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Energy Disputes

Our lawyers represent energy clients in every sector of the global energy industry and have experience litigating complex, multimillion and multibillion dollar claims in virtually every form of dispute and forum.

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Increased globalization of the energy sector has made dispute avoidance and resolution strategies increasingly important for mitigating risk. Our lawyers represent energy clients in every sector of the global energy industry and have experience litigating and arbitrating complex, multimillion and multibillion dollar claims in virtually every form of dispute and forum. We frequently advise clients on strategies to minimize risk and alternative dispute resolution methods to avoid expensive litigation when disputes arise. Our global presence allows us to bring a broad perspective and provide practical advice to dispute resolution planning, together with extensive experience in written and oral advocacy to maximize our clients’ position where litigation cannot be avoided.

We represent participants in the energy industry in both commercial and investment litigation and arbitration. We have handled matters for producers, processors, transporters and distributors of all forms of energy, the companies that service and support these industry participants, and host governments and national oil companies. We have been successful on behalf of clients in all facets of the energy supply chain.

Mayer Brown is well-known for its experience in litigating and arbitrating complex, multimillion- and billion-dollar lawsuits related to energy. We frequently represent clients in disputes relating to oil and gas exploration and production activities and the many contractual and investment related issues that arise from those activities; construction and engineering of refineries, petrochemical plants, LNG liquefaction and gasification facilities, power plants and the like; all forms of energy trading and supply arrangements; transportation and distribution arrangements; antitrust and trade regulation; governmental regulatory matters; and host government interference with transnational investments.

Because of our work in this field we are thoroughly familiar with industry technology and contractual arrangements. In addition, we are thoroughly familiar with legal issues affecting the industry, including licensing, production sharing, joint venture, areas of mutual interest, and joint operating agreements; merger and acquisition agreements; off-take and supply contracts; investment agreements, stabilization clauses and the like; protection of intellectual property; as well as the network of bilateral and multi-lateral investment protection treaties and the substantive and procedural protection they afford to transnational investments. We are intimately familiar with the range of issues arising in complex construction and engineering projects, including design defects, delay damages, cost overruns and the various contractual regimes for resolving construction disputes. Our lawyers are experienced with analyzing damages issues in energy cases–such as valuation of oil and gas reserves, the cost of construction delays, replacement power, etc.–and in the application of economic theory to those issues. In addition, our energy-related work has given us extensive experience with a variety of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as making presentations to our adversary's management, participating in summary jury trials, dispute resolution boards as well as trials and hearings in courts and arbitration forums around the world.

International Arbitration
In cross-border commerce and investments, arbitration is often the only way to ensure that disputes are addressed in a neutral forum, free from the potential bias and unpredictability of local courts. In addition, a network of international treaties makes arbitration awards enforceable in almost every corner of the world–unlike the judgments of national courts. Our lawyers are thoroughly familiar with the substance, procedure and culture of international commercial and investment arbitrations and expert at the oral and written presentation of complex factual and legal issues in the international context.

Bilateral and multilateral investment treaties provide international investors with both substantive protection against host-government abuses, including expropriation without adequate compensation, unfair or inequitable treatment or discrimination. In addition, such treaties guaranty access to neutral forums to resolve claims against host governments, even in the absence of a specific arbitration agreement with that government. We are expert in advising our clients on how to optimize the protection available under these treaties through a process akin to tax planning in structuring investments. We also routinely advise clients on steps to take in advance of a dispute maturing to avoid the problem or to maximize their preparation for a subsequent arbitration should it prove unavoidable.

Our experience includes the representation of clients in arbitration matters pending before many of the world's leading arbitral institutions, including the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the ICC Court of International Arbitration, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the American Arbitration Association/International Center for Dispute Resolution, as well as ad hoc proceedings under the UNCITRAL Rules, with particular emphasis on upstream oil and gas matters, complex construction disputes, derivatives, and intellectual property issues.

Our lawyers are also experienced in conducting internal investigations for audit, special litigation and other board or management committees for companies in the energy industry. These include investigations in matters alleging wrongdoing by employees, payments to foreign officials and improper trading activities. Additionally, we have years of experience in assisting companies in establishing and implementing their legal and regulatory compliance programs.

We also routinely represent clients in hearings, investigations and contested actions before energy industry regulatory authorities.

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