University of Pittsburgh School of Law,
J.D., 1988, cum laude

Colgate University, B.A., 1985 magna cum laude,
Phi Beta Kappa

I am both a lawyer and a novelist, and the skills I use for both kinds of writing have more in common than one might think. Whether I’m introducing a character or crafting language that best encapsulates the intent of the parties to an agreement, I have two primary objectives in mind: clarity and simplicity.

Since joining Stonecipher in 1990, I have concentrated my practice in the areas of general corporate and oil and gas law, handling the negotiation and writing of both day-to-day business contracts and complex transactions. My unique skills as a writer are complemented by an unusual level of practical business knowledge gained from my 15 years on the Board of a $250 million third generation family business for whom I have also served, with my brother, Beau, as general counsel.

I have authored three novels. My first, DEAR ZOE, was named by the American Library Association as one of its Ten Best First Novels of the Year and is currently in development as a feature film. My most recent novel, SWING, uses the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates as the backdrop to an unlikely friendship between and ten year-old boy and a legless veteran. Pittsburgh Magazine called SWING “ …heartbreaking, uplifting and emotionally resonant. In a word, it’s beautiful.” You can visit my author website here: http://www.philipbeard.net/


  • Day-to-day business contractual work
  • Buying and selling entire businesses or specific assets of those businesses
  • Negotiating financing arrangements with banks and other lenders
  • Representing family-owned and closely held businesses
  • Buying and selling oil & gas interests in wells, leases and related assets
  • Negotiating and drafting Joint Operating Agreements, Exploration Agreements, as well as contracts for drilling, well service and lease acquisition
  • Pipeline management and ownership agreements
  • Negotiating oil & gas leases and related documents, for operators as well as for landowners


  • Pennsylvania State Courts
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
  • I am a past President of the Fox Chapel District Association, a local organization focused on raising funds for charitable projects benefiting the communities of Aspinwall, Blawnox, O’Hara, Indiana and Fox Chapel. For the past 15 years, my wife, Traci, and I have been writing and producing the Fox Chapel Follies – a musical theater spoof and the District Association’s primary fundraiser. Most recently, the Follies’ six sold-out performances raised more than $125,000 to benefit the Aspinwall Riverfront Park development project.