Michael Watson

Partner, London

Biography

“…has unparalleled knowledge of the industry that extends far beyond legal concepts. Truly exceptional. I can't think of a more gifted attorney.”
Legal 500 UAE: Oil, Gas and Natural Resources 2021

“…garners praise from interviewees as a go-to figure for “more strategic and high-level advice,” as well as being “commercially very strong”.”
Chambers & Partners Global, Projects & Energy 2020
Legal 500, 2020 / Chambers & Partners Global, 2019

Overview

Michael advises clients on large scale, complex, cross-border energy and infrastructure projects,acting for sponsors, lenders and governments. Michael's experience includes advising across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Michael leads the Energy Transition Focus Group.

Bars and Courts
England and Wales
South Africa
Education
Bachelor of Laws
Rhodes University
Bachelor of Science
Rhodes University
Languages
English

Experience

US$12.4 billion infrastructure investment deal
Representation of Saudi Aramco on a long term infrastructure deal with a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG), one of the world's leading infrastructure investors, to optimize its assets through a lease-and-lease-back arrangement involving its stabilized crude oil pipeline network.

World's Largest Single Site Solar Project
Representation of EWEC on the procurement and financing of the US$886 million development of the 2 GW Al Dhafra solar photovoltaic (PV) power project in Abu Dhabi.

Asia Pacific Petrochemicals Deal of the Year: RAPID
Representation of Saudi Aramco on the development and financing of the US$15.3 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) joint venture with Petronas in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.

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$35 billion nuclear project, Abu Dhabi
Representation of the Abu Dhabi energy sector in connection with the US$35 billion Barakah nuclear project being developed in Abu Dhabi.

Awards and Recognition

"…simply exceptional. Exceptionally responsive, exceptionally knowledgeable about the oil & gas and downstream industry." 
Legal 500, 2020

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

"…a really amazing lawyer—personally and professionally, we love to work with him."
Chambers & Partners Global, 2019