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Jonathan Fisher QC comments on UK Government’s challenge over Fridman’s North Sea deal

Jonathan Fisher QC has been quoted in a recent Financial Times article which explores the UK government’s decision to challenge Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman over his purchase of a dozen North Sea gas fields. The decision comes amid expectations that Moscow is likely to face tougher sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. This reflects the concern that UK oil and gas production could be affected by the international crackdown on Russia.

The decision also highlights broader concern voiced by senior UK ministers about the potential vulnerability to a Russian takeover of other North Sea assets as falling oil and gas prices encourage some existing operators to offload their operations.

The showdown burst into the open at the weekend when Ed Davey, the UK’s energy secretary, intervened in Mr Fridman’s €5bn purchase of RWE Dea, the oil and gas arm of Germany’s RWE. He said he was “minded” to require the Russian businessman to sell Dea’s North Sea gas fields to “a suitable third party”.

Jonathan Fisher QC was quoted in the Financial Times commenting on the matter,

‘“Mr Davey better make sure he has very good legal advice if he wants to stay out of court. You can’t simply block something on the anticipation of future economic sanctions.”

Read the full article in the Financial Times here or alternatively read the PDF version of the article here. 

Jonathan Fisher QC is ranked as one of the UK’s leading barristers in the areas of banking and financial services including economic sanctions, financial crime and fraud. Jonathan can be contacted to discuss any of the issues raised in the article at fisher@devchambers.co.uk

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The views expressed in this article represent those of the author and not Bright Line Law.

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