- University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1993
- Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 1990
Bar & Court Admissions
- West Virginia
- New York
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 exploration and production companies and midstream operators in regional land development matters, including local zoning, road use, municipal ordinance challenged and general real estate issues. Michael has successfully obtained land development approval for well pad sites, central facilities, including compressor stations, pipelines and metering stations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Additionally, he has represented telecommunications companies, retail office brokers and commercial land developers in land use approvals, lease and general contract negotiations, construction disputes and commercial transactions, contract enforcement and judgment collections. Michael has advised corporate clients regarding municipal zoning and planning issues related to commercial developments. He has drafted and negotiated leases, master license agreements, commercial operating agreements, master services and independent contractor agreements and joint venture development agreements. He has counseled as to Federal and State Department of Environmental Protection regulations, review and cured issues related to Phase I Environmental Assessments and NEPA matters and reviewed curative action title searches and directed curative actions in order to confirm marketability of title.
Michael has reviewed and negotiated commercial contracts for major natural gas corporations and real estate developers, including software licenses, independent contractor and master services agreements, professional services agreements and purchase orders. He has counseled as to internal business practices and policies to ensure compliance of local planning/zoning, FCC, FAA and OSHA rules and regulations. He has managed litigation portfolios and represented corporate clients in contractual and lien claims, personal injuries, land use appeals, unemployment compensation matters and the enforcement of monetary judgments. Michael has performed real estate negotiations related to the purchasing and subleasing of properties for commercial development, coordinated and participated in due diligence related to mergers and acquisitions of corporate assets.
Further, Michael is an adjunct professor at California University of Pennsylvania, teaching courses in contract, business entities, oil and gas law, legal theory and research and bankruptcy. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Civil Light Opera (CLO), serving on the CLO’s Development Committee and the Education and Outreach Committee. Michael is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the 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’ second edition of Law of Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining Vorys, Michael was a partner in the Burleson LLP Pittsburgh office. He also served as lead counsel for Cricket Communications, Inc., a nationwide mobile phone services provided, and as corporate counsel to Crown Castle USA, Inc., an operator and developer of wireless telecommunications towers.
Michael is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. He received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and his B.S. from 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.