Picture of Phillip Ashley

Phillip Ashley


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
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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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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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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Show only
9 October 2017
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of De­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish Oil and...
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.
19 October 2016
CMS An­nu­al Re­view of De­vel­op­ments in Eng­lish Oil and...
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,.
1 September 2016
Pet­ro­leum Re­view: Oil and gas dis­putes
Oil and Gas: UK Pet­ro­leum Li­cences – Con­tract or Reg­u­la­tion?
Sum­mary   In R. (Ben­jamin Dean) v The Sec­ret­ary of State for Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­tri­al Strategy [2017] EWHC 1998 (Ad­min) the Ad­min­is­trat­ive Court con­sidered an ap­plic­a­tion by ju­di­cial re­view to quash a Deed of Vari­ation, which ex­ten­ded the “Ini­tial Term”.
CMS dis­putes part­ners iden­ti­fied as Rising Stars in...
Fail­ure to de­liv­er: Is nom­in­a­tion of ves­sel a con­di­tion pre­ced­ent...
In Vit­ol S. A. v Beta Renow­able Group S. A. [2017] EWHC 1734 (Comm), the Com­mer­cial Court con­sidered wheth­er a seller was re­lieved of its ob­lig­a­tions to de­liv­er bio­fuels when the buy­er did not nom­in­ate a ves­sel.
CMS Guide to In­ter­im Meas­ures
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.
An In­ter­na­tion­al Is­sue: 'Loss of Profit­s' and 'Con­sequen­tial...
Oil and Gas: An In­el-UCTA-ble Con­sid­er­a­tion for Ex­clu­sion Clauses
The ar­gu­ments con­cern­ing the ap­plic­ab­il­ity of an ex­clu­sion clause in the face of ex­treme con­duct by the party re­ly­ing on that clause are fa­mil­i­ar to most prac­ti­tion­ers in the oil and gas sec­tor. What is per­haps less fa­mil­i­ar is the po­ten­tial im­pact of the Un­fair.
En­force­ab­il­ity of Take-or-Pay Pro­vi­sions in Eng­lish...
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.
The New Fla­menco – Su­preme Court al­lows own­ers’ ap­peal
The Su­preme Court, on 28 June 2017, found in fa­vour of the own­ers in the long-awaited “New Fla­menco” judg­ment - Glob­alia Busi­ness Travel S. A. U. (formerly Travel­Plan S. A. U. ) of Spain v Fulton Ship­ping Inc of Panama.
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.
Oil and Gas: Left with no “op­tion” des­pite “best ef­forts”
In Teekay Tankers Ltd v STX Off­shore Ltd [2017] EWHC 253 (Comm) the Com­mer­cial Court de­cided that an op­tion agree­ment for the con­struc­tion of crude oil tankers was void, as the op­tion agree­ment re­quired the parties to mu­tu­ally agree a de­liv­ery date at a time.
Oil & Gas: JOAs – Re­strain­ing rem­ed­ies for de­fault
In the event of a fail­ure to pay a val­id cash call, un­der oil and gas joint op­er­at­ing agree­ments (“JOAs”) the non-de­fault­ing parties are tra­di­tion­ally gran­ted a series of rem­ed­ies against the party in de­fault.