Macfarlanes has landed a major new mandate advising the independent directors of BP’s Russian joint venture partner Alfa Access Renova (AAR) on their position following last month’s tie-up between the UK oil company and Russia’s state-owned Rosneft.
The appointment comes ahead of an extraordinary general meeting tomorrow at which TNK-BP, the joint venture established between BP and AAR in 2003, will decide whether to take a role in the latest UK-Russian combination.
The BP-Rosneft deal saw magic circle duo Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters act for, respectively, the Russian and UK companies. It involves a £10bn share swap and a long-term agreement between the two on Arctic oil exploration.
AAR shareholders have instructed Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom in an ongoing litigation battle that could scupper the latest deal. Skadden litigation partner David Kavanagh has instructed Brick Court’s Mark Howard QC, with AAR claiming that the Rosneft deal violates its shareholders’ previous agreement with BP.
It is understood that a corporate team from Macfarlanes has now been brought in to advise the independent directors, separately from the pending litigation.
The directors include former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, former Corus chairman Jim Leng and former Soviet foreign minister Alexsander Shokhin.
Macfarlanes declined to comment.