Neal Thatcher provides experienced counsel to clients with a particular focus on stakeholders in the energy industry. With years of experience as lead corporate counsel for energy companies in the Appalachian Basin region, Neal is uniquely placed and highly qualified to provide sophisticated, practical, and valuable advice on questions that businesses face daily, as well as complex transactions and litigation. Neal’s diverse practice encompasses commercial, contractual and corporate matters; advisory and transactional real estate services; acquisitions and divestitures; and complex commercial litigation.
Neal’s legal practice began and grew amidst the discovery of the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations, and the burgeoning energy industry in the Appalachian Basin region. He has immersed himself in the energy industry and has advised both emerging and established companies in his roles as sole in-house counsel to a start-up natural gas gathering and transportation business, and, for over a decade, as senior counsel to The Williams Companies, Inc., a Fortune 500 energy infrastructure company that is one of the largest pipeline transportation and midstream businesses in the United States. As in-house counsel to start-up Laser Northeast Gathering Company, LLC, Neal oversaw and spearheaded all aspects of the company’s legal and real estate departments. He guided the company from initial construction to the successful commercial operation of a multi-state natural gas gathering system and, ultimately, to the sale of the company with an aggregate valuation exceeding $750 million. At The Williams Companies, Inc., Neal served as the primary and lead counsel for various midstream business segments, including those in Northeast Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio. In the course of his practice, Neal has negotiated, structured, and drafted commercial agreements and energy transactions with values in excess of $100 million, and has been a key deal team member on major acquisition and divestiture transactions, including transactions valued at more than $400 million and $1 billion. Simply stated, Neal has extensive experience dealing with most major corporate counterparties in the exploration and production, gathering and transportation sectors in the Appalachian Basin. Neal also managed, and provided strategic oversight on, complex and diverse litigation and dispute resolution matters, including matters with exposures or contingent gains in the 6 to 8 figure range.
Neal is a team player and a natural leader who works collaboratively with his clients, and their advisors, to identify and fulfill their business objectives. Both in his career and his community, he proactively shares his skills and experience, whether mentoring attorneys on his team, serving on the boards and committees of local nonprofits, or coaching his three sons’ little league teams. Neal has won numerous awards recognizing his individual and team achievements as in-house counsel, and his leadership qualities. Ultimately, Neal strives to not only be his clients’ legal counsel, but their trusted and indispensable partner for any issue that may arise.
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Widener University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2006
- East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude, 2003
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Lackawanna County Bar Association
- Association of Corporate Counsel Professional Organization
- Senior Counsel, The Williams Companies, Inc., 2012-2022
- Assistant General Counsel, Laser Northeast Gathering Company, LLC, 2011-2012
- Associate, Wright & Reihner, P.C., 2009-2011
- Law Clerk for the Honorable Michael J. Barrasse and for Senior Status Judges, Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, 2008-2009
- Assistant Public Defender, Lackawanna County Public Defender’s Office, 2006-2008
- Williams’ Champion Award, 2016 and 2018