Ryan T. Purpura hopes to never do anything but legal work for the oil and gas sector. He also hopes to finish his career in Western Pennsylvania, where he grew up.
Despite the recent slowdown in drilling activity because of low prices, the partner in Downtown law firm McGuire Woods’ energy section says both he and the business that flows with gas from the Marcellus shale are here to stay.
“This play is one of the largest in the world,” said Purpura, 36, of Collier. “This type of thing happens in the industry frequently.There are ups and downs.”
Purpura is still relatively new to McGuire Woods, where he has helped build up the international firm’s energy practice centered in Pittsburgh and Texas since last fall. But he has spent all 11 years in law focused on energy.
The Bethel Park native, who got his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and a law degree and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, experienced the corporate side of energy law at K&L Gates before going to work at Linn Energy, which was then a Pittsburgh company.
“I really learned about oil and gas mergers and acquisitions there,” he said of Linn, which was unique in its time as a master limited partnership devoted to exploration and production.
When Linn moved to Houston, though, Purpura wanted to maintain his family roots in Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children: Lauren, Caroline and Matthew.
He spent seven years helping to build the energy practice at Downtown-based Buchanan Ingersoll before McGuire Woods lured him away. The firm’s aggressive push to expand its footprint in shale areas such as Texas and Pittsburgh attracted him.
“To have a true, full-service national practice, you need the brick and mortar presence … in the areas where the activity is greatest,” he said during a recent call from Dallas.
He’s been helping his new employer reLinn cruit more talent to the energy sector while bringing together lawyers who work on issues surrounding the actual wells and those who focus on pipelines.
The legal work involved in pipeline construction and in deals between companies continues to increase, even as well work slows.
“A lot of clients are acquiring pipeline assets or modernizing them because that’s what’s needed to move the gas,” Purpura said.
This article was written by DAVID CONTI from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.