Nicholas Johnson skillfully litigates complex commercial and environmental disputes throughout the country. Prior to joining Bailey Glasser, he distinguished himself as a trusted in-house lawyer for the some of the country’s largest publicly traded mining and energy companies.
Nick’s diverse practice includes complex litigation over large “deals gone wrong,” including mineral development agreements, sale-leasebacks, financial derivatives, insurance contracts, recoupment agreements, LLC or partnership agreements, and UCC sales contracts, to name a few. He is one of the few lawyers who can also pivot from litigation and just as artfully craft complex commercial documents to ensure a business runs smoothly.
Notably, in July 2021, Nick led a trial team that won a federal jury verdict of approximately $32.7 million on behalf of Ramaco Resources Inc. against Chubb-related insurance companies for breach of contract in a denial of insurance coverage case. The trial court subsequently reduced the verdict, but it was substantially reinstated by the Court of Appeals in 2023.
He also solves complex environmental and reclamation compliance and permitting issues for energy clients, having recently negotiated favorable groundwater restoration agreements with the State of Illinois and worked on intricate mixing zone applications for discharge of surface waters.
Nick is a regular speaker on issues of interest to mining and energy companies. He is a repeat presenter at the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, having also served as the co-chair of its fall program. Nick has also been invited to speak to the National Council of Coal Lessors and the Society for Mining Metallurgy and Engineering (SME)’s Annual Conference and Expo as well as the Current Trends in Mining Finance.
Awards & Accolades
Chambers USA, District of Columbia - Band One; Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs (2022 and 2023)
Government Service / Previous Employment
- Assistant General Counsel, Foresight Energy (2014 - 2015)
- Assistant General Counsel, Alpha Natural Resources (2011 - 2014)
- Corporate Counsel, Massey Coal Services, Inc. (2010 - 2011)
J.D., West Virginia University College of Law, 2006, Order of the Coif; Publication Editor, West Virginia Law Review
B.A., West Virginia University, 2003, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, University Honors Scholar
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
- Obtained, as lead counsel, a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of Shonk Land Company, proving five separate breaches of Shonk’s contractual rights of first refusal, awarding the plaintiff over $4.1 million in damages. As a result of those verdicts, Shonk will be restored as the rightful owner of 16,000-plus acres of valuable oil & gas property. In addition, the trial team proved intentional trespass, slander of Shonk’s title, tortious interference, and unjust enrichment.
- Obtained, as co-trial counsel, a verdict on behalf of Ramaco Resources Inc. of approximately $32.7 million against Chubb related insurance companies for breach of contract in a denial of insurance coverage case. The trial court subsequently reduced the verdict. The matter will be appealed.
- Resolved dispute over complex financial derivative products governed by an ISDA Master Agreement in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case in New York in bet-the-company litigation involving allegations of breach of a complex sale-leaseback transaction and of veil piercing of multiple layers of a Master Limited Partnership
- Settled dispute over interpretation of the recoupment provision in a $320 million royalty agreement
- Successfully resolved $100 million dispute over failure to develop mineral properties
- Defense of hundreds of product liability cases over the safety of personal protective equipment
- Prosecution of injunction actions against competitors in a trade secret and non-solicitation dispute
- Prosecution of a federal court action over the misuse and misapplication of federal grant money and former federal property in Utah
News & Insights
News & Insights
- Bailey Glasser Awarded Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2023 and Achieves Nationwide Rankings in ERISA and Product Liability Litigation06.15.2023
- Bailey Glasser Wins Appeal Protecting Interstate Market for Coal: Kentucky Can’t "Have Its Cake and Eat It, Too.”02.06.2023
- Bailey Glasser Achieves Favorable Settlement in Constitutional Claim Against the Commonwealth of Kentucky12.03.2020
- Bailey Glasser Obtains Favorable Ruling from Appellate Court on Behalf of Williamson Energy, LLC and Colt, LLC08.26.2020
Author, “Deals Gone Wrong in the Coal Industry,” White Paper, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, 2018