gaurav
Gaurav Sharma
Called: 2006

Gaurav Sharma

Academic
BA (Hons) French and German
Awards
Gerald Moody Major Scholar; GDL Major Scholar (Gray’s Inn)
Presentations
Gaurav is frequently invited to speak at arbitration events, with recent appointments including chairing conferences or panels at the C5 Long Term Gas Contracts conference in Berlin (2018); the Institute for Transnational Arbitration London conference on Environmental Issues in Investment Arbitration (2019); and the Legal Business International Arbitration Summit (2019).
In-house Experience
Gaurav spent a number of years as a Senior Legal Counsel at Shell.
Pro Bono
Advocates for International Development (A4ID) Legal Partner
Languages
French (fluent); German (fluent); Dutch (basic)

Gaurav is an international arbitration specialist with particular expertise acting in disputes in the energy industry.  He is a highly accomplished advocate having appeared as lead counsel in international arbitrations throughout his career.  He was named in the Legal 500 as a “Future Leader” and “Next Generation Lawyer” in 2018 and 2019. He is dual-qualified, having passed the Paris bar exams in 2008 to become an avocat.  As such, he is equally adept at handling civil and common law disputes. 

Before joining Quadrant, Gaurav was “Counsel” at the specialist international arbitration law firm Three Crowns LLP.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Legal Counsel in Shell's Global Litigation group, which followed several years as an international arbitration Associate at the London and Paris offices of the international law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton.

Gaurav acts as sole counsel, together with other barristers or as part of a team with lawyers from instructing law firms (whether international- or UK-based).  He is typically instructed to develop case strategies, and implement them through written and oral advocacy.  His experience as a senior lawyer at specialist arbitration firms and in-house means he is also perfectly comfortable handling the day to day conduct of cases, including acting as a senior legal team leader and managing associates working on individual work streams in complex matters.

Gaurav has a track record of success acting in disputes across all sectors of the energy industry, notably including:

  • Upstream oil and gas production arbitrations, including operational disputes (for example in relation to alleged breaches of the “Good Oilfield Practice” standard; in arbitrations of environmental claims based on oil contamination or gas flaring; and in disputes relating to joint operating arrangements) as well as in the context of liabilities at the end of production sharing arrangements and related economic disputes. 
  • Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and natural gas disputes arising under long term contracts (including price reviews and reopeners, transportation and shortfall disputes, and force majeure issues affecting LNG production).
  • Renewable energy disputes.

Gaurav’s significant recent cases include the following:

  • ICC arbitration: Successfully representing a consortium of energy companies in an US$850 million arbitration brought by a Middle-Eastern state government.  The dispute concerned issues relating to oil and gas production and environmental liabilities at the expiry of a 25-year production sharing agreement.
  • ICC arbitration: Successfully representing the Greek state-owned gas company in its major “landmark” gas price review with its Turkish counterpart, BOTAS.  The arbitration involved complex issues of res judicata and issue estoppel in light of an earlier award under the same contract, and the value at stake was several hundred million US$.
  • ICSID arbitration (ongoing): Acting for Shell in its investment treaty arbitration with the Philippines over tax bills of US$1.1 billion that were retrospectively imposed on the Contractor at the end of its natural gas production sharing contract by the state’s Commission on Audit.
  • ICSID arbitration (ongoing): Acting for the Sultanate of Oman in investment treaty proceedings brought by Turkish former contractor in relation to a suite of oilfield services contracts.
  • SCC arbitration: Successfully securing an Emergency Arbitrator award to prevent the government of Benin from taking further steps to expropriate the assets of Puma Energy in its petroleum operations business.  The matter was settled shortly thereafter.    
  • DIS arbitration: Successfully representing a major international energy company in a US$2 billion arbitration against a European state party
  • ICC arbitration: Successfully representing a major international energy company in a US$250 million LNG price review against a European buyer of LNG for delivery to Spain and France.

Gaurav also has extensive experience acting in arbitrations in other industries (notably including disputes in the mining, banking and financial, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors) as well as corporate disputes between shareholders, arising from M&A transactions, or from joint ventures.  In addition, he has successfully acted in emergency arbitrations in commercial and investment disputes.

In addition to his arbitration practice, Gaurav is also an experienced commercial litigator, having acted in some of the most significant litigation matters in recent years, including for the defendants in the matter of Okpabi and others v Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, which deals with the complex issue of the liability of parent companies for the acts of their foreign affiliates as well as related threshold jurisdictional questions that arise in that context.

Gaurav is a fluent French and German speaker and has previously conducted disputes in both languages.