Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell represents surface owners and users to ensure compatible development of underlying minerals, whether or not severed from the surface estate. We understand the distinct unique interests and requirements of surface and mineral developers and owners. Our lawyers utilize our understanding and experience to help clients effectively utilize all available statutory, regulatory and contractual mechanisms to minimize effects of mineral development on the available uses and value of the surface estate. Through negotiation of surface use agreements that define notice, location and operational requirements, we help provide certainty for clients regarding the potential impacts of oil and gas operations or mineral development on their properties.
Additionally, we counsel clients about how to manage the risks and liabilities associated with development of the subsurface estate and help clients obtain favorable land use permitting conditions, clean-up standards and indemnification assurances. These protections have allowed property owners to preserve the integrity of surface uses such as residential and commercial uses, livestock grazing or hay production, energy production and wildlife habitat and open space while also accommodating the rights and interests of the mineral developer.