Philip D. Vasquez, BBA, JD, LLM, is now an attorney of counsel to Steptoe & Johnson, joining the firm's energy law team. He'll be working out of the firm's Southpointe, Pa., and Houston, Texas, offices, and will assume leadership of the firm's international oil and gas practice.
Vasquez joins the firm after spending the last four years as an independent international legal consultant advising U.S. energy interests seeking energy development opportunities in Latin America, Central Asia and the Middle East. He recently acted as a legal adviser to the ministry of mines of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan concerning legal issues arising in the development of that nation's oil and gas resources. He also has experience with energy development transactions in Mexico and South America.
Prior to pursuing his legal career, Vasquez was senior petroleum land manager for a Fortune 500 oil company overseeing the acquisition of millions of acres of land in the Appalachian Basin. After transitioning from land work to the practice of law, he participated in the examination of oil and gas titles necessary for the exploration and development of the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport facility for Barnett shale gas production.
Vasquez in 1998 was appointed by the president to serve as the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Natural Gas and Petroleum Technology. He assisted in supervising all aspects of the U.S. oil and gas policy, as well as energy research, technology and development. He also represented the United States at international energy events and functions. Following his work with the U.S. Department of Energy, Vasquez was appointed by the president to advise the secretary of defense on energy issues in Latin and South America.
"Philip's governmental service and the relationships he has formed within the U.S. and abroad elevate him to the role of trusted adviser to international companies that require practical working knowledge of how to safely and productively address lucrative evolving energy development opportunities both within the United States and around the world," said Russell L. Schetroma, mid-continent energy team leader. "His experience will allow the firm to create opportunities not only in the Marcellus, Utica, Bakken, Eagleford and other U.S. shale plays, but also in the ever-evolving shale oil and gas discoveries in Europe, Asia and around the globe."
Steptoe & Johnson CEO Susan S. Brewer said Vasquez's experience in international transactions "will bring new depth to the predominant energy team in the region."
Vasquez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston Law Center and the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the Institute for Energy Law and the American Association of Professional Landmen. He served as the president of the Victoria County Bar and the Mexican-American Bar Associations of Texas and chaired the Bi-Lateral Working Group Petroleos de Venezuela-United States Department of Energy. He was named "Friend of Venezuela" by the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce in 1999.