Robert H. Wedlake
700 Security Mutual Building 80 Exchange Street
Robert H. Wedlake is a partner of Hinman, Howard & Kattell and Chair of the firm's Oil & Gas Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in the representation of landowners and land owner coalitions across New York State in all aspects of Oil and Gas Law.
Mr. Wedlake combines his knowledge of Oil and Gas Law with creativity to achieve his client’s goals. He has and continues to represent several land owner coalitions in their negotiations for leasing rights. He has successfully negotiated one of the few landowner coalition lease transactions to actually be signed in New York. Even in the face of New York’s moratorium, Mr. Wedlake obtained an agreement securing the land owner coalition members pre-payments for leasing their mineral rights.
Mr. Wedlake is also active in Oil and Gas Law litigation seeking to advance land owner rights. He was co-counsel in the Jeffrey v. Ryan litigation challenging the City of Binghamton’s local moratorium on gas drilling. Mr. Wedlake succeeded in having the moratorium declared invalid. Mr. Wedlake was also co-counsel in the case of Grafe-Kieklak vs Town of Sidney and again was successful in overturning a moratorium prohibiting natural gas development.
Mr. Wedlake has also litigated several compulsory integration matters before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on behalf of clients seeking to become either participating owners or non-participating owners in drilling units. He has engaged in cutting edge litigation seeking to establish greater rights for participating owners and working to better define the relationship between a participating owner and the well operator.
Mr. Wedlake is a frequent lecturer on matters involving Oil and Gas Law. He has spoken at continuing legal education courses on matters involving landowner’s legal rights with regard to gas pipelines and gas leasing. He has provided continuing education presentations to the Broome County Certified Public Accountants and to the Independent Association of Insurance Agents on matters involving Oil and Gas Law and leasing. He also regularly speaks to business groups, Chambers of Commerce, and landowner coalitions on New York’s gas drilling moratorium, landowner rights, leasing, and related topics.
He is a member of the Joint Landowners Coalition, and a Member of the Broome County Bar Association Oil and Gas Committee. Mr. Wedlake writes on matters concerning Oil and Gas Law and leasing for the firm’s newsletter and blog. Each year, Mr. Wedlake is also a panelist for the Broome County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute’s annual debate on gas drilling.
In addition to his Oil and Gas practice, Mr. Wedlake represents business clients in the Southern Tier with respect to sales and acquisitions of business, formation of businesses, commercial leasing and related matters. Mr. Wedlake is a skilled litigator who represents clients in corporate, real estate, and commercial litigation before New York courts and administrative agencies.
Mr. Wedlake is former chair of the Broome County YMCA board of directors and former chair of the Broome County American Red Cross. He is also former president of the Broome County Bar Association, and a former member of the Chenango Forks School District’s Dollars for Scholars Organization.