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Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas

Helen Dickson

We act for oil and gas service companies, from niche to multinational in every segment of the industry. Our finance team regularly advises on industry funding and investment. We provide transactional support as well as day-to-day advisory services. 
Oilfield Services Transactions
Offshore Contracting
Employment & Pensions
Shipping & Marine
Health, Safety and the Environment
Corporate Crime
Dispute Resolution

Oilfield Services Transactions

We have an award winning corporate finance team.  For two years running we took the prize at Scottish Business Insider’s Legal Adviser of the Year Awards and for the last three years we consistently topped Scottish Business Insider’s deals table.  Last year alone we advised on over 100 deals with a value of £2.21 billion.

We know the oil industry and what is important. We advise on complex corporate and capital markets transactions, both in the UKCS and internationally, and have been involved in many of the largest M&A transactions in the UKCS.

Our services include:

  • Planning transactional processes and structures
  • Managing and undertaking complex and extensive due diligence projects
  • M&A transactions, both domestic and cross-border
  • Corporate reorganisations and restructuring
  • Public-to-private transactions
  • Taxation matters relating to all forms of corporate transactions
  • Project management of corporate transactions in “frontier” oil and gas jurisdictions

Offshore Contracting

We advise on all aspects of oilfield contracting, acting for operators, oilfield service companies and drilling and vessel contractors.  We know the market and assist clients in benchmarking their contractual terms against industry standards. This allows for greater certainty and effective risk mitigation.

Routinely, we advise clients in the UKCS and internationally on:

  • Construction contracts
  • FPSO contracts
  • Charterparty contracts for offshore supply and safety vessels
  • Offshore supply contracts of both products and services
  • Equipment hire contracts
  • Drilling contracts for drilling contractors and operators
  • Contractual management projects including training for contract teams working on procurement
  • Fully outsourced supply-chain contract procurement projects
  • Contracts in respect of decommissioning projects
  • Pre-litigation contractual disputes
  • License terms and conditions disputes
  • Risk assessment of contact portfolios
  • Risk reduction strategies following a risk assessment exercise


We have a highly experienced team of lawyers working on oil and gas financing for service companies. Our oil and gas financing services include advising on both debt and equity funding.

Debt Financing

  • Acquisition and leveraged finance
  • Project management of cross-border debt transactions
  • Bridging facilities, revolving facilities and working capital/capex facilities
  • Start-up funding arrangements

Private Equity and Capital Markets Financing

  • Venture Capital and ‘business angel’ funding arrangements
  • Private Equity transactions acting for the Company, Management or the Private Equity house.

Employment & Pensions

We understand the unique working environment and the employment relations issues of oil & gas service companies.  We act for a range of leading players within the sector and have recently been at the forefront of two industry test cases which were heard by the UK Supreme Court. 

With the only dedicated pensions team based in Aberdeen, we have the specific sector knowledge necessary to help you with contentious and non-contentious pensions issues. Our services include:
project specific or continuing provision of legal advice to employers and trustees; document reviews;  bespoke trustee training; and independent trustee services through our trustee company, Burness Paull Pension Trustees Limited.  Pensions is also key factor where operatorship of a producing field is being transferred from a company which has a defined benefits scheme.

Shipping & Marine

We have extensive experience in assisting clients in both contentious and non-contentious matters in the marine sector.  We are able to draw upon members of our Corporate, Dispute Resolution and Construction teams, who understand the business and needs of vessel owners and charterers, P&I Clubs and Hull and Machinery insurers.  Members of our team have in-house experience with shipowners, charterers and insurers, which contributes to our ‘client first’ approach.

Whether dealing with a major incident, a contractual dispute or a vessel purchase/sale, we have the right people to provide the necessary advice in multiple areas, including:

  • BIMCO Supplytime and New York Time Charter documentation
  • Vessel sale/purchase options
  • Shipbuilding contracts
  • Bareboat charters
  • Terms of memoranda of agreement and bills of sale
  • Reflagging
  • Vessel mortgages
  • Collisions
  • Salvage
  • Rig towage and mooring
  • Arresting vessels/defending owners in response to arrest
  • Casualty/Incident Investigations and defence of claims

Health, Safety & the Environment

We are known for our niche offshore oil & gas safety practice.  We provide sensible and commercially focussed compliance advice and training. A key aspect of our service is emergency response and we have lawyers available to travel to any site (including BOSIET certified lawyers for offshore sites) to provide immediate support following an incident. Whether you require advice on a police or regulatory investigation or you need legal representation at a formal interview or legal proceedings we will ensure that you and your employees get the right advice at the right time. For further details click here.

Corporate Crime

We advise on all aspects of ABC compliance, fraud, international sanctions and export controls combined with practical guidance and training on implementing robust anti-bribery systems. We offer 24/7 emergency and dawn raid response and representation during any regulatory or police investigation or prosecution.

Dispute Resolution

From major service contractors to subsea specialists and ship-owners, we know and understand our clients’ sector. Solving commercial problems is more than just a question of law and we often advise clients on reputational risk as well as legal risk.

With dual-qualified solicitors and solicitor advocates in the team, we have experience of resolving disputes in the major courts in the UK and in international arbitration.

Our team handles:

  • Pre-litigation contractual disputes
  • Licence terms and conditions disputes
  • Construction project disputes
  • Maritime disputes
  • Insurance disputes
  • Price revision disputes
  • International commercial arbitration