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Leading individuals

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Noted for its team’s vast in-house experience, Brodies LLP acts for some of the leading oil and gas operators and service sector clients in the industry, such as Dana Petroleum, Total E&P and Transocean. In 2015, Clare Munro assisted INEOS Upstream with its entry to the offshore oil and gas market with two separate acquisitions. Greg May is particularly knowledgeable about the drilling industry. In the exploration and production space, Sonia Love assists operators with acquisitions and disposals, as well as joint venture agreements.

Burness Paull’s ‘industry knowledge and pragmatic approach are key strengths’. Recent highlights for Bruce McLeod’s team include acting for DEA in its joint venture with BP to develop five fields offshore in Egypt, and advising Canadian-listed oil company Sterling Resources on the $42.5m sale of its Romanian oil and gas interests to the Carlyle Group. Other clients include Parkmead, Marathon and Maersk. Robin Clarkson and Brian Hemming are recommended.

CMS has recently handled a high volume of M&A for BP, as well as restructurings for multiple independent exploration and production operators. It also advises clients on areas such as licensing, drilling and decommissioning. Stephen Millar heads the team, which acts for major players such as ConocoPhillips, Talisman Sinopec and Premier Oil. Norman Wisely acted for SSE on its £565m acquisition of a 20% interest in the Laggan-Tormore gas fields development from Total. Judith Aldersey-Williams and Lorna Dawson are also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s multifaceted oil and gas practice services clients across the UK and worldwide, and provides strengths in M&A, anti-bribery, capital markets, real estate and dispute resolution. Rosalie Chadwick and others acted for Total in the £585m sale of its North Sea midstream business to North Sea Midstream Partners. Bruce Craig, who specialises in oil and gas disputes, was hired from Mackinnons. Other key names in Bob Ruddiman’s team include Shirley Allen and Gillian Frew.

Bill Fowler’s team at Maclay Murray & Spens LLP advises on UK exploration and production activity in shale gas/fracking, corporate insolvency and restructuring, decommissioning, acquisitions/disposals of upstream assets, competition law issues and disputes. Clients include Vitol E&P, DNB Bank and GA Drilling. Industry veteran Jill Reid joined from Dana Petroleum and Nicola Rae was hired from KCA Deutag.

In addition to acquisitions and disposals of upstream oil and gas assets, Stronachs LLP’s team advises on exploration drilling, development, production and decommissioning issues. The firm is also active on the oil and gas supply chain side. In 2015, Ewan Neilson acted for Shandong Twin Marine in a multi-jurisdictional joint venture. Other key names are James Downie and James Muir.

In 2015, HBJ Gateley bolstered its upstream and supply chain practice with key additions to its Aberdeen office; Alison Sim joined the firm from Subsea 7, while another hire was legal consultant Philip Argo. Restructuring expert Addi Shamash, who recently made partner, relocated from Edinburgh to the Aberdeen office. Clients include LR Senergy, DOF Subsea UK and Verus Petroleum.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s Paul Hally and Stephen Trombala are names to note in a team that has a particularly strong track record acting for independent British exploration and production companies in M&A and capital markets transactions in the UK and worldwide. Trombala was lead adviser to Bowleven on its $250m sale of an aggregate 50% operated interest in the Etinde permit (offshore Cameroon) to Lukoil and New Age. John Rutherford joined the Aberdeen office from Pinsent Masons LLP.

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