Karen Greenwell is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and a Co-Team Leader of the Natural Resources & Environmental Service Team.  She concentrates her practice in the areas of mineral, energy and property law, and commercial litigation.

Show More


With 30 years of legal experience in the mineral and energy industry, Ms. Greenwell has assisted coal, oil, gas and energy industry clients with all manner of transactions, including leasing matters, asset acquisitions and divestitures, corporate mergers and stock acquisitions, and bankruptcy sales.  Ms. Greenwell’s experience in litigating property, contract and business tort disputes, as well as in other types of commercial litigation, gives her an unusual breadth of experience and perspective in dealing with issues affecting mineral and energy industry clients.

Ms. Greenwell is a Trustee of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, a director of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association, an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, and a frequent speaker and author on energy topics for organizations such as the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Institute for Energy Law, and the Conference of Government Mining Attorneys.

Wyatt is a member of the Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Storage, and Ms. Greenwell is one of the leaders of its task force on legal issues relating to carbon capture and storage.

In addition to litigating business tort, property and contract disputes, Ms. Greenwell has negotiated and prepared mineral leases and been involved in mineral-related acquisitions and lending transactions.


  • J.D., with highest honors, University of Kentucky, 1985
  • B.A., with highest honors, University of Kentucky, 1976




  • Kentucky Super Lawyers® in the area of Energy & Resources, 2024
  • Best Lawyers® 2022 Lexington Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers® 2012, 2020, 2023 Lexington Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers® 2013, 2017, 2024 Lexington Mining Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Mining Law and Natural Resources Law, 2007-Present; Oil and Gas Law, 2020-Present; Energy Law 2020-Present
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in Environment, Natural Resources & Utilities: Natural Resources
  • “AV” rated in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by her peers in Kentucky Super Lawyers®
  • The Energy & Mineral Law Foundation’s recipient of the John L. McClaugherty Award for Distinguished Service, 2016


  • Fellow of the Institute for Mining and Mineral Research
  • Trustee, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation
  • Advisory Board, Institute for Energy Law
  • Board of Directors, Kentucky Oil and Gas Association
  • Member, Energy Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law
  • Member, University of Kentucky College of Law Visiting Committee


Board of Directors, Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council


  • “On the Constitutionality of Kentucky’s Mineral Deed Act,” 13 Northern Kentucky Law Journal 219 (1986)
  • Kentucky’s Broad Form Deed Amendment: Constitutional Considerations, 5 Journal of Mineral Law and Policy, 9 (1989-90).
  • The Applicant Violator System under SMCRA: Ownership and Control Regulations, 6 Journal of Mineral Law and Policy, 143 (1990-91).


  • NBI Kentucky Coal Law Seminar – 6/9/15 – “Ownership of Coal and Oil & Gas” and “Negotiating Key Provisions in Coal Lease Agreements (with Examples)”
  • Kentucky Oil and Gas Association – 76th Annual Meeting – 6/19/12 – 6/21/12 – “New Air Emissions Regulations Affecting the Oil and Gas Industry”
  • EMLF – 36th Mineral Law Conference – 10/19/11 – 10/21/11 – “Post Production Agreements”
  • EMLF – 35th Mineral Law Conference -10/13/10 – 10/15/10 – “Natural Gas Storage Development – Legal and Regulatory Issues”
  • Institute for Energy Law – 6/2/10 – 6/3/10 – “Law of Shale Gas Plays”
  • RMMLF – 4/29/10 – 4/30/10 – “Surface Access For Mining Uses”
  • EMLF – 10/9/09 – Top Leasing in the Appalachian Basin – Eagles or Vultures?
  • 33rd Kentucky Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment – 9/30/09-10/1/09 – “Carbon Management Policy”
  • Platts – 9/14/09 – 9/15/09 – Carbon Capture & Sequestration, Policy, Economics, Regulation & Risk
  • Halfmoon Seminars – 6/24/09 – Oil, Gas & Mineral Land Law “Ownership of Minerals and Related Property Concepts”
  • 32nd Kentucky’s Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment – 10/7/08 – “Carbon Capture and Storage Legal Issues”
  • EMLF Annual Institute – 5/15/05-5/17/05 – “Can I Use That Hole In The Ground? Ownership & Uses For Underground Voids & Subterranean Space”
  • RMMLF – 2/17/05-2/18/05 – Severed Minerals, Split Estates, Rights of Access, and Surface Use in Mineral Extraction Operations
  • EMLF – 29th Mineral Law Conference – 10/14/04 – 10/15/04 – “The Right to Develop Minerals”
  • “Contracting Solutions to Joint Coalbed Methane/Coal Development,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and University of Kentucky Conference on Mineral Law, 2003
  • “Inability to Comply with SMCRA and the Right to Enter Private Property,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Annual Institute, May 2000
  • “Keys to Success in a Real Estate Transaction in Kentucky,” National Business Institute, 1999
  • “Boundary Law”, National Business Institute, 1997
  • “Inability to Comply: Non-Correctable/Unabatable Violations,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and University of Kentucky Conference on Mineral Law, 1995
  • “The Applicant Violator System under SMCRA,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and University of Kentucky Conference on Mineral Law, 1992