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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Oil and gas
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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The 'highly responsive and creative' oil and gas team at Allen & Overy LLP impresses clients with its 'excellent business acumen' and 'strength in depth'. On the projects side, Troy Edwards and Lorraine Bayliss are currently advising TAP - a joint venture between BP, SNAM, SOCAR and others - on all aspects of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline which will commence on the border between Turkey and Greece and run until Italy. John Geraghty handled Total's acquisition of Engie's portfolio of upstream and midstream LNG assets, and acted for the CPPIB in its $1.23bn acquisition of 45% stake in the Corrib gas field from Shell. Recent financing highlights include Andrew Castle's closing of the first stage of financing for an African oil company seeking to purchase shares in another company. The practice is jointly spearheaded by Gareth Price and Jeremy Parr with the support of arbitration and energy disputes expert Mark Levy QC.

Clients praise Ashurst 's 'quick responses and professional advice' and lending expert Huw Thomas and upstream M&A specialist Michael Burns are singled out as 'pragmatic and capable'. The practice covers the full life cycle of oil and gas projects and recently advised EnQuest on its acquisition of 25% of BP's interest in the Magnus field, the Sullom Voe terminal and two pipelines under the supervision of Julia Derrick . A major international conglomerate instructed a team led by Philip Thomson - who co-heads the practice with Burns - to oversee its provision of financing facilities to a private equity-backed independent oil and gas company which recently acquired substantial upstream assets in Northern Europe; also notable on the financing front is Nikhil Markanday 's counsel to two major banks as lenders in relation to bridge facilities for the partial funding of a major gas pipeline. The team is also currently intervening in the development of major projects, and Matthew Saunders is representing a number of LNG sellers in a dispute with a buyer arising from a long-term SPA.

Having been recently strengthened by the arrival of James Douglass from King & Wood Mallesons, the oil and gas practice at Baker Botts (UK) LLP recently acted for Rosneft in its investment in joint operations and acquisition of a 30% participating interest in the Shorouk offshore gas block from Eni. Practice head Mark Rowley is currently advising Quantum on all project structuring and development as well as the commercial and financing issues related to the Tema LNG floating receiving terminal in Ghana, and Hamish McArdle is acting for a major gas company in the sale of a portfolio of UK onshore shale licenses to a leading investor in the sector. Other key names include international dispute resolution partner Jay Alexander who recently represented a Middle Eastern state-owned energy company in a dispute with an independent oil company arising from contested obligations and liabilities in the context of a closed long-term contract for the operation of valuable assets, and senior associate Rob Butler. Former practice co-head Robin Mizrahi joined Covington & Burling LLP  with senior associate Laure Berthelot.

Alex Panayides , Graham Phillips and Ashvin Seetulsingh jointly head Clifford Chance LLP 's global oil and gas offering which recently handled Engie's $2bn sale of its portfolio of upstream LNG assets to Total, and assisted Shell with the disposal of a portfolio of North Sea interests and associated infrastructure to Chrysoar for $3.8bn. Russell Wells collaborated with a cross-office team to advise lenders on the development of a major cross-border gas pipeline project, and Brendan Moylan acted for a consortium of heavyweight investors in its agreement with a utilities company to acquire a 61% shareholding in its regulated gas distribution networks. The team also intervenes in contentious matters such as Audley Sheppard and Roger Best 's representation of a Middle Eastern state-owned investment company in an LCIA arbitration concerning contractual claims against an Asian sovereign wealth fund. Other key clients include Kerogen, Statoil and Petrofac.

The oil and gas practice at CMS is headed by the 'extremely knowledgeable and very experienced' Bob Palmer ; he and his team 'understand the industry extremely well and know what it takes to deliver an efficient, effective and value-added service to clients'. In recent highlights, OMV appointed the group to handle its acquisition of 24.99% shares in OJSC Severneftegazprom and JSC Gazprom for a stake in the Yuzhno-Russkoye giant gas field in Siberia from Uniper. Jonathan Woolf led a team acting for BP in its disposal of its entire interest in the Grangemouth terminal to INEOS and the sale of interests in a number of gas fields to Serica. On the contentious front, Phillip Ashley is 'a disputes lawyer who truly understands the business and how clients wants to be advised on litigation'; he is representing Dragon Oil in its dispute with Kuwait Energy over interests in Block 9 in Iraq. Richard Sinclair heads the firm's LNG practice while Andrew Shaw leads on offshore construction and supply chain matters. Also notable is associate Mick McArdle whose 'diligence and attention to detail ensures all work streams progress in a controlled manner'.

The sizeable global oil and gas practice at Dentons has a historic strength in emerging markets such as Africa, South America and the Middle East and recently bolstered its domestic presence through its merger with Scottish firm Maclay, Murray & Spens. Danielle Beggs and David Tennant - who jointly head the UK team - recently acted for the trading arm of a major gas producer in its entry into a gas sales and terminal agreement for the largest greenfield LNG-to-power project in Africa, and Alistair Black advised Pertamina on its first joint venture agreement with Rosneft to develop the new Tuban refining and petrochemical complex in East Java. Other key names include James Dallas who recently assisted the Government of Mozambique with the development of LNG export projects, and Charles Wood who has strong experience in regulatory mandates and upstream commercial issues. Among the firm's many recent new clients feature Vitol, Gazprom Neft and Cadent Gas.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides 'competent and timely advice on short notice' and its oil and gas practitioners are praised by clients for their 'generous support, timely advice and client-oriented approach'.  Rachel Lidgate and Reza Dadbakhsh were recently promoted to the partnership and Alexander Currie relocated to London from another office. A team headed by Craig Tevendale is currently representing a major oil and gas field operator in cost recovery disputes with a Central Asian government, and William Breeze acted for two lenders in the refinancing of an international oil and gas company's syndicated multi-tiered reserve-based facilities. Also notable is James Baily 's defence a group of oil majors as the owners of the Andrew Field in the North Sea in a Commercial Court claim brought by Scottish Power seeking damages following an extended shut-in of the field. Other key clients include Chevron, BNP Paribas, Cuadrilla and Vitol.

Hogan Lovells International LLP 'is first-rate for oil and gas work' according to one client who also describes Kieron O’Callaghan and counsel Ben Hornan as 'excellent lawyers'. The practice is led by Richard Tyler who currently acts as project counsel to the Shah Deniz consortium for the development of the landmark project, and is collaborating with Steven Bryan to advise Statoil on the proposed sale of its interests in the Teesside oil terminal. A major global oil company also appointed the group to oversee its entry into an African market through the procurement of an ultra-deep water project in the Atlantic Ocean, and counsel Ben Sulaiman continues to represent an oil major in the corporate, project development, commercial contract and maritime treaty advice arising from its high-profile discovery asset in Africa alongside Markus Burgstaller . The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of Sarah Shaw from Allen & Overy LLP and Arun Velusami from Norton Rose Fulbright .

Norton Rose Fulbright fields an 'experienced, highly-qualified team with in-depth knowledge of the oil and gas world'. A group of lenders appointed the group to advise on multiple financing transactions for over $2.5bn in connection with the Southern Corridor gas project, and Stephen Rigby acted for Hermes Investment Manager as part of the consortium which acquired a 61% stake in regulated gas distribution networks from National Grid. On the commercial front, Geoff Peters represented the ACG consortium - which includes BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil - in its negotiations with the government of Azerbaijan and its oil company to extend the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli production sharing agreement. The main names to note for contentious work are Neil Miller and Holly Stebbing . The 'excellent' practice head Nicholas Prowse always provides 'appropriate advice' and is also recommended.

White & Case LLP 'provides an extremely high level of service' through 'fast responses, deep industry knowledge and very strong teams individually put together for every transaction'. The practice recently acted for Harbour Energy, a special investment vehicle established by EIG, in its agreement to lead the $3bn acquisition by Chrysoar of a portfolio of North Sea assets from Shell.  Philip Stopford led the advice to Carbon Holdings on all aspects of the proposed Tahrir petrochemical project in Egypt, and Saul Daniel is currently assisting Saudi Aramco in its potential joint venture with Pertamina to expand and develop the latter's refinery in Indonesia. Also notable are Jason Kerr , Mark Clarke - who heads the EMEA oil and gas disputes practice - and the 'well-prepared' Mark Castillo-Bernaus who 'fights hard for the right result'. Along with the opening of a Houston office, the practice also bolstered its offering with the promotion to partner of Kamilla Azamat . David Baker has 23 years of experience of the oil and gas sector.

Akin Gump LLP's oil and gas offering covers corporate transactions, regulatory matters and energy disputes under the leadership of corporate specialist John C. LaMaster and litigator Justin Williams . The team is currently advising Soma on its new exploration project in offshore Somalia. and the Palestine Power Generation Company appointed the group to oversee its project to develop a power plant in Northern Palestine which will initially be fuelled by natural gas from Israel and then from Gaza. James Terry and Marc Hammerson acted for Nordic Trustee on the acquisition of the Xcite North Sea oil business by a SPV by Norwegian bond holders. Richard Hornshaw is also a key name to note; he represented Tatneft in English Court proceedings against four Ukrainian defendants seeking the recovery of $400m arising from allegations of fraud which allegedly deprived the client of revenue. Julian Nichol joined the firm's project finance group from Bracewell (UK) LLP .

Richard Blunt 's oil and gas offering at Baker McKenzie is currently advising Shell on its involvement in the Baltic LNG project and recently negotiated a production sharing contract with the government of Salah Aldeen in Iraq on behalf of Crown Energy. In other highlights, Tim Sheddick recently represented Macquarie in its consortium agreements regarding the all-cash £3.6bn acquisition of a 61% stake in National Grid's UK gas distribution business, and Neil Donoghue continues to counsel a power generation company alongside Calvin Walker with regards to the financing, construction and development of a new gas-fired plant in the UK. Steve Abraham is one of the main names to note for dispute resolution and international arbitration, and Marc Fèvre handles greenfield developments and project financing mandates. Corporate specialist David Duncan recently joined the firm from Allen & Overy LLP .

Bracewell (UK) LLP 'is slick and its responsive and personable lawyers are true experts in their field'.  One client regards practice head Jason Fox as 'the foremost expert in his field'; he recently acted for Delek Drilling on its $1.75bn financing for the development of the Leviathan gas field in offshore Israel, and assisted Neptune Energy with the debt financing of its $3.9bn acquisition of a majority stake in Engie. On the corporate side, Alastair Young advised Apache on the sale of its operated interest in the SAGE system and the Beryl pipeline to Ancala, and Martin Stewart-Smith led the advice to ENI with regards to the disposal of its 30% interest in the Shorouk upstream petroleum concession in Egypt to Rosneft. Also notable are Ben James, Darren Spalding and Adam Blythe who was recently promoted to partner.

The 'professional, responsive and first-class' oil and gas at Clyde & Co LLP provides 'flexibility to assist on anything from larger transactions to smaller more discrete mandates' and has a particular strength in dispute resolution. Philip Mace 'has first-hand knowledge of the industry and addresses matters promptly' and the 'very astute, determined and experienced commercial litigator' Richard Power 'fights his clients' corner very effectively'. Petrosaudi recently appointed a team led by David Bennett - who co-leads the practice with Michael Wachtel - to resolve its dispute with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA who hired the client's drilling rig and alleged ceased to pay fees and avoided delivering invoices. On the advisory side, Mark Walsh advised the subsidiary of an oil exploration company in the hive down of its interest in a major North Sea infrastructure asset which it held under a joint venture. Peter Stewart and David Hesse joined the firm's international arbitration offering from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP .

Clients describe DLA Piper as 'very flexible and commercially oriented'. The 'reasonable and reliable' Dimitri Papaefstratiou - who recently became head of the London energy and infrastructure projects team - 'always looks for the best solution for the client'. Sinopec recently appointed the team to handle its proposed acquisition of 75% of the shares in Chevron South Africa and 100% of Chevron Botswana, and Charles Morrison is part of the team which has been advising on all procurement, construction and engineering issues arising from the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria. On the contentious front, Philip Chong is representing Gazprom in a series of claims in two separate high-value arbitration proceedings in relation to two contracts with Ukrainian entities; other names to note for dispute resolution are James Carter and legal director Christina Lawrence . The arrival of counsel Kevin McGrory , who has substantial experience working on transactions in Africa and the Middle East, from PA Resources.

Latham & Watkins is noted for the 'remarkable strength of its team' jointly spearheaded by Simon Tysoe and Craig Nethercott , especially in the private equity and cross-border M&A space. Buckeye appointed the group to handle its acquisition of a 50% stake in independent global marine terminal business VTTI, and Tysoe oversaw Uniper's sale of 25% stake in the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field to OMV. On the financing side, Matthew Brown represented the borrowers and sponsors in the financing of the Penco Lirquén offshore LNG terminal and a connected gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Chile, and Clement Fondufe teamed up with Tysoe to advise Assala Energy - a Carlyle portfolio company - on the reserve-based lending facility for the acquisition of oil production assets in Gabon. Sophie Lamb successfully obtained the dismissal of two group claims against client Shell brought by thousands of residents in the Niger Delta on the grounds of alleged environmental pollution and human rights violations. Other key clients include ExxonMobil, Chevron and Anadarko.

At Linklaters LLP 'responsive times are very short and the industry knowledge is exceptional mainly due to the team's extensive track record in project finance deals'. In recent highlights, the 'very commercially-minded' practice co-head Daniel Tyrer led the advice to the Area 4 Partners with regards to the development of the Coral FLNG project in Mozambique, and Matthew Keats applied his deep understanding of the Russian market to assist the lender group with the multi-source financing for the construction of the Yamal LNG project. Mark Russell represented Eni in the sale of 35.7% stake in Eni East Africa, which equates to 25% indirect participating interest in Area 4, to a wholly-owned subsidairy of ExxonMobil. Ilia Ditiatev 'is able to reach compromises even in the most challenging stalemates between lenders and borrowers' and was recently made partner; she is another key name to note alongside Fiona Hobbs who jointly heads the practice with Tyrer. Other noteworthy clients include Rosneft, National Grid, BP and Total.

Milbank recently acted for Korean export credit agency K-sure and a host of other parties in the structuring and documentation of a complex multi-jurisdictional financing of an ethane ship under the leadership of John Dewar , and Clive Ransome is currently representing the lenders in the restructuring of the Damietta LNG project in Egypt. Also notable is Matthew Hagopian who is currently assisting the sponsors of a natural gas hub and power project in Brazil with all documentation and project financing aspects, and Manzer Ijaz who was part of the team overseeing the acquisition of an existing pipeline and related infrastructure as well as the development of a LNG export business in Northern Africa. Other key clients include Standard Chartered Bank, Husky Energy and JBIC.

Pinsent Masons LLP has an 'exceptional' team led by Aberdeen's Bob Ruddiman that 'balances well the needs of a junior resources company listed on the AIM and the business fundamentals of oil and gas and the fast-moving UK market'. The firm's oil and gas lawyers are 'knowledgeable, proactive and available' but Paul McGoldrick 'knows the industry extremely well' and is described by one client as 'a highly-respected leader in this space'. In recent highlights, Aberdeen-based Shirley Allen acted for Shell in its disposal of $3.8bn of UK assets to Chrysoar, and Rosalie Chadwick - who heads the firm's corporate finance department from Glasgow - advised Ithaca Energy on its takeover by Delek. On the projects side, George Booth continues to represent major oil companies in the development of their respective oil field interests in the Middle East. Also notable are head of the firm's Africa practice  Akshai Fofaria and Katharine Davies who sits in the litigation department and has a strong track record in commercial disputes.

Shearman & Sterling LLP covers the full gamut of oil and gas work including complex cross-border transactions, project financing and dispute resolution for an enviable client roster featuring names such as Mitsui, Petronas and BNP Paribas. Recent financing highlights include practice head John Inglis 's advice to SACE and its lenders with regards to the financing of the expansion of the Midor oil refinery in Egypt, and Sanja Udovicic is currently acting as international counsel to a group of lenders in the financing of the West Nile Delta project in offshore Egypt. Iain Elder is a key name to note for projects work as shown by his intervention in the development, project financing, construction and operation of a petroleum refinery in Uganda on behalf of the project company; also notable in this space is Nicholas Buckworth who represented the western shareholders in the Nordstream 2 in their gas transportation agreement negotiations. Delek also appointed a group led by George Karafotias to handle its cash offer for the acquisition of Ithaca.

Simmons & Simmons 's Adam Cooper advised the lenders on the project financing of a bulk liquids terminal for the import and storage of gas oil, LPG and LNG in Egypt alongside Adrian Nizzola . Also notable on the projects front is Patrick Wallace 's work for the Bulgarian state gas company with regards to the Greece-Bulgaria international pipeline as well as its participation in the Alexandroupolis LNG project in Greece, and the commercialisation of the Lokichar Basin oil discovery through two separate infrastructure projects on behalf of the government of Kenya. Michael Gavey oversaw the formation of a $1bn collaborative investment fund designed to tackle climate change on a global level on behalf of the World Economic Forum, and Jayne Bentham is currently representing a Turkish state entity in ICC arbitration proceedings pertaining to the construction of a pipeline as well as in enforcement proceedings in Jersey.

The 'responsive, accessible and thoroughly trustworthy' oil and gas offering at Vinson & Elkins RLLP is described as 'first class' by one client. The team is 'very attentive to the needs and urgencies of the matters clients approach them with' and spearheaded by Alex Msimang who 'is a to-the-point adviser and always available'. In recent highlights, associate Nadine Amr supported Msimang to handle Statoil's $2.5bn acquisition of a 66% interest and operational capacity in the offshore Carcara field from Petrobas, and Shaun Lascelles teamed up with counsel Simon Rootsey to oversee Vitol's sale of a 50% stake in the VTTI group to Buckeye Partners for $1.15bn. Key names on the projects side include construction specialist Andrew Nealon and finance expert Nabil Khodadad who are currently assisting SOCAR with its proposed development of a gas processing plant and petrochemical facility in Azerbaijan. On the contentious side, James Loftis is representing ExxonMobil in annulment arbitration proceedings brought by Argentina with regards to an award against it on the grounds of its violation of the US-Argentina bilateral treaty agreement.

The newly formed Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP fields an enhanced offering following the merger of the two entities and the recruitment of George Burn from Vinson & Elkins RLLP as global head of the international arbitration group. Alexander Keepin advised SDX Energy on its acquisition of a portfolio of oil and gas production and exploration assets in Egypt and Morocco from the administrators of one of Circle Oil's subsidiaries, and assisted the AIM-listed Pantheon with its $12.5m placing to accelerate its drilling activities in key areas. Peel Hunt instructed the group to oversee the readmission to the AIM of Serica Energy with regards to its proposed acquisition of certain North Sea assets from BP, and Adam Dann continues to represent a state-owned in certain aspects of the development and potential marketing of its offshore oil and gas potential.

Legal director and M&A specialist James Vernon recently joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 's oil and gas team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and acted for Essar in its $12bn disposal of Essar Oil. Other recent highlights include advising National Grid on the separation and subsequent sale of its gas distribution business, and Greg Hammond's advice to China National Petroleum Corporation in its acquisition of an 8% stake in a high-value onshore barrel onshore  concession project in Abu Dhabi. On the financing side Alex Doughty advised an oil company on a debt financing and subsequent restructuring of various facilities pertaining to the upgrade and expansion of an oil refinery in Eastern Europe. Robert Pitcher and Greg Hammond co-head the department. Other key clients include Shell, Lukoil, Vitol and Eni.

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP is 'a standout law firm' and 'a major player in the energy market, especially for drilling-related disputes', according to one client. The oil and gas lawyers are 'very client-focused and capable' and have 'an ability to manage cases efficiently and effectively'. The group represented a drilling contractor in a Commercial Court claim arising from the early termination of its contract for a semi-submersible unit, and represented Stena in High Court proceedings against Tullow regarding sums the client claimed were payable during the period of suspension of a contract. Key advisory work includes advising on the negotiation of shipbuilding contracts with a Korean company on behalf of Oceanus, and assisting TMS Cardiff Gas with its bids on a number of public tenders for the long-term chartering of LNG tonnage. Practice head and 'first-rate strategist' Glenn Kangisser is noted for his 'excellent legal and practical knowledge and considerable client skills' while clients recommend Simon Curtis for his 'unrivaled experience in the area'. Tom Ferns and Nicholas Foss-Pedersen joined from Rosenblatt and Teena Grewal , Fiona Cain and Helen Conybeare-Williams were promoted to counsel.

The 'very attentive' contractor-focused oil and gas lawyers at Ince 'have an outstanding knowledge base of the industry and react quickly as the matters develop'. In recent highlights, the practice handled the sale and leaseback of an LNG carrier to Chinese state-owned shipping company COSCO on behalf of Golar, and Jonathan Goldfarb - assisted by Mona Patel and Stephen Jarvis  - provided cross-border counsel to longstanding Gaslog with regards to an SPA to acquire 20% shareholding in Gastrade. On the contentious front Chris Kidd continues to lead the advice to a drilling contractor in connection with a claim against a shipyard arising from the severely delayed construction of a deep water drilling rig due to the shipyward's alleged failure to deliver the vessel on time. Simon Hems heads the practice and is also a key name to note alongside Renaud Barbier-Emery and Matthew Stratton . Clients also recommend 'remarkably driven and experienced' managing associate Phillippa Hook who 'ascertains the real issues quickly providing innovative but sound solutions instantaneously'. Jeremy Farr , Clare Kempkens and Charles Lockwood joined K&L Gates LLP .

The practice at K&L Gates LLP covers both conventional upstream and unconventional oil and gas mandates such as shale, coal-bed methane gas and underground coal gasification. Team leader Paul Tetlow and James Green are particularly active in the private equity and capital markets space; they recently acted for Faroe Petroleum in its Norwegian bond issue of $100m to fund ongoing development costs, and Green advised Hancock Natural Resource Group on the restructuring of the Waste Asset - a waste-to-energy partnership - following the sale by the Green Investment Bank of its interests in the partnership to Bioenergy. On the corporate side, Howard Kleiman led the advice to Halliburton on its acquisition of downhole sand-control technology company Darcy Technologies. Ian Meredith is currently representing the countries of Spain and France in their challenge against declaratory awards obtained by various defendants in international arbitration following the loss the M/T Prestige oil tanker off the coast of Spain in 2002.

King & Spalding LLP recently handled the $3.4bn acquisition of Songa for Transocean and continues to advise Anadarko on its landmark Mozambique LNG project. Garry Pegg and his team were appointed by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to oversee the implementation of the Tema LNG project including re-gasification and storage facilities and related infrastructure. Thomas Sprange QC and Sajid Ahmed are currently representing Reliance in three disputes against the government of India on the grounds of cost recovery, gas pricing and gas migration arising from a production sharing contract, and Egishe Dzhazoyan is leading the advice to a group of investors in their claim against the state of Kazakhstan following its allegedly illegal seizure of the clients' petroleum operations in 2010. Other notable contacts include Martin Hunt and Hywel Jones .

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP¬†'never fails to provide an excellent service even on a tight timescale'. The 'very pragmatic and solution-focused'¬†Peter Roberts¬†'is a true expert in his field'. The team is currently advising Tullow on complex arrangements for the sale and transportation of gas from a number of offshore fields in Ghana, and¬†Joanna Kay¬†and¬†Rebecca Downes¬†supported Roberts to assist Maersk Oil with the development of the crude oil export pipeline from¬†Lokichar to Lamu in Kenya. Also notable is¬†Matthew Williams¬†who is currently acting for Azito Energie and its joint venture shareholders on the phase 4 expansion of its gas-fired power project in C√īte d'Ivoire.¬†James Atkin¬†recently joined the firm's Tokyo office as co-head of its global oil and gas practice from¬†Vinson & Elkins LLP. Other key clients include the European Investment Bank, Orion Energy and Powell Industries.

With significant capabilities in both the transactional and contentious space, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP services an enviable client roster including names such as ExxonMobil, Toshiba and the republic of South Sudan. Lorenzo Corte acted for Engen in the sale of select downstream assets across Africa to the Vitol and Helios-owned Vivo Energy in exchange for a minority stake in Vivo, and advised a major global oil company in the acquisition of a 25% indirect interest in the Area 4 offshore block in Mozambique from Eni. David Kavanagh QC - who jointly leads the practice with Corte - successfully represented Ukrainian entrepreneur Gogol Bogolyubov in his appeal to the English High Court following the Court's decision to strike out his damages claim and discharge a worldwide freezing injunction. Also notable on the contentious front is Karyl Nairn QC . Financing highlights include Mark Darley 's work for Vivo with regards to a new $200m term loan facility to fund a dividend recapitalisation, and the new revolving credit facility which he handled for VTTI to refinance its existing facilities.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP¬†'s 'up-and-coming'¬†oil and gas team provides a¬†'very strong service' and is noted for its 'quick responses' and¬†'in-depth, insightful and practical analysis'. ¬†London managing partner¬†Richard Pollack¬†acted for BP on its agreement with Bridas to form a new integrated energy company by combining their interests, while the 'technically outstanding'¬†Kathryn Campbell¬†and John Horsfield-Bradbury¬†led the advice with regards to BP's $3.1bn SEC-registered bonds debt offering. Also notable are¬†Vanessa Blackmore¬†who assisted Statoil with its ‚ā¨20bn euro medium-term notes programme, and¬†Presley Warner¬†who teamed up with¬†Christopher Howard¬†to represent the administrative agent and lenders in revolving credit facility agreement in relation to the refinancing and bankruptcy protection of Gulfmark Offshore. Clients also single out the 'high-performing' senior associate¬†Emily Deddens¬†.

John Conlin 'is a relaxed and driven negotiator' and his oil and gas team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP provide an 'on-point, commercially expedient and high-quality legal service'. Clients also recommend dispute resolution expert Robert Fidoe who 'is an outstanding lawyer' and 'adept at managing complex technical disputes with a good eye for the crucial points'. Joe Levin recently advised a syndicate of banks including ING and BNP Paribas as lenders on a $1.55bn reserve-based lending facility to Chrysoar for the acquisition of a portfolio of UK North Sea from Shell, and the client-recommended Heike Trischmann acted as lead international counsel to a number of stakeholders within the government of Pakistan during the initial stages of an integrated LNG terminal project. In corporate highlights, Jan Mellmann assisted Saffron with its agreement to acquire the Italian oil and gas portfolios of Sound Energy and Po Valley Energy. Rod Chooramun is noted for his 'excellent management skills and strong commercial instincts' while Andrew Hutcheon has a strong track record in the energy disputes space. Colin Graham recently joined from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP .

Global co-head of project finance¬†James Simpson¬†jointly leads the oil and gas at¬†Winston & Strawn London LLP¬†with¬†Zo√ę Ashcroft¬†who also leads the London corporate and finance department. Recently bolstered by the transfer of¬†Stephen Jurgenson¬†from the firm's Dubai office, the practice advised Electrogas on all aspects of the innovative LNG-to-power project in Malta; of counsel¬†Jason Parker¬†also collaborated on this mandate. Parker and Simpson also teamed up as project counsel to a joint venture planning to build an LNG terminal and distribution facility in Southern Europe.

The 'precise and relevant' oil and gas team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is 'excellent on all accounts', according to one client. Practice head Paul Stockley and Aberdeen's Richard Cockburn are both noted as 'switched on and service-minded' and recently welcomed Thomas Williams from Boodle Hatfield LLP as litigation and international arbitration partner. Chrysaor instructed the firm to handle its acquisition of a number of North Sea assets from Shell, and Serica appointed the firm to assist with its takeover of BP's interests in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum gas fields in the North Sea. Tom Beezer is based in Southampton and represented Endeavour Energy in its dispute with joint venture partners regarding the costs of rig decommissioning operations in the North Sea. On the domestic front, Alex Hirom continues to advise Barking Power on the contractual aspects of the conversion of a large gas-fired power plant in East London.

The multi-disciplinary oil and gas offering at Addleshaw Goddard advises a wide array of domestic and international clients on downstream, midstream and upstream matters from its London, Leeds and Manchester offices. Angus Rollo and Guy Winter are the names to note in the London office; they have substantial experience handling corporate transactions in the sector such as BP's sale of its Belfast fuel terminal to Puma Energy. Gary Sector is rated for shale gas, coal bed methane or underground coal gasification projects. Corporate expert Anna Nerush is also recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP 'is increasingly regarded as an important oil and gas practice in London', according to one client. The 'very organised and cohesive' team 'has a strong set of dispute resolution partners and some outstanding senior associates'. In recent highlights, 'excellent advocate' and arbitration specialist Garreth Wong teamed up with Peter Knight to settle a dispute against Shell, Total and Mitsui for Vopak and Energas with regards to an LNG terminal in Mexico. Andrew Renton is currently advising Gazprom on the refurbishment and extension of the Pancevo refinery complex in Serbia, and Tom Snaith acted for Gates Corporation in its strategic acquisition of Techflow - a fully integrated engineering, manufacturing and commercial operation. Other key names include international co-head of the energy and infrastructure group Matt Bonass , securities and equity capital markets expert  Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling - both of whom recently joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP .

E&A Law Limited 'is extremely capable and knowledgeable with regards to the energy sector and EU energy law', according to one client. The 'very bright and proactive' director Ana Stanic 'knows how to build and present her case in a very convincing way' and 'she can turn her hand to concepts and strategies outside of most lawyers' remit'. Recent work includes substantial regulatory mandates, such as Stanic's advice to Milieu in connection with its report for the European Commission to analyse the laws of EU member states and the foreign ownership of energy infrastructure. Other notable work highlights includes acting for a European political party in its preparation of an analysis of the legislative changes proposed by the Commission and their effects on the energy market and climate change ambitions.

Fieldfisher advises clients on oil and gas infastructure matters, regulatory issues and energy disputes. Stuart Carter and associate Naomi Nguyen were part of the team which handled Cabot Energy's acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Rockhopper Civita, and Nodir Sidikov teamed up with Jonathan Brooks to advise KazMunaiGas Exploration on its offer to buy back shares and other securities held by minority stakeholders. Other names to note include Oliver Abel Smith , Dominic Gurney-Champion and Brad Isaac who have a strong track record in the banking and finance space, and Arik Aslanyan who spearheads the firm's Russia and CIS department. The firm's enviable client roster also includes names such as Total, President Energy and Eni.

With a particular strength in corporate transactions in Africa and Eastern Europe, the oil and gas offering at Fladgate LLP is spearheaded by Paul Airley who recently advised Roxi Petroleum on the proposed merger of its key assets, including the BNG project in Kazakhstan. David Robinson assisted PowerHouse Energy with a £2.5m placing and loan note conversion, and Grant Gordon and Nigel Gordon handled Eco Oil & Gas' admission to AIM and £5.09m placing. Also notable is consultant Neil Vickers who acted for Cantor Fitzgerald, GMP FirstEnergy and Stifel Nicolaus as joint bookrunners on a $40m accelerated bookbuild to enable TSX and SDX Energy to acquire the oil and gas assets of Circle Oil in Egypt and Morocco.

Graham Watson has experience in private and public M&A, capital markets and general commercial corporate advice and co-heads Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 's oil and gas offering with the New York-based Elliot Friedman . The group regularly handles project financing mandates and energy disputes, especially with regards to LNG projects in emerging markets.

Gowling WLG has substantial experience in the regulatory space as shown by John Cooper 's counsel to the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation with regards to an appeal brought to the Competition and Markets Authority by Firmus Energy. The group is overseeing a number of other disputes and arbitrations under the supervision Gordon Bell , Tom Price and Michael Darowski . Daniel Wood is currently leading the advice to a multinational engineering contractor with regards to monetary and scheduling issues arising from the reconstruction of a fuel storage facility in the UK, and practice head David Ponsford recently acted for Synergy Global Consulting in the negotiation and finalisation of a resettlement services agreement with a major oil and gas with activities in East Africa.

HFW 's oil and gas outfit is led by litigator and experienced arbitrator Paul Dean and represents oil majors, independents and service companies at every stage of a project's life cycle. Also notable on the contentious side is Alistair Feeney who previously acted for BP. With regards to advisory work, clients can rely on Nick Hutton and Jayson Marks for corporate and commercial mandates such as M&A transactions, joint ventures, equity capital markets and farm-ins.

The oil and gas lawyers at the 'truly excellent' Kerman & Co 'respond with alacrity, give excellent advice and have an all-encompassing knowledge of the market'. Praised as a 'tour de force', Simon Holden is recommended by clients alongside Una Deretic who 'provides excellent commercial and pragmatic advice'. In parallel with substantial capital markets mandates including share offers and fundraisings, the group handled Petrogas' $21m acquisition of seven sites and associated businesses from the Carsley Group under the supervision of Deretic and associate Coral Yu .  Corporate practice head Peter Kohl and solicitor Jack Kemmish are also key contacts.

The London oil and gas team at Locke Lord LLP covers every discipline in the oil and gas sector and fields an Africa and Latin America desk. James Channo is managing partner in the London office and acts as co-chair of the firm's EMEA international transactions practice; he recently acted for Shore Capital in the admission of Touchstone Exploration's common shares to trading on the AIM, and advised Bahamas Petroleum on the firm and conditional placing of new ordinary shares to raise £2.6m on the AIM. Kevin Atkins and senior counsel Nicholas Jennings handled several corporate mandates such as the acquisition of downstream assets in the North Sea. Also notable is Atkins' collaboration with Kevin Heath to oversee arbitration proceedings arising from the alleged breach of joint operation agreement obligations with regards to the development of an offshore project in Africa.

Robert Hamill spearheads the oil and gas offering at Mayer Brown International LLP and focuses on corporate finance, M&A and joint ventures. Along with the recently promoted partner Rebecca Bothamley he handled the equity fundraising of $19.5m for ongoing drilling operations in the Niger Delta on behalf of Eland Oil & Gas whom he also advised on shipping and offtake agreements. Devi Shah  and of counsel Alexandra Wood acted for the supervisors of Alpha Petroleum in the ongoing implementation of a company voluntary agreement of North Sea development and production company Alpha Petroleum. Salamander Solutions instructed the group to oversee its acquisition of MC AAA as part of its wider consolidation of heater cable technology companies.

Lisa O’Neill and counsel Elisabeth Moseley are the key names to note in McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP 's oil and gas practice. In recent higlights, the pair acted for industrial gas company Praxair in the global divestments to be made by the client and the Linde group required for their merger. An independent UK oil and gas company instructed the group to handle the sale of assets and the an asset swap transaction in Africa, while O'Neill assisted a new client with a farm-down and joint venture in West Africa.

Memery Crystal LLP 'has an excellent corporate financing and disputes, especially in the junior space, and is able to provide project and M&A services from its London office'. The practice is jointly led by Michael Dawes and Nick Davis ; Dawes led the advice to longstanding client Tlou Energy on an equity placing to raise A$5.2m, and Kieran Stone acted for Rose Petroleum in the reorganisation and subsequent fundraising of £3m through secondary placing of ordinary shares. In other highlights, an international oil and gas company instructed the group to oversee its proposed takeover via scheme of arrangement, and Andrew Titmas teamed up with Jane Marsden to handle Idemitsu Kosan's disposal of its entire issued share capital to Rockrose Energy. Capital markets expert and chairman Lesley Gregory is also a key contact.

The oil and gas practice at Michelet & Co Ltd. has a strong track record in the shipping and offshore space where David Gardner is currently representing an offshore drilling company in proceedings against a major drilling contractor who alleges the vessels recently ordered by the client are in violation of the claimant's patents. Associate Antony Brook - who joined from Ince with Hsu Mei O’Neill - is also a key name to note and recently advised a drilling contractor on the regulatory implications of its proposed sale of its older jack-up rigs for recycling. The team also welcomed Helle Kjærstad and Neila Cheeks from Reed Smith LLP .

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP's team represents sponsors, lenders, government and private equity investors across the downstream, midstream and upstream oil and gas sectors in a wide range of corporate matters. In recent highlights, the firm acted for High Power Petroleum in its acquisition of a majority stake in Cabot Energy. Lime Rock appointed a team led by Stephen Walters to oversee the sale of oil field services company TWMA to Buckthorn, while Bruce Johnston assisted VTB Bank as a partial guarantor of a $5.5bn loan by Interesa Sanpaolo to Glencore and Qatar Holding. Other key contacts include capital markets expert Carter Brod. Lewis Jones moved to Baker Botts (UK) LLP.

Ted Greeno spearheads the dispute resolution practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and is regarded by one client as 'simply the best oil and gas litigator in London'. He is currently representing a UK oil company in a potential dispute with a Middle Eastern government with regards to a long-term gas lifting agreement and an associated production sharing arrangement with the support of Jenni Lajzerowicz who recently arrived from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. James Bremen is leading the advice to a major independent oil company in two parallel dispute against its former EPC contractor in relation to a project in Central Asia, more specifically pertaining to the construction of undersea pipelines under two separate contracts. The group is also currently assisting a Canadian entity as claimant with a claim seeking damages on the basis that its joint venture partner breached an express duty of good faith and misrepresented the state of affairs.

Shepherd and Wedderburn represents British independent exploration and production companies in cross-border M&A and capital market transactions, and is described as 'the best oil and gas outfit in Scotland and one of the best in the UK' by one client. Practice head Stephen Trombala 'has strong business acumen and provides a dedicated team' which 'is plugged into the oil and gas market'. Petrolneos appointed the group to develop a suite of procurement suites for its relationships with third party supplier and contractors, while Trombala advised Celtique Energie on the sale of two of interests in two French permits to Investaq Energie. The 'thorough, knowledgeable' and recently promoted partner Ben Pilbrow  'is a rising star'; he has vast experience representing clients across all forms of dispute resolution including international arbitration and mediation. Also recently made partner is Tom Swan who acts in regulatory and corporate matters.

Slaughter and May 's oil and gas offering is particularly strong in corporate transactions and financing mandates. Steven Galbraith and Hywel Davies are the main names to note; they are currently leading the advice to Aker Energy with regards to its acquisition of Hess' interests in Ghana, and recently acted for Maersk in the competition and energy law aspects of the $8.1bn sale of Maersk Oil to Total.

Stephenson Harwood 's Stuart Beadnall has a strong track record dealing with the maritime aspects of the oil and gas industry and recently advised an offshore contractor on its floating production, storage and offloading vessel in connection with an oil field in the North Sea. Max Lemanski is currently representing the owner of a floating production storage and offloading unit undergoing a complete refit pursuant to its redeployment from the North Sea to the coast of Brazil, and the group recently handled an increasing volume of new LNG, FSRU and FLNG-related mandates. On the contentious side, clients can rely on Haris Zografakis - who heads the commodities practice - and Sean Gibbons who most recently handled a commercial litigation case pertaining to alleged unpaid fees on behalf of a state-owned oil and gas company.

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