In a world where the demands for energy are growing exponentially, those operating in the energy sector are looking to their lawyers to provide more than legal skill; they are also seeking in-depth sector know-how and innovative solutions to the challenges they face. DLA Piper's energy lawyers deliver to our clients the focused, innovative sector advice they need, wherever in the world they need it.

In a sector of relentless change, demand and complexity, private and public corporations wisely rely on experienced, global legal counsel for any matter involving energy.

We are entering an era of unprecedented demand for power generation and transmission, especially within emerging economies. This dynamic, together with the challenges we all face from climate change, is creating new opportunities for alternative energies and new technologies.

Our energy clients receive coordinated, across-the-board coverage for their needs, including construction and projects, corporate, competition, regulatory, contractual, trading, litigation/arbitration, dispute resolution and tax issues. We understand the technical, geographical, commercial and geopolitical factors that shape the industry and have first-hand access to contacts, sponsors and decision makers worldwide.

DLA Piper's energy team includes professionals in the detailed, multi-layered and often complex regulatory frameworks that apply to energy sector projects and activities. We advise regulators, the regulated, investors and other industry participants on the implications of the regulatory framework during the planning, development and operational stages of many energy projects and activities.

For decades, we have represented organizations operating in the sector throughout the world. Our global team serves clients in the power, oil and gas, renewable, nuclear, energy trading, climate change and water markets. Alongside energy companies, our clients include project sponsors, corporations, developers, financial institutions, governments, utilities and regulatory bodies.

We work with a broad scope of clients ranging from the world’s largest oil and gas companies to investment banks active in energy and commodities trading and venture-backed alternative energy entrepreneurs. Our lawyers provide strategic advice on planning, development, financing and permitting matters, as well as legislative, political and regulatory issues.

Global Leaders

Focus areas

  • Commodities

    DLA Piper is among the few law firms in the world that maintains a global group dedicated to servicing the commodity markets.  No matter where in the world commodities are being traded, sold, shipped, stored and financed, DLA Piper has experienced and industry-focused attorneys ready to provide assistance with regulatory and compliance issues, transactions of all types and dispute resolution.  Most of these lawyers have been active in the commodity markets for decades and some have had lengthy in-house careers or have worked with industry associations for years, so they are familiar with all that happens in a commodity business, from the trading floor to the board room. 

    With an enormous global reach across more than 40 countries on six continents and a lengthy list of practice areas useful to commodity players, DLA Piper has at its disposal everything needed to serve as a prime one-stop shop for traders, marketers, transporters, financiers and producers of commodities.  Our client list includes some of the largest and most active commodity players in the world, so our lawyers are constantly working at the leading edge of the innovations and trends that are shaping the business.  We are very much aware of the competing interests that sometimes arise around a commodity trade or transaction and can assist in striking the proper balance among those interests from both a legal and a commercial perspective.

    Our core team of commodity-focused lawyers regularly counsels on matters central to the commodity business: regulatory and compliance obligations, materials and training; OTC and on-exchange trading, hedging and risk issues; structured deal-making and trade finance, including cross-border transactions; vessel-owning and chartering matters; physical infrastructure development and utilization; and litigation and arbitration throughout the world.  Augmenting these core competencies is a vast array of supporting areas of experience that enhance our service offering to the industry: sanctions and OFAC regulations; anti-bribery and corruption laws; cybersecurity; IT and data management; government contracting; real estate; rail and aviation; and renewable energy; among many others.

    We are also at the forefront of providing complimentary value-added support to the industry, including a quarterly roundtable discussion dinner in both the New York and Houston areas; frequent alerts on breaking legal developments important to your daily business decisions; and regular webinars, podcasts and in-person events which address topical issues impacting the industry.  Interested parties are very much encouraged to advise if they would like to be added to the circulation list for these offerings.  

    For questions or to learn more about the Commodities group, please contact:

    View publications from the Commodities group.

  • Mining

    Changing economic conditions are often felt at the mine mouth long before they appear on the balance sheet or the boardroom table. DLA Piper is responsive to our clients' needs as they adapt to the cyclical shifts in the global commodities markets. Our innovative solutions assist them to efficiently address these challenges and opportunities.

    From startup to divestment or site closure, our mining legal team can provide a complete legal solution, covering everything from day-to-day operational issues to large scale international transactions and arbitrations.

    Our commodities lawyers have detailed knowledge of local regulatory environments, key project drivers and the market. We understand how the many components of a project interact with one another. Our mining team takes a holistic approach to project development, which enables us to offer a balanced assessment in the best interests of the project as a whole. We can assist you to identify, analyze, negotiate and document project structures and to maintain efficiency when the project is operational.

    DLA Piper is developing innovative solutions to some of the most complex and important issues facing the mining community today. These projects, while not only important in financial terms, are also breaking new legal ground in their treatment of difficult issues such as third party access to infrastructure and state agreements and concessions.

    Mining is a truly global industry and we can provide the location-based assistance as well as the experience and skills that clients in this sector require.

    We offer mining and minerals support in all of the major mining regions of the world, including emerging markets in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the more established markets in Australia, North America and Europe.

    Our international reach means we have the local strength and knowledge to advise our clients on specific legal, cultural and political issues wherever they arise.

    For those with projects across countries or continents, we can provide a single point of contact to help manage the delivery of legal services to all of your projects and your personnel.

    Our multidisciplinary industry focus offers our clients responsive, cost-effective help. Whatever the nature of your legal requirement or business need, you can rely on our detailed knowledge, experience and understanding.

    A selection of clients:

    • Anglo American
    • BC Iron 
    • China Coal 
    • Coeur Mining
    • Ferrous Resources 
    • Fortescue Metals Group 
    • Newmont Mining Corporation 
    • Norilsk Nickel 
    • Rio Tinto 
    • Xstrata

    Financiers / Investors
    • Credit Suisse
    • Macquarie

    Operators / Buyers
    • Baosteel
    • Sinosteel 
    • Lafarge 
    • Mitsubishi 
    • Sibelco/Unimin 
    • Arcelor Mittal 
    • Tata Steel 
    • POSCO 
    • Marabani 
    • Sinopec

    • POSCO E&C
    • STX 
    • Bristow Helicopters

    • Government of Guinea
    • State of Western Australia 
    • Government of Uganda 
    • Government of Kazakhstan

    Case studies

    • When the Indian Government's Department of Disinvestment and Coal India Limited (the world’s largest coal miner) planned an initial public offering of shares, we were chosen following a formal government counsel selection process involving more than six international law firms. The deal raised US$3.43 billion, making it the largest IPO in the history of Indian capital markets and the third largest IPO in the world during 2010.

    • We are assisting the Australian Premium Iron Joint Venture in all aspects of the development of the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project, which involves the development of three new iron ore mines, 350km of heavy-haul railway and a new deep water port at Anketell Point. 

    • Our broad experience in the financing of mining operations came into play when we represented a major bank in the financing of the development, construction and operation of an iron ore concentrator facility in the USA. It was structured as a fully secured project financing and commodity hedges were an important part of the deal structure, the borrower being required to hedge against iron ore concentrate price fluctuations over a multiyear period to ensure that offtake revenues would be sufficient to cover debt service.

    • A cross-border team from Paris, Perth, New York and Brussels are assisting the Government of Guinea in the review of mining rights and conventions granted by the prior governments and on the renegotiation of concessions and conventions in accordance with the new Mining Code. 

    • We advised Lloyds Banking Group on the debt and equity restructuring of UK Coal plc (now renamed Coalfield Resources plc). An unsuccessful rescue bid would have resulted in company administration, closure of mines, the loss of 2,500 jobs and a tax payer bailout. Working closely with the Lloyds team, we helped achieve the desired outcome; the separation of the businesses of the Group into new divisions and the isolation of existing pension liabilities of GBP400 million. 

    • Following a mining failure in Indonesia, the reinsurers hired us to handle a USD500 million claim. The case was eventually settled on very beneficial terms for the reinsurers.
    • Representing the Republic of Guinea in consolidated, multi-billion dollar ICSID arbitrations brought by BSG Resources ("BSGR"), claiming expropriation of a mining concession and related rights in Guinea, in what is one of the most important and high-value mining disputes in the world.

    • Acting for the Republic of Kenya in respect of an ICSID claim brought by the mining investor, Cortec. This claim is thought to be the highest value and most strategically important investment treaty claim Kenya has ever faced.
  • Oil and gas

    DLA Piper's Oil and Gas lawyers have extensive experience in all segments of the global industry. With a vast network featuring practitioners on the ground in key jurisdictions worldwide, we understand the industry-specific nuances that affect energy transactions and disputes as well as complex, multi-jurisdictional engagements that are part of your strategy wherever you do business.

    We handle both onshore and offshore legal work for a spectrum of clients, from major international oil companies, governments and state-owned companies to independents and private equity and mid-market entities. We offer leading lawyers in mergers and acquisitions, project development, finance, tax, environmental, technology and IP, real estate and dispute resolution. All our lawyers work together as a team across our global platform to address your transactional needs and, when necessary, to mobilize immediately.

    We work with contractors, developers, utilities, banks, investors and governments, providing strategic advice on planning, development, financing and permitting matters, as well as legislative, political and regulatory issues.

    Our experience encompasses:

    • Upstream: licensing/concessions, exploration and extraction; the operation of oil and gas fields; farm-ins/farm-outs, JOAs, joint venturing
    • Midstream infrastructure: construction, financing and operation of oil and gas infrastructure, such as pipelines, tank farms and refineries; sales and handling of crude oil and gas, along with the construction of related infrastructure; and CNG/LNG projects/sales
    • Downstream dissemination of products: offtake of production and the sale of products; lifting and transportation of oil and gas; storage and through-putting of products
    • Acquisition and disposal of oil and gas interests/assets; due diligence and investigation behind acquisitions
    • Financing for oil and gas: funding acquisitions; project-financing for developments; funding cash-calls; security structures over oil and gas assets; trading of oil products
    • Shipping and trading of oil and gas
    • International arbitrations and other forms of dispute resolution
  • Power
    The firm's Power team comprises lawyers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, positioning us to help energy clients with their legal needs anywhere in the world. Our key service areas within the Power sector include:
    • Conventional generation
    • Renewables
    • Alternative energy
    • Transmission and distribution
    • Wholesale and retail electricity
    • Energy market reform

    We advise on all phases of power transactions including:
    • Project development
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Financing
    • Corporate structuring and tax advice
    • Licensing and technology transfer
    • Government / regulatory
    • Litigation and international arbitration
    • Environmental
    • Employment

    We have completed financings that have been implemented through a variety of structures, including traditional offtaker-based project financings, PAPS tax equity investments, leasing, private placements, portfolio financings, multi-tranche first and second lien structures, export credit agency and other multilateral agency supported transactions. By representing clients with diverse roles in many types of transactions, our group has developed experience that well equips us to assist clients in assessing and resolving the complex issues that arise in project finance matters.
  • Renewables

    DLA Piper's globally situated Renewables practitioners represent sponsors, lenders, equity investors, multilateral institutions and government bodies and agencies in the development, financing, construction acquisition and sale of, or investment in, a wide range of renewables-related projects and infrastructure projects. Among these are renewable power generation projects, energy storage facilities, utility-scale, distributed and residential solar, on-shore and offshore wind and biomass and other innovative and technology-based entities. We deliver comprehensive services to renewables clients from project finance and development and M&A to tax, environmental, real estate, tech and IP, employment and disputes and arbitrations.

    We have advised on hundreds of renewable energy projects developed and financed around the world. Members of our team regularly represent clients in the purchase of wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, inverters, gas turbines and steam generators and other equipment or related and in the evaluation of such contracts in the context of an acquisition or a financing.

    We have been active in energy storage for almost a decade and have monitored the industry's progress closely while advising clients on the negotiation of long-term offtake agreements, evolving tariff requirements, the purchase of equipment and project financing, including the landmark financing of a portfolio of battery storage systems.

  • Water

    We are involved in some of the largest, most complex water projects in the world. In addition to project development and finance, we help with water-related mergers and acquisitions, project bids, procurement, sovereign immunity, contracting authority, environmental and other regulatory matters, commercial agreements, intellectual property and dispute resolution.

    • The lenders, Standard Bank and Nedbank, in connection with the MIGA-backed project financing of a reverse osmosis desalination plant in Ghana.
    • Northern Ireland Water, supporting the procurement of a number of framework contracts from which NI Water will be able to call off the services and works necessary to enable it to maintain its vital drinking water and sewerage infrastructure. This involved providing procurement advice on the suite of documents as well as advice on structuring the procurements.
  • Waste

    Our waste sector experience spans the spectrum of waste-related agreements - we advise clients on construction and operating agreements, transportation, landfill, fuel supply, recyclate sale and other residue offtake agreements, as well as advising on environmental and planning issues, technological development and regulatory disputes. Projects on which we have advised include fully merchant facilities and others underpinned by long-term local authority contracts.

    Working on these projects requires a detailed understanding of not only the relevant regulatory legislation, but also of the technologies used and the risks associated with them. Our experience in these matters allows us to measure, anticipate and manage our clients' risks whatever the scale of the project.