- University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1993
- Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 1990
Bar & Court Admissions
- West Virginia
- New York
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Michael is of counsel in the Vorys Pittsburgh office and a member of the finance, energy and real estate group. His practice encompasses a broad range of real estate, corporate, financing and construction-related projects. As part of his energy practice, he represents natural gas companies in regional land development matters, including local zoning and permitting challenges, and title review and curative. Michael has successfully obtained land use approvals for well pad sites, central facilities compressors stations, pipelines and metering stations through Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Additionally, he represents cell tower companies, retail office brokers and commercial land developers seeking title review, land use approvals and lease negotiations. Michael has counseled as to Federal and State Department of Environmental Protection regulations, Phase I Environmental Assessments and NEPA matters.
Michael has reviewed and negotiated commercial contracts for major natural gas corporations and real estate developers, including software licenses, independent contract and master services agreements and general purchase orders. He has performed real estate negotiations related to the purchasing and subleasing properties for commercial development, coordinated and led due diligence projects related to mergers and acquisitions of corporate assets.
Further, Michael is an adjunct professor at California University of Pennsylvania, teaching courses in contracts, business entity formation, oil and gas law, and legal theory. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO) and Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, for whom he has extensively published and presented legal education seminars. He is also the co-author of the Pennsylvania Bar Institutes’ third edition of Law of Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania and LexisNexis’ 2019 edition of Hydraulic Fracturing Law and Practice.
Prior to joining Vorys, Michael was a partner with Burleson LLP. He also served as corporate counsel for Cricket Communications, Inc. and Crown Castle USA, Inc. He is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York. He received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and his B.S. in education from the Pennsylvania State University.
Professional and Community Activities
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member, Environmental and Energy Law Section; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
- Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, Member
- Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Board of Directors
- South Fayette Township Volunteer Fire Department, Member
Honors & Awards
- Pittsburgh Business Times “Who’s Who in Energy” List, 2014-2015
- 10/5/2016Vennum Quoted in BNA Daily Environment Report Story Titled “Pennsylvania Court Again Curbs Fracking Law”Michael Vennum, of counsel in the firm’s Pittsburgh office, was quoted in a Daily Environment Report story about a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision on hydraulic fracturing.
- 5/23/2017Vorys attorneys Jay Carr and Michael Vennum were speakers at the 38th Annual Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Institute on May 23, 2017.
- 9/14/2017Michael Vennum, of counsel in the Vorys Pittsburgh office, authored the Pennsylvania chapter for the 2017 edition of Hydraulic Fracturing Law and Practice.
- 10/12/2016Michael Vennum and Keith Zabela, of counsel in the Vorys Pittsburgh office, co-authored the "Title and Conveyancing of Oil and Gas Rights in Pennsylvania” chapter for the second edition of The Law of Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania.
- 2/17/2016Energy and production companies seeking to develop an unconventional natural gas well site in Western Pennsylvania undoubtedly are familiar with the local zoning ordinance and well permit challenges being brought by those opposed to hydraulic fracturing.
- 2/4/2016On February 3, 2016, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board approved revisions to Pennsylvania’s natural gas regulations which, in part, would create a new regulatory chapter covering unconventional natural gas wells.