Linklaters cements oil link

Linklaters cements oil link” />Linklaters has forged closer ties with the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras after winning two giant cases relating to the world’s former largest oil and gas rig.

Petrobras has just defeated the second of two claims brought this year against it by Petromec, a special-purpose vehicle owned by Maritima, an energy company owned by Brazilian entrepreneur German Efromovich.

Maritima managed an upgrade of the rig, known as P36, before it exploded and sank off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in March 2001.

Linklaters partner Justin Williams was instructed by Petrobras, which used P36 for energy storage, after his firm’s partner Ron Gibbs did the financing work relating to its construction.

Clifford Chance also does a lot of Petrobras’s litigation, while the leading shipping firms take on its marine-related claims.

In the first case, the Commercial Court in February, after dismissing
Petromec’s attempt to validate certain contract agreements between itself and Petrobras, upheld Linklaters’ counterclaim that its client was owed $105m (£57.3m) by Maritima because of an outstanding earlier loan plus interest.

Another case by Petromec, which instructed Curtis Davis Gerrard, linked to other contract agreements has yet to be heard.

On 20 March, the court dismissed claims brought by Petromec and the rig’s owners, SANA, that it was owed $165m (£90.1m) paid by reinsurers to Petrobras for losses linked to the rig’s sinking.

Ian Gerrard, a partner at Curtis Davis Gerrard said: “Petrobras’s other $375m [£204.7m] claim – arising out of alleged delays – was dimissed. We are appealing the March decision.”