Litigation > Energy Disputes

The energy sector is highly diverse. However, whether it is oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), traditional power, nuclear or renewables, there are common issues that expose participants to significant disputes. Those issues include technical complexity, capital intensity, price volatility and government policy and regulation. The factors constantly shift, but never more so than now as the impact of the energy transition begins to be felt.

More than ever, it is important for clients to have lawyers and advisors who understand their businesses and the environment in which they operate. While there are many disputes lawyers, few are actual energy specialists with deep experience.

Akin Gump has some of the foremost energy disputes lawyers, whether in domestic litigation or international arbitration. We are well known for marrying technical expertise with a focus on cutting through disputes to achieve commercial objectives as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Our oil and gas experience ranges from acting in “the world’s largest oil platform dispute” to disputes arising under agreements, including farmout, joint operating, purchase and sale, and joint venture agreements. We also advise on issues relating to construction, refining, petrochemicals, pipelines, sale and purchase, commodities trading, tax and royalties, real estate and M&A. We have acted on LNG pricing and off-take disputes, and on the full range of traditional and renewable power generation, transmission, power purchase, regulatory and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) disputes.

Our securities litigation team has represented some of the largest and most prominent energy companies in a host of securities proceedings in various jurisdictions. Our lawyers advise public companies and their officers and directors in all types of securities claims―from alleged fraud in the sale of securities, purported disclosure issues, accounting fraud, misleading statements and restatements, to commodity manipulation. We also have extensive experience in class actions and derivative suits accompanying M&As, as well as restructurings.

No matter the issue, our energy litigators have at their disposal the clout and market intelligence of a full-service global law firm.

Click here for an overview of and more details on Akin Gump’s work in the Energy industry.

Representative Litigation Matters

  • Acting for a Singaporean drilling contractor in a $100-million litigation in London concerning the drilling of an exploration well offshore Guinea.
  • Acting for an investor in a $1-billion litigation in the BVI concerning ownership of a Russian power generator.
  • Represented the conflicts committee of the general partner of a midstream energy company in connection with a consolidated class action litigation pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery challenging a transaction wherein certain unitholders received convertible units. After a three-day trial in front of Vice Chancellor Glasscock, the plaintiffs were unsuccessful in rescinding the issuance and the Vice Chancellor determined that company and the unitholders were not harmed by the issuance.
  • Represented the conflicts committee of a midstream natural gas services company in a securities class action in the Delaware Court of Chancery alleging a conflicted purchase process in an $11-billion transaction involving the purchase of the company by another energy company. Akin Gump urged dismissal of the claims specific to the conflicts committee and Chancellor Bouchard accepted our arguments and dismissed the claims against our clients.
  • Secured a dismissal on behalf of an offshore energy company and its board of directors in connection with a stockholder derivative and class action complaint in the Delaware Court of Chancery in connection with the company’s announcement that it had entered into a series of agreements to acquire a broad portfolio of producing assets, exploration prospects and acreages in the Gulf of Mexico from various affiliates of a private markets asset management firm, which was approved by the firm’s board of directors and its two largest shareholders.
  • Obtained a settlement on behalf of a publicly traded energy company. The matter involved a derivative suit against the client’s board of directors. The suit alleged breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.
  • Reached a settlement on behalf of an oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company in a lawsuit from royalty interest owners regarding the failure to reasonably develop oil and gas.
  • Secured a settlement on behalf of a fuel and convenience retailer in a suit brought by its former parent company for defense and indemnity against third-party claims pursuant to the client’s spinoff agreement.
  • Secured a multibillion-dollar settlement on behalf of an oil and gas E&P company in a lawsuit concerning terms of a crude oil purchase agreement executed with one of the world’s largest crude traders.
  • Obtained dismissal of all claims against an LNG export company in a suit alleging the client and its affiliates improperly engaged in a business opportunity.
  • Obtained a jury verdict for $29.8 million on behalf of an oil and gas services company for fraudulent inducement, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract in a software implementation case.
  • Obtained a settlement for a petroleum company in a state court dispute involving a crude oil purchase agreement.

Representative Arbitration Matters

  • Acting for an international energy company in an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration in the United States concerning power plants in the Caribbean.
  • Defending a $700-million ICC arbitration brought by an Asian industrial manufacturer relating to manufacture of polysilicon for use in solar power generation.
  • Obtained a significant arbitration award for a multinational energy company in a construction arbitration involving competing claims for delays to the completion of two LNG plant conversion projects.
  • Acting for a South American oil company in a $1.5-billion ICC arbitration against an Asian oil company in respect of non-completion of a farmout agreement.
  • Acting for an oil company in a $10-million Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration concerning maintenance and procurement of equipment for a Middle East oil field.
  • Represented an international oil and gas E&P company in an arbitration arising from the breach of a gas-gathering and processing agreement.
  • Obtained a significant arbitration award for a client in a confidential ICC construction arbitration involving the construction of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) power plants in the Virgin Islands.
  • Acting for an oil major in relation to a $1.2-billion London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) arbitration relating to non-completion of the sale of Central Asian oil and gas assets.