Kenneth E. Tawney

Phone: (304) 340-1189 | Fax: (304) 340-1080 | Email:
500 Lee Street East, Suite 1600, Charleston, WV 25301-3202

Kenneth E. Tawney is Of Counsel and a member of the Firm's Commercial Law Practice Group and the Oil and Gas Industry Group.  He focuses his practice on matters relating to the oil and gas industry and commercial litigation. 

Mr. Tawney has represented and advised producers, pipelines, local distribution companies and lenders in due diligence investigations, mineral title reviews and transactional matters, including purchase and sale of oil and gas producing properties, leases, pipelines and other assets. He has significant experience in negotiating and preparing contracts, such as asset management agreements, gas transportation agreements, gas processing agreements, plant operating agreements, oil and gas leases, joint venture agreements, operating agreements, land use agreements and related agreements and contracts.

Mr. Tawney also represents clients in litigation proceedings involving oil and gas matters. His experience includes litigation of disputes involving gas purchase contracts, drilling contracts, farm-out agreements, oil and gas leases, gas processing agreements, meter error disputes, royalty issues and title issues. Mr. Tawney also provides advice regarding federal regulation of the natural gas industry by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and pipeline safety regulation by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In the commercial litigation arena, Mr. Tawney also defends banks, lending institutions and other clients in a variety of cases, including defense of class action claims, lender liability and breach of contract claims.

Mr. Tawney worked in-house at Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation for nearly 21 years. During his tenure, he served as Assistant General Counsel of both the Corporate Section and the Regulatory Section of the company's law department. For nearly 15 years, he represented the company in numerous rate and tariff proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including the open-access transportation restructuring proceedings under FERC Order Nos. 436 and 636. He also provided legal advice in connection with pipeline safety matters and represented the company before the U.S. Department of Transportation. His experience at Columbia also included representing the company in connection with the sale of several millions of dollars' worth of pipeline assets, negotiation and preparation of contracts and prosecution of well over 150 condemnation cases, including a case of first impression which established the right to condemn for underground storage under the federal Natural Gas Act.

Mr. Tawney earned both his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Juris Doctor from West Virginia University.  He has been admitted to practice before the West Virginia state and federal courts and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Sixth and D.C. Circuits. Mr. Tawney is a member of the West Virginia State Bar Association, the Kanawha County Bar Association and the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation.


Legal Experience
2000 - PresentJackson Kelly PLLC
1980 - 2000Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation
1979 - 1980Kenneth E. Tawney, Private Practice
1978 - 1979 David L. Ziegler Law Offices
1978J.D.West Virginia University College of Law
1975B.A.West Virginia University
Bar Admissions
1978West Virginia
Court Admissions
2012U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
1987U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
1986U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
1984U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
1984U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
1983U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
1978West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
1978U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia

Professional Involvement:
  • West Virginia State Bar Association
  • Kanawha County Bar Association
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Oil and Gas Program, Chair 2004 
  • West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association
  • West Virginia Independent Oil and Gas Association
  • West Virginia Defense Trial Counsel, Chair of Commercial Litigation Committee, 2006-2007

  • United Way of Central West Virginia, Inc., Board of Directors, 2009-present  
  • United Way of Central West Virginia, Inc., Resource Development Advisory Board, 2003 
  • Elk District Little League, Inc., President, 1987
  • Herbert Hoover Boosters Club, Treasurer, 1982-83

Teaching and Lecturing:
  • Presenter, "Is There An Implied Right to Pool an Oil and Gas Lease?," West Virginia University Gas Law Conference, Nov. 13, 2015
  • Presenter, "Recent Development in Pooling and Unitization in West Virginia," American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) and North American Landmen Association (NALA), Oct. 2015
  • Presenter, "Overview of Oil and Gas," The West Virginia State Bar Advanced Mediator Training, Flatwoods, West Virginia, July 11, 2012
  • Speech, "Update on Marcellus Shale and Its Development," Marcellus to Manufacturing:  Ethane Development Conference, Charleston, West Virginia, March 21, 2012
  • Speech, "Negotiated Terms and Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Leases," West Virginia University Marcellus Shale Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, June 10, 2011
  • Speech, "What Every West Virginia Lawyer Should Know About the Marcellus Shale," West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, West Virginia, Nov. 12, 2010
  • Speech, "Marcellus Shale Legal Issues," Kanawha County Bar Association, Charleston, West Virginia, Nov. 11, 2010
  • "Expanding Pipeline Infrastructure in Newly-Developed Gas Fields:  An Examination of the Marcellus Shale," Ninth Annual Gas and Power Institute, Houston, Texas, Sept. 23, 2010
  • Law of Unclaimed Property, Bankers Association Conference, May 2007
  • Brokering of Natural Gas, Houston, Texas, Nov. 1989
  • Transporter Concerns with Natural Gas Brokering:  Perspective of a Major Transporter of Natural Gas, 6th Washington Conference on Direct Purchase of Natural Gas, Washington, DC, May 1988
  • Transporter Concerns with Natural Gas Brokering, 5th Washington Conference on Direct Purchase of Natural Gas, Washington, DC, Oct. 1987
  • Pipeline Marketing Initiatives & Strategies, Washington Conference on Direct Purchase of Natural Gas by End Users, Washington, DC, June 1986

Awards and Honors:
  • Named among the 2013 Who's Who in Energy by Pittsburgh Business Times
  • Listed in the Construction, Real Estate & Environmental Section of Super Lawyers® Business Edition for Energy & Natural Resources, 2013-2015
  • Named in the 2013-2017 editions of West Virginia Super Lawyers® for Energy & Natural Resources Law
  • Ranked in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Natural Resources Law in West Virginia, 2013-2017
  • Named in the 2012 edition of West Virginia Super Lawyers®
  • Selected for inclusion on Pittsburgh Business Times' "Who's Who in Energy" list, 2011
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Energy Law and Oil and Gas Law, 2007-2018
  • Who's Who in Practicing Attorneys, 1990
  • Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation, Chairman's Award, 1990
  • Jerry West Scholarship, 1971-75
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