Most Highly Regarded Firms: Oil & Gas 2010

We have selected the 420 leading oil and gas lawyers according to the results of our research in 69 jurisdictions to be included in this publication.

The International Who's Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers 2010
Most highly regarded individuals
Charles Wood Denton Wilde Sapte LLP, London
Paul Griffin Herbert Smith LLP, London
Elisabeth Eljuri Macleod Dixon LLP, Caracas
Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill Ashurst LLP, London
David Asmus Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Houston
J Jay Park QC Macleod Dixon LLP, Calgary
Antony Higginson Baker Botts LLP, London
Paulo Valois Pires Schmidt Valois Miranda Ferreira & Agel Advogados, Rio de Janeiro
Philip Weems King & Spalding LLP, Houston
Gbenga Oyebode Mfr Aluko & Oyebode, Lagos

Global Leaders

Vinson & Elkins LLP has the largest number of lawyers featured in this book. The firm has more than doubled its presence in the edition with a total of 22 individuals based in seven countries. Vinson & Elkins’ Houston office receives the most inclusions. Joseph Dilg is managing partner of the firm, and in addition to being well regarded for his expertise in acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and financings, he has led its global growth strategy. The “top-notch” Douglas Bland serves as the project finance and development practice group leader and has a broad spectrum of experience within the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Stephen Davis has practised at the firm for 27 years and is the founding member of the project finance and development practice group. The “excellent” Robin Fredrickson specialises in drafting and negotiating joint venture agreements, exploration and development and drilling programme agreements. Fielding Cochran III has been representing producers and pipeline companies for over 35 years. T Mark Kelly is global business chair of the firm and represents oil field service, gas marketing, exploration and production companies. Henry May has extensive experience in the regulatory, policy and transactional areas in the natural gas sector. James Tipton Jr focuses his practice on the acquisition, disposition and merger of companies and assets in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Christopher Dawe specialises in acquisitions, joint ventures and project financing. David Andril is managing partner of the Washington, DC office and heads the energy regulatory practice group. He has expertise in gas sales, transport contracting and the regulation of the natural gas industry. In New York, David Cohen advises a range of clients in relation to their acquisition, development and financings. Boyd Carano has expertise in advising multinational clients on their mergers and acquisitions and development projects. Paul Deemer is co-managing partner of the Beijing and Shanghai offices and the most highly rated lawyer based in China. He is referred to as a “very skilled individual” and has worked on Chinese oil and gas projects since the early 1990s, representing major international clients. Jay Kolb is known for his projects and M&A practice that spans Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States with particular expertise in LNG projects. David Blumental is chief representative of the firm’s Shanghai office and has a “distinguished” projects practice. Alexander Msimang is managing partner of the firm’s London office and provides “superb” counsel to clients particularly in relation to their activities in the African and European energy sectors. Michael Doble has expertise in Asia and the Middle East and has more than 30 years experience in the energy sector. The “terrific” Lewis Jones is the managing partner of the UAE office and advises clients on pipeline, LNG and upstream projects. Christopher Strong focuses his practice on project development, finance and mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the upstream sector. Rob Patterson is managing partner of the Moscow office and is recommended for his cross-border mergers and acquisitions, development and project financing work. James Atkin is a “definite inclusion” and advises clients on transactional and regulatory matters in the Middle East, Asia and Europe while James Cuclis is managing partner of the Hong Kong office and has 25 years’ experience of advising clients on their global transactions. He represented an Australian energy client in relation to a A$2.5 billion sale to a major Asian energy company.

Baker Botts LLP performs strongly in our research with 14 lawyers featured in five countries. In Houston, Hugh Tucker is “brilliant” as head of the global projects department and leader of the firm’s oil and gas section. He focuses his practice on acquisitions and sales of refineries, companies and shale assets. George Goolsby has 35 years of experience in exploration, development, production and transportation. Kevin Keenan advises clients on crude oil refining and LNG-related infrastructure in the US, Aruba, Bahamas, Mexico and the United States. The “very knowledgeable” James DeMent Jr is well regarded for his Latin American expertise. Jason Bennett is based in Dallas and concentrates his practice on development, project finance and acquisitions in the LNG and natural gas sectors. Three lawyers are listed in Washington, DC, including the “outstanding” Steven Miles who serves as energy sector chair and heads the project development and finance section in addition to the LNG practice. Bruce Kiely heads the global projects group in Washington, DC and focuses his practice on strategic planning, regulatory oversight and litigation,while Thomas Eastment leads the energy regulatory section and concentrates his practice on litigation and regulatory policy issues. Steven Wardlaw manages the Moscow office and is recommended for his expertise in the structuring and development of liberalised markets in the gas sector.

Antony Higginson is based in London and is one of the most highly rated lawyers in the world. He advises clients on a number of issues, including petroleum concessions, production sharing contracts, joint ventures and farm-in agreements. In Riyadh, Babul Parikh represents major investors and banking institutions in the development of projects in the region. “first class” Sean Korney is the most highly rated lawyer in the UAE. His practice includes acquisitions, transactions, joint ventures and projects in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. At the firm’s office in Hong Kong, Russell Wilkinson has extensive experience in upstream and midstream petroleum projects. David Renton has expertise in LNG projects and M&A transactions.

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP performs excellently in our research with 10 lawyers listed from the USA, UAE, Hong Kong and England. Steven Pfeiffer is based in Washington, DC and chairs the executive committee. David Moroney is considered “a very talented lawyer” with over 35 years of experience in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of upstream and downstream oil and gas projects. In Houston, Michael Irvin heads the global energy and real property department and represents domestic and international exploration, production, natural gas and pipeline companies. George Kutzschbach is considered “the cream of the crop” and is co-chairman of the energy practice group. In Hong Kong, Stefan John Ricketts heads the energy practice in Asia and has a broad range of experience that includes cross border M&A, capital investment projects, litigation and compliance.

The “exceptional” David Asmus at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston is leader of the energy transaction practice and has expertise in LNG and unconventional resource projects, acquisitions and divestitures, and project financings. As in the previous edition, he is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in the research worldwide. Philip Weems from King & Spalding LLP is co-head of the global energy practice and focuses on LNG and upstream transactions as well as serving as an arbitrator. He is also named as one of the best lawyers in the research.

London continues to retain exceptional talent; the following individuals stand out in our research. The “first-rate” Charles Wood from Denton Wilde Sapte LLP is the single most highly nominated lawyer in the world. He specialises in gas regulation, trading and projects. He drafted the UK gas network code and acts as an adviser to a number LNG projects on long and short term LNG sales. Paul Griffin at Herbert Smith LLP “combines good legal knowledge with commercial acumen” and is considered a specialist in matters involving litigation, arbitration and expert determinations. At Ashurst LLP, Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill heads the global energy team and one interviewee commented that “everyone knows him; he is at the top of his game”.

Middle Eastern Know-How

Shearman & Sterling LLP has two listings from its office in Abu Dhabi. Philip Dundas Jr is managing partner of the office and has extensive experience in joint ventures, project finance and sales and transportation arrangements. The “very sharp” Mathew Kidwell advises domestic and international clients on project development, project finance transactions and restructurings in relation to the exploration and production, refining, pipeline development and transportation of oil and gas.

In Qatar, Gebran Majdalany from his own firm is “very well respected” and in Saudi Arabia, Ali Abedi from Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co receives praise for his project finance and cross-border joint ventures practice.

Canadian Leading Lights

Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP performs well with four listings from the firm’s Calgary office. The “top-notch” Brock Gibson QC is chair of the firm and has advised on some of the largest transactions particularly in relation to Alberta oil sands projects. Mungo Hardwicke-Brown has extensive experience in advising clients in oil sands, pipelines, LNG terminal and supply arrangements. C Kemm Yates QC and Ronald Deyholos are also highly recommended.

J Jay Park QC from Macleod Dixon LLP is one of the most highly rated practitioners in the research. He chairs the global resources practice group and has wide-ranging experience that includes asset acquisitions and divestments, production-sharing and concession agreements, gas sales and purchase contracts, regulatory hearings and joint venture agreements. In Caracas, Elisabeth Eljuri is a “fantastic lawyer”. She is head of the firm’s corporate and oil and gas departments at the office and co-chairs the Latin American practice group. She is one of the most highly nominated lawyers in the world. Based in Calgary, Robert Engbloom QC advises clients on substantive M&A transactions. Don Davies chairs the firm’s regulatory practice group and has represented clients before the National Energy Board for more than 25 years.

Bennett Jones LLP also has three lawyers featured in Calgary. Donald Greenfield co-leads the energy practice group and has 28 years of experience in acquisitions, oil sands development, facilities construction, financings and joint ventures. Robert Booth QC represents clients in exploration, production and marketing, pipeline transportation and LNG projects and joint ventures. Lawrence Smith QC is the founding head of the regulatory department and represents clients before the National Energy Board and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in relation to offshore energy, pipeline and LNG projects.

Rest of the World

In Australia, Allens Arthur Robinson has three lawyers listed. David Maloney in Sydney is one of the most highly rated lawyers in the country. He is referred to as a “serious player” and his clients include Sinopec, Texaco, Rio Tinto and Gulf Oil. Angus Jones is based in Perth; he has extensive experience in the gas sector and is well known for his counsel relating to contractual issues and negotiations.

Schmidt Valois Miranda Ferreira & Agel Advogados has four lawyers featured from its office in Rio de Janeiro. Paulo Valois Pires is one of the most highly rated lawyers in the research and advises clients on offshore supply, platform and pipeline finance, construction, M&A and tax matters. The “very knowledgeable” Rogerio Sobral de Miranda is a former head of Shell’s gas, power and oil legal practice in Brazil and has extensive experience in local and international transactions, infrastructure, M&A and project finance.

In Argentina, Marval O’Farrell & Mairal has four listings from its offices in Buenos Aires. Héctor Mairal is considered “the dean of energy lawyers” and advises on project financings, transfer of concessions, licences and privatisations. Francisco Macías advises clients on infrastructure, regulatory and contractual matters.

From Posse Herrera & Ruiz in Bogotá, Jaime Herrera is a founding partner and head of the M&A department and co-head of the natural resources and energy department. His clients include financial institutions manufacturers, project developers and investors. Francisco Urrutia is also co-head of the natural resources and energy department and is considered a specialist in joint ventures, negotiations, dispute resolution and tax law.

In India, Cyril Shroff and Shardul S Shroff are regarded as “big names” in the legal market and both scored highly.

Based in Lagos, Gbenga Oyebode MFR is managing partner of Aluko & Oyebode and is one of the most heavily nominated lawyers in the research. He heads the firm’s corporate and energy practice areas. AELEX receives two listings, Adegbite Adeniji and Soji Awogbade are known for their “thorough understanding of the industry”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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