Michael Watson

Partner, London

Biography

“…simply exceptional. Exceptionally responsive, exceptionally knowledgeable about the oil & gas and downstream industry.” “…a really amazing lawyer—personally and professionally, we love to work with him.”
Legal 500, 2020 / Chambers & Partners Global, 2019

Overview

Michael advises clients on the project development aspects of energy and infrastructure projects, acting for sponsors, lenders and governments. Michael's experience includes advising on large scale, complex, cross-border projects across the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Bars and Courts
England and Wales
South Africa
Education
Bachelor of Laws
Rhodes University
Bachelor of Science
Rhodes University
Languages
English

Experience

Petrochemical or refinery:

US$20 billion Sadara chemical project, Saudi Arabia
Representation of Saudi Aramco in connection with the US$20 billion Sadara chemical, a joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

US$5 billion Oltin Y'ol gas-to-liquids project, Uzbekistan
Representation of the lenders in connection with the development and financing of a US$5 billion gas-to-liquids facility in Uzbekistan.

US$3.5 billion petrochemical complex, Egypt
Representation of the sponsor on the proposed development and financing of a US$3.5 billion petrochemical complex in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

US$380 million ammonia and industrial gases project, Saudi Arabia
Representation of the sponsors on the development of a US$380 million ammonia and industrial gases project in Saudi Arabia.

US$350 million nitric acid and ammonium nitrate complex, Egypt
Representation of the sponsors on the development and financing of a US$350 million nitric acid and ammonium nitrate complex in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Power / Water:

US$1.5 billion power and sea water desalination plant, Abu Dhabi
Representation of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) in connection with the development and financing of a US$1.5 billion power and sea water desalination plant in Mirfa, Abu Dhabi.

US$35 billion nuclear project, Abu Dhabi
Representation of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) in connection with the US$35 billion Barakah nuclear project being developed in Abu Dhabi.

Sea water desalination project, Oman
Representation of the lenders to a consortium bidding for the Al Qurayyat sea water desalination project in Oman.

Sea water desalination project, Qatar
Representation of the lenders to a consortium bidding for the Ras Laffan sea water desalination project in Qatar.

Sea water reverse osmosis plant, Saudi Arabia
Representation of Saudi Aramco in connection with the development of a captive sea water reverse osmosis plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Awards and Recognition

Leading Individual - Oil, Gas and Natural Resources: UAE
Legal 500, 2020

"…unfailingly reliable, responsive and knowledgeable about the downstream oil and gas industry, having worked on some of its largest deals in the past few years."
Legal 500, 2019
 
Ranked lawyer - Projects & Energy: Middle East-wide
Michael Watson garners praise from interviewees as a go-to figure for "more strategic and high-level advice," as well as being "commercially very strong." One commentator mentioned that "he has a good understanding of our business," and is "clear in the way he communicates things." He has significant experience in downstream oil and gas transactions.
Chambers & Partners Global, 2020