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Allen & Overy LLP’s well-regarded practice saw a number of changes in 2015: Jaspal Gillar and Tim Scales relocated to London from the Abu Dhabi and Paris offices, respectively, and Jocelyn Land was promoted to partner. Lorraine Bayliss advised a syndicate of nine lenders including Bank of China on the $1.6bn refinancing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Troy Edwards advised Trans Adriatic Pipeline as the developer on the development and operation of a $1.5bn natural gas pipeline from the border between Turkey and Greece to southern Italy. The team, which includes John Geraghty, is jointly led by Gareth Price and Jeremy Parr.

A leading firm in the LNG sector’, Ashurst is noted for its ‘phenomenal’ expertise, which encompasses M&A, project development and finance matters, as well as disputes. The ‘outstanding’ Michael Burns advised Macquarie and Greenergy on the establishment of Navigator Terminals and its acquisition of a number of Vopak’s UK storage facilities. Practice head Philip Thomson and Nikhil Markanday have been advising the lenders to Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and APM Terminals on their bid for the Bahrain LNG terminal project. Clients also recommend Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill, who stands out for his ‘good judgement’, newly promoted partner Julia Derrick, and Matthew Saunders, who joined from DLA Piper. Mark Clarke joined White & Case LLP.

CMS’ ‘exceptional team’ provides ‘excellent service, particularly in relation to procurement advice and litigation’. ‘Outstanding’ practice head Bob Palmer advised Roc Oil on its $17m disposal of a UK-registered subsidiary to Faroe Petroleum, which included assisting with due diligence issues. Palmer also advised Ping Petroleum and Hibiscus Petroleum on their acquisition of the North Sea Anasuria cluster from Shell and Esso. The team includes Penelope Warne, who leads the wider energy group, and litigation expert Phillip Ashley, and was strengthened by Jonathan Woolf’s arrival from BP.

Clifford Chance LLPdelivers on all levels of strategic, commercial and practical advice’. Steven Fox and Russell Wells advised Statoil on the $2.3bn disposal of its interests in the Shah Deniz gas field to Petronas. Wells has been advising the prospective lenders on the development of the Trans Adriatic gas pipeline. M&A specialist Graham Phillips, Ashvin Seetulsingh and ‘always responsive’ disputes expert Alex Panayides jointly lead the team.

Dentons’ ‘first-class’ oil and gas team is headed by ‘pragmatic problem-solverDanielle Beggs and ‘knows the industry well’. James Dallas is advising the Government of Mozambique on the development of Mozambique’s gas resources through a landmark LNG project, which involved project structuring and financing issues. Charles Wood and the ‘quick and directDavid Tennant, who specialises in midstream work in the domestic market, are also recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice has been seeing a significant increase in disputes and instructions regarding alternative capital providers. Litigation specialist James Baily successfully defended BP, Eni, Talisman Sinopec Energy and JX Nippon, the owners of the Andrew Field in the North Sea, against an £85m claim brought by Scottish Power as the buyer under a long-term GSA before the Commercial Court concerning the prolonged shut-in of the Andrew Field. Anna Howell, who was appointed co-head in 2015, led the team advising Carlyle International Energy Partners on its acquisition of Sterling Resources’ Romanian business. Also recommended are fellow joint head John Balsdon, Stephen Murray and the ‘very commercial’ Thomas Bethel.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘highly qualified and specialist team’ provides ‘good coverage across the board’. Nick Prowse has been advising Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority’s investment arm Nogaholding on the development of the Bahrain LNG terminal project, including advice on the shipping and financing aspects. The ‘excellent’ Kimberley Wood advised Amni International Petroleum Development Company on its $31m acquisition of Afren’s interest in the Okoro oil field offshore Nigeria.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is noted for its ‘sound legal advice backed by solid commercial thinking’, which it applies to corporate transactions, disputes and regulatory matters. Robert Aulsebrook advised Lukoil on the $1bn financing of the Shah Deniz oil field. Co-head John LaMaster has been assisting Soma Oil & Gas with a landmark exploration project off the Somali coast. The group’s arbitration expertise was strengthened by Hamish Lal’s arrival from Jones Day. Litigation expert Justin Williams also heads the team.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP’s practice has ‘excellent knowledge of the law and of foreign legal environments’, making it a natural choice for ‘fulfilling complicated and creative tasks’. Stuart McIntyre led the team advising Höegh LNG on the $300m development and financing of a LNG receiving terminal off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The practice is jointly led by Mark Rowley, who stands out for his ‘wide sector experience’, and Rubin Weston, who specialises in transactions involving Russia and the CIS. Other clients include ExxonMobil, Petrobras and Cobalt International Energy.

Bracewell (UK) LLP is ‘a pleasure to work with’, and for some clients ‘unmatched’ in financing transactions. Darren Spalding has been advising Ophir Energy on the $2bn development of its floating LNG project in Equatorial Guinea. Practice head Jason Fox, who is noted for his ‘unparalleled experience and expertise’, advised a syndicate led by Société Générale on a $150m first-of-its-kind reserve-based lending facility to Cobalt International Energy regarding its interest in the Heidelberg field in the Gulf of Mexico. Clients also recommend Olivia Caddy and Alastair Young.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice further strengthened its already impressive contentious expertise with the arrival of disputes specialists Richard Power and Paul Dillon from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Reed Smith LLP, respectively. It was appointed to Total’s global panel in 2016. Other clients include Apache, African Petroleum and PetroSaudi. The group is jointly led by international arbitration specialist David Bennet and Michael Wachtel, who leads on transactions.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s department is jointly led by Graham Watson, whose experience includes handling corporate transactions in Latin America and Africa, and Elliot Friedman, who specialises in energy disputes. Clients also recommend Tim Pick.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, LNG expert Richard Tyler led the team advising Claims Validation Services (CVSL) and Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) on implementing regulatory changes introduced by the new EU gas network codes, and continues to act as sole project counsel for the Shah Deniz Consortium. Clients also recommend David Moss, who is experienced in handling upstream and downstream work. Other clients include BP, Statoil and Kuwait Petroleum. David Levin is now in-house counsel at Nekton Group.

Jointly led by Daniel Tyrer, Mark Russell and associate Andrew Penfold, Linklaters LLP’s practice has been advising Black Rhino Group as the sponsors on the $1.5bn development, financing, construction and operation of the Horn of Africa pipeline. Richard Ginks and associate Katie Williams acted for LetterOne on its $5.7bn acquisition of RWE Dea, which holds 162 licences in 14 countries. Clients also recommend Fiona Hobbs and global practice head Jeremy Gewirtz.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP primarily acts for lenders on project development and financings, but is also experienced in assisting creditors with distressed situations. Clive Ransome continued to advise the lenders on the restructuring of the SEGAS LNG project. Co-head John Dewar has been advising Standard Chartered Bank, RBS and Barclays as the lenders on a number of shale gas financings to Reliance Holdings. The team includes Manzer Ijaz, who specialises in upstream, LNG and cross-border pipeline transactions. Dewar leads the practice with Phillip Fletcher.

A good choice for upstream work’, Pinsent Masons LLP has particular expertise handling M&A transactions and equity capital markets matters. Rosalie Chadwick and the ‘well-regarded’ Paul McGoldrick advised Total on the £585m sale of its North Sea midstream business, which includes the St. Fergus gas terminal, to North Sea Midstream Partners. On the contentious side, Katharine Davies defended Talisman Sinopec Energy in two Commercial Court actions valued at over £150m concerning contractual construction issues regarding the operation of its offshore oil fields in the North Sea. Aberdeen-based practice head Bob Ruddiman is also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s team is noted for its ‘thorough knowledge of market practice’. The ‘friendly, resilient and effectiveSanja Udovicic regularly advises lenders such as development banks, export credit agencies and Islamic financiers. Alexander Uff has been representing Egyptian state-owned companies EGAS and EGPC in two parallel arbitration matters regarding the performance and termination of a long-term GSA with East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) to supply gas for sale in Israel. John Inglis heads the practice.

Vinson & Elkins RLLPprovides sound practical advice in a timely fashion’ on matters ranging from high-profile M&A transactions, financings and disputes. ‘Highly trusted’ practice head Alex Msimang and Paul Deemer advised Africa Oil on the farm-out of 50% of its interest in a number of upstream oil and gas assets in Kenya and Ethiopia to a subsidiary of Maersk Oil. Project finance head Nabil Khodadad has been advising Uzbekneftegaz on the $5.6bn construction and financing of a GTL project in Uzbekistan. Other clients include Sinopec, Statoil and Deutsche Bank.

White & Case LLP’s ‘flawless’ group stands out for its ‘high degree of industry knowledge’, which covers a wide range of matters. Project financing is a core strength; practice head Jason Kerr and Carina Radford advised Saudi Aramco as co-sponsor on the development and financing of the $8bn expansion of a petrochemicals complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. The ‘extraordinarily capableSaul Daniel and ‘outstandingPhilip Stopford, who heads the global oil and gas practice, advised LG Chem, United Chemical Company and SAT & Co as the sponsors in the $4bn development and financing of a petrochemical facility in Kazakhstan. The team was strengthened by Mark Clarke and Paul Griffin’s arrival from Ashurst and Allen & Overy LLP, respectively.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s ‘strong’ department is headed by Hugh Stewart and has ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Neil Donoghue advised Tata Petrodyne on its farm-in of a 25% interest in two oil exploration licences in Tanzania. Richard Blunt advised Vitol on the sale of its subsidiary Arawak Energy to Russian upstream group BMM. Other clients include Shell, Sonangol and Eni. Jeremy Winter has retired.

Headed by M&A specialist Alistair Mackie, Holman Fenwick Willan is ‘a growing force in the area’. The ‘responsive, commercial and pragmatic’ Jayson Marks has particular expertise acting for upstream and oil field service companies. Disputes expert Brian Perrott is also recommended. Clients include Tullow Oil, Maersk and BP.

Ince & Co is ‘excellent in the disputes field’ and is considered ‘a go-to firm for any offshore oil and gas matters’. Jonathan Goldfarb advised long-term client Golar LNG on a commercial agreement with Perenco Cameroon regarding the development of a floating LNG project offshore Cameroon. Practice head Jeremy Farr is ‘a client’s best friend’. Other clients include Dragon Oil, Petrofac and Shelf Drilling.

King & Spalding International LLP’s ‘very good’ team is headed by Garry Pegg, who has been advising Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on the $600m development of the Tema LNG project. Led by Philip Weems and of counsel Nina Howell, the group continued to advise Anadarko on all aspects of its $50bn Mozambique LNG export project. Other clients include Chevron, Angola LNG and GE Oil & Gas.

A ‘solid choice’, Latham & Watkins’ team is ‘particularly knowledgeable on financings’. ‘Excellent team headDennis Nordstrom advised Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as co-sponsor with Chevron in a $1.2bn drilling project. Simon Tysoe has been advising Bomin Linde LNG on a joint venture with SGD logistika to supply LNG to terminals in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Craig Nethercott and Kem Ihenacho are also recommended.

Simmons & Simmons’ financing capabilities were strengthened by the arrival of Omar Al-Ali from Linklaters LLP. Adam Cooper has been advising IFC, the EBRD and Commercial International Bank as the lenders in the financing of a bulk liquids terminal for the import and storage of gas oil, LPG and LNG in Egypt. The team is led by Patrick Wallace.

Led by co-head Hywel Davies, Slaughter and May has been advising Premier Oil on the proposed $120m acquisition of E.ON’s assets. Andrew Johnson assisted INEOS with its successful bid for three shale gas licences in the East Midlands. Steven Galbraith also leads the team.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s team has ‘real knowledge of the market’. The ‘sensible and commercialStewart Robertson has been advising Yemen LNG on its $4.8bn upstream pipeline and LNG liquefaction project in Balhaf. Other highlights included advising on the Dolphin gas project and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline refinancings. Clients also recommend the ‘hardworkingCraig Jones and Jamie Logie.

At Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, practice head Adam Dann and planning partner Tim Smith have been advising Halite Energy Group on all aspects of its £600m development of an underground gas storage facility in Lancashire. Segun Osuntokun leads on oil and gas disputes. The team was strengthened by Alexander Sarac’s arrival from DLA Piper. Mark Saunders has left.

DLA Piper’s team often handles Africa-related projects, and is adept in cross-border arbitration and litigation. Dimitri Papaefstratiou has been advising Unión Fenosa Gas and SEGAS as the sponsor and project company, respectively, on the SEGAS LNG project. Other clients include Gazprom, Sinopec and Oando. Charles Morrison heads the team. Matthew Saunders moved to Ashurst.

Headed by Abayomi Akinjide, Fasken Martineau LLP has been increasingly active on a broad range of African projects in jurisdictions such as Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The team includes Al Gourley, who specialises in complex corporate finance matters and M&A transactions. Clients include GMP Securities, Kea Petroleum and NNPC.

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP, practice head Lewis Jones has been advising BG Group as one of the lead sponsors on the development of a major LNG project in Tanzania. The team includes Olivier Chambord, who specialises in oil and gas transactions in francophone Africa, and David Waldron, who leads on disputes.

Led by practice head Scott Simpson, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP has been advising LetterOne on its $5.8bn acquisition of the oil and gas unit of RWE. Other clients include the Republic of South Sudan, Vitol and Helios Investment Partners. Douglas Nordlinger has retired.

For some, Stephenson Harwood’s ‘very proactive’ team is ‘top tier for oil and gas litigation’. ‘Very bright’ co-head Tony Concagh has been advising Opus Offshore on the deployment of a drillship to Samurai International Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico. Stuart Beadnall and Tony Edwards also lead the team. Geoff Gouriet is now at Towergate Insurance.

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