Our panel of specialist energy dispute lawyers, industry in-house legal counsel and barristers provided insight into areas such as 'force majeure questions in a mature basin', 'offshore decommissioning' and bribery issues facing the sector. We also heard from in-house counsel on the challenges they are facing and what the future holds.
Speakers included Annabel Dearing, in-house counsel at BB Energy, David Leckie, Partner at Clyde & Co, Simon Rainey QC and James M Turner QC from Quadrant Chambers. Nigel Cooper QC chaired the event.
A copy of the handout is available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaired by Nigel Cooper QC
‘When Things Fall Apart’… Force Majeure Questions in a Mature Basin – Simon Rainey QC, Quadrant Chambers
Simon Rainey QC considers the potentially tricky issues arising with the operation of typical O&G models of Force Majeure provision against the background of ageing infrastructure, illustrated by the recent Forties Pipeline System shutdown by Ineos, and the lessons taught in Scottish Power v BP Exploration  EWCA Civ 1043 and other recent cases.
“Offshore Decommissioning – The Prospect for Disputes” – James M Turner QC, Quadrant Chambers
Bribery Act 2010 update - David Leckie, Partner, Clyde & Co
Challenges, Opportunities and a look at the Future for In-House Counsel – Annabel Dearing, In-house Counsel, BB Energy
Annabel will look at a number of topical issues facing in-house counsel. She gives the inside track on disruptors, legal apps, the stealthy rise of AI as well as the current challenges in-house legal functions are facing and what the future could hold for them. She will also draw on a wealth of experience to give us her views on how to work successfully with an external counsel team.
Annabel is in-house counsel with the BB Energy Group, one of the world’s leading independent energy trading companies. She is a senior energy trading and finance lawyer with global experience of gas, power, LNG, derivatives, trade finance and energy asset investment.
She started her legal career in private practice at Ashursts, before making the move in-house to the energy and commodity derivatives team at Goldman Sachs. Annabel has over 14 years of in-house experience with global banks, trading houses and energy companies. She has been a senior legal counsel at BNP Paribas (London and New York), Vitol, where she had management responsibility for the Geneva legal function, and Centrica.
David has particular expertise in the energy, oil & gas, renewables and construction sectors. He has significant experience of a wide range of disputes involving drilling contracts, EPC contracts, offshore service contracts, JOA’s and PSAs. His clients include major oil & gas companies, construction companies, offshore service contractors and rig owners. He has represented clients in the UK courts at all levels, in mediations and in international arbitrations, including ICC and LCIA. David also has extensive experience in ancillary matters, including obtaining anti-suit injunctions, obtaining and defending security for costs orders and challenging defective awards.
He also has extensive experience of regulatory law, including fraud, bribery and corruption, health, safety, and environmental law. He has conducted internal investigations, appeared at Inquests and defended companies and individuals in a wide range of criminal prosecutions in the UK courts.
David graduated from Edinburgh University with honours in law in 1984 and qualified in Scotland in 1987 and in England and Wales in 1992. He was called to the English Bar in 1994 and practised in the Chambers of Walter Aylen QC at Lincoln's Inn. He was formerly in-house Legal Counsel for Schlumberger in Paris. Until recently, he was the Europe/Africa Director of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.
He speaks and is published widely on his specialist areas and is a contributor to Butterworths Corporate Liability. He has recently spoken at the Oil & Gas UK Legal Conference, the IADC annual conference and the at the International Marine Contractors Association.
Simon Rainey QC
Simon Rainey QC is one of the best-known and most highly regarded practitioners at the Commercial Bar with a high reputation for his intellect and advocacy skills. He is regularly involved in high value complex energy disputes, for example: drilling and exploration projects, both in terms of construction and infrastructure issues and in relation to casualties due to failures of equipment or negligent operation involving the allocation of responsibility in complex factual and technical situations; offshore and onshore construction projects covering virtually every species of oil and gas platform, rig, FPSO, offshore vessel and wind farm; production, transportation and processing agreement matters; oilfield redetermination and boundary disputes; energy generation and energy trading etc.
Recent and current cases include: DSME v Songa Offshore  EWHC 538 (Comm); Transocean Drilling v Repsol Sinopec (Com. Ct.); Statoil v Chevron, Petrobras and others (Com. Ct.); Vitol E&P v New Age Energy (Com. Ct.); Crestar Resources v Newton Energy (Com. Ct.).
He is ranked by Chambers UK in Band 1 for Energy & Natural Resources (2018) and as the Star Individual for Shipping and Commodities in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; Shipping Silk of the Year 2016 (by both Chambers UK and Legal 500) and was named in Lloyd’s List Top 10 Maritime Lawyers 2017 and again in 2018. He has long been ranked as a leading silk in both directories (UK and Asia) for Energy and also Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration, and was nominated Legal 500 International Arbitration Silk of the Year 2016-2017. Quotes include: "A strong leader in the energy field, with noted prowess in complex, high-profile oil work." "He has strong credentials in the oil trading field, combined with an agile mind, and is not afraid to push the boundaries of the law." "Exceptional for really complex energy cases, his particular skill lies in reducing the complicated to the elegantly simple." (Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018); ‘A senior silk with gravitas, who provides crystal-clear advice that gets to the bottom line.’ (Legal 500 2017). He is co-author of "Offshore Structures: Law and Liability" (Sweet & Maxwell, publication 2017: chapters on LOGIC and IADC forms and the OGUK and AIPN JOA forms).
He is also the author of the leading text on marine offshore contracts: "The Law of Tug and Tow and Offshore Contracts" (Informa, 3rd Edn, 2013: 4th Edn due 2017) and co-author of "Offshore Contracts and Liabilities" (Informa, 2015: chapter on offshore project mutual indemnities). He is a Deputy High Court Judge (Commercial Court and Queen’s Bench Division), sits as arbitrator and has performed numerous expert determinations, especially on North Sea matters.
Nigel Cooper QC has a commercial practice which predominantly covers the fields of energy, offshore and marine construction, shipping and insurance law. Nigel's energy work covers both upstream and downstream aspects of the industry. He has advised on disputes relating to drilling and exploration, to production and to the sale and purchase of energy products as well as on related issues such as the enforcement of related guarantees and the insurance of drilling units. . He is an experienced advocate appearing regularly before international arbitration tribunals, in the Commercial and Admiralty courts and in the appellate courts; he has acted for the government at three major formal investigations as well as appearing as an expert witness in overseas proceedings. Nigel has considerable experience of handling cases that are factually and technically complex with a corresponding level of documents. He is known for being approachable, and believes in working as a team with those instructing him. Nigel accepts appointments as an arbitrator and as a mediator and as a party's representative in mediations. Nigel is recommended as a leading barrister in Chambers & Partners UK and Global editions and in the Legal 500 UK and Asia-Pacific guides. "An extremely approachable QC, who is incredibly easy to work with” He has the “ability to get right into the detail of a case yet still provide clear overall strategy, advice and assistance”.
James M Turner QC is a specialist commercial advocate with over 25 years’ experience in international arbitration and litigation in fields such as energy, shipbuilding, shipping, trade finance and joint ventures. His experience as a team leader, stretching over a decade, is in high-value, technical and expert-heavy cases. He frequently instructed in arbitrations in other jurisdictions, including Hong Kong and Singapore. James also acts as an arbitrator. He is recommended as a leading silk in Legal 500 UK and Asia-Pacific editions and in Chambers & Partners UK and Global guides.
"Tactically he’s very smart. He has strong analytical skills and a very good commitment to the cause." (Chambers UK, 2018)
"He’s good legally and also a good strategic thinker." (Chambers UK, 2018)
"...He provides authoritative advice and presents his case with impressive advocacy...." (Legal 500, 2017)
“…He has an amazing ability to crunch through the details of a very technical case…” (Chambers UK, 2017)