Benedict J. Kirchner
Of Counsel
(814) 333-4910
Office: Meadville
J.D. Indiana University Maurer School of Law
B.A. The Pennsylvania State University
Licensure: DC | NY | PA
See Education


Ben Kirchner understands that for his energy clients to be successful while buying, selling, and developing mineral assets in the Appalachian Basin, he has to be responsive, detailed, and thorough.  Approaching his work like a complex puzzle, he enjoys analyzing mineral title and figuring out how the pieces fit together, in support of his clients’ strategic vision. Ben’s clients include upstream exploration and production companies, midstream companies, and private equity firms. Known for his self-deprecating humor and willingness to go above and beyond, Ben leaves colleagues and clients with a smile and the comfort that he has their back.

Ben is an active and respected member of organizations that support the oil and gas industry, including the Energy Land Management Program at the Pennsylvania State University, where he serves as a Corporate Advisory Board member.  He serves as a Co-Chair of the International Investment and Development Committee for the American Bar Association Law Section and is the immediate past Co-Chair of the International Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Ben focuses his practice on energy and natural resources law related to the acquisition and disposition of oil and gas assets, commercial and international transactions, and export and foreign investor matters.   He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was a member of the Institute for Energy Law's First Leadership Class.

Work Experience

2010 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
2010 Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma & Schug, P.C.
2006-2010 Project Attorney, Meadville, PA & Washington, DC
2005 Summer Associate, Husseini & Husseini, Ramallah, Palestine

Speaking Engagements

"1st – 6th Appalachia Young Energy Professionals General Counsel Forum," Co-Chair and Moderator, Institute for Energy Law, Pittsburgh, PA, 2014 – 2019

“2018 Survey on Oil & Gas: Pennsylvania Chapter”, University of Oklahoma College of Law Oil, Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Journal (ONE J)

“Foreign Direct Investment into the United States Natural Resources Sector,” 61st Congress of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), Toronto, Canada, October 2017

“2017 Survey on Oil & Gas: New York & Pennsylvania Chapters”, University of Oklahoma College of Law Oil, Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Journal (ONE J)

“Oil and Gas Under Roads, Railroads, Schools, Churches, Cemeteries and Waterways in OH, PA, & WV,” Greater Appalachian Basin Association of Lease & Title Analysts 2017 Summer Seminar, Canonsburg, PA, August 2017

"Trending Title Topics from Around the Country,” 1st National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference, Institute for Energy Law, New Orleans, LA, April 2017

“2016 Survey on Oil & Gas: New York Chapter”, University of Oklahoma College of Law Oil, Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Journal (ONE J)

“BOOM or Bust: How it is Shaping the Future of the Petroleum Industry in the Americas,” American Bar Association Section of International Law 2016 Spring Meeting, New York, NY, April 2016

"The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Brief Overview," An Introduction to Incoterms," and “A Guide to Legal Issues Regarding the Export of Goods from the U.S.” Guest Lectures at the West Virginia Export Manager class at West Virginia University and Marshall University, 2012-2016

"International Petroleum Transactions and Global Negotiations," Institute for Energy Law Hartrick Symposium: Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector, Houston, TX, March 2015

"Introduction to Oil and Gas Law: Property Law for Energy Land Professionals," The Pennsylvania State University, January 2014

"Apportionment of Royalties in Pennsylvania," Appalachian Basin Association of Division Order Analysts, Canonsburg, PA, April 2012

Key Experience

Assisted upstream and midstream energy and natural resource companies in the acquisition and disposition of mineral rights and properties to include leasing, asset sale and purchase transactions, and due diligence associated with such transactions to include the drafting of rights-of-way, affidavits, corrective deeds, and division orders
Acted as local counsel at a lease signing event which aided a major oil and gas production company in the acquisition of more than 80,000 leasehold acres
Coordinated teams of attorneys, abstractors, and landmen in the performance of pre-closing and post-closing due diligence for oil and gas transactions; reviewing title opinions; organizing defect and curative reports; and preparing closing documents

Memberships & Awards

Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Member, Institute for Energy Law 1st Leadership Class
Deputy Technology Officer, ABA International Law Section (2016-2018)
Co-Chair, International Investment & Development Committee, ABA International Law Section
Immediate Past Co-Chair & Senior Advisor, International Energy & Natural Resources Committee, ABA International Law Section
Steering Group Member & Past Co-Chair, Eurasia/Russia Committee, ABA International Law Section
Liaison from the ABA International Law Section to the Institute for Energy Law
Former Chair, Subcommittee on Hydraulic Fracturing, International Energy & Natural Resources Committee, ABA International Law Section
Member, Customs Law Committee, Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee, International Anti-Corruption Committee, International Private Equity Committee, International Trade Committee, Islamic Finance Committee, and Middle East Committee, ABA International Law Section
Admitted to practice before the United States Court of International Trade
Admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Phi Beta Kappa
Awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships
Awarded Social Science Research Council Grant