Matt Warnock

Matt Warnock is a proud #GirlDad who serves as the leader of Bricker & Eckler's Cleveland office and chair of the firm's Energy Industry Group.

Described as a "very dedicated and diligent young lawyer," Matt focuses his practice on a wide range of energy and "dirt" real estate matters, including a good mix of litigation, policy and transactional work. The breadth of his experience includes everything from building and growing an oil and gas practice from the ground up, serving as an expert witness, handling appellate arguments (including three before the Ohio Supreme Court), serving as lead counsel on real estate and other transactional matters for the development of oil and gas, renewable energy and manufacturing facilities, and leading the firm's pro bono work with the City of Columbus to #SavetheCrew.

"Matt Warnock served as a voice of reason in a contentious issue. His understanding of complex policy and uncanny ability to rationalize issues that often are only viewed from a subjective lens proved very effective in finding compromise. "

Bricker client as quoted in Best Law Firms, 2019

"Matt Warnock is 'a patient, knowledgeable, even-tempered and hard-working' lawyer."

As quoted in Chambers USA, 2018


  • First greenfield project in the United States

    Represented an international paper products manufacturer in connection with the establishment of the first greenfield project in the United States. This Project involved the creation of a public-private partnership to finance the necessary infrastructure, including a 12-mile gas line. The Bricker team included construction, environmental, public finance and real estate attorneys.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, 2017-present (reappointed by Governor DeWine for a second term on September 30, 2019)
  • Adjunct Professor, Capital University Law School, 2013-present
  • Member, Institute for Energy Law, 2019-present
  • Member, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, 2012-present
  • Member, Ohio Oil and Gas Association, 2012-present
  • Participant, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2020-present
  • Extern, Legal Office of former Ohio Governor Strickland and the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Presentations & Published Works

  • Author, Oil and Gas Chapter of Ohio Real Estate Law (Baldwin's Ohio Practice), 2012-present
  • Contributor, Bricker & Eckler LLP’s ShaleOhio blog, 2011- present
  • Contributor, Bricker & Eckler Energy Exchange
  • Speaker, "Environmental Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing," Ohio State Bar Association's Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Seminar, March 2019
  • Speaker, "What the Frack? An Update on All Things Oil and Gas in Ohio," Ohio State Bar Association Environment, Energy and Resource Law Seminar, April 2018
  • Speaker, “Managing Risk in Shale Development,” OHIO Shale Policy and Technology Symposium, April 2018
  • Panel Moderator, "Careers in Energy Law," Capital University Law School (hosted by the EMLF), November 13, 2017
  • Speaker, “Litigation Update—Hot Topics and Future Disputes,” 8th Law of Shale Plays Conference, September 2017
  • Presenter, “Utilizing RUMAs Across Ohio,” Ohio Township Association Winter Conference, January 2017
  • Speaker, “Arguing – Corban: How We Got There; Where Are We Going?” EMLF Special Institute on Ohio’s Dormant Minerals Act, December 2016
  • Speaker, “Road Use Maintenance Agreements,” Ohio Township Association Township Law Directors’ Group Meeting, December 2016
  • Speaker, "Ohio Dormant Mineral Act Update," EMLF Webinar, October 2016
  • Speaker, "Ohio Dormant Minerals Act Update," Ohio State Bar Association's Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Seminar, April 2016
  • Speaker, "Pipeline Rights of Way and Related Issues," Ohio State Bar Association, November 2015
  • Speaker, "Oil and Gas Law 101," Columbus Bar Association Real Estate P.R.E.P. Series, November 2015
  • Speaker, "Mineral Rights in 60 Minutes Flat," Conestoga Title Seminar, November 2015
  • Speaker, "Ohio Dormant Mineral Act Update/Overview," Ohio State Bar Association Environment, Energy and Resource Law Seminar, April 2015
  • Speaker, "Title Issues Relating to Oil and Gas Development in Ohio," First American Title Insurance Seminar, November 2014
  • Speaker, "Oil and Gas Law Update," Columbus Bar Association, October 2014
  • Speaker, "Title Issue and Recent Case Law Developments in Ohio Dealing with Oil and Gas," the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Real Property Seminar at the OSBA Annual Meeting, May 2014
  • Speaker, "Hot Topics in Oil and Gas Development," Ohio Township Association Annual Meeting, February 2014
  • Speaker, “Oil and Gas Leases – Be Cautious,” The Ohio State Bar Association's 20th Annual Bradley J. Schaeffer Real Property Institute, Winter 2012-2014
  • Speaker, “Interplay Between the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act and the Ohio Marketable Title Act,” Ohio State Bar Association CLE, August 2013
  • Speaker, "Natural Gas Pipeline Issues," County Commissioners' Association of Ohio, December 2013
  • Speaker, “Practical Issues of Working with Title Abstractors,” Ohio State Bar Association CLE, and Ohio Association for Justice Annual Meeting, Fall 2013
  • Speaker, "Oil and Gas Leases in Ohio," Ohio State Bar Association Webcast, September 2013
  • Speaker, “Recent Trends in Oil & Gas Leasing: An Ohio Perspective in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays,” YPE Energy Industry Training Conference, June 2013
  • Speaker, “Next Generation Shale Issues: Infrastructure, Infrastructure and More Infrastructure,” 28th Annual Ohio State Bar Association Environment, Energy and Resources Law Seminar, April 2013
  • Speaker, “Ohio’s Marketable Title and Dormant Mineral Acts,” Energy and Mineral Law Foundation Title and Development Issues in the Utica Shale – Ohio, April 2013
  • Speaker, Introduction to the Ohio Power Siting Board, Dayton Bar Association, January 2013
  • Speaker, “Oil and Gas Leasing 101, Utica Shale: Issues in Law, Practice and Policy,” Cleveland Marshall College of Law, September 13, 2012
  • Speaker, "What the Frack? Oil and Gas Leasing 101," Ohio State Bar Association Annual Meeting, May 2012
  • Speaker, "The Shale Revolution," 16th Annual MEC Ohio Energy Management Conference, February 2012
  • Speaker, "Welcoming Marcellus and Utica Shale Development in Ohio," Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education presentation, December 2011 and Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association, June 2011.
  • Speaker, "Ohio House Bill 133: New Opportunities for Oil and Gas Development on State Lands," National Association of Royalty Owners, Appalachia Chapter, September 2011
  • Co-author, "Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: The Ohio Story," published by Electricity Journal, December 2010
  • Speaker, "Documenting Leadership: A Symposium on Public Executive Records in the 21st Century," Executive Records: Access and Disclosure, May 2010
  • Speaker, "The U.S. EPA's Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule," March 2010
  • Contributor, "ABA Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems," Annual Report, 2009, 2010
  • Author, “What an Ohio Oil and Gas Producer or Affiliated Industry Company Needs to Know About an OSHA Inspection,” September 2009
  • Contributor, "Municipal Electric Aggregation: A Valuable Tool to Enhance Residential and Small Customer Access to Retail Markets," Capturing the Power of Electric Restructuring, American Bar Association, July 2009
  • Author, "Stifling Gubernatorial Secrecy: Application of Executive Privilege to State Executive Officials," 35 Cap. U.L. Rev. 893, September 2007

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Admitted, State of Ohio; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio and Southern District of Ohio
  • Participant, Ohio Supreme Court Mentoring Program, 2015-present
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association, Natural Resources Law Committee, 2013-present

Awards & Recognition

  • Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers (Energy & Resources), 2023
  • Columbus Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America (Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Oil and Gas Law), 2021, 2023
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Oil and Gas Law), 2016–2023
  • Recognized, ChambersUSA, Natural Resources & Environment with a Band 3 ranking, 2020–2022; Band 4 ranking, 2018–2019; Up and Coming Ranking, 2016–2017; Associate to Watch ranking, 2014–2015
  • Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers (Energy & Natural Resources; Utilities), 2014–2021
  • Recipient, “Graduate of the Last Decade” (G.O.L.D.) Award, Capital Law School, 2017
  • Listed, "Who's Who in Energy," Columbus Business First, 2013–2015


  • Ohio Wesleyan University (B.S. with honors, history, summa cum laude, 2004); Phi Beta Kappa; Mortar Board
  • Capital University (J.D., summa cum laude, 2007); Staff Member, Capital University Law Review

Representative Matters


  • Negotiated unique power purchase agreement (PPA), mirror PPA and controlled account agreement for public sector client.
  • Drafted and provided comments on template real estate acquisition documents used in the development of solar projects, including ground leases, easements, and options to purchase.
  • Worked with Enbridge’s right of way and legal team on acquisition and other real estate efforts as part of the OPEN and NEXUS projects in Ohio. This work included: (1) coordinating and reviewing real estate title and survey work with title insurance companies, surveyors, and easement holders; (2) resolving complicated and unique title curative matters; (3) obtaining applicable state and local permits and licenses (e.g., road crossing permits, driveway permits, building permits and environmental permits); (4) preparing and negotiating easement agreements with public and private landowners, utility crossing agreements, railroad license agreements, road use maintenance agreements (RUMAs) and water use agreements; (5) drafting option agreements, purchase and sale agreements and land leases; and, (6) handling and coordinating closings on the purchase of properties.
  • Drafted and provided comments on template real estate acquisition documents used in the development of natural gas pipeline projects in Ohio.
  • Coordinated real estate due diligence, title and survey review and title curative work for lenders and equity investors in utility scale wind and solar projects in Ohio.
  • Negotiated RUMAs in approximately 10 counties in Ohio on behalf of energy project developers, including oil and gas exploration companies, midstream companies and renewable energy developers.
  • Coordinated development of matrix regarding permitting requirements within public rights of way in Ohio. 
  • Drafted and negotiated a complicated pet coke and steam supply agreement with a refinery in Ohio.
  • Negotiated a project labor agreement for the development of a nearly half billion dollar manufacturing facility in Ohio.
  • Negotiated oil and gas well and pipeline purchase agreements to facilitate the development of a natural gas power plant and manufacturing facility in Ohio. 
  • Represented a natural gas utility in the acquisition of a rural natural gas pipeline system in eastern Ohio which involved the completion of due diligence and negotiation of a complicated asset purchase agreement and corresponding escrow agreement.
  • Worked through issues with Ohio’s SHPO regarding the siting of a telecommunications tower on an island in Lake Erie.
  • Negotiated hundreds of oil and gas leases and related easements, surface use agreements, water use agreements and subsurface easements.
  • Represent API-Ohio, a state affiliate office of the American Petroleum Institute in policy work before the Ohio General Assembly, the Governor’s Office and related statewide executive agencies, including: (i) lobbying efforts regarding proposed changes to the oil and gas severance tax, licensing of real estate brokers and landmen and other oil and gas statutes in Ohio; (ii) assisting with rule-makings before ODNR, including the horizontal well-site construction rules and emergency/incident notification rules; and, (iii) negotiating various rule packages before Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio relating to incident notifications, air emissions from compressors and other facilities, and call before you dig procedures.


  • Successfully briefed and argued three cases before the Ohio Supreme Court involving the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act. Walker v. Shondrick-Nau, 149 Ohio St. 3d 282, 2016-Ohio-5793, 74 N.E.3d 427 (2016), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 824, 196 L. Ed. 2d 601 (2017); Eisenbarth v. Reusser, 2016-Ohio-5819, 2016 WL 4893353 (Ohio 2016); Tribett v. Shepherd, 2016-Ohio-5821, 2016 WL 4894077 (Ohio 2016).
  • Successfully represented client in complicated Ohio Supreme Court appeal involving the PUCO’s interpretation of reasonable arrangements for electric service. Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, L.L.C. v. Pub. Util. Comm., 129 Ohio St.3d 485, 2011-Ohio-4189
  • Served as co-counsel with my dad on successful pro bono appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. Miller v. Nelson-Miller, 132 Ohio St.3d 381, 2012-Ohio-2845 (concluding that mechanical irregularities regarding the trial court’s signature under Ohio Civ.R. 58(A) render a judgment voidable, not void).
  • Successfully handled petition to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to declare certain property unsuitable for coal mining in order to facilitate the development and financing of a $1.6 billion natural gas power plant.
  • Managed and assisted with over 40 litigation matters for an oil and gas exploration company in Ohio state and federal courts involving deed restrictions, mineral ownership disputes under the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act and Ohio Marketable Title Act, and lease validity challenges.
  • Obtained favorable decisions from 11 state courts in Ohio allowing NEXUS Gas Transmission access to properties to conduct survey activities required as part of its FERC application process.
  • Obtained survey access in federal court on landowner’s property in Ohio for bat surveys. Texas Eastern Transmission v. Baraack, 2014 WL 1408058 (S.D. of Ohio Case No. 2:14–cv–0336, April 11, 2014).
  • Successfully represented pipeline companies in federal court eminent domain proceedings in Ohio as part of two interstate natural gas pipeline projects. See Texas Eastern v. 3.2 Acres Permanent Easement, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3252 (S.D. Ohio) (Watson, J.); Nexus Gas Transmission, LLC v. City of Green, 2017 WL 6624511 (N.D. of Ohio Case No. 5:17CV2062, Dec. 28, 2017), aff’d by 757 Fed. App'x 489 (6th Cir. Dec. 7, 2018).
  • Represented One Energy, NOPEC and the Ohio Hospital Association in various electric distribution utility proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Matt is the proud dad of three daughters who are responsible for a lot of laughs, a few gray hairs and countless lessons in the art of negotiation.

OWU Soccer
OWU Soccer

Growing up just a few miles from Ohio Wesleyan’s campus just north of Columbus, Matt always wanted to play soccer at OWU for its legendary head coach, Dr. Jay Martin. Matt ended up playing soccer at OWU from 200-2003, playing in the NCAA tournament all four years and serving as a team captain during his senior year.

NE Ohio Transplant

After spending all of his life in central Ohio, Matt (and his wife) moved to northeast Ohio in mid-2019 and now lives just east of Chagrin Falls.