Fred Headshot.jpg

Fred M. MacDonald

Of Counsel

fred.macdonald@learlaw.com - 801-538-5007

Fred is one of the most experienced, knowledgeable oil and gas attorneys in the Intermountain West.  Fred joined Lear & Lear in 2020 after 34 years of practice with nationally recognized, top-ranked natural resource law firms in Salt Lake City.  Fred’s deep expertise strengthens Lear & Lear’s ability to serve its clientele in many aspects of this specialized area of law.

While Fred has experience in many areas of natural resource practice, he primarily focuses on oil and gas law, including title examination of Federal, fee, State of Utah, and Indian lands, title curative including probates, farmout, joint operating agreement and other contract drafting and interpretation, unit formation and operation, and administrative practice before the Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining and U.S. Interior Board of Land Appeals. 

Fred has assisted in revising Utah’s oil and gas statutes and regulations and has authored many papers.  Fred regularly lectures on oil and gas legal issues throughout the country.

 

Practice Areas

Title Work

  • Drilling & Division Order Title Opinions

  • Acquisition Opinions

  • Financing Opinions

  • Supplemental Title Opinions

  • Curative Title Work

  • Lease Negotiations

  • Financing Title Matters

  • Federal Unitization

Transactional & Due Diligence

  • Purchase & Sale Agreements

  • Permitting

  • Environmental Due Diligence

Acquisition & Divestiture

  • Due Diligence

  • Title

  • Contract Issues

  • Deal Structuring

    • Transfer of Title

    • Indemnification

    • Confidentiality

    • Lien Priority

  • Third-Party Consents and Waiver

    • Consents to Assign

    • Waiver of Preferential Purchase Rights

  • Transactional Documents

    • Letter of Intent

    • Confidentiality Agreements

    • Purchase & Sale Agreements

    • Title Defects

  • Closing Documents

  • Curative Title Documents

Commission & Regulatory

  • Well Siting and Spacing

  • Pooling, Unitization, and Communitization

  • Surface and Downhole Commingling of Oil and Gas

  • Vertical, Directional, and Horizontal Drilling

  • Gas Flaring

  • Surface Use & Bonding

  • Salt Water Disposal & Other Types of Injection Wells

  • Oilfield Waste Facilities

Dispute Resolution/ Litigation

  • Surface & Title Disputes

  • Operational Disputes

  • Contract/JOS Disputes

  • Vendor & Subcontractor Disputes

  • Regulatory Compliance Issues

  • Rights-of-Way Disputes

  • Lis Pendens

  • Quiet Title Actions

  • Interior Board of Land Appeals Actions

  • Administrative Appeals

Natural Resources

  • American Indian Law

  • Acquisitions of Mineral Interests on Federal, State & Private Lands

  • Compliance & Regulation

  • Permitting

  • Due Diligence

  • Transactions

  • Public Leasing & Permitting

  • Alternative Energy Projects

  • Mineral Development

  • Surface Use & Conservation Easements

 

Admissions

  • Fred is admitted to practice in Utah (State Court and the United States District Court for the District of Utah)

Professional & Civic Organizations

  • American Association of Professional Landmen

  • Chairman – Form 610 JOA Revision Task Force - 2012-2015

  • Coalbed Methane JOA Task Force – 2002-2005

  • Utah Association of Professional Landmen

  • AAPL Director – 2014-2016

  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

  • Trustee at Large  - 2004-2006

  • Faculty – Federal Oil & Gas Short Course – 1995 – 2013

  • Oil & Gas Co-Chair -  48th Annual Institute - 2002

  • Utah State Bar – Energy & Natural Resources Section

  • Chair – 1997-1998

  • Utah Petroleum Association

Education

  • Valparaiso University School of Law (J.D., 1986)

  • Purdue University (B.S.E., 1983)

Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America – 2007- Present

  • Best Lawyers in America – Salt Lake Oil & Gas Lawyer of the Year – 2012 and 2019

  • Super Lawyers – 2008-Present

Publications

  • Coalbed Methane Units: Making the Square Peg Fit the Round Hole, Regulation of Coalbed Methane, Paper No. 7 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 2002)

  • The New AAPL Form 610 – A Coalbed Methane Checklist:  Making the List and How to Check It Twice, 27 Energy & Min. L. Inst. Ch. 4 (2006)

  • Preparing and Finalizing the Unit Agreement: Making Sure Your Exploratory Ducks Are In A Row, Federal Onshore Oil & Gas Pooling and Unitization, Paper No. 3 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 2014)

  • What’s New in the 2015 Form, Joint Operations and the New AAPL Form 610-2015 Model Form Operating Agreement, Paper No. 1 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 2016)