Thomas S. West

Thomas S. West

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Energy & Natural Resources Attorney in Albany, NY

The West Firm, PLLC
 | 677 Broadway, 8th Floor
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 518-641-0500
Fax: 518-615-1500
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1978
Education: Albany Law School
Practice Areas:
  • Energy & Natural Resources (40%),
  • Environmental (20%),
  • Environmental Litigation (10%),
  • Business Litigation (10%),
  • General Litigation (10%),
  • Business/Corporate (10%)
Attorney Profile

Thomas S. West, founder and managing partner of The West Firm, PLLC, is recognized for his distinguished accomplishments in the oil and gas and environmental fields by the Best Lawyers in America®, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Top Lawyers, and Strathmore's Who's Who. He was featured in the 2009 Edition of Upstate Super Lawyers magazine and was selected as the 2010 Professional of the Year by Strathmore's Who's Who in the field of environmental law. At The West Firm, Tom represents clients in the oil and gas sector on a broad variety of issues involving legislation, compulsory integration, administrative adjudication, civil litigation, investigations by the New York Attorney General's office, and criminal defense. In 2010, he and his firm launched a title practice in New York and Pennsylvania and they are actively writing title opinions in both states for the oil and gas industry.

In his more than 30 years of practice, Tom has represented the oil and gas industry on many issues. He was one of the principal authors of the spacing and compulsory integration legislation that overhauled New York's oil and gas program in 2005. He was also at the forefront of the 2008 amendments to New York law to accommodate the development of the shale resources in New York State. That law authorized spacing units up to 640 acres in size and multiple wells on a common well pad. Since the passage of that law, he has been actively involved with the environmental review process being conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") to prepare a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("SGEIS") relative to high-volume hydraulic fracturing. He has been working closely with industry on their comments to the DEC relative to the SGEIS and recently represented an industry working group in responding to technical comments from the DEC. He is also currently counseling several clients concerning the steps that must be taken to defend against the highly anticipated litigation that will be brought challenging the SGEIS and is working with multiple operators in developing the strategy for permitting that will comply with the high environmental standards being set by the SGEIS. Those projects include representation of clients relative to road use agreements and water supply issues, including permitting before the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Delaware River Basin Commission.

Tom also regularly represents clients relative to state legislation and currently represents one major operator before the New York State Legislature and the Governor's office relative to oil and gas issues.

Tom is frequently called upon to assist industry with mineral lease interpretation issues, which sometimes involves representing operators in associated litigation and dispute resolution procedures. In that capacity, he has represented operators in cases involving lease extensions, site access for seismic testing, site access for pipeline routing, trespass claims, and top lease disputes, and is currently representing several operators in litigation concerning force majeure lease extensions. Through the title practice, Tom and his firm offer integrated land services to the operator, providing operators title information for permitting and the proper and timely notification of uncontrolled mineral interest owners of their rights under the compulsory integration program. The firm also prepares and sends compulsory integration notices and represents operator interest at the compulsory integration hearing. Tom has represented a number of operators in the disputes referred to adjudication due to issues raised by uncontrolled owners at the compulsory integration hearing.

Tom has also represented clients on a variety of pipeline certification and construction issues. He was active in the legislation streamlining the pipeline certification process before the New York State Public Service Commission and regularly counsels clients concerning midstream strategies and transactions associated with midstream development. Also, he has represented major interstate pipelines on environmental issues and is currently working with one large interstate pipeline company to help streamline the review process before the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

About Thomas West

Admitted: 1978, New York

Professional Webpage: http://westfirmlaw.com/attorney/thomas-west/

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Also admitted in Pennsylvania.

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Member of the Board of Trustees for the Fund for Lake George.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Tom gave this presentation at the fall AGC program in Saratoga springs, New York, to update contractors on regulatory developments and the prospects for economic development opportunities in New York State, Speaker, “Marcellus Shale Development in NY”, 2012 Annual Association of General Contractors NYS Construction Industry Conference , Developers And Attorneys Representing New York Contractors And Developers, 2012
  • Tom gave this presentation to a group of County Attorneys regarding legal issues associated with the development of natural gas resources in New York State, Speaker, “Hydrofracking – Legal Issues from the Industry Standpoint”, County Attorney Association of New York, Municipal Attorneys Associated With County Government, 2012
  • Speaker, “The Frick and Frack of Fracking”, Urban Land Institute Fall Conference, Denver, Colorado, And Land-use Attorneys, Developers, For Environmental Attorneys, Planners, 2012
  • Tom West presented at this continuing legal education seminar on a variety of topics, including proposed regulations relative to high-volume hydraulic fracturing and municipal home rule issues associated with the efforts of some municipalities to ban natural gas drilling in New York State, Speaker, New York State Bar Association, For Environmental And Energy Attorneys, 2012
  • Tom West was invited to give his perspective on environmental issues associated with hydraulic fracturing in the United States, Speaker, “Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing – Identifying Trends and Preparing for Increased Regulation”, The Canadian Institute’s Conference Environmental Law & Regulation in Alberta, For Canadian Environmental Attorneys, 2012
  • Tom West gave a presentation concerning the authority of municipalities to ban oil and gas development based upon his experience with the two cases that are pending before the Appellate Division, Third Department, where Tom and his firm are seeking a declaration that municipalities are preempted from banning or regulating oil and gas development., Speaker, “Municipal Law and Planning: A Local Perspective on Hydrofracking”, Albany Law School, Environmental Attorneys And Law Students, Land-use Attorneys, Municipal Attorneys, 2012

Representative Clients:

  • Tom West regularly represents businesses and industry on regulatory, litigation and legislative issues in New York State. Most recently, Tom West served as the lead counsel concerning several high profile landfill expansions.

Educational Background:

  • St. Lawrence University, BA, 1974

Industry Groups

  • Air Quality And Water Supply
  • Energy
  • Gas Transmission
  • Major Project Siting
  • Oil And Gas
  • Pesticides
  • Solid And Hazardous Waste

Articles about Thomas S. West appearing in Super Lawyers

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Office Location for Thomas S. West

677 Broadway
8th Floor
Albany, NY 12207

Thomas S. West:

Last Updated: 9/10/2019

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