Lear's Senior Leadership


Matt Snow

Managing Partner

Matt's practice is devoted almost exclusively to oil and gas law, including title, transactional and due diligence. He represents numerous independent oil and gas producers throughout the country working primarily with their land departments in matters related to acquiring the rights to explore, produce and transport oil and gas, and has extensive experience in preparation of drilling, division order and financing opinions.


Jon Lear

Managing Partner

Jon's practice focuses on natural resource and environmental policy development for public and private sector interests. In recent years the primary focus of activity has been on the use of alternative fuels in the nations’ transportation fleet focusing on natural gas and liquefied natural gas products as a method to improve air quality and reduce the emission of particulate matter.


Phillip Wm. Lear

Partner Emeritus

Phil's practice was built on natural resources and public lands law with emphasis on acquisition, exploration, permitting and production of oil, gas, and mining properties; oil and gas conservation matters; complex title examinations; administrative hearings and appeals; natural resources litigation and appeals; mergers and acquisitions; mineral financing; water rights; and natural resources law on Indian reservations, expert witness for natural resources matters.


Jonathan Lear

Senior Partner

Mr. Lear’s practice covers a broad range of areas related to natural resources and public lands law, and he has extensive experience on title matters in North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, California and South Dakota. The primary focus of his practice is the preparation of drilling, drilling and division order, acquisition, financing, perfection, and supplemental title opinions covering private, state, federal and tribal lands, for both oil and gas and hard minerals. In addition, Jonathan represents clients on lease acquisition, transactional, and financing title matters, and has extensive experience preparing title-curative documents, negotiating leases, and in administrative matters before the Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining.


Jeffrey R. Taylor

Senior Partner

Jeff’s practice is primarily focused on complex mineral title examination. In addition, he has considerable experience in natural resources litigation, including disputes concerning joint operating agreements, contractual matters, and matters involving liens against real property. He has also assisted clients in proceedings before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and in the judicial review of such proceedings.

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Fred MacDonald

Of Counsel

Fred is a founding member of the Salt Lake area law firm of MacDonald & Miller Mineral Legal Services, PLLC. He focuses on oil and gas law, including title examination of Federal, fee, State of Utah and Indian lands, 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 authored many articles and papers, and lectures frequently on various oil and gas topics throughout the country. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America and in Super Lawyers in the area of oil and gas law every year since 2007 and 2008, respectively. Fred was named Best Lawyers in America’s 2012 and 2019 Salt Lake City Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year.

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