Benjamin U. Criswell

Benjamin U. Criswell

Portland, OR

About Ben

Ben Criswell is an associate in Stoel Rives’ Real Estate group. He has experience handling a variety of transactions involving the purchase, sale, leasing, financing, conservation, permitting, and/or development of real property.

Ben is particularly keen on the renewable energy and agriculture sectors. He helps clients achieve their goals with his unique blend of business insight and legal expertise, with work such as site control support for wind energy land campaigns, due diligence for acquiring a portfolio of solar energy projects, analysis of potential environmental liability at brownfield sites, and compliance actions necessitated by farmland transactions involving foreign-owned entities.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Ben was a judicial extern to the Honorable Julie A. Russo at the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and a legal intern at Vestas-American Wind Technology and the Small Business Legal Clinic. Prior to law school, Ben led multiple entrepreneurial ventures, the most successful of which was a web services company he co-founded and ultimately sold after building a team and multiplying revenue year over year. Ben’s lived experience with the business aspects crucial to legal services informs his work-smart-and-hard approach to providing clients with sound counsel and efficient legal services.

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  • Helped wind energy developer client with title review, contract drafting, and general support regarding leasehold, easement, and contractual rights across hundreds of thousands of acres of land throughout more than a dozen states (in coordination with various local counsel).
  • Conducted site control, title, and survey due diligence for a client acquiring a portfolio of dozens of ground-mount, carport, and rooftop solar facilities, with locations including landfills, schools, and commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Provided a client with advice on potential environmental liability and risk mitigation strategies regarding the development of a reclaimed coal mine site, based on a comprehensive review of consultants’ reports including a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
  • Assisted developer client in a complex adjudication regarding the permitting of a utility-scale solar, wind, and battery storage project.
  • Prepared memoranda regarding title and survey issues for a client acquiring multiple parcels of farmland and forestland.
  • Drafted and negotiated a real estate purchase agreement for a client, and helped the client obtain title insurance and water rights for the acquired property.
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Contract Drafting Tips for Rooftop Solar and Carport Solar Leases” (co-author), Daily Journal of Commerce, December 5, 2023
  • “Deal Sweeteners for Clean Energy Development on Brownfield Sites” (co-author), Daily Journal of Commerce, February 28, 2023
  • “Waste Not, Want Not: Divergent Energy Storage Markets in California and Oregon,” 52 ENV’T L., September 2022
  • “Zap the Sleeping Giant: Revamping FERC Order 1000 to Facilitate Decarbonization Across the Western United States,” 51 ENV’T L., December 2021

Related News & Publications

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