Energy & Natural Resources
“Atkin Chambers is home to an outstanding group of energy barristers with significant construction and engineering experience.” according to Chambers & Partners (2022 UK Bar Guide).
Members advise and represent clients, across the globe, for many of the world’s major energy companies and international engineering contractors, as well as for governments and public bodies
Legal disputes in the oil and gas sector
Traditional oil and gas disputes include exploration and production, the construction of power generation plant and petrochemical refineries, and also supporting infrastructure including FPSOs (floating production storage and offloading units), jack-up and semisubmersible drilling rigs, storage facilities, and dredging and subsea cabling and pipe-laying vessels.
A change in the energy disputes landscape
The energy sector is undergoing unprecedented change driven by the required rapid and far-reaching transition to energy generation and systems infrastructure arising out of the global response to climate change.
Plant construction and dismantling/decommissioning, the emergence of new industrial sectors such a floating wind, CCUS and hydrogen, new supply systems and the challenges of integrating new technologies into existing energy systems, changes to existing buildings and infrastructure and so on will all bring with them disputes of a familiar and unfamiliar kind.
Renewable energy disputes in the UK and globally
Many members have built substantial reputations in the renewable energy sector including projects related to clean energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and biofuels, as well as projects in the nuclear industry.
- The design, construction and commissioning of power plant in renewable energy related to solar plants and wind farms. Members have also worked extensively in the UK and increasingly overseas on biomass plants and energy from waste projects. In the UK such projects are frequently subject to complex PFI arrangements.
- Disputes related to storage and transportation/distribution facilities.
- Disputes connected to some of the world’s largest LNG projects – seen by some as a “bridge fuel” that will play a role in supporting the transition to renewable energy.
Recent reported cases include:
- Energy Works (Hull) Ltd v MW High Tech Projects UK Ltd & Ors  EWHC 3275 (TCC) (fluidised bed gasification power plant)
- Energy Works (Hull) Ltd v MW High Tech Projects UK Ltd & Others  EWHC 2537 (TCC) (fluidised bed gasification power plant)
- DBE Energy Ltd v Biogas Products Ltd  EWHC 1232 (TCC) (anaerobic digestion facility)
- PBS Energo AS v Bester Generacion UK Ltd  EWCA Civ 404 (biomass energy plant)
- MT Hojgaard AS v E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Robin Rigg East Ltd & Anor  UKSC 59 (wind turbine foundations)
- Fluor Ltd v Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Ltd  EWHC 2062 (TCC) (offshore windfarm)
Commercial disputes in wider energy sector
Members are also instructed on wider commercial energy law disputes surrounding the related shareholder, supply/sales, power purchase, offtake and farm-in agreements, and issues around feed-in tariffs for example.
Mining litigation and dispute resolution
Members continue to be instructed on disputes related to mining projects including coal and phosphates, across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa.
Water project disputes
Members have extensive experience of large-scale water supply, wastewater recycling and desalination construction projects in the UK and overseas particularly the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.