PITTSBURGH, Pa. -– Steptoe & Johnson has announced that Philip D. Vasquez, BBA, JD, LLM, has become Of Counsel to the firm.
Vasquez joins the firm's energy law team working out of the firm's Southpointe, Pa., and Houston, Texas, offices. Vasquez will assume leadership of the firm's International Oil and Gas Practice.
Vasquez joins the firm after spending the last four years as an independent International Legal Consultant advising U.S. energy interests seeking energy development opportunities in Latin America, Central Asia and the Middle East. Vasquez recently acted as a legal advisor to the Ministry of Mines of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan concerning legal issues arising in the development of that nation's oil and gas resources. He also has substantial experience with energy development transactions in Mexico and South America.
Prior to pursuing his legal career, Vasquez was the Senior Petroleum Land Manager for a Fortune 500 oil company overseeing the acquisition of millions of acres of land in the Appalachian Basin. After transitioning from land work to the practice of law, he participated in the examination of oil and gas titles necessary for the exploration and development of the Dallas-Ft Worth Airport facility for Barnett shale gas production.
Vasquez has worked at the highest levels in the U.S. government. In 1998, he was appointed by the President of the United States to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Natural Gas and Petroleum Technology. While with the U.S. Department of Energy, Vasquez assisted in supervising all aspects of U.S. oil and gas policy, as well as energy research, technology and development. He also represented the United States at international energy events and functions. Following his work with the U.S. Department of Energy, Vasquez was appointed by the President to advise the Secretary of Defense on energy issues in Latin and South America.
"Philip's governmental service and the relationships he has formed within the U.S. and abroad elevate him to the role of trusted advisor to international companies that require practical working knowledge of how to safely and productively address lucrative evolving energy development opportunities both within the United States and around the world," said Russell L. Schetroma, mid-continent energy team leader. "His experience will allow the firm to create opportunities not only in the Marcellus, Utica, Bakken, Eagleford and other U.S. shale plays, but also in the ever-evolving shale oil and gas discoveries in Europe, Asia and around the globe."
"Philip is a welcome addition to the firm. His experience in international transactions will bring new depth to the predominant energy team in the region," said Susan S. Brewer, CEO of the firm.
Vasquez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (BBA), the University of Houston Law Center (JD and LLM) and the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the Institute for Energy Law and the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL). Vasquez served as the President of the Victoria County Bar and the Mexican-American Bar Associations of Texas. He chaired the Bi-Lateral Working Group Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)-United States Dept. of Energy. He was named "Friend of Venezuela" by the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce in 1999. He is also active in the Boys and Girls Club of America and the YMCA.
Steptoe & Johnson is a business-focused firm with strengths in energy, labor, employment, and litigation. It comprises more than 230 lawyers resident in 11 locations throughout West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas.
For more information, visit www.steptoe-johnson.com.