IBA Annual Conference Sydney 2017

8 Oct - 13 Oct 2017

Room C3.3, Convention Centre, Level 3

Session information

Litigating disputes in the natural resources sector

Wednesday 11 October (0930 - 1230)

Room C3.3, Convention Centre, Level 3


Litigation Committee (Lead)


Whether in the mining or the oil and gas sector, disputes over natural resources arise in an incredibly diverse range of ways. Projects are large, complex and multiparty, and their impact is usually felt far beyond the contracting parties. This session will review the full range of typical disputes in a natural resources context. Starting with the inception of the project, disputes may arise around ownership of title to the asset, including native or Aboriginal title and overlapping exploration claims. Shareholder and joint venture disputes are common. For companies raising finance in the debt and equity capital markets, disputes with investors are a risk, as well as regulatory action. Once the project is in production, issues frequently arise out of joint operating and production-sharing agreements, often caused by force majeure or natural events. Disputes can arise over equipment supplies and trading. And projects can be expropriated by host governments or the legislative or regulatory regime in country may be modified to the significant detriment of the investor. All of this is to be seen in the context of low commodity prices. How does that play out? Finally, the session will look at claims that may be brought by third parties, such as First Nation claims to land that is affected by the project, or local communities that have been displaced or affected by environmental disasters. The session will also consider whether claims that the project has caused some form of climate change may be sustained.

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Tom Price Gowling WLG, Birmingham, England; Senior Vice Chair, Litigation Committee


Pietro Galizzi
James Lyall HKA, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Santiago Montt null, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hansel Pham White & Case LLP, Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Co-Chair, North American Regional Forum
Javier Robalino Robalino Abogados, Quito, Ecuador; Officer, Public Law Section
Anna Sutherland Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia