– Steptoe & Johnson is pleased to announce that G. Kurt Dettinger has joined the firm's office in Charleston.
Dettinger is a member of the firm and will focus his practice in the areas of energy law, energy and financing transactions and government relations.
Dettinger comes to Steptoe & Johnson after serving as General Counsel to West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. During his time in the Governor's office, Dettinger chaired the West Virginia Marcellus to Manufacturing Task Force and was integrally involved in shaping energy initiatives undertaken and supported by Tomblin.
In a recent speech at Steptoe & Johnson's Bridgeport office, Tomblin said Dettinger was the driving force behind the recently-enacted Marcellus shale legislation and guided the bill through the legislature. When Dettinger announced he was returning to private practice, Tomblin proclaimed that "Kurt's leadership and intellect were vital to the success my administration has achieved" during Tomblin's first 18 months in office.
"I am very happy to welcome Kurt to the Steptoe & Johnson energy team," said Sharon O. Flanery, Energy Team Leader. "I believe Kurt's experience in drafting the Governor's Marcellus legislation will be a great asset to our clients throughout the Appalachian basin.
"His understanding of complex financing structures will also prove invaluable for our mid-continent clients looking to meet their development goals in these rapidly growing shale plays."
While working in the Governor's office, Dettinger served as Chairman of the West Virginia School Building Authority and as a member of the Consolidated Public Retirement Board and the West Virginia Law Institute. Leading up to the passage of West Virginia's Marcellus legislation, he was asked by Sen. Joe Manchin to testify before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the production of shale gas in West Virginia. In August 2011, Dettinger also presented to industry executives on West Virginia's approach to developing local and national markets for Marcellus ethane at the NGL and Shale Gas Infrastructure Summit in Pennsylvania.
"We feel Kurt's knowledge of complex energy and financing transactions will greatly benefit clients looking to expand their presence in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays and those who are evaluating ways to maximize value in the region's coalfields," said Steptoe & Johnson CEO Susan S. Brewer. "We are also confident that his knowledge of and experience in capital markets transactions will be the catalyst for additional growth in our public finance and banking practices."
Before his work with the Governor, Dettinger focused his practice in the areas of coal, natural gas and financing transactions, complex business disputes and representation of investment banks. He served as lead counsel to international and regional investment banking firms in connection with the underwriting and sale of taxable and tax-exempt bond transactions totaling in excess of one billion dollars.
Dettinger is a Charleston native and earned his Bachelor's Degree from Marshall University and received his J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law. While at WVU, he served as associate editor of the West Virginia Law Review, graduated Order of the Coif and served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Robert B. King, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Steptoe & Johnson is a business-focused firm with strengths in energy, labor, employment, and litigation. It comprises more than 230 lawyers resident in eleven locations throughout West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas.
For more information, visit www.steptoe-johnson.com.