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Ince & Co report on 'Smart Contracting' spring seminar series


The Energy & Infrastructure Group host “Smart Contracting” under English law seminars around the globe on a bi-annual basis. These seminars are designed for members of the oil and gas and the renewables industries who have anything to do with contracts and/or management of risk in their companies’ operations. The seminars examine common pitfalls under English law contracts and offer guidance on how the risks of doing business in these sectors might be managed effectively. 

During April and May this year we hosted our spring seminar series in Houston, Aberdeen and Dubai.

Houston update

Our Houston seminar was held on 25 April. This was the 20th event hosted in Houston. Rebecca Thornley-Gibson introduced the hot topic of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); Phillippa Hook and Anna Macdonald addressed issues with the unwritten parts of contracts under English law (such as implied terms and termination for repudiatory breach) and how not to get caught out by them; Simon Hems got the audience involved in an interactive presentation on the fundamentals of how you define “Work” (including whether you should even try!) and some of the issues that arise when you get it wrong and Gillie Belsham provided an update on the subject of arbitration vs. litigation, in particular how to approach the dispute resolution clause.

Dubai update

On 1 May we hosted our 15th seminar in Dubai. The topics were varied and covered a range of issues affecting the oil and gas industry. Mohamed El Hawawy spoke on the topic of when a rig is legally a ship – looking at what structures in the offshore industry can be classified as vessels and the consequences of such classification for liabilities and applicable legal regimes. Brian Boahene considered the Ocean Victory case and the English Supreme Court’s judgment concerning subrogation and its possible impact in the energy sector with regard to knock-for-knock clauses. Anna Fomina provided an update on the subject of arbitration vs. litigation and also discussed anti-suit injunctions in the English and UAE courts and the interaction between the two systems in the Dana Gas case. Rania Tadros tackled the definition of “Work” subject.

Aberdeen update

On 10 May we were in Aberdeen where we covered the same topics as in Houston. The addition to the day was Martin Sandgren, who chaired and outlined some important recent and upcoming changes to a number of industry standard contracts, in particular from BIMCO, LOGIC and FIDIC. This was the 17th such event to be held in Aberdeen by us.              

Planning for our autumn seminar series is now underway, when we anticipate adding our annual Hamburg, Rotterdam and Kuala Lumpur events to those in Houston, Aberdeen and Dubai. If attending any of these events is of interest to you or your colleagues please contact