Quadrant Chambers Annual Energy Disputes Event - Energy Disputes in Volatile Times


The event was chaired by our Simon Rainey KC, and we were pleased to welcome Áine McCartney, Head of Legal Operations at Nordex Group who gave the in-house perspective. Áine joined energy experts Chris Smith KC and Gaurav Sharma from Quadrant, and James Baily from Herbert Smith Freehills.

This session focused on the most pressing issues facing those operating in the energy industry today, from spiking energy prices and resource shortages caused by war, to the challenges of decarbonisation, including climate change litigation and shareholder activism. The panel addressed legal issues ranging from contractual mechanisms for restoring parties’ bargains to default, termination and frustration events. They also look at tort claims and the importance of environmental, social and governance policy in the context of future legal risk.

The discussion revolves around three particular areas:

  • Volatility in Today’s Energy Markets, looking at recent major events that have changed the economic landscape, from the legacy of COVID to the war in Ukraine and sanctions, and the way in which they have dramatically impacted oil and gas prices. The panel will consider contractual issues and challenges, including price reviews and hardship, shortfall provisions and liability caps, force majeure, frustration and default events.
  • Current Challenges for Renewable Projects, focusing on the in-house perspective and the challenges associated with doing business in the renewable industry as it experiences tremendous growth in the face of ever-increasing demand, and as established operators look to increase their expertise and investment in wind, solar and other renewable projects.
  • ESG Policies and Regulating the Future Energy Industry, examining the extent to which traditional energy and natural resource companies will face claims in the coming years from stakeholders in relation to the environmental and human rights impacts of their operations, in a world that is decarbonising and trying to create a level socioeconomic playing field for everyone.