Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Energy & natural resources

Energy & natural resources represents a significant and growing area of work for Fountain Court.

Members listed in this area have specific energy experience, across all forms of energy (oil, gas, nuclear, electricity) with growing expertise in international extractive resources disputes, including mining, drilling, exploration and joint venture disputes.

Fountain Court derives its work in this field from four main sources:

(i) Industry disputes arising between energy corporates (extractors, generators, producers, suppliers etc.), frequently arising in the context of joint venture projects and commonly the subject of international arbitration in London (or elsewhere);

(ii) Disputes concerning the financing arrangements relating to energy and natural resources generation /production/supply;

(iii) Disputes arising out of major incidents and spills,

(iv) Disputes concerning the insurance and reinsurance arrangements relating to the above.

In the last five years, we have advised and assisted on disputes in South Africa, Italy, The Yemen, and Pakistan, the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, as well as Russia and CIS states, such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

We are also expert at dealing with any related litigation in respect of offshore corporate aspects of such disputes.  Cases have involved Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Yemen, the United Kingdom and offshore corporate jurisdictions.

Members are also very familiar with high-value cases, having handled energy disputes ranging up to $50bn in value, showing the commercial trust vested in members as a result.

We regularly handle multi-jurisdictional and multi-party litigation and arbitration cases that arise in this sector thanks to our experience in this demanding field.

The experience that comes with regular instruction by the world’s largest energy companies, aligned to top-class legal acumen, and excellent, measured advocacy, ensures Board-level reassurance to corporate clients that their claims are being well managed.

Members are familiar with cases involving energy joint ventures, and dealing with multi-million dollar disputes arising from the negotiation of and the acquisition/disposal of interests in a joint venture in respect of oil and gas resources, or later disputes over agreements for capital investment in and exploitation of projects for extraction/refinement of resources with associated infrastructure projects.

The set can also advise on complex disputes centred on the ownership and operation of energy concessions (an exclusive right granted by a host country to explore and develop oil), and help clients determine issues relating to the entitlement and disposal of resources generated from production from such concessions.

Previous highlighted cases include the Masri litigation, a US$100m multi-jurisdictional dispute, as well as related Jersey, English, Lebanese and other foreign court proceedings, and the UK £1bn Buncefield litigation involving Total and Shell, amongst others.

2013 saw success for the set in the case of Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone & Gulf Keystone, in the defence of a claim for approximately $1.7 billion, in one of the Commercial Court longest trials of recent times, marked out as one of The Lawyer magazine’s Top Cases.