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Neil Q. Miller

Partner

Neil Q. Miller

London

T:+44 20 7444 2625

Neil Q Miller is a dispute resolution lawyer based in London. He specialises in dispute resolution in the energy, trading and shipping industry  sectors.

Neil heads the London dispute resolution team of partners specialising in arbitration and litigation in the energy, infrastructure, trade and transport sectors (which includes our international arbitration practice) and also heads up the emergency/crisis 24/7 response unit for energy industry clients. He is a client relationship partner for a number of our energy industry clients.

Neil's disputes experience, with 30 years in practice, covers both international arbitration and court litigation. He handles complex, high value international arbitrations conducted under institutional bodies such as the ICC, LCIA, LMAA, ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL Rules, and litigation in the High Court Commercial Courts and national courts globally as well as ADR involving both mediation and expert determinations.

In his energy litigation practice, Neil advises both UK and US based oil majors as well as contractors in the energy sector on disputes involving oil and gas exploration contracts, production sharing agreements and licensing, seismic exploration, gas supply agreements and pricing disputes. Neil's energy contract disputes involve EPC and engineering contracts with disputed variation and delay claims, power plant and construction in both traditional oil and gas and the renewables sectors.

The arbitral work includes energy and infrastructure projects in onshore oil and gas projects, seismic exploration onshore and offshore, PSCs and GSAs, construction and maintenance disputes, EPC inter contractor disputes for both offshore and onshore infrastructure, power plant generation and supply and offshore contracts including contracts for provision/supply of services and equipment.  Neil has managed a number of high profile ICC and international arbitrations to hearing and award in the above sectors.

Neil also undertakes a significant quantity of work in the shipping and trade sectors for energy industry clients operating in the midstream and downstream sector.  He undertakes such work only for a number of super-major and large independent IOCs as well as exclusively for the shipping and trading operations of one NOC. The work covers advice on General T&C's of trade, long term and spot market trading and commodity disputes, and all aspects of carriage of goods by sea and charterparty disputes. He also acts in the in the floating exploration and  production sector including LNG, semi-submersible and rig maintenance and hire disputes, and litigation arising from offshore support vessel build and charter contracts. He also advises on shipbuilding disputes for specialist offshore vessels (including FPSOs, FSUs, Pipelay and DSVs)

In respect of crisis response and management and corporate accident advice, Neil heads our 24/7 emergency/crisis response unit and provides advice on incident response, corporate manslaughter, avoidance of personal liability for directors and senior managers as well as advisory work in relation to risk management following incidents and fatal accidents involving energy corporations and international contractors. This includes both criminal and civil advice including managing police and HSE criminal investigations for work related fatal accidents and serious incidents, internal corporate investigations, inquests and investigations by the regulatory authorities. Neil is BOSIET and CA EBS qualified to travel and work offshore UKCS.

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  • Representative experience

    Arbitration

    • Successfully advised and represented the Israeli state national electric corporation  in ICC arbitration obtaining a landmark award of over USD1.7 billion against the Egyptian state upstream oil and gas companies, also successfully defended on an appeal determined in March 2017 in the Swiss Supreme Court . The dispute related to failure to supply natural gas resulting in consequent multi-billion dollar losses in sourcing secure alternative sources of gas supply or alternative fuels and raised significant issues related to the security of supply, pipeline security, force majeure, contractual interpretation and quantification of damages.. This is one of the largest gas disputes in the history of the region, and is amongst the most high-profile disputes associated with the Arab Spring of 2011.
    • Advising and representing an NOC in respect of two concurrent LCIA arbitrations seated in London relating to disputes over two crude oil trades in the West Africa region.
    • Market review and redraft of large independent oil company of its GT&Cs of trade for specific regional trades and review consistency of terms of trade with competitors.
    • Successfully represented a dual listed gold mining company and its subsidiary in a multi-million dollar London seated arbitration claim brought against it by its earthworks and civils contractor in connection with a gold mine in West Africa. The mine owner was also awarded a substantial counterclaim and its legal costs.
    • Advising and representing a major French utility corporation on a LNG supply dispute with a group of sellers (which includes state owned entities) for long-term failure to supply LNG.
    • Acting in contemporaneous LCIA and SCC arbitrations for a seismic services company in relation to oil field services in West Qurna, Iraq.
    • Advising a Nigerian independent oil company on joint operating partner insolvency issues for assets offshore Nigeria.

    Litigation

    • Acting for CIECO Exploration and Production in JOA dispute and obtaining High Court injunctions to prevent continuing drilling operations in the North Sea UKCS.
    • Acting for an international oil company in a High Court claim for alleged diminution in value to a multi-million pound private property caused by illegal tapping of the company's pipeline by fuel thieves.
    • Representing Star Energy in its high profile dispute with Bocardo SA in relation to UK onshore drilling rights. The case reached the Supreme Court and was a test case for horizontal drilling in the UK, leading to a favourable result for Star Energy and the onshore oil and gas industry generally.
    • Successfully defending an oil and gas investment fund, International Oil and Gas Technology Ltd, in relation to a Commercial Court claim by the fund's former investment manager for wrongful termination of the investment management agreement.
    • Advising on third party access to infrastructure disputes in the UKCS, including under the Energy Act 2011.
    • Representing an unincorporated joint venture in Commercial Court proceedings relating to a force majeure claim for non-delivery of natural gas from a North Sea oil and gas field.
    • Representing the owners of the CATS pipeline in a limitation claim following major damage to the CATS pipeline by a ship's anchor.

    Adjudication

    • Acting for the JV project company of a waste to energy plant in a number of ongoing adjudications relating to the multiple issue of design, construction and composition of waste.

    Incident response

    • Advising a multinational oil major on one of the UK's first investigations under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and representing the company in a subsequent health & safety prosecution and related civil proceedings.

    Upstream

    • Advising and acting for international contractor regarding an EPC sub-contract for the offshore installation and operation of sub-sea pipelines and flexibles for the installation of an FPSO offshore Nigeria in a potential dispute over costs for research and development of new technologies. Claims in excess of US $20 million which will proceed to arbitration in London if not settled.
    • Advising (together with local Nigerian Counsel) an international contractor in respect of disputed judgements in the Nigerian courts relating to agency commissions and enforcement actions against it Lagos State and Appeal Court and associated and garnishee and appeal proceedings in respect of offshore contracts and projects.
    • Advising a leading supplier of products and services to the upstream oil and gas industry on their contractual position with respect to two separate disputes, the first relating to a sub-contract and Letter of Intent for the supply of power generation modules for use on FPUs offshore Brazil and the second relating to further associated supply contracts subject to contractual delay.
    • Acting for international contractor in an offshore dispute over an EPC contract for the installation and operation of a sub-sea package for the offshore installation for an FPSO on the Sable Field Development off South Africa. Claims in excess of US $30 million proceeded to two fully contested hearing and were determined by arbitration in London. The matter included two mediations and successfully defending a challenge to an interim arbitral award heard in the High Court in London.
    • Acting for international contractor in a dispute in relation to a contested insurance claim under a Contractors' All Risks Policy concerning damages to offshore works. Settled in arbitration.
    • Advising an IOC in connection with the settlement of a dispute regarding breach and wrongful termination of an Offshore Supply Contract to install and hook-up an offshore gas pipeline offshore Trinidad and Tobago.
    • Acting for international contractor in two mediations over an EPC contract for offshore works and disputed variations and sub-contract variations.
    • Advising international drilling and supply services corporation in respect of dispute over the contract for the provision of an offshore accommodation platform and the refit and provision of services under the contract for the offshore platform, North Sea.
    • Acting in arbitration on behalf of an IOC as operator in respect of dispute resolution provisions arising out of a potential dispute with an international contractor regarding provision of services under an offshore engineering and construction services contract for project in the UKCS North Sea.
    • Acting in arbitration on behalf of an IOC as operator and for a consortium of joint venture co-operators against the owners of a semi-submersible drilling rig involving claims following termination of the rig contract in excess of US$ 125 million and involving detailed investigations as to the rig's fitness for purpose. Successfully determined in LCIA Arbitration. Further arbitration over counterclaims were finally settled.
    • Acting for oil major charterers in litigation in the High Court concerning interpretation and construction of charterparty provisions for termination of contracts for specialist offshore AHVs (Anchor Handling Vessels) supplied by Maersk and involving claims for US $6 million arising out of rig termination arbitration.
    • Acting for International contractor in litigation in the High Court arising out of an EPIC contract for a construction project to install an FPSO in the MacCulloch Field in the North Sea; involving disputes on the installation of the mid-water arches, manifolds and anchors on the sea bed; the installation of the flow lines and risers; trenching and pressure testing; and the final phase involving the mooring of the FPSO and the riser hook-up to the underside of FPSO (the "riser pull-ins") and involving claims for interalia damages for defective installation, payments under duress, liquidated damages, reductions in scope and defective remedial works (together totalling some £9.3 million).

    Onshore

    • Acting for IOC in litigation in the High Court, London over licensing issues for onshore drilling rights and allegations of trespass, including application for ancillary rights for drilling and related activities in the UK onshore sector.
    • Acting for an IOC in dispute to determine disruption claims in connection with an onshore oil field and terminal and gas storage plant.
    • Acting for UK oil company in an adjudication to determine lack of skill and care disruption claims in connection with a gas storage plant construction project.

    Downstream Oil & Gas

    • Advising and acting for international contractor in respect of disputes arising out of a variations and sub-contract variations for technical processes in a gas plant in the Middle-East.
    • Advising on judicial review application relating to Fawley Refinery.
    • Advising and acting for international contractor in respect of disputes arising out of a variations and sub-contract variations for construction and operation of a gas processing plant in the Middle-East.
    • Advising oil major on procedure and structure of a complex expert determination on gas pricing structures.
    • Advising oil major on a dispute relating to an agreement for the sale and purchase of natural gas and regarding price reviews throughout the life of the contract. When certain circumstances were met this review could be triggered by either party. Resulting in settlement by a mediation.
    • Acting for IOC on a US$ 100 million dispute relating to the importation of bitumen into West Africa. The action proceeded to a hearing under an ad-hoc arbitration and was determined in London in May 2005 before an international Tribunal panel.
    • Advising on a gas tariff dispute under a gas sale agreement.

    Midstream

    • Advising a consortium of Canadian oil majors in connection with a run-off dispute with the CRISTAL oil pollution fund, ad-hoc arbitration.
    • Advising an IOC in defending a claim brought by AIC (a gasoline trading company) for breach of contract for allegedly providing an off spec cargo and for claims of deceit.
    • Advising, together with local Nigerian Counsel, an IOC on site in Nigeria on litigation management and strategy for multiple pollution claims arising from an oil spill from a pipeline in Southern Nigeria.
  • Admissions
    • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales
  • Rankings and recognitions

    Neil Q Miller was highly commended at the Legal Business Awards 2018 for Norton Rose Fulbright's International arbitration team of the year.

  • Publications
    • Neil is one of the contributing editors for Getting the Deal Through: Energy Disputes.
    • Neil was a member of the Legal Advisory Task Force to the Energy Charter Treaty Secretariat in the preparation and publication of Model Agreements for Cross-Border Pipelines for Host Government/Investor and Inter Government Agreements
    • Neil has written numerous articles for publication and has given papers to international conferences and at firm and client seminars on energy and shipping and related legal issues.
  • Memberships and activities

    Neil is a practising member of the following organisations:

    • The UK Energy Lawyers Group
    • Oil & Gas UK
    • The Arbitration Club (Oil & Gas branch)
    • The Civil Mediation Service Accredited Mediator
    • The LCIA
    • Supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association
    • UK Chamber of Shipping Offshore Service Vessels Committee
    • The Law Society
    • The City of London Solicitors Company
    • He also sits on the working group and a number of course sub-committees for the Energy and Natural Resources Law Institute forming part of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University, London.