Aberdeen-based law firms and firms with Granite City offices are highlighted in The Legal 500 as the key players in Scotland in the oil and gas sector.
CMS Cameron McKenna’s offshore team, led by BP client relationship partner Penelope Warne, is “extremely strong”, says The Legal 500 which is an annual supplement to Legal Business magazine.
The practice focuses on upstream oil and gas, with recent highlights including advice to Talisman Energy on the £275million disposal of its non-operated interest in the Brae fields, and BP on six long-term contracts for the construction and installation of infrastructure to develop oil fields offshore Angola, with an aggregate value of £12.5billion.
Paull & Williamsons is said to “dominate the oil and gas services market”, advising Maersk on the development, tie-back and gas export agreements to develop the Harding and Devenick fields, and Sterling Resources on several farm-out transactions offshore UK and in Romania. Other clients include Shell, BP and Talisman.
Bristol-based Bond Pearce has entered the rankings following the hire of a two-partner specialist oil and gas team from McGrigors.
Uisdean Vass leads Maclay Murray & Spens’ oil and gas team, which The Legal 500 says has a strong track record in upstream exploration and production and oilfield contracting work.
McGrigors’ practice, led by Aberdeen-based Bob Ruddiman, advised Taqa on its £275million acquisition of two Talisman Energy subsidiaries in the North Sea-based Brae assets, and Falkland Oil and Gas on a farm-out agreement with BHP Billiton.
Shepherd and Wedderburn advised two Cairn Energy subsidiaries on acquisitions in the sector – Capricorn Oil and Gas on its £23.4million recommended cash offer for Plectrum Petroleum, and Capricorn Petroleum on its £14.9million bid for medOil – and has handled decommissioning work for clients such as Wood Group.
The Legal 500 notes that Stronachs operates a specialist upstream oil and gas practice, led by managing partner David Sheach. The team handled projects totalling in excess of £1billion in 2007 alone, advising Venture Production, Energy Development Partners, and Fairfield Energy on various acquisitions.
The publication also says that. of all the Aberdeen-based firms, Stronachs is perhaps the most worthy of the “one to watch” tag.
The Legal 500 also ranks Scotland’s 25 biggest firms by number of fee-earners. Among the Aberdeen-headquartered firms listed are Aberdein Considine in sixth with 196 fee-earners, Paull & Williamsons in 24th with 90, and Ledingham Chalmers in 25th equal with 85.