Claire Sergent Walls Legal Group is an innovative business and industry-focused transactional law firm dedicated to delivering efficient solutions to both entrepreneurs and established enterprises within sectors including energy, real estate and hospitality. Through the use of current technologies and efficient practices, we are able to effectively serve our clients remotely in diverse jurisdictions.

Trust Earned by Consistent Performance

We have one goal: complete client satisfaction.

The Firm was founded in 2008 by Claire Sergent Walls in the entrepreneurial spirit. Foundationally, the firm was established over the backdrop of the past decade’s push to innovate the development of energy sources such as natural gas and renewables. Experience serving public and private energy clients allowed the firm to develop the skills and acumen to offer its experience and enhanced services to a wider range of businesses, which now includes the hospitality industry, mineral and real estate investment sectors and entrepreneurs in varied pursuits.

A Solid Foundation

Claire Sergent Walls Portrait
Claire Sergent Walls, Founder linkedin
  • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)
  • American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL)
  • Michael Late Benedum Chapter of AAPL
  • West Virginia State Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania State Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Claire is the owner and principal attorney of the Claire Sergent Walls Legal Group. She started the firm in 2008 and maintains a multi-jurisdictional commercial practice in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Her practice serves a range of commercial clients from corporate energy and real estate developers and investors to small and medium-sized businesses including professional service providers and the hospitality industry.

She is licensed to practice law in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

“Northeast Natural Energy has consistently relied on the services of Claire Sergent Walls Legal Group, PLLC, [since 2013]. For a natural gas exploration & production company to succeed in the highly competitive and volatile energy industry, reliability, accuracy, attention to detail and speed are required. We have found all four of those important qualities in CSW’s certified title opinions.”

— Jeannie Morgan Johnson, Former Vice President – Land Operations, Northeast Natural Energy

Accuracy Guided by Focused Insight

We strive to ensure predictable outcomes by performing a consistently thorough analysis.

We help business enterprises reach their objectives because we not only provide solutions to challenges, but we lower risk by assisting in creating legal positions consistent with current laws, regulations and prudent business practices from the start. Whether we are establishing a new business entity, securing title for an asset acquisition or drafting transactional agreements and documents, our firm helps businesses stay on course and advance with confidence.
  1. Boutique Business Services

    Our Boutique Business Services are designed to serve businesses and entrepreneurs in all phases: start-up of a new venture, expanding an existing business or establishing ancillary businesses..

    We provide:

    • Complete entity formation services, including advice on choice of entity, state and federal registrations and drafting and negotiation of operating agreements for limited liability companies, partnerships or corporations
    • Negotiation, review, drafting and closing of purchase and sale agreements, commercial lease agreements and ancillary agreements for office space real estate, goods, equipment and services
    • Advice on proposed business operations and operating requirements, including state and local ordinances and regulations
    • Provide referrals to qualified Certified Public Accountant in order to ensure that tax ramifications are addressed and, if desired, maintain ongoing relationship with CPA in order to facilitate cohesive services
  2. Real Estate and Mineral Investment Services

    Our Real Estate and Mineral Investment Services are designed to provide investors in commercial real estate and minerals with support for all phases of acquisition including preliminary due diligence, negotiation and curative measures and execution of closings.

    We provide:

    • Efficient title due diligence process using only professionals who are experienced in the nuances and challenges of title of ownership and leasehold
    • Development of form documents for transactional purposes, including deeds, leases, top leases, affidavits and agreements that can be modified for in-house use
    • Advisory opinions on oil and gas deed language and chain of title ambiguities unique to specific jurisdictions, including the counties of central and north central West Virginia
    • Remote closing services using remote notaries, electronic signatures and electronic banking transfers
  3. Alcohol and Hospitality Services

    Our Alcohol and Hospitality Services provide regulatory and operational compliance services for bars and restaurants and other retail providers of alcoholic beverages, including COVID-19 regulations.

    We provide:

    • Alcohol business licensing and permitting, including application process, purchase, sale and transfer of liquor licenses and on-premises obligations
    • Drafting and negotiating of management and employee agreements and entity operation agreements
    • Commercial lease negotiation, drafting, review and ongoing performance of terms for landlords and tenants of restaurants, bars and related hospitality services
    • Complete entity formation services, including advice on choice of entity, state and federal registrations and drafting and negotiation of operation agreements for limited liability companies, partnerships or corporations
    • Negotiation, review, drafting and closing of purchase and sale agreements, lease agreements and ancillary agreements for retail and restaurant real estate, goods, equipment and services
    • Advice on proposed business operations and operating requirements, including state and local ordinances and regulations
    • Provide referrals to qualified Certified Public Accountant in order to ensure that tax ramifications are addressed and, if desired, maintain ongoing relationship with CPA in order to facilitate cohesive services
  4. Corporate Energy Land Services

    Our Corporate Energy Land Services exist to provide specific land-related services to renewable and mineral energy developers.

    We provide:

    • Instruments required for complex land transactions involving commercial and industrial use between multiple parties that effectuate acreage trades, complex surface use agreements, temporary and permanent easements for rights of ways and workspaces, and simple conveyances
    • Advice regarding state and federal land use regulations and permitting
    • Development of form documents for transactional purposes, including deeds, leases, top leases, affidavits and agreements that can be modified for in-house use
    • Title services for surface and subsurface property interests using only professionals who are experienced in the nuances and challenges of title of ownership, leasehold and surface use documentation
    • Certified title opinions, limited title opinions and division order title opinions rendered by attorney with 15 years of experience rendering thousands of such opinions
    • Advisory opinions on deed language and chain of title ambiguities unique to specific jurisdictions, including the challenging counties of central and north central West Virginia

Perspective

Stay in the know.

  • 23 Apr 2019

    Oil and Gas Title: What Is An Opinion Worth?

    On occasion, I am asked by a potential client seeking oil and gas title opinions or due diligence or related legal services about my experience and education, as well as that of the attorneys and staff who work for my firm, the Claire Sergent Walls Legal Group. Surprisingly, this question does not come up as often as it should. More often, I find myself providing only potential cost estimates that are communicated through extensive bid...

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  • 22 Feb 2019

    Ohio Supreme Court Opinion in Blackstone v. Moore: Oil and Gas Royalty Reservation is Preserved under the Ohio Marketable Title Act

    Ohio Supreme Court Opinion in Blackstone v. Moore: Oil and Gas Royalty Reservation is Preserved under the Ohio Marketable Title Act By Aimee LeCuyer, Esq. The Supreme Court of Ohio recently issued a slip opinion regarding the sufficiency of a reference to a prior oil and gas reservation in a deed to preserve that interest pursuant to the Ohio Marketable Title Act (OMTA) in a decision dated December 13, 2018. The OMTA provides that any...

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  • 20 Feb 2019

    Attention Mineral Buyers! Here's Why You Need a Title Opinion

    Mineral buying is speculative business due to inherent fluctuations in the energy market. Along with the financial risks of a mineral purchase as an investment, there are also title risks. When buying minerals in Appalachia, title risks should be taken very seriously because they equal financial risks. Mineral buyers are adept at controlling and minimizing financial risks by performing due diligence in order to assess future revenue...

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  • 27 Dec 2018

    Update on Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corporation

    Travis Britton, Esq. Claire Sergent Walls Legal Group PLLC In a prior blog post titled “Did the Bad Guys Win? Dundics v. Eric Petroleum,” we discussed a would-be landmark decision regarding the oil and gas industry handed down by the Ohio Supreme Court and the effects it had on certain oil and gas professionals, namely land professionals engaging in the procurement of oil and gas leases from landowners (Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corp.,...

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  • 01 Oct 2018

    Did the Bad Guys Win? Dundics v. Eric Petroleum

    Morgan Griffith, CPL Attorney, Claire Sergent Walls Legal Group What started out as a lawsuit to get paid for work performed turned into a groundbreaking case in Ohio for landmen. Instead of telling Eric Petroleum to pony up the money it owed to landman Thomas Dundics, the Ohio Supreme Court determined that oil and gas land professionals who help obtain oil and gas leases for oil and gas development companies must be licensed real estate...

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  • 01 Mar 2017

    Five Questions to Ask When Choosing an Oil and Gas Title Firm

    Do they know what they’re doing?The secret of a truly great oil and gas title firm? Simple: the firm’s experience is primarily focused on oil, gas and mineral title and related issues -- and always has been. The difficult issues encountered in mineral titles are rarely new to experienced oil and gas title attorneys, so they don’t have to spend precious time (and money!) spinning their wheels. How long have they been focused on mineral...

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  • 22 Jan 2017

    Acquiring Oil and Gas in West Virginia? Read This.

    The current state of commodities value has created an environment in which oil and gas assets are on the market. However, the fire sale, “as-is,” and “quick close” mentality may not be the best approach to such transactions. If you do not consider the condition of the title of the assets you are buying in West Virginia and factor that into your acquisition cost, you may be in for a disappointing and costly surprise when the time comes for...

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  • 17 Jan 2017

    Top Ten Things That Will Get You Into Oil and Gas Title Trouble

    The oil and gas is owned by a trust, but your lease is not from an individual or individuals identified as the trustee or trustees of the trust. The executor of a will was given a directive by the testator (not just discretion) to “sell everything” and sold everything except the oil and gas and the estate has been closed for many years. The grantor in a deed reserves the “right to receive rentals” only. The oil and gas...

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  • 16 Feb 2016

    Tough Title Problems in Need of a Cure? Do It Now.

    When the energy market is on fire like it was in recent years, exploration and production companies are moving fast. They are leasing, putting units together and drilling wells at impressive speed. Along the way, they ensure that title is secured by performing pre-lease title searches, obtaining certified title opinions from attorneys and curing title defects. When there is a tract along the way that presents serious title problems, that tract...

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Contact Us

We provide detailed, reliable, accurate, and timely services.

Location

63 Wharf Street #200
Morgantown, WV 26501

Phone

Office - (304) 225 1108
Cell - (304) 319 1291