Kinder Morgan has closed $85 billion in acquisitions during DeVeau’s tenure as general counsel

From Texas Lawyer

When Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. was trying to acquire Hiland Partners in 2015, David R. DeVeau, the company’s vice president and general counsel, had to bone up on an area of law that previously had been unfamiliar to him.

“I had to dabble in Oklahoma family law,” said DeVeau, who is known to friends and associates as Dave.

The reason for DeVeau’s sudden interest in family law was the fact that the owner of Hiland was in the midst of a high-profile divorce that could have affected his interest in the company.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court noted in an April 28, 2015, opinion that the owner had given his wife a check for almost $1 billion in payment of property-division alimony ordered by a district court in the divorce decree. The Supreme Court ruled against the wife, who had appealed the district court’s order but deposited the check. In its 7-2 decision, the high court found that the wife gave up her right to appeal after depositing the check.

“The judgment is now satisfied,” the Supreme Court concluded in its per curiam opinion.

DeVeau said he had to acquire a working knowledge of family law for the first time while the Hiland acquisition was pending because “we wanted to make sure we were buying from the right person.” The approximately $3 billion transaction closed in February 2015, according to a news release issued by Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America.

Acquiring the Hiland property gave Kinder Morgan access to the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana. The deal is part of more than $85 billion in acquisitions that Kinder Morgan has closed during DeVeau’s tenure as general counsel, the company noted on its website. DeVeau joined Kinder Morgan in 2001 as head of litigation and was named general counsel in 2013.

The 51-year-old DeVeau grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, located about 30 miles north of Boston. DeVeau said he attended Norwich University, a military college in Vermont, with the intention of becoming a U.S. Army officer. He said that while in college, he took several courses taught by a professor who was an attorney and convinced him to attend law school.

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