Craig to lead oil litigation at Pinsent Masons

Bruce CraigPinsent Masons has appointed leading litigator Bruce Craig (left) to its 30-strong oil and gas team in Aberdeen.

He will head up the firm’s litigation and regulatory practice in Europe’s oil capital, focussing on contentious issues in the oil and gas, shipping, and health and safety sectors. Mr Craig was formerly managing partner of niche law firm Mackinnons where he was a partner from 1993.

He is highly ranked in legal directories, has worked on behalf of offshore drilling contractors and ship owners across the world and is a contributor to international conferences in the UK and US.

Mr Craig represented a major international client at the hearing of the Norwegian Royal Commission in Oslo into the 2007 sinking of the Bourbon Dolphin when eight people died, in what remains the largest non-helicopter loss of life incident in the UKCS since the Piper Alpha tragedy.

His appointment follows the recent addition to Pinsent Masons’ energy team of Paul McGoldrick and four other oil and gas specialists from Bond Dickinson, and the appointment of Osama Hassan, one of the Middle East’s leading corporate lawyers specialising in the energy sector.

Mr Craig said: “After almost 25 years at Mackinnons I am delighted to be joining Pinsent Masons which gives me an international stage to extend the work I already do nationally in oil and gas, shipping and health and safety. Joining one of the largest energy teams in the UK will provide a range of opportunities for me to develop the client base I have worked to build up over the years.”

Roger Connon, head of Pinsent Masons in Aberdeen, said: “The demand in the North Sea and internationally for someone with Bruce’s skill-set is acute and I am delighted to add someone with his reputation to our high calibre team in Aberdeen.

“Specialist health and safety advice in the oil and gas industry is set to increase as ageing North Sea assets prove difficult to manage and the hazardous process of decommissioning increases. We expect an increase in contentious work arising from the re-orientation of commercial relationships between parties as the oil and gas industry adapts to changed circumstances and Bruce will add years of experience to our contentious practice.”

Head of Pinsent Masons litigation and regulatory group, Laura Cameron, added: “Bruce has very strong client relationships at a senior level with the majority of major drilling contractors in the North Sea and a significant number of oil services companies. He is the first one to be called when these global players have an issue and we are looking forward to giving him an international platform from which he can develop this important part of our business.”

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