Wherever our clients are on the lifecycle of an energy and utilities project, disputes can cause significant disruption, creating operational issues, delays to completion, and ultimately risk to revenue generation.

We provide a commercial and solution-focused approach to the ever-changing landscape of the energy and utilities sector, focusing on achieving the best outcomes for our clients. Our experience acting for energy companies, utilities, government, regulators, contractors (from all tiers), developers, funders and site licence companies provides us with a holistic understanding, allowing us to pragmatically and practically advise clients on how to best avoid or resolve disputes that arise.

Early intervention can often be key and we work closely with our clients to troubleshoot, mitigate against and avoid disputes. Where early intervention is not possible, we have a breadth of expertise in all forms of dispute resolution and regulatory proceedings including litigation, arbitration, adjudication, statutory appeals, regulatory enforcement, judicial review, public inquiry and all forms of specialist tribunal.

Our specialist lawyers provide dispute avoidance and resolution advice across technologies and throughout the project lifecycle from project inception, through construction, operation and decommissioning to help achieve an effective outcome to our clients’ disputes, whenever they arise. 
Disputes are often complex and require a range of different specialisms and so our multi-disciplined, cross-border disputes team combines expertise from across the firm, collaboratively working to assist our clients navigate disputes efficiently and effectively. 

Through our understanding of the world within which our sector clients operate and the legal and regulatory challenges that they face, we can identify the wider context and contributing factors to the dispute. This deep experience of the sector means that our advice is targeted, pragmatic and focussed to our client’s needs, with a recognition of the sector within which they operate.

Areas of focus

Our key areas of focus include:

  • Water / Utilities
  • Wind (offshore and onshore)
  • Nuclear / Fusion
  • Energy Storage
  • Oil and Gas
  • Solar
  • Waste and Resource Management
  • Tidal / Marine / Hydro

Water / Utilities

Advising a water company on breaches of contract by its contract relating to electricity supply requirements for a new pumping station.

Successfully representing Affinity Water in a case concerning the legal basis of the presence of a water main, involving acquisition of easements by prescription and exercise of Water Industry statutory powers - Bate v Affinity Water Ltd [2019] EWHC 3425 (Ch).

Advising a water company on compensation event claims from the contractor, and associated delay to the project, arising from the design and construction of a new thermal hydrolysis plant.

Wind (offshore and onshore)

Advising a developer on defects arising in turbine equipment at an on-shore windfarm in Scotland.

Advising a developer on disputes and preparing a settlement and variation agreement to maintain project programme of a 96MW floating wind demonstration project.

Advising a wind farm developer in respect of the recovery of losses arising as a result of defects. Acting as lead adviser in a successful adjudication to determine liability for breach.

Nuclear / Fusion

Advising an international intergovernmental body on a variety of claims associated with a €22billion fusion project.

Acting for a major nuclear industry services supplier in an adjudication concerning the interpretation of contract provisions regarding the payment regime under the design contract with the main contract and advising on defects claims in critical plant within the nuclear power station complex.

Advising a UK governmental body on disputes arising from EU law including EU Directives such as RED II and EU ETS and EU Regulations such as REACH.

Energy Storage

Advising an international client in relation to a dispute arising out of a generator supply contract, and negotiations around generator supply contracts to major energy supply companies.

Representing a private landowner against SSE in an electricity wire / trespass dispute.

Oil and Gas

Advising a Tier 1 contractor on the termination of a £170m contract relating to the upgrade of gas compressors and associated infrastructure across two power plants, and lead adviser on pursuing circa £80m of compensation events through dispute resolution.

Advising a specialist services provider on claims made by a contractor relating to maintenance and renewal works at an operational refinery.

Advising on a multi-party arbitration regarding tariff charges pursuant to a joint venture agreement.


Acting for the National Trust in relation to an application by INEOS for the right to use their land for seismic surveys.

Advising a contractor in respect of alleged failures to secure accreditation for the purposes of the Renewables Obligation Order.

Advising an investment fund on commissioning and operating issues arising across a portfolio of solar arrays.

Waste and Resource Management

Providing day to day strategic and trouble-shooting advice over seven years to a major engineering solutions provider in connection with construction and commissioning issues on a £3.8bn waste to energy PFI project, involving 6 adjudications, litigation in the Technology and Construction Court and the negotiation of an early exit from the project and compromise of all obligations and liabilities.

Advising an international client: on disputes arising from works and services provided in respect of the upgrade of a 3,906 MW power plant using a combination of coal and biomass.

Acting for an energy-from-waste developer in a HSE investigation into a fatality which occurred at its operational site.

Tidal / Marine / Hydro

Acting for a hydropower developer in an appeal against the Environment Agency’s refusal to grant an abstraction/impoundment licence, on the basis of Natural England’s objections concerning fish conservation, and negotiating a solution.

Advising a contractor in respect of various issues relating to completion in respect of a hydro power project in Uganda.

Acting for a hydro power consultancy in various claims for professional negligence arising from the development of hydro power schemes across Scotland.

Meet the team
David Hall

David Hall Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Banking Disputes
  • Business Crime and Regulatory Investigations
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG
Richard Adams

Richard Adams Partner

  • Construction and Engineering
  • Construction Disputes
  • Energy and Utilities Disputes

Andrew Burnette Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Negligence
  • Banking Disputes
Michael Ward

Michael Ward Partner

  • Shareholder disputes, partner disputes and LLP disputes
  • Director duty disputes
  • Material contract disputes
Emily Scaife

Emily Scaife Partner

  • Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Banking and Finance
  • Real Estate Finance
Kevin Kennedy

Kevin Kennedy Partner

  • Estates and Land
  • Private Wealth
  • Agricultural Disputes
Elizabeth Dunn

Elizabeth Dunn Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Real Estate
Julian Boswall

Julian Boswall Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase
Chris Preston

Chris Preston Partner

  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Real Estate Development
  • Telecommunications
James Sutherland

James Sutherland Partner

  • Head of Real Estate Disputes
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Negligence
Ian Tucker

Ian Tucker Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Procurement Disputes
  • Procurement and Subsidy Control
Emily Roberts

Emily Roberts Partner

  • Intellectual Property and Media
  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Intellectual Property Portfolio Protection
Jessica Evans

Jessica Evans Partner

  • Construction Disputes
  • Energy and Utility Disputes
  • PFI/PPP Disputes

What others say...

The team is highly motivated, very well-led, extremely hardworking, very bright and extremely easy to work with. In addition, they have a very keen sense of their clients’ commercial objectives and are outstandingly good at devising legal strategies which seek to achieve them.
Legal 500

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