☰ Menu
Ohio Utica Shale

Vorys law firm to open new office for drilling in Pittsburgh

By Bob Downing Published: October 7, 2013

A press release from the Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease law firm today:

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP announced today that it will strengthen its oil and gas practice by expanding into Pittsburgh and welcoming a team of experienced oil and gas attorneys entrenched in the region’s energy industry. With one of the Midwest’s largest and most experienced oil and gas law practices, Vorys is improving the services it offers clients that are actively pursuing opportunities in both the Utica and Marcellus Shale plays.


“Many of our clients within the industry, including producers, midstream companies, and drilling and services companies, have operations in both Ohio and Pennsylvania,” said Russ Gertmenian, Vorys’ managing partner. “We have assisted our energy clients in Pennsylvania for some time. The addition of this office demonstrates our desire to stay further abreast of the unique regulatory and statutory guidelines in both states and remain easily and quickly accessible to our clients. We also have plans to expand the office to include additional legal practices in order to better serve all current and future clients in the region.”


Kevin M. Gormly, who joins Vorys as a partner in the Pittsburgh office, has significant experience in complex federal and state oil and gas litigation. He routinely handles litigation on behalf of operators involving joint operating agreements, farmout agreements, drilling contracts and joint venture agreements, as well as lease issues and title disputes. Melissa McCoy Gormly has joined the firm as of counsel; she has litigated a variety of oil and gas matters and drafted numerous oil and gas title opinions. Abigail L. Marusic joins Vorys as an associate in the energy group. Rachel Rocco is welcomed as an oil and gas paralegal. All four were previously with Jackson Kelly PLLC.


“I am excited to join the Vorys team and help the firm expand into Pittsburgh,” Kevin Gormly said. “Vorys is widely recognized as a leader in the energy industry within the state of Ohio. I’m proud and eager to play a role in advancing those successes into Pennsylvania.”


The attorneys will practice in the Vorys energy group, which is listed as one of the best energy practices in the nation on the U.S. News and World Report/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list. The group was also named a top rated practice with a “high profile in acting for entities from the energy and natural resources sectors,” by Chambers and Partners. The Vorys energy group advises the firm’s clients on all types of transactional work, from simple leasing and well-field service contracts to sophisticated joint venture and asset transactions, financing agreements and hedging programs. Members of the energy group also represent clients before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, state permitting agencies, public utilities commissions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Ohio and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies. Vorys attorneys have also advised energy businesses on tax issues that arise from oil and gas exploration.


Since its founding in 1909, Vorys has grown to one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm has nearly 375 attorneys located in six other offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Akron, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Houston, Texas. Vorys currently ranks as one of the 200 largest law firms in the United States according to American Lawyer magazine.


The firm has leased temporary office space in Pittsburgh and will move into a permanent space in downtown Pittsburgh early next year.


Vorys is dedicated to being a good community partner in the cities in which the firm has offices. In each office, lawyers, paralegals and staff members are deeply involved with cultural organizations, charitable groups and other programs that seek to improve the quality of life in those communities.


“We’re committed to Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania,” Gertmenian said. “Our contributions to the city will go well beyond good legal work. We’ll be dedicated to supporting the city and its citizens.”


To learn more about the Vorys energy group and the firm’s experience in oil and gas law, visit



See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From
Prev Next

Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.