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
19 October 2016
CMS Annual Review of Developments in English Oil a...
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.
1 September 2016
Petroleum Review: Oil and gas disputes
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.
CMS disputes partners identified as Rising Stars i...
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.
CMS Guide to Interim Measures
Oil and Gas: In defence of corporate structure
In His Royal Highness Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi and Others v Royal Dutch Shell PLC (“RDS”) and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (“SPDC”) [2017] EWHC 89 (TCC), the Technology and Construction Court confirmed that the English Courts will not permit.
An International Issue: 'Loss of Profits' and 'Con...
Supreme Court rules again on interpretation of contracts: busines...
In Wood v Capita Insurance Services Limited [2017] UKSC 24, the Supreme Court has sought to reconcile the approaches to contractual construction and interpretation adopted by the Supreme Court in in Rainy Sky v Kookmin Bank [2011] UKSC 50 and Arnold v Britton.
Enforceability of Take-or-Pay Provisions in Englis...
Oil & Gas / Shipping: Excluding ‘consequential loss’ can restrict...
The Commercial Court was recently asked to consider the correct construction of the phrase “consequential or special losses or expenses” in a clause that distributed (and limited) liability and remedies between parties (Star Polaris LLC v HHIC-Phil Inc [2016].
Oil & Gas: Default Gas exclusive remedy in natural gas sale agree...
The English Court of Appeal has upheld the Commercial Court decision that a Default Gas remedy in a natural gas sale and purchase agreement was the sole and exclusive remedy for underdeliveries to a buyer caused by a shut-in for the purposes of constructing.
Perils of the sea: Court of Appeal clarifies the remedies for ter...
For some time there has been a lack of clarity as to the consequences of termination for a charterer’s failure to pay hire punctually under a time charterparty. However, the recent unanimous Court of Appeal decision in Spar Shipping AS v Grand China Logistics.
CMS Annual Review of developments in English oil and gas law
Welcome to the 2016 edition of 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 on forfeiture, consequential.
Oil & Gas: M&A ‘Warranties’ are not representations
What constitutes a warranty or a representation in the context of an oil and gas sale and purchase agreement is often the source of much negotiation within the transaction documents. The recent case of Idemitsu Kosan.
Oil and Gas Contracts: Misrepresentation in termination negotiati...
The Commercial Court has recently decided that a contracting party to an oil and gas related consultancy service agreement could be held liable for the misrepresentations made to another contracting party when those misrepresentations were made by a third party.
Oil & Gas: "commencement of drilling" the same as "spudding"?
The Commercial Court was recently tasked, in Vitol E & P Ltd v Africa Oil and Gas Corporation [2016] EWHC 1677 (Comm), with deciding whether the words “commencement of drilling” in a sale and purchase agreement for an oil company meant “spudding” of a well.