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A. John Davis III

Of Counsel

222 South Main Street, Suite 2200, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

For over 30 years John Davis has provided sound and effective counsel to clients in the energy and natural resources industries.

With deep experience in public lands, natural resource transactions, permitting, and litigation, John structures his clients’ transactions to anticipate and avoid potential litigation triggers. Companies trust John to achieve favorable outcomes, and many have appointed him as lead counsel in a variety of oil and gas, mining and industrial mineral development, and regulatory matters. In addition to his work for traditional oil, gas, and mining clients, John has extensive experience in oil sands, oil shale, and geothermal development.

John’s extensive experience in complex natural resources, environmental, and public lands litigation complements his transactional practice. He represents clients in cases before the Federal and State Courts in Utah and the surrounding Western states, and in administrative hearings before the Utah Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining, the Interior Board of Land Appeals, and other Administrative Tribunals.

Client Results

  • Lead counsel to buyer/borrower in $600 million acquisition of coal mines and associated assets in two western states.

  • Counsel to borrowers in $250 million financing and title curative for oil and gas properties on fee, federal, and tribal lands in three western states.

  • Represent U.S. Oil Sands in acquisition, permitting, and development of first commercial oil sands project in Utah.

  • Lead counsel to Wexpro Company in acquisition of oil and gas producing properties in Wyoming.

  • Lead counsel to American Gilsonite Company in acquisition of gilsonite properties and financing.

  • Represented buyer in purchase and merger of industrial minerals and construction companies valued at over $200 million.

  • Special counsel for the State of Utah in the largest federal land exchange of state school lands in state history. Resulted in a $50 million payment to the state together with over 138,000 acres of federal lands rich in coal, oil and gas, oil sands, limestone, and other valuable resources.

  • Lead counsel to borrower in $260 million financing of oil and gas properties in several western states.

Administrative Practice
  • Successfully defended Peak Minerals Inc. in IBLA appeals of its Federal potassium leases and exploration plan.

  • Successfully defended challenges to U.S. Oil Sands tar sands mining and processing project in Utah before the Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining and the Utah Water Quality Board.

  • Obtained dismissal of IBLA appeals of approval of the operation plans for the Castle Valley coal mine.




Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Environment, Natural Resources & Regulated Industries, 2016-2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Lawyer of the Year, Oil and Gas Law – Salt Lake City, 2013
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Lawyer of the Year, Energy Law – Salt Lake City, 2012, 2018, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Energy Law, Oil and Gas Law, 2007-2020
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers®, Energy & Resources, 2007-2018
  • Utah Business Magazine, Utah Legal Elite, Energy & Natural Resources
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Preeminent® Rating
  • Who’s Who Legal: Mining, Law Business Research Ltd., 2015

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Member
  • Utah Mining Association, Board of Directors
  • Utah State Bar, Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section, Member and Past Chair
  • American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section, Member
  • YMCA of Northern Utah, Board of Directors

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