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Having counselled foreign and Iraqi clients on some of the largest and most complex energy and infrastructure projects, M&A transactions, and foreign investment in the country, our Iraq practice lawyers have extensive experience advising clients in Iraq. This experience includes our role as lead counsel to the Iraq Ministry of Oil in relation to the Basrah Gas Project, the largest public-private joint venture project in Iraq. Additionally, V&E’s highly ranked international Disputes lawyers have been active in Iraq for many years. We bring substantial experience in handling difficult, complex arbitrations before most major institutions and with high-profile claims at international tribunals and claims resolution bodies, including some of the most high-profile disputes involving Iraq in the recent past. We have also handled numerous claims matters involving white collar, false claims, and qui tam actions related to work done in Iraq.

Our Iraq practice lawyers have substantial and direct experience operating in Iraq and with Iraqi law, and they include internationally qualified native Arabic speakers, who deal directly with local commercial and governmental entities.

Iraq has the world’s second largest proven oil reserves, an economy entering a period of rapid infrastructure development across many sectors, and a strong policy of encouraging foreign investment. Iraq thus offers significant opportunities, not only for oil and gas companies, but also investors in power, water, construction, telecommunications, and related sectors. Iraq also presents significant investment challenges. We utilize our extensive knowledge and experience in Iraq and the key sectors to provide comprehensive advice to our clients, enabling them to achieve their investment goals and operational objectives throughout the country.

Our lawyers advise clients on mergers and acquisitions, project development and financing, regulatory issues, infrastructure, construction, and international dispute resolution matters in Iraq. Our clients include the Iraqi government, and international companies and investors that operate in the energy, oilfield services, telecommunications, and banking sectors.

The V&E Iraq team is ranked in Chambers & Partners General Business Law (Expertise Based Abroad) — Iraq, 2019 and partners Ahmed el-Gaili and Chris Strong are recognized individually for their Iraq knowledge. Legal 500 2019 also recognizes the Iraq practice and team.

Experience Highlights

  • The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil on a multibillion dollar development of the 1,000-kilometer Iraq-Jordan Export Pipeline Project, which will be developed on a BOOT basis. Our advice includes leading the negotiation of the Intergovernmental agreement, the BOOT contract, crude and gas offtake agreements, and project finance bankability considerations

  • The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil in connection with the $17 billion Basrah Gas Project to capture the large volume of natural gas currently being flared in oil fields in Iraq’s southern region and process it for both domestic power generation and LNG export; the project involves a 25-year development joint venture agreement with Royal Dutch Shell plc and Mitsubishi

  • A foreign investor in the divestiture of its interest in an exploration block agreement 

  • A leading U.S. private equity firm in connection with the acquisition of a stake in an oil field service company in Iraq 

  • Advised investors in Kurdistan Regional Governate in dispute with Regional Government over relinquishment of oil and gas properties

  • Representing a Middle Eastern state-owned entity in an ICC arbitration against a Dutch salvage contractor involving breaches of contract