US coal mining business Alpha rehires former CLO to head legal team

Mark Manno rejoins as general counsel, replacing Roger Nicholson who is exiting the company at the end of this month

Alpha Metallurgical Resources was known as Contura Energy until 2021 T. Schneider /

US mining company Alpha Metallurgical Resources has rehired Mark Manno as general counsel, replacing Roger Nicholson who is leaving the company at the end of this month.

Manno returns for a second spell at Alpha, having been chief legal officer under its previous guise as Contura Energy. He arrives from UPM Pharmaceuticals, where he was also GC. As head of the Alpha’s legal team, he will also oversee its land and safety departments and serve as secretary to the board.

Tennessee-based Alpha is a coal mining business with operations in Virginia and West Virginia. It supplies metallurgical coal to steel and iron producers.

Andy Eidson, Alpha’s CEO, said: “We are excited to welcome back Mark Manno, a proven leader who will be a valuable addition to this outstanding team. I look forward to working with Mark to continue strengthening Alpha for the future.”

Manno spent just under three and a half years at UPM, having initially joined as deputy GC. He previously spent around a decade at Alpha, first as GC at Alpha Natural Resources, and then GC and later CLO at Contura, which was formed in 2016 with the acquisition of certain Alpha Natural Resources’ coal assets upon its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. He stepped down from that role in late 2019 before being reengaged as a strategic consultant.

Prior to his time at Alpha, Manno spent more than seven years as GC at SJ Strategic Investments and just under two years as corporate counsel at King Pharmaceuticals. He started his career in private practice at Baker Donelson.

Nicholson, meantime, exits the company after four and a half years, having joined to replace Manno. Before that he was of counsel at Steptoe & Johnson for just under five years, head of his own firm Roger L. Nicholson Law Offices for just over two years and of counsel at Jackson Kelly for a year and a half. He also spent six years as GC at International Coal Group, three years in an earlier spell at Jackson Kelly as a member, seven years as GC at Massey Energy and just over two years as an associate at Robinson & McElwee.

Eidson added: “I want to thank Roger for his significant impact on the company over the last several years. He has brought his sharp legal skills and decades of coal industry experience to bear on behalf of Alpha and we have benefited from Roger’s counsel to our board and management team. Alpha would not be the company it is today without Roger’s contributions, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

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