Simmons gets first job from Royal Dutch

Simmons & Simmons has completed its first deal for Royal Dutch/Shell since being awarded a place on the oil giant’s panel last year.

Simmons advised Shell on the sale of its oil products business in the Caribbean to the Sol Group, a petroleum affiliate of the Interamericana Trading Corporation.

When Shell completed a global review of its law firms in November last year, Simmons won a place on the coveted selection of international firms along with Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Denton Wilde Sapte. These firms are intended to be the ones that Shell turns to first on international deals.

Corporate partner Paul Exley led the Simmons team with assistance from Giles Dennison. The team worked closely with Ikramul Haq from Shell’s oil products legal syndicate.

Simmons head of corporate Damon Le Maitre-George said: “It’s the first deal we’ve concluded since the panel review. We’re hoping it will be the first of many. We’re under no illusions. We’re not the only firm being used, but there are plenty of deals to go round.”

Cravath Swaine & Moore, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Slaughter and May are working on the £100bn restructuring that will combine Netherlands-based Royal Dutch and UK-based Shell to create Royal Dutch Shell. Slaughters was retained on a separate web of panels for specific types of work, in this case corporate.

Exley has helped Simmons build a strong relationship with Shell over the past few years. He advised the Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies on various transactions, including the sale of the Cressier refinery in Switzerland and other refinery asset sales in the UK and Norway, as well as the acquisition and disposal of service stations in various countries.