Energy and Infrastructure Disputes

Energy, natural resources and infrastructure disputes are a fast growing practice at Signature and we act for a number of multinational companies, governments and ultra-high net worth individuals.

These disputes cover assets throughout the globe including Europe, Africa, Russia, CIS countries (including Kazakhstan and Ukraine), Asia and the Middle East.

“They have a lot of experience in multi-jurisdictional, high-value litigation."
Chambers UK Guide
The types of issues that have arisen in relation to these assets include shareholder disputes amongst JV partners, general contractual disputes including Trading Agreements and other offtake agreements, financial disputes with investors and banks, claims connected with fraud and bribery, claims connected with the collapse of deals where one party reneges on execution, expropriation of assets and other aspects of Bilateral Investment Treaties and EU Sanctions issues. In addition to local law aspects we are also highly experienced in dealing with the offshore elements connected with the disputes and have extensive experience in managing disputes in jurisdictions such as the BVI and Cayman Islands.
Our lawyers are highly experienced in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Ioannis Alexopoulos is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2021 for his litigation expertise and is described as having “great experience, clear thinking and iron logic”. His key industry sectors are infrastructure projects and disputes, including telecoms and IT projects, oil and gas disputes, natural resources and mining, shipping and international trade, including disputes in these sectors involving financing or business breakups and Joint Venture disputes and other ‘business divorces’. Ioannis’ practice is split between litigation and international arbitration. Ioannis is also recognised as both a Foreign Expert for Greece and Expert Based Abroad in the UK for Greece in Chambers Global.

Josh Wong acts for a broad range of clients, focusing particularly on Chinese-based organisations, utilising his in-depth knowledge and experience of practicing in both China and Hong Kong. He is regarded as both an Expert Based Abroad in the UK and a Foreign Expert for China in Chambers Global. Chambers and Partners note that Josh is an “absolute international expert” with “notable expertise in the Chinese and Russian market”. Josh is also recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2021 for his international arbitration expertise.

Daniel Spendlove’s practice covers a range of industry sectors including financial markets, investment funds, mining, oil and gas and insurance/reinsurance. Daniel is regarded as a ‘Recommended Lawyer ’ in The Legal 500 UK Guide and he is described as “very smart, client focused and details-oriented” and “immerses himself in clients’ cases and takes a hands-on approach which reaps dividends”.

Natalia Chumak’s experience spans across many industry sectors including oil and gas, water, aluminium, metallurgical, electricity/infrastructure, argotrading and construction. She has been recommended in The Legal 500 UK for her litigation and international arbitration expertise, and is commended for having “extraordinary, high-quality analytical skills”. Chambers Global 2018 recognises Natalia as a Dispute Resolution Foreign Expert for Russia, and notes that she is a “very bright, robust and shrewd tactician who fights her client’s corner and goes the extra mile.”

Energy and Infrastructure Disputes Team

“They demonstrate the ability to formulate, plan and implement a sophisticated global strategy”

Chambers UK 2020

Ioannis Alexopoulos

Ioannis is ranked in the Chambers UK Guide for international arbitration and is recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2021 as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for international arbitration. He is praised as a “brilliant advocate” and the Guide also notes that he is “is experienced in cases involving Greece, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East, Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa“. Ioannis is also ranked in Chambers Global for his international arbitration practice. He has been commended for his ability to “see right to the heart of sprawling banking disputes.”

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Natalia Chumak

Natalia is ranked in the Chambers UK and The Legal 500 UK Guides for her International Arbitration expertise. She has previously been praised by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK for her “fantastic experience and responsiveness“, for being an “extremely good tactical mind“, a “steely litigator with excellent litigation instincts” and she has been praised for her ability to “remain incredibly calm under pressure“.

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Daniel Spendlove

The Legal 500 UK Guide describes Daniel as “an exceptionally committed, exceptionally hard working lawyer, with a careful and thorough approach to issues” and “a really effective litigator“. He has also been described as “very smart, client focused and details-oriented” and “excellent, with great attention to detail, wide experience and excellent client care’“. He has also been praised as “highly professional”, and “a strategic thinker” who “brings real energy to cases”. He is highly ranked across the Commercial Litigation, International Arbitration and Professional Negligence categories. He was recently described, by Commercial Dispute Resolution magazine, as “one of a new breed of independent and forceful commercial litigation partners”.

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Josh Wong

Josh is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2021 for his international arbitration expertise, and the Guide notes that he is “an expert in security, asset tracing and enforcement actions involving multiple jurisdictions”. He has also been ranked in Chambers Global as a ‘Foreign Expert Based in UK’ for his Chinese dispute resolution, arbitration expertise, and as a ‘Foreign Expert for China’ for UK dispute resolution.

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Energy and Infrastructure Disputes Experience

Representing a Kazakh investor in LCIA Arbitration in a claim against a JV partner arising out of a hydrocarbon exploration contract worth several hundred million US dollars.

Acting for a major CIS natural resources conglomerate in relation to complex and multi-jurisdictional issues subject to US$500 million LCIA proceedings.

Acting for DTEK in defending their interests across a range of complex, cross- border, issues – and arising from the loss of control of DTEK and several mining entities operating in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine with a total value of US$1 billion.

Acting for a group of offshore investment companies and their directors in an LCIA arbitration with claims in excess of US$1 billion following non-performance of a sale and purchase contract relating to a CIS based energy business.

Representing a Russian investment bank in High Court proceedings against an African company in connection with the payment of fees which were due to the client for substantial M&A transaction work.

Representing a large oil and gas business group and related individuals in a series of High Court and LCIA proceedings against a top Russian bank in relation to the interpretation of loan agreements and related security documentation. The claim value was US$500 million with counterclaims worth US$4 billion.

Acting for an energy group in connection with a shareholder dispute regarding the development of a large hydro-electric project in southern Africa under the LCIA rules. The Group’s co-investors wish to introduce new equity partners into the project in breach of Loan Note provisions which protect it from dilution.

Representing a state owned bank in connection with a dispute regarding its interests in a Hungarian petrochemicals plant.

Advising the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) on several matters. These include a costs claim against alleged overcharging by Dechert LLP over a £16m legal bill, and a civil claim being brought by the Serious Fraud Office regarding legally privileged material, relating to the SFO’s investigation into allegations of corruption and bribery (featured in The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2017).

Advising the family and the estate of the late Badri Patarkatsishvili in a US$1.8 billion dispute against Vasily Anisimov connected with an investment in the Russian mining company, Metalloinvest. The claims were pursued vigorously through to a six week trial in March 2014, with a settlement being achieved at the start of the trial (featured in The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2014).

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