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Adam Rankin


110 North Guadalupe, Suite 1, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Adam Rankin provides counsel to the energy industry on environmental and natural resources compliance, permitting, administrative appeals, and complex litigation.

Adam has extensive experience navigating New Mexico’s complex water rights issues and Indian water rights settlements.  

Oil and Gas: Adam guides oil and gas clients through state and federal administrative and regulatory matters relating to all aspects of exploration, drilling, and development, including acid gas disposal, surface waste management facilities, and air quality permitting. 

Litigation: He focuses on environmental litigation, including water rights adjudication and permitting, and class action claims for underpayment of oil and gas royalty in federal and state courts. 

Natural Resources: Adam regularly appears before the Interior Board of Land Appeals, challenging Bureau of Land Management orders and Office of Natural Resources Revenue assessments for underpayment of federal royalty. 

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Adam clerked for Justice Edward Chávez of the New Mexico Supreme Court. 


  • Complex electronic discovery and document production 
  • Expert and fact witness preparation for trials, depositions, and state and federal royalty audits 
  • Brief and argue complex commercial, environmental, and natural resources issues in federal and state courts and administrative agencies 
  • Water rights litigation, permitting, and administrative hearings 
  • Oil and gas environmental and regulatory permits and compliance issues, including emissions and air quality issues and spill reporting and compliance 

Client Results

  • Guides major oil and gas exploration and production companies through all aspects of water development and management issues, including water rights applications and administrative protests, deep brackish water development, produced water re-use and recycling, acquisition and leasing of water rights, and water transportation. 

  • Reversed a BLM decision on appeal before the Interior Board of Land Appeals. 

  • Defended a major oil and gas gathering company against environmental contamination claims to a favorable settlement. 

  • Defended major gasoline retail marketer against the State of New Mexico against allegations of false claims relating to legacy environmental contamination from leaky underground storage tanks. 

  • Represents major oil and gas producers in class action royalty underpayment cases relating to production of natural gas and carbon dioxide in state and federal courts. 

  • Represents oil and gas clients before the New Mexico Oil and Gas Division/Commission, State Land Office, and Bureau of Land Management in all administrative and regulatory matters, including operator and working interest disputes, acid gas disposal, carbon dioxide injection and pressure maintenance projects, unit development and approval, horizontal drilling, and surface waste management facility permitting and compliance issues. 

  • Represents major oil and gas producers challenging state and federal royalty underpayment assessments.


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • Chambers USA: American’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Associates to Watch, Environment, Natural Resources, & Regulated Industries, 2015 - 2017
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, Energy & Natural Resources, 2018-2019 

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • State Bar of New Mexico, Member 
  • New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, Member 
  • New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Member 
  • American Bar Association, Member 
  • First Judicial District Access to Justice Committee, Member, 2011-Present  
  • New Mexico Access to Justice Commission, Commissioner, 2012-Present

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