Picture of Phillip Ashley

Phillip Ashley

Partner

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
London
EC4N 6AF
United Kingdom
Languages English

Phillip Ashley is a partner and solicitor-advocate who "specialises in contentious matters relating to the oil and gas and power sectors" and has advised on “matters relating to oil and gas investments in every continent except Antarctica” (Global Arbitration Review).

In June 2016, Phillip was named Rising for Litigation by Legal Week magazine. He is recommended in Legal 500 for international arbitration, commercial litigation and oil & gas disputes. Phillip is also categorised as a "Rising Star" in Energy and Natural Resources by Superlawyers and in IFLR Energy and Infrastructure Sub-Saharan African Guide.

He is internationally recognised as being a specialist in high value energy disputes, including “energy pricing disputes, acting in a series of natural gas and liquefied natural gas price review arbitrations seated in London and Geneva, which were worth around US$10 billion” and “a US$16 billion pricing dispute over a long-term crude oil supply contract” (Global Arbitration Review).

Phillip was called to the bar of England and Wales in 1998 and subsequently cross-qualified to become a solicitor. Prior to joining CMS he was part of the in-house legal team at a leading international engineering, construction and project management company. 

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“CMS is, according to one client, ‘the best oil and gas practice in the UK’….”

“Phillip Ashley is recommended for disputes”

“Phillip Ashley ‘gets to the heart of a dispute without taking unnecessarily bullish positions”

Legal 500

Relevant experience

  • International oil companies in approximately US$12 billion of arbitrations relating to the pricing of LNG.
  • A leading state-owned company in a pricing dispute regarding a long-term crude oil supply contract with a sum in dispute in excess of US$16 billion.
  • An independent energy company in an LCIA arbitration relating to the sale and purchase of participatory interests in Turkey. 
  • An oil services company in relation to an expert determination concerning the supply of defective equipment.   
  • Baker Hughes Limited in relation to successfully resisting an application (and subsequent appeal) to stay High Court proceedings pursuant to section 9, Arbitration Act 1996 (Baker Hughes Limited v Steadfast Engineering Company Limited  [2009] EWHC 3123 (QB)).
  • An independent oil company on potential contract and treaty disputes with a two host States, a State agency and a joint venture partner, concerning the exploration for oil in a “common zone” between the States (ICSID and LCIA arbitration provisions, seats Paris and Singapore).    
  • An international oil company on the impact of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 483 (2003), 1546 (2004), 1637 (2005), 1723 (2006), 1859 (2008), 1905 (2009) on a contract with the Government of Iraq.  
  • An international oil company on a potential dispute concerning send-or-pay and conditions precedent provisions in a North Sea transportation, processing and operating services agreement. 
  • An oil services company on a potential dispute concerning onshore drilling pursuant to LOGIC General Conditions of Contract for Well Services (as amended), English courts.  
  • A Swedish mining company on the operation of an English law option and shareholders agreement, governing gold mining interests in the Russian Federation. 
  • A Swiss mining company in relation to three potential LCIA arbitrations concerning two sale and purchase agreements and one guarantee, governing gold mining interests in the Russian Federation, seat London.
  • An international oil company on its liability for an abandoned exploration well in the North Sea.
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Education

  • University College London, Masters Degree in Law (Distinction) and Sir Jack Jacob Prize for Civil Justice, London
  • University of Greenwich, LLB (Hons) Law, London
  • Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course
  • Called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors
  • Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Criminal Proceedings)
  • Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings)
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Publications

  • Enforceability of Take-or-Pay Provisions in English Law Contracts (Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 2013)
  • Natural Gas Price Reviews: Past, Present and Future (Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 2012)
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Expertise

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9 October 2017
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of De­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish Oil and...
23/05/2018
Oil & Gas: Im­plied con­tract for de­mur­rage out­side BP Terms
In Glen­core En­ergy UK Ltd v OMV Sup­ply & Trad­ing Ltd [2018] EWHC 895 (Comm) the Com­mer­cial Court de­cided that an ex­change of emails between parties to an ex­ist­ing crude oil sales agree­ment was cap­able of giv­ing rise to a sep­ar­ate im­plied con­tract.
19 October 2016
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of De­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish Oil and...
03/05/2018
Oil & Gas Ar­bit­ra­tion: Deep­wa­ter Ho­ri­zon - Mul­tiple ar­bit­rat­or ap­point­ments...
In Hal­libur­ton Com­pany v Chubb Ber­muda In­sur­ance Ltd & Oth­ers [2018] EW­CA Civ 817, the Court of Ap­peal con­sidered the ex­tent to which an ar­bit­rat­or may, without the parties’ know­ledge, ac­cept ap­point­ments in sev­er­al mat­ters in re­la­tion to the same or over­lap­ping.
1 September 2016
Pet­ro­leum Re­view: Oil and gas dis­putes
13/04/2018
The Acon­cagua Bay – “al­ways ac­cess­ible”
On 26 March 2018 the Com­mer­cial Court ruled, in an ex­tremely suc­cinct de­cision, that a war­ranty in a voy­age charter­party that a berth is “al­ways ac­cess­ible” en­com­passes both entry to and exit from the berth.
28/06/2016
CMS dis­putes part­ners iden­ti­fied as Rising Stars in...
13/03/2018
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.
21/03/2016
CMS Guide to In­ter­im Meas­ures
22/02/2018
Oil & Gas Con­sultancy Agree­ments: Giv­ing ef­fect to parties' true in­ten­tions...
In Monde Pet­ro­leum SA v West­ernzagros Ltd [2018] EW­CA Civ 25, the Court of Ap­peal has provided guid­ance as to what the words “fully op­er­a­tion­al and en­force­able” in an agree­ment might mean in the con­text of a pro­duc­tion shar­ing agree­ment in Kur­distan (Ir­aq).
03/09/2014
An In­ter­na­tion­al Is­sue: 'Loss of Profit­s' and 'Con­sequen­tial...
22/12/2017
Con­tract split­ting in in­ter­na­tion­al con­struc­tion and en­ergy pro­jects
A re­cent de­cision of the Eng­lish High Court has con­sidered a dis­pute re­gard­ing the split­ting of an en­ergy pro­ject in­to off­shore and on­shore con­tracts for tax pur­poses. Such struc­tures rarely come be­fore the courts and this case provides use­ful in­sights in­to.
13/03/2014
En­force­ab­il­ity of Take-or-Pay Pro­vi­sions in Eng­lish...
19/12/2017
Oil & Gas Ship­ping: a Venezuelan de­ten­tion
In ST Ship­ping and Trans­port PTE Ltd v Space Ship­ping Ltd [2017] EWHC 2808 (Comm) the Com­mer­cial Court re­jec­ted an ar­bit­ra­tion ap­peal that sought to ar­gue that the ac­tions of the Venezuelan courts, in openly not fol­low­ing Venezuelan law, broke the chain of.
14/12/2017
Oil & Gas: Off-spec de­liv­er­ies – up­hold­ing the con­trac­tu­al mech­an­ism
In Trafigura Be­heer BV v Ren­brandt Ltd (2017) EWHC 3100 (Comm) the Com­mer­cial Court provided some winter com­fort to pur­chasers and sellers that are seek­ing to rely on con­clus­ive evid­ence clauses as to qual­ity.
27/11/2017
Su­per­i­or Court of Justice ana­lyses the scope of ar­bit­ra­tion in oil...
On 10 Novem­ber, the Brazili­an Su­per­i­or Court of Justice (“STJ”) pub­lished its de­cision in a long awaited kom­pet­enz-kom­pet­enz (or com­pet­ence-com­pet­ence), jur­is­dic­tion­al case brought by Pet­ro­bras against the Brazili­an oil and gas reg­u­lat­ory agency, the Na­tion­al.
17/11/2017
Oil & Gas JOA De­faults: Eng­lish Court of Ap­peal up­holds re­straint...
The Court of Ap­peal has up­held a de­cision of the High Court in which an oil com­pany was found in con­tempt of court for hold­ing an op­er­at­ing com­mit­tee meet­ing in the ab­sence of an al­leged de­fault­ing party (see Pan Pet­ro­leum Aje Ltd v Yinka Folaw­iyo Pet­ro­leum.
16/11/2017
En­for­cing oil and gas ar­bit­ral awards against ‘award proof’ parties
The Su­preme Court’s rul­ing in Taur­us Pet­ro­leum Ltd v State Oil Mar­ket­ing Co of the Min­istry of Oil, Re­pub­lic of Ir­aq (“Taur­us v SOMO”) has made a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to­wards as­sist­ing the en­force­ment of ar­bit­ral awards in the oil and gas sec­tor, and oth­er sec­tors,.