Energy lawyers advocate Scots-law as best way to solve contract disputes

International Centre for Energy Arbitration is based at Dundee UniversityScotland has hosted an energy session at the Global Law Summit in London this week, held to mark 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta – a kind of mediaeval ‘Bill of Rights’.


The Scottish energy session – at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre – focussed on dispute resolution in the energy sector, and the implications for the industry in light of the rapidly falling oil price. Speakers included:


  • Penelope Warne, Senior Partner / Head of Energy, CMS Cameron McKenna
  • Brandon Malone, Chairman of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Co-Director of the International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA), and
  • Professor Peter Cameron, Co-director of the ICEA and Director of the Dundee University’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy

The International Centre for Energy Arbitration (ICEA) was opened in 2013 by Alex Salmond, who was then First Minister of Scotland.

In 2014, the ICEA commenced a survey of relevant professionals within the energy sector to identify current trends and desired requirements in respect of dispute resolution within the industry. 


The results of the consultation are being analysed and a report setting out the findings of this survey is due to be published later this year, with a view to establishing bespoke energy arbitration rules.


Brandon Malone said: ‘The fall in the oil price appears to be causing increased disputes in a number of areas of the sector as pressure on budgets mounts. 


“Client and advisors need to plan ahead and cater for disputes, so as to minimise the damage caused.  Arbitration in Scotland offers a lower cost, zero publicity option, with restricted rights of appeal, which may help mitigate the damaging effects of a dispute in terms of lost management time, expense, and damage to reputation.’


Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Secretary General of the ICEA, said: “The Scottish Arbitration Centre and ICEA had a prestigious platform at the Global Law Summit to discuss key issues in energy law, including the implications for dispute resolution, and to showcase Scottish expertise.  We want to see Scotland as the destination for energy dispute resolution.”

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