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Mark Cleaves

Mark’s practice is concentrated in the areas of securities, business representation and energy law. His experience representing businesses is wide ranging, including: corporate finance/business formation; mergers and acquisitions; securities law; taxation; general corporate and commercial law; private offerings; tax; trade secrets; strategic partnerships/joint ventures.

Mark began his post-graduate legal career as Counsel to the United States Securities Exchange Commission in the Division of Corporation Finance. He was responsible for the primary legal services of  domestic and international corporate financings associated with public/private securities offerings, changes in control, complex recapitalizations, tender and exchange offers, and “roll-up” transactions.

After leaving the SEC in 1991, Mark joined the legal team at Columbia Energy Group, Inc. - a large multinational vertically integrated energy company. He was responsible for the legal work associated with corporate finance and commercial transactions, including international and domestic acquisitions/divestitures; public offerings and private placements of common stock and debt securities; and negotiation of trust indentures, credit facilities and other financing documents.

In 1991, Mark  became Principal, Columbia Energy Ventures, a division of Columbia Energy, and then Counsel and Executive Vice President of Operations, Business Development and Strategic Planning at Columbia Propane, Inc./Columbia Petroleum Corporation. As a principal at CEV, he was responsible for merger and acquisition advisory services for Columbia Energy’s non-regulated energy business. He structured, negotiated and financed dozens of acquisitions in the retail propane and oil and gas exploration and production industries ranging in value from just under one million to over $250 million.  During his tenure at Columbia Propane/Columbia Petroleum, these subsidiaries combined represented a revenue stream of $320 million, employing about 2,000 employees.  At the time of its sale, Columbia Propane was the fourth largest LP company in the U.S.

Most recently, Mark was Chief Executive Officer of and counsel to North American Propane, a holding company, and its three operating subsidiaries which were engaged in the diversified retail energy markets whose principal businesses were the retail and wholesale distribution of propane, heating oil, petroleum distillates, packaged gases and related products and services (plumbing, HVAC, etc.) in nine (9) northeastern U.S. states.