Matthew F. Burger is a shareholder in Buchanan's Pittsburgh office, and chair of the firm's Energy Section. For almost 20 years, Matt has represented coal companies and natural gas exploration and production companies in litigation and commercial matters throughout the United States. He is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, co-chairman of the firm’s Coal Industry Practice Group and chairman of the firm's Federal and State Political Action Committees.
Matt has served as trial counsel for energy companies in federal and state courts and arbitration tribunals in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Montana. Most recently, Matt was appointed as lead Pennsylvania trial counsel for an international development company involved in Marcellus and Utica Shale development. Matt has been responsible for a number of significant cases in this area, including the U.S. District Court’s decision in Hoffman v. Arcelormittal Pristine Resources, Inc. (W.D.Pa. May 10, 2011), where the Court preserved the Marcellus rights of natural gas companies under vintage oil and gas leases throughout Pennsylvania, holding that “[t]o rule in plaintiffs’ favor would be tantamount to an eradication of countless oil and gas estates and leases recorded in the history of this Commonwealth, and would profoundly change the landscape of property law as it has developed over hundreds of years.”
Matt also has significant experience negotiating, drafting and litigating coal supply and transportation contracts, contract mining agreements, mineral lease agreements and related commercial transactions. Matt currently serves as contract counsel for two of the largest coal companies in the United States and has negotiated and drafted agreements for the supply of more than 100 million tons of coal over the past decade. Matt previously served on an interim basis as CONSOL Energy, Inc.'s in-house contract counsel, with legal oversight over its coal supply agreements, transportation contracts and other commercial agreements.
Some of Matt's recent notable engagements include:
- Obtained five emergency injunctions for a Fortune 200 oil and gas company by arguing that the client’s right to operate upon the properties for oil and gas necessarily includes the right to explore for that same oil and gas via seismic testing.
- Represented a Marcellus Shale producer in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, resulting in a decision preserving the Marcellus rights for natural gas companies under vintage oil and gas leases in Pennsylvania.
- Served as lead Pennsylvania counsel in property, regulatory, permitting, leasing and joint venture litigation for two Marcellus Shale producers.
- Represented a large U.S. coal company in force majeure litigation in Pennsylvania in which damages exceeded $35 million.
- Represented as lead trial counsel an international mining and construction company in a $60 million commercial arbitration in Denver to set the contract mining price for Powder River Basin coal reserves. Served as lead trial counsel for a U.S. coal company in New Jersey litigation against a national utility company concerning the interpretation and enforcement of a 20-year coal supply agreement.
- Represented a national coal company in declaratory judgment actions in Indiana and Illinois upholding the validity of the company's force majeure declaration.
- Represented a U.S. coal company in a declaratory judgment action in the District Court for Colorado in a contract mining dispute.
- Represented a number of U.S. coal companies in arbitrations throughout the United States to re-determine coal prices and price adjustment indices under long-term coal supply agreements.
- Represented a U.S. coal company in North Carolina litigation involving complex transactional claims against a third-party coal supplier and a national utility company.
- Represented a U.S. coal company in a large commercial arbitration in Washington, D.C., concerning the client's coal supply agreements with a large power supplier. Resolution of arbitration included allowance of the client's nominated coal prices and acceptance of force majeure claim.
- Represented a U.S. coal company and related subsidiaries in a large federal bankruptcy case in Tennessee. Litigated numerous contested claims resulting in the payment of millions of dollars to debtors' estate.
- Won a substantial bench verdict in Ohio upholding the right of a transfer agent subsidiary of a national bank to enforce non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with a former executive employee. Verdict included an order precluding competitor's use of client's trade secrets, and extraordinary relief in the form of compensation paid to employee during period of disloyalty.
- In a case of first impression in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, upholding the right of a Dutch corporation involved in an adversarial proceeding before the Enterprise Court in the Netherlands to obtain substantial discovery in the United States from joint venture subsidiary.
- Represented national information technology company in a $100 million trade secret/corporate raiding case in Virginia federal and state courts.
Matt has been named consecutively to the Pittsburgh Business Times' "Who's Who in Energy" list, a compilation of southwestern Pennsylvania-based key players in the energy industry. He has been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list (2018-2020), the The Best Lawyers in America® list each year since 2013 under the Commercial Litigation, Commercial Transactions / UCC Law, Energy Law and Mining Law categories. He has been named to Pittsburgh Magazine's "40 under 40," the Pittsburgh Business Times' first-ever list of 50 "Fast Trackers" and to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star list from 2005- 2009. He has been quoted in numerous media regarding legal and economic development matters, including the New York Times, "NBC Nightly News," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Business Times.
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1994
University of Virginia, B.A., 1991
- Pennsylvania Western District Court
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals
Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Board of Trustees
Pennsylvania Economy League, Board of Directors
Hearing Committee for the Disciplinary Board of the PA Supreme Court, former chair
Professional ACBA Ethics Committee, former member
YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Board of Directors
Pittsburgh XPAC, Founder and Chairman
Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, founder and past president
Pittsburgh Business Climate Task Force, former board member
Regional Renaissance Partnership, former board member
Beginning with Books, former board member