Infrastructure Projects

Ensuring the security, sustainability and supply of energy and natural resources has become a strategic priority as the generational shift in those resources and their distribution gains momentum. What is clear is that those goals will only be achieved if substantial investments are made in infrastructure improvements in the short- to medium-term.

Combining Black Letter Law with Construction and Engineering Insight

Reed Smith has extensive legal experience and in-depth practical knowledge of the construction, engineering, energy and natural resources sectors.

It is vital that infrastructure projects are properly managed both technically, and from a legal and commercial perspective. We know how these projects are put together, the risks they entail, and the commercial and legal frameworks required to mitigate risk and ensure successful delivery. We take a holistic approach to the management of risk, advising our clients how to transition risk from one project stage to the next. Our lawyers typically form part of the client's delivery team during:

  • Funding
  • Inception - procurement and risk management
  • Delivery and operations - project counsel
  • Completion/post completion - dispute resolution

We have a substantial team dedicated to infrastructure projects, representing owners, operators, developers, contractors, major sub-contractors, vendors, utilities, and consultants, as well as financial institutions and insurers on a wide array of developments, including:

  • Offshore oil & gas installations
  • Tankers, LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers and FPSOs (floating production supply and offtake vessels)
  • Subsea developments
  • Pipelines
  • Petrochemical plants,
  • LNG facilities
  • Refineries, ports and receiving terminals
  • Gas and coal-fired power stations
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Hydro power plants
  • Offshore & onshore wind farms
  • Solar PV and CSP
  • Geothermal
  • Waste-to-energy

In addition, our shipping team, based in key locations throughout the world including Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Piraeus, Dubai and Hong Kong, provides integrated advice on marine operations and shipping, ranging from vessel construction to insurance and operation.

Devising Successful Procurement & Risk Management Strategies

Reed Smith's energy and natural resources infrastructure projects group has provided legal advice for some of the world's largest and most complex projects.

Clients regularly rely on our team for procurement options and contracting strategies, addressing interface issues, reviewing tenders and supporting the evaluation process. We also identify key project risks and establish the measures necessary to avoid or lessen them, elements that are crucial to bringing a project in on time and to budget. This includes undertaking contract negotiations and drafting EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts, management and consultancy agreements, JVs (joint ventures) and JOAs (joint operating agreements), and a variety of bespoke and specialist contract solutions, as well as handling disputes that can arise at any stage of the development.

Examples of our procurement and risk management activities include advising:

  • A global energy major in the procurement, construction and operation of LNG receiving terminals in India and Mexico
  • A consortium of national oil companies on procurement strategy, and drafting a suite of contracts for the design and construction of a marine terminal and related facilities, pumping stations and a 1,500 km oil pipeline in East Africa

Working with Our Clients Side-By-Side

The team at Reed Smith has a proven track record in providing project support, working in integrated teams with its clients and the full range of consultants, whether engineers, schedule managers or advising/testifying experts.

We collaborate with our clients, providing project-specific commercial and legal-awareness training to highlight the key issues to project and commercial teams responsible for delivery, and making regular site visits to deliver on-the-spot advice.

Our lawyers also employ robust communication and document management systems, producing key-issues flowcharts and checklists to ensure contract compliance, and developing robust change management, reporting and recordkeeping procedures. In the event of legal issues arising, our expert team is available 24/7 to deliver real-time telephone advice, as well as strategic claims advice, claims management and support.

Examples of our recent project counsel experience include:

  • Advising an energy major in construction and project support for a number of oil & gas installations in offshore Nigeria
  • Representing an international process contractor as project counsel on its contract for the design and construction of a propylene plant in Saudi Arabia

Resolving Disputes at Any Stage of the Project Lifecycle

The combination of wide-ranging and deep industry knowledge and extensive dispute resolution experience positions Reed Smith as a first choice legal advisor for many clients.

Our lawyers offer in depth advice on:

  • Developing dispute resolution strategies
  • Alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation
  • Providing representation, including advocacy, in court and arbitration proceedings
  • Working as co-counsel in foreign jurisdictions where the governing law is not a jurisdiction in which Reed Smith has an office

Examples of recent successful dispute resolution includes:

  • Representing an oil & gas contractor in disputes arising out of an agreement for the design and construction of two offshore oil & gas platforms in the Sakhalin Island Shelf
  • Representing the joint venture owner in an ICC arbitration relating to claims arising out of the delayed construction of its 1,500 MW multi-fuel power station in Asia Pacific