IES 2022 - Legal Heavyweights: Mitigating Risk and Navigating the Complexities of Modern Practice

IES 2022 - Legal Heavyweights: Mitigating Risk and Navigating the Complexities of Modern Practice

Recorded On: 09/28/2022

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Originally presented at the AIEN 2022 International Energy Summit in London

Razman Hashim, SVP & Group General Counsel, PETRONAS
Nicola MacLeod, General Counsel & Director of Business Services, Spirit Energy
Ikponmwosa Omigie Esq., General Manager Legal Division, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NNPC
Leonardo Sempertegui, General Legal Counsel, OPEC
Mike Williams, Regional General Counsel, Eurasia Pacific, Chevron
Moderator: Michael Polkinghorne, Partner, White & Case

Providing legal advice to senior business decision-makers is not always about the law. In opaque regulatory environments with the advent of new technologies, market creation, and concerns about the energy transition, being a trusted legal advisor requires a broad skill set. Our panelists discuss their views on their role and the shifting nature of our international energy industry.

Razman Hashim

SVP & Group General Counsel, PETRONAS

Razman Hashim is currently the Senior Vice President & Group General Counsel of Group Legal, PETRONAS.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws in Law and Shariah from International Islamic University of Malaysia and is a licensed Company Secretary.

Razman joined PETRONAS after being called to the Malaysian Bar in 1998 and has since served various functions within PETRONAS. He started in Legal Finance where he was involved in financing of projects followed by a few international postings for Sudan and Iraq operations. He was also the Head, Legal Upstream International, Group Legal in charge of legal affairs of PETRONAS international upstream business until 2017.

Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Senior General Counsel, Legal Upstream from 2017 where he was responsible for the entire legal services for PETRONAS upstream business, both in Malaysia and globally.

He was appointed as the Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, Group Legal on 1 July 2021.

Nicola MacLeod

General Counsel & Director of Business Services, Spirit Energy

Nicola is General Counsel and Director of Business Services for Spirit Energy, with responsibility for the Legal, Compliance, Commercial and Hydrocarbon Trading activities, as well as Business Services including HR, IS and External Affairs.  Nicola joined Spirit Energy in 2018 from Maersk Oil where she was Director, Legal, Commercial and External Affairs working on both UKCS and International assignments. Prior to the acquisition of Maersk Oil by Total Energies, Nicola was leading the team preparing for Maersk Oil’s independence from the APMM Group and went on to lead the merger and integration of Total and Maersk in the UK. 

Nicola has an MA in Politics, Law degree and Master of Commercial Laws. She is an experienced Energy General Counsel and recognized as a global female influencer by the Energy Council.

Ikponmwosa Omigie Esq.

General Manager Legal Division, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NNPC

Mr. Omigie is a lawyer and oil and gas professional with over thirty years in the oil industry, eight of which have been as a General Manager in the Legal Division. 

During that period, he has been involved in major oil and gas projects within NNPC, in legal and commercial roles including Usan Deep Water Project in OML 138, OML 11 and OML 13 Financial and Technical Services Agreement, to mention a few. He also played a key role in developing the 2005 Model Production Sharing Contracts. 

His experience in NNPC cuts across various Business Units and Corporate Services Units where he carried out roles in Law Research, Company Secretarial Practice and led Divisions in charge of Litigation and Property matters, Corporate Law matters as well as management of Federal Government of Nigeria assets in the Upstream Sector of the industry. Importantly he led the in-house litigation team that saved NNPC over $150 million in the IPCO Arbitration matters for which the team received management commendation.

He was a member of industry wide committee for drafting of the original Guidelines for the Unitization and Joint Development of Straddling and Non-Straddling Reservoirs in Nigeria. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986.

Leonardo Sempertegui

General Legal Counsel, OPEC

Ecuadorian attorney with 19 years of experience in energy and extractive industries sector. Master of Laws by the University of Texas at Austin, where he attended with the support of a Fulbright scholarship. He has worked with a variety of clients including governments, IOCs and other international corporations, international organizations, academia and NGOs in administrative law, energy law and infrastructure law deals and international litigation. Adjunct professor at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington D.C. (The law and policy of the energy transition). Regional experience in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Currently, he is pursuing an MBA in the University of Oxford. 

As General Legal Counsel of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 2018, Mr. Sempertegui leads the efforts of the organization to support its member countries in energy related policy and legal areas. Given the importance of the energy transition for resource-rich countries, the OPEC Legal Office has focused its work in sharing information, generating knowledge and providing professional support in this topic to member countries and oil producing countries in general. His work includes the creation of partnerships with relevant stakeholders to increase the success of the implementation of a fair, sustainable energy transition, which includes tackling issues such as economic diversification, energy access and energy poverty.

Mike Williams

Regional General Counsel, Eurasia Pacific, Chevron

Mike Williams is currently the General Counsel for Chevron Eurasia Pacific Limited based in London.  Prior to coming to Chevron in 2002, Mike worked in various roles and capacities for  TotalFinaElf (1998 - 2002), Subsea Offshore Ltd (1997 - 1998), Lasmo Plc (1990 - 1997), Kerr-McGee (1989 - 1990) and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (1988 - 1989).

Mike graduated from University of West of England in 1987 with his Bachelor of Law.  He then attended the Inns of Court School of Law, UK and received his Degree of Barrister in 1988.  Mike received his MA, International Comparative Business Law from the London Guildhall University, UK in 1995.

Michael Polkinghorne (Moderator)

Partner, White & Case

Michael Polkinghorne is a civil and common law qualified lawyer, head of the arbitration group at White & Case LLP in Paris and joint-head of the firm's oil and gas practice. He has during his career lived in Australia, England, Vietnam, Thailand and France.

He has served as counsel and arbitrator in disputes arising in over a dozen countries, notably in the oil & gas sector. He also advises clients in energy and infrastructure development transactions. He has advised and represented petroleum clients on multiple price reopener disputes (gas and renewables), gas supply storage and transit, oil field acquisitions and PSAs. Michael is admitted to practice in Australia, England and France. 

Michael is a member of the AIEN, the IBA/LPD Task Force for the UNIDROIT Principles 2016, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), the IAI (International Arbitration Institute), the ICC Commission on Arbitration, and the Council of the ICC Institute of World Business Law. Michael is also a member of the Legal Advisory Task Force of the European Energy Charter Secretariat that recently wrote the "Handbook on General Clauses Applicable to Investment Agreements in the Energy Sector" (Energy Charter Secretariat, 2017).  Michael is also the Editor of the ICC Institute Newsletter – Institute of World Business Law (ICC), and an Assistant Editor of Les Cahiers de l'Arbitrage—The Paris Journal of International Arbitration.

Michael has written extensively on energy dispute resolution and foreign investment, and provides courses on long-term energy contracts and dispute resolution. He is also the author of the Paris Energy Series, a legal periodical which has covered a plethora of oil and gas related topics. He was also co-author of "Price Re-Openers In Long-Term Gas Supply Agreements" (Juris, August 2015). 


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