Energy is a core area of practice at Quadrant Chambers.
Chambers’ practice encompasses every aspect of the industry from international arbitration and litigation involving natural resources to disputes in emerging energy sectors including renewables. Today members are involved in some of the largest and most complex energy disputes proceeding before ICSID, the ICC, the LCIA, the SIAC, the SCC and other arbitral institutions, in addition to many UNCITRAL and other ad hoc international arbitrations. Notable recent and ongoing matters include:
- Representing a consortium of international energy companies in an US$820 million ICC dispute relating to obligations at the expiry of a production sharing agreement for the production of crude oil in the Middle East.
- Acting for a major international energy company in a US$136 million LCIA arbitration turning on issues arising under a series of Joint Operating Agreements and Production Sharing Contracts in a West African State.
- Acting for a multinational energy company in a multi-billion dollar arbitration against a European state party in relation to the sale and acquisition of an international energy transmission network.
- Representing a consortium of international energy companies in a US$340 million dispute relating to the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) under a long-term contract.
- Advising and acting for parties in many dozens of major and ground-breaking LNG and natural gas price reopeners and ICC arbitrations (including acting for the National Iranian Oil Corporation in its defence of US$13 billion claims brought by Crescent Petroleum).
- Acting in an UNCITRAL dispute brought by a manufacturer of wind turbines for the production of renewable energy against its supplier of critical components.
In addition, members of chambers have acted successfully in investment arbitrations (including emergency proceedings) in the energy industry both for and against States in relation to the taxation of production sharing arrangements, termination of oilfield service contracts, expropriation of commercial petroleum operations and liquefied petroleum gas production tariffs.
Whilst the majority of our instructions in these areas are in confidential arbitrations, members have also appeared in a number of the more important reported decisions in recent years, such as Teesside Gas Transportation Ltd v CATS North Sea Ltd  EWHC 1220 (Comm) (relating to capacity reservation and transportation agreement (CRTA) for capacity in the North Sea CATS gas pipeline), DSME v Songa Offshore  EWHC 538 (Comm) (concerning state of the art North Sea exploration semi-submersible drilling rigs), Petromec Inc v Petrobras  1 Lloyd's Rep. 629 (concerning the upgrade of P-36 platform, then the largest production platform in the world), Seadrill Management Services Ltd v OAO Gazprom  1 Lloyd's Rep. 543 (one of the largest drilling contract and oil field exploration cases to come to the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal in recent years), and Taurus Petroleum Ltd v State Oil Marketing Company of the Ministry of Oil, Republic of Iraq  1 Lloyd’s Rep 29 (Supreme Court decision on enforcement against state-owned oil company via third party debt orders over letters of credit).
A number of members are recommended for Energy & Natural Resources work in the leading independent directories, including individual tier 1 rankings in Chambers & Partners; silk and junior rankings in Legal 500. Chambers is also ranked as a leading set for Energy work by the Legal 500. In recent years members have received nominations and awards from the directories for their work in this area (e.g. Lionel Persey QC named Legal 500 ‘Silk of the Year in Energy & Projects’ in 2014, and nominated as Construction and Energy Silk of the Year in 2018). Chambers boasts the author of the leading work on marine offshore contracts (Simon Rainey QC ‘The Law of Tug and Tow and Offshore Contracts’ (4th Edn, 2018)), as well as numerous members who speak and lecture regularly to industry events (C5, Bimco, etc.). Chambers’ Energy Steering Committee hosts an annual conference themed around topical issues in energy litigation, which typically draws a full house.
Members practising in these areas typically adopt a hands-on approach, combining considerable technical and industry knowledge with traditional legal and forensic skills. Our members receive instructions solely as well as in teams typically led by our more senior members. They are comfortable working closely with experts from a wide-range of disciplines: including oilfield operation and economic experts, gas industry analysts, process engineers, structural engineers, architects/designers, project management and planning specialists, delay analysts, chemists, quantity surveyors, forensic accountants, overseas lawyers and many more. Our barristers are frequently instructed from the early stages and throughout the dispute resolution process, advising clients on strategic decisions along the way, collating and preparing evidence, and working together with clients and experts to ensure the case is set on the right course and prepared correctly for trial or final hearing.
Our members have experience across the full spectrum of issues which can arise in this field, including for example:
- Oil and gas production operations (including Good Oilfield Practice)
- Resource pricing and reopeners
- Drilling and exploration projects
- Energy generation and exploitation rights
- Off and onshore construction and engineering disputes
- Refinery and pipeline disputes
- Rig/FPSO conversion projects
- Maintenance and refurbishment disputes
- Topside equipment and process technology upgrades
- EPC Contracts
- Joint venture disputes
- Infrastructure projects
- Renewable and sustainable energy
- Cutting-edge technology: e.g. windfarms, LNG plants, gas-to-liquid technology
- Environmental issues, spillages, pollution, flaring incidents
- Carriage and disposal of nuclear waste
- Specialised forms for the chartering of FPSOs and offshore equipment
- Knock-for-knock and mutual indemnity regimes
- Specialised contracts/warranties relating to LNG (boil-off, regasification)
- Sale and purchase disputes in the energy sector
- Heavylift disputes
- International sale and carriage of hydrocarbons
- Related finance, insurance and reinsurance disputes
- Related jurisdiction and applicable law
- Related assertions of Sovereign Immunity by parastatals active in these fields
Quadrant was short-listed for International Arbitration Set of the Year at the Legal 500 UK Bar Awards 2020, an award which we won in 2017. Simon Rainey QC won International Arbitration Silk of the Year 2020.