A pre-eminent firm in the Scottish oil and gas market, Brodies LLP is considered a ‘go-to firm for any offshore oil and gas-related matters’ and in May 2023, it expanded its international offering by opening an office in Abu Dhabi. The ‘outstanding’ Clare Munro leads the team, bringing extensive experience in corporate oil and gas matters, including asset acquisitions and disposals and related diligence exercises. Greg May leads the firm’s service-sector offering and has over two decades of experience in the drilling sector, with considerable international project experience spanning Europe, North America and the Middle East. Rhona McFarlane has experience of all aspects of UKCS upstream and midstream work, including joint ventures, field developments and transportation agreements. Sonia Love left in December 2022 for an in-house role at TotalEnergies, while Bryan Wilson recently relocated to Abu Dhabi to play a key role in the firm's new Middle East operation.
Oil and gas in Scotland
Other key lawyers:
Greg May; Rhona McFarlane
‘Highly knowledgeable and respected.’
‘A dedicated resource for oil and gas companies with practical and relevant experience, rather than being a team inflated by the inclusion of other solicitors who happen to have participated in transactions with oil and gas companies.’
‘Greg May brings complete confidence that he will be able to offer help with whatever query may cross his desk.’
‘The team is made up of very talented lawyers, most of which have either spent time working in-house before joining Brodies, or have been seconded in-house during their time with the firm. The result is a group of lawyers that provide very useful, pragmatic legal support with an appreciation of what is and is not important to in-house counsel.’
‘Greg May has unrivalled expertise when it comes to oil and gas service-sector contracts. Greg is extremely commercially aware, which is invaluable from an in-house legal perspective.’
‘Really good depth across the team with a wide range of experience in oil and gas matters ranging from projects to disputes and employment. Lots of good knowledge and different teams within Brodies work well together to make it easy for the client.’
‘Clare Munro is highly experienced and incredibly commercial.’
‘Deep knowledge and experience of the energy industry.’
North Sea Midstream Partners
The ‘market-leading’ oil and gas team at CMS consists of ‘true experts’, with the Aberdeen-based practice well versed in high-value and complex M&A, supply chain contract negotiations, projects-related matters and disputes. Practice head Norman Wisely has extensive experience of leading on acquisitions and disposals of UKCS and international offshore and onshore oil and gas assets. Judith Aldersey-Williams advises major clients on a range of commercial contracts, including joint operating agreements, infrastructure projects and gas sales agreements. Paula Kidd’s practice focuses on supporting existing and new entrants on emerging energy transition projects, while Graeme Clubley is highly regarded for his skills concerning farm-outs, decommissioning security arrangements, and oil and gas projects.
Other key lawyers:
Judith Aldersey-Williams; Paula Kidd; Graeme Clubley
‘The CMS oil and gas team are true experts. They are not just M&A or projects lawyers serving clients in the oil and gas industry; they live and breathe the issues, opportunities and experiences that their clients in the industry face.’
‘The team does not just churn deals – they are at the forefront of advising on all of the “hard things” facing the oil and gas industry in today’s economic and geopolitical climate.’
‘The partners in the oil and gas team are incredibly easy to work with. They are approachable and available, you don’t need to spend time getting them up to speed, because they just “get it”.’
Oil Spill Response
Korea National Oil Corporation
Stadtwerke München GmbH
Spark New Energies
- Advised MOL, the Hungarian national energy company, on the sale of its entire UK business to Waldorf Production.
- Advised TAQA (and its co-venturers NEO Energy and Spirit) on the exercising of its rights under Brae operating agreements to have the interest of defaulting co-venturer forfeited to them. This was a first for the UKCS raising many important and difficult issues.
- Advising on sale of 36.5% interest in Corrib gas field (Ireland) via a sale of Equinor Ireland to Vermilion.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP boasts a highly reputable oil and gas practice in Scotland, regularly handling significant M&A deals and associated financing agreements, as well as equity capital markets transactions, both in the UK and internationally. Global head of oil and gas Rosalie Chadwick leads the practice and is adept at corporate finance transactions in the oil and gas sector. Bruce McLeod is a key contact and has over 25 years of experience acting on M&A, infrastructure and joint venture negotiations, with particular expertise in North Africa and the East Mediterranean. Leading the decommissioning and repurposing group is Shirley Allen, who also has a keen interest in the re-use of offshore infrastructure and depleted oil fields for low carbon purposes. Below partner level, legal directors Neil Hehir continue to lead the supply chain and offshore contracting offering, while Rachel Warner has particular experience in the acquisition, disposal and operation of offshore assets.
Other key lawyers:
Bruce McLeod; Shirley Allen; Neil Hehir; Rachel Warner
‘The Pinsents team are excellent over the breadth of practice areas in the oil and gas sectors.’
‘Good experienced team based in Aberdeen. High-quality partners with good UKCS and also international experience.’
‘Bruce McLeod has great experience in oil and gas matters, particularly in Egypt. He is very user-friendly and very commercial given his background in legal and non-legal roles.’
Delek Group / NewMed Energy
Scirocco Energy plc
TotalEnergies (we are also on the UK panel)
Pharos Energy plc
Jersey Oil & Gas plc
Sound Energy plc
Capricorn Egypt plc
Siccar Point Energy
Oriental Energy Resources Limited
- Advised Ithaca Energy plc on its £2.5bn IPO and premium listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, raising gross proceeds of £262.5m.
- Advised Ithaca Energy on its $1.5bn acquisition of Siccar Point Energy from sponsors Blackstone Energy Partners and Blue Water Energy and the management team. The acquisition accelerated Ithaca’s growth, positioning it as one of the leading E&P operators in the UK North Sea through the addition of four of the UK’s largest oil and gas fields by reserves to its portfolio.
- Advised Afentra plc, an AIM-listed upstream E&P company focused on supporting an effective and just energy transition in Africa, on its acquisition of non-operated working interests in oil fields offshore Angola, from Sonangol for up to $130m and from INA for up to $33m.
Burness Paull LLP draws experience from specialists across a broad range of disciplines to offer a full-service oil and gas offering, encompassing regulatory, corporate finance, dispute resolution, employment and health and safety, also being active at the forefront of the transition to net-zero. The team is led by Bob Ruddiman, who has ‘excellent upstream experience and market knowledge unrivalled in the local market’, and regularly represents energy majors, independents, utilities, and private equity houses across multiple jurisdictions. Consultant Brian Hemming has over three decades of experience advising on M&A deals, joint ventures and project agreements; director David Smith left in June 2022 for an in-house role at Energy Legal Solutions.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice is unique in that it combines solid legal work with pragmatic business solutions where needed. This is refreshingly different from many practices which approach from a ‘legal’ perspective only.’
‘Bob Ruddiman provides really practical business advice and a good broader view of the business needs.’
‘Bob Ruddiman is highly experienced and incredibly useful from a strategic point of view. Bob is ideal for issues that require gravitas, and particularly helpful for issues at board level.’
‘A team with a broad focus and experience. Team head Bob Ruddiman has excellent upstream experience and market knowledge that is unrivalled in the local market.’
‘The team has restructured to bring together its traditional M&A practice (which had a substantial oil and gas focus), its upstream practice and its renewables practices under a single “energy” practice. This seems to have allowed it to operate on a leaner basis, reacting and pivoting to where the opportunities are without carrying the costs of true specialist teams.’
‘Bob Ruddiman is extremely personable, quickly able to understand issues and come up with practical solutions, often with reference to his deep experience.’
‘Burness Paull’s oil and gas practice has a wide breadth of expertise and always provides advice with rapid response time.’
‘Brian Hemming is knowledgeable and vastly experienced.’
National Oilwell Varco
NZTC (Net Zero Technology Centre)
- Advised Savannah Energy on its readmission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange following the completion of its $407m acquisition of ExxonMobil’s upstream and midstream asset portfolio in Chad and Cameroon.
- Advised i3 Energy plc on its secondary placing of existing shares by two of its principal shareholders for an aggregate consideration of £16.2m.
- Advising a client in respect of the acquisition and conversion of a drill ship to become a low emission FPSO for deployment in the redevelopment of a significant UKCS oilfield and to acquire an equity interest in that oilfield.
Stronachs LLP is notable for its strength advising on domestic and international upstream acquisitions and disposals, field developments and the energy transition. James Downie, who is dual-qualified in England and Wales, and Scotland, was appointed as team head this year, and is particularly sought after by UK companies for his expertise regarding decommissioning. He is supported by James Muir, who focuses heavily on transactional and projects work, both in the UK and internationally.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good-quality local team in Aberdeen, close to the clients and the local market, but also able to provide great support on international matters.’
‘James Muir is absolutely fantastic and provides quality support and advice to businesses during some challenging times.’
‘James Downie leads a solid team.’
‘There has been great interaction between the firm’s offering in the energy space alongside their offering in dispute resolution, with the combined service delivery of those two being seamlessly delivered.’
‘James Downie is incredibly knowledgeable and maintains a specialism on decommissioning matters. His mix of specialist legal input delivered in a pragmatic and common-sense way is very welcome.’
Black Sea Oil & Gas
- Advised Harbour Energy plc on a suite of logistics contracts.
- Advise Black Sea Oil & Gas on the Midia Gas Development Project – which has involved ongoing construction of the onshore/offshore facilities, the completion of the installation of the Ana gas production platform in the Black Sea (the first offshore platform built and installed in Romania in the past 30 years) and drilling of production wells. |