Picture of Bob Palmer

Bob Palmer

Head of Oil & Gas

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English, French

Bob Palmer is the Head of our Energy, Projects and Construction Team (EPC) and a partner in the Oil & Gas Team.

He has specialised for over 30 years in oil and gas law in the many different parts of the world. Bob is a leading international oil and gas practitioner. As well as a significant practice in Europe much of Bob's work is in Russia, the Middle East, Asia, South America and throughout Africa.

He has been a partner in the firm since 1997. Between 1989 and 1997 he worked at Shell in London, Brunei and Australia.

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"He is very well experienced in commercial transactions in the oil and gas industry, and is a strong and logical negotiator."

Chambers 2018

"Outstanding practice head" Bob Palmer leads CMS' "exceptional Oil & Gas Team" ranked in Tier 1.

Legal 500, 2016

Bob Palmer is an experienced upstream oil and gas practitioner. He recently acted for PA Resources in its sale of Tunisian offshore assets to EnQuest for $205m. Sources say: “He is tough but pragmatic. He knows how to get things done”.

Band 1, Chambers, 2016

Bob Palmer “knows oil and gas from top to bottom”. He has impressed sources with his “very commercial, responsive and collaborative approach”


attracts praise from a series of clients for his "excellent advice, availability and responsiveness." He regularly handles oil and gas project and transactional issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, among other jurisdictions. Sources say he has the ability to "grasp the legal and commercial complexities and then clearly articulate the issue and provide strong, decisive and clear advice."


A leading individual in Oil & Gas.

Legal 500, 2016

Relevant experience

  • OMV on purchase of stake in Russian gas fields USD 1.85bn.
  • Repsol on the sale of its Trinidad & Tobago subsidiary to Perenco.
  • Statoil on the sale of UKCS and NCS assets to OMV for USD 2.65bn.
  • PA Resources on the sale of producing assets offshore Tunisia to EnQuest for USD 205m.
  • OMV on the purchase of various oil & gas assets in Gabon and Namibia.
  • BG advice in relation to offshore assets in Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Gulfsands on purchases in Tunisia and Morocco.
  • Maersk Oil on M&A, farm-ins, contracts and procurement.
  • Petrobras Oil & Gas BV on contracts and procurement advice and international arbitrations in Angola.
  • Repsol on contracts and procurement advice and arbitration in Algeria.
  • Summit Exp, Marubeni Oil & Gas and JX Nippon on various UKCS matters.
  • Various companies on farm-ins / sale and purchases in Africa.
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  • 1986 – MA, Cambridge University
  • 1984 - College of Law
  • 1983 - BA (Hons) Law, Cambridge University
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  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Member, Energy Institute
  • Member, IBA
  • Member, AIPN
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  • Oil & Gas Infrastructure Midstream agreements (Chapter 9: Tie In Agreements) – Martyn David 1999
  • United Kingdom Oil & Gas Law: (Chapter 4: Financing) – Daintith & Willoughby 2009 – to date
  • Getting The Deal Through: Oil Regulation – Editor 2011 to date
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Lectures list

  • 2016 - Cambridge University Law Society.
  • 2015 - International Oil & Gas Law, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 2014 - Falconbury, Joint Ventures in Oil & Gas, London, UK.
  • 2012 - International Law, Development in Shale Gas, Oram, Algeria.
  • 2012 - Oil & Gas Laws in Africa: IFLR.
  • Many lectures on aspects of law affecting Oil & Gas industry.
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Show only
3 January 2018
Oil and Gas in Africa - Struc­tured guides to mar­ket...
Oil & Gas: JOAs, budget over­runs and op­er­at­or pen­sion de­fi­cits
In Mara­thon Oil UK LLC v Cent­rica Re­sources Lim­ited, TAQA Bratani Lim­ited and TAQA Bratani LNS Lim­ited [2018] EWHC 322 (Comm), the Com­mer­cial Court con­sidered wheth­er an op­er­at­or was en­titled to charge joint ven­ture par­ti­cipants for pen­sion fund short­falls.
In­fra­struc­ture In­dex - Africa Over­view
A New Dir­ec­tion: Sol­ar PV take hold in Africa
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of de­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish oil and gas law
Wel­come to the 2017 edi­tion of the CMS An­nu­al Re­view of de­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish oil and gas law, fea­tur­ing com­ment­ary and ana­lys­is on the latest de­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish oil and gas law. This year’s edi­tion deals with re­cent case law in JOAs, trans­port­a­tion.
9 October 2017
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of De­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish Oil and...
Oil & Gas: M&A Loan Note Guar­an­tee – Es­tab­lish­ing dis­charge by mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion
In Ab­bot In­vest­ments (North Africa) Ltd v Nestoil Ltd [2017] EWHC 119 (Comm) a dis­pute arose con­cern­ing al­leged rep­res­ent­a­tions re­lat­ing to an oil rig owned by the tar­get com­pany pri­or to the sale of that tar­get com­pany to a new own­er.
13 January 2017
Ship­ping & Mari­time 2016
Oil & Gas: Price re­view clause not un­en­force­able ‘agree­ment to agree’ 
The oil and gas in­dustry con­tin­ues to ex­per­i­ence a sig­ni­fic­ant num­ber of nat­ur­al gas and LNG price re­view (or ‘re­open­er’) dis­putes.   This could be viewed as an in­ev­it­able con­sequence of the com­mon prac­tice of in­clud­ing pro­vi­sions in long-term en­ergy con­tracts.
19 October 2016
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of De­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish Oil and...
Oil & Gas: M&A de­ferred con­sid­er­a­tion not due
In As­tor Man­age­ment AG & An­or v Atalaya Min­ing Plc & Ors [2017] EWHC 425 (Comm), the Com­mer­cial Court con­sidered wheth­er the pay­ment of de­ferred con­sid­er­a­tion was due in an M&A trans­ac­tion. Al­tern­at­ively, wheth­er the buy­er had failed to use the re­quired “all.
Africa - Nav­ig­at­ing risk
The chan­ging face of Africa - How in­vestors are de­ploy­ing...
Awards an­nounced for 29th Off­shore Li­cens­ing Round
The UK’s Oil and Gas Au­thor­ity (“OGA”) has offered 25 li­cences to 17 com­pan­ies cov­er­ing 111 blocks or part blocks fol­low­ing its 29th Off­shore Li­cens­ing Round. The Round was launched on 27 Ju­ly 2016 and closed on 26 Oc­to­ber 2016, at­tract­ing ap­plic­a­tions from.
Get­ting the Deal Through: Oil Reg­u­la­tion in the UK
The new Kenya Bribery Act 2016
On 23 Decem­ber 2016 Kenya’s Pres­id­ent Uhuru Kenyatta gave his as­sent to the Bribery Act 2016 (the “Act”) for the pre­ven­tion, in­vest­ig­a­tion and pun­ish­ment of bribery in Kenya. The Act came in­to force on 13 Janu­ary 2017 and is mod­elled on the UK Bribery Act.
An In­ter­na­tion­al Is­sue: 'Loss of Profit­s' and 'Con­sequen­tial...
Re­view of Re­com­mend­a­tion 2014/70/EU on min­im­um prin­ciples for the...
The Com­mis­sion to the European Par­lia­ment and the Coun­cil (the “Com­mis­sion”) has re­cently re­viewed Re­com­mend­a­tion 2014/70/EU, ad­op­ted by the Com­mis­sion in 2014, which looked at ex­plor­a­tion and pro­duc­tion of hy­dro­car­bons us­ing high-volume hy­draul­ic frac­tur­ing.
One step closer to re-com­men­cing the UK un­con­ven­tion­al in­dustry
A de­cision has been reached in the ap­peal to pre­vent Third En­ergy from fur­ther ex­plor­ing its ex­ist­ing well at Kirby Mis­per­ton us­ing hy­draul­ic frac­tur­ing meth­ods. This latest suc­cess for Third En­ergy came as the High Court re­jec­ted a ju­di­cial re­view claim, in­stig­ated.
Off­shore 2016 Sup­ple­ment­ary Round launched
On 6 Decem­ber 2016, the Oil and Gas Au­thor­ity (the “OGA”) in­vited ap­plic­a­tions for li­cences to be awar­ded in the Off­shore 2016 Sup­ple­ment­ary Round. Four­teen blocks have been offered out­side the re­cent 29th Li­cens­ing Round which con­cluded in Oc­to­ber.