Links and Skadden lead as BP-Rosneft arbitration concludes

Linklaters and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom both had roles in the arbitration between BP and Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR), the Russian oligarch consortium behind joint venture TNK-BP.

The arbitration, which was seated in Stockholm but held in London for convenience, came to an end last Friday, when the tribunal ruled that a proposed share swap between BP and Rosneft can go ahead if TNK-BP can take BP’s place on the deal concerning Arctic exploration.

AAR, which has a 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP, objected to the proposed £8bn share swap and Arctic exploration joint venture between BP and Rosneft, saying that BP was breaching its obligations to TNK-BP, who were effectively cut out of the deal.

Linklaters, led by litigation partner Michael Bennett, advised BP throughout the arbitration, while Skadden, led by litigation and international arbitration partner David Kavanagh, advised AAR.

Under the ruling, any share swap between BP and Rosneft must be for investment purposes only “with voting rights exercised by independent trustees”.

The ruling follows a High Court decision earlier this year, which upheld AAR’s complaint against BP (4 April 2011).