Total Value of Disputes Exceeding $7B

Our lawyers have structured, negotiated, drafted, and advised on the implementation of a number of high-value settlements, including:

A dispute with a sovereign state regarding costs and schedule

This involved a claim by a sovereign state with a value exceeding $1.5B.  Unusually, the settlement agreement took 24 hours to negotiate, and was favourable to both the investors and the state.  It represents a good example of achieving a fast and simple settlement on all issues prior to the dispute snowballing into a process that is difficult to control, making any concessions hard and a settlement more complex.  We also managed to clarify in the settlement agreement issues that were not in dispute, but that we saw could form the basis of future disputes if not addressed at this point.  These issues did in fact later arise and the clients were able to rely on the provisions of the settlement agreement to help ward-off a further dispute in relation to those issues.

 
A very professional and competent lawyer, capable of effectively supporting his client both in matters revolving around the interpretation of, and disputes on, Production Sharing Contracts as well as in commercial, complex negotiations.
 

A dispute with a sovereign state about the design and installation of faulty materials

This involved a claim by a sovereign state with a value exceeding $1.5B, with the faulty materials having had a significant impact on production levels. The settlement agreement took one week to negotiate and was favourable to both the investors and the state.  This was another example of achieving a fast and simple settlement on all issues prior to the dispute getting out of control.  Both sides were able to recognise that protracting the dispute would lead to a postponement of investments, which would have had a detrimental effect on all parties' economics far exceeding the value of the dispute. The settlement agreement provided that the claims raised would only be pursued if certain milestones in the development of the oil field would not be achieved, and captured the steps each side had to take in order to achieve those milestones.  We again managed to clarify in the settlement agreement issues that were not in dispute, but that we anticipated could form the basis of future disputes if not addressed at this point.  These issues did in fact later arise and the clients were able to rely on the provisions of the settlement agreement to help ward-off a dispute in relation to those issues.

A dispute with a pipeline operator regarding off-spec crude oil

This dispute involved contaminated crude that did not meet the entry specification for an export pipeline.

A dispute with an insurance company regarding liability for faulty materials

This was a settlement for a value of US$30M that involved 8 different stakeholders. We worked alongside specialist insurance counsel, who negotiated the principal settlement, while we worked to reach alignment from the stakeholders.

 
An extensive and successful record of representing oil and gas companies in negotiations with governmental authorities to resolve contractual disputes.
 

A dispute with a sovereign state regarding tax and stability issues

This dispute concerned a state's attempt to change an investment agreement tax regime retrospectively to a non-stabilised regime.

A dispute with a sovereign state regarding recovery of costs, stability provisions, tax

This involved a claim by a sovereign state with a value exceeding $3B.  The settlement agreement took several years to negotiate due to the number and complexity of issues and the number of stakeholders involved.  Our lawyers' role centered on the drafting and negotiation of the principal settlement agreement while our client's specialist litigation and corporate counsel worked alongside us to address specific areas of the overall settlement. We again took the opportunity to clarify in the settlement agreement issues that were not in dispute, but that we anticipated could form the basis of future disputes.

Fair Billing Policy

During the first six months of 2018 we carried out a survey of senior lawyers and general counsels in the oil industry and other industries. As none of these were clients, they were able to be frank.

The level of annoyance with services provided by the law firms was shocking. Most of the grievances boiled down to billing practices - in particular being billed for time that it was felt was unfair to bill for - such as internal law firm briefings, the client educating the firm and the client improving contracts drafted by the firm.

To address these concerns we have implemented a 7-point fair billing policy, under which we do not bill for time spent on these activities. This has been very well received and makes for a much better relationship.

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