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Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is responding to the natural gas industry's need for specialized legal counsel, all while the market itself is changing.

"This is a dynamic time in the development of this burgeoning industry," Environmental Shareholder Brian J. Clark told the Central Penn Business Journal.

Clark detailed the firm's attention to the industry, including its comprehensive practice group with more than 60 lawyers and specialists with Marcellus Shale and natural gas experience to handle the uptick in work.

Buchanan clients made $12 billion worth of natural gas deals over the past year, he reported.

"Now, with more major energy companies looking to get into Marcellus Shale, it's a significant growth area," Clark said. "We had the basic tools and toolbox in place and the boots on the ground, but there's a need to continue adding to that as the industry grows."

It was that growth, Clark explained, that led to the firm opening its Southpointe office in Washington County.

Firm clients Consol Energy, Inc., Rice Energy and Range Resources Corp. have offices in Southpointe, and having an on-site presence allows Buchanan to better collaborate with clients.

"Things are changing so fast that it's necessary to respond to those demands in a timely manner, and having a presence close to the industry helps us do that," Clark explained.

The natural gas industry is expanding as a whole, and the growth is not limited to the Marcellus Shale. Buchanan is monitoring the Devonian and Utica gas plays, also in the Appalachian Basin, which are also piquing energy company interest.