Stuart Beadnall


Stuart is a leading specialist in shipping and energy, with particular expertise in dispute resolution and negotiating contracts relating to offshore oil and gas, shipbuilding, shipping, floating production and LNG/FLNG.

He has relevant industry expertise, having worked as in-house counsel at BHP Petroleum and North West Shelf LNG Shipping.

Stuart has been lead adviser on numerous FPSO projects in the North Sea, various West African states, Australia and Brazil, negotiating EPIC and production contracts and resolving disputes.

He has a leading reputation in shipbuilding and offshore construction contracts, representing a number of top shipbuilders and assisting owners and their banks. He is a co-author of "Offshore Construction: Law and Practice" published by Informa.

Stuart has advised on numerous LNG projects and disputes, being one of few lawyers with expertise in FSRU projects, the emerging floating LNG sector and LNG voyage charters.

He has been a member of the BIMCO sub-committee advising on the production of LNGVOY, Intertanko LNG documentary committee.

Stuart Beadnall remains a doyen in shipping, offshore construction and energy.

Legal 500 UK 2020


  • Acting for a shipyard in a dispute arising out of the construction of two ultra deepwater drill ships for a US contractor, involving a claim of approximately US$220 million and a counterclaim for the costs of completing the second vessel. The dispute, in which we were successful in the Court of Appeal, also involved the design responsibilities of the parties under the construction contract.

    Negotiating terms of 5 year charter of US$700 million newbuild drilling unit on behalf of drilling contractor, together with drilling services management contract.

    Negotiating contracts for construction of two sixth-generation drilling units, including acquisition of hulls & OFE, and completion at UK facility.

    Successful claim in London arbitration for unpaid hire and repair costs relating to operation of drilling-rig offshore India on behalf of US drilling contractor.

    Acting on behalf of Norwegian drilling contractor in successful claim before English High Court in dispute concerning repeated wash-outs caused by down-hole conditions.

  • Representing a leading offshore contractor in a claim in London arbitration for an indemnity for costs incurred in relation to the construction of an FPSO resulting from changes in specification during construction.  The indemnity claim was for approximately US$150 million.

    Representing a shipyard in respect of warranty claims in relation to a series of semi-submersible drilling vessels of CVA 7500 designs, the ultimate result was that many of the warranty claims were withdrawn and the builder enforced its contractual limitations of liability.

    Arbitration in London concerning schedule delay and disruption costs on an offshore construction project for an oil production platform.  The shipyard received an additional payment of US$50 million.

    Resolving a dispute over the modification of an existing FPSO and the delayed commencement of operations offshore Nigeria due to defective production equipment.

    Advising successful contractor in High Court litigation concerning technical obstacles encountered during conversion of VLCCS for use in floating production operations offshore Brazil.

  • Leading negotiations for new floating production developments offshore various locations including UK, Brazil, Nigeria, Mauritius, Angola, Cote d’lvoire, Indonesia Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

    Resolving disputes relating to the operation of FPSOs including disputes concerning acceptance tests, production targets, produced oil quality, off-spec well fluids, loss of production due to shut in, reduced production due to off-take tanker delay and charter termination. 

    Resolving disputes concerning modification of FPSOs to meet relocation requirements including transfer from UK to Brazil and Nigeria, transfer between locations in West Africa, relocating from UK to Asia and operations in Norwegian waters.

    Negotiating contract terms for the replacement of an FPSO in production with a substitute facility to be modified and relocated off Equatorial Guinea. 

    Managing claims and disputes concerning numerous FPSO new build projects including disputes concerning provision of inadequate reservoir and metocean data, errors and omission in FEED, major variations, delay and disruption to completion schedule, compliance with oil state inspection requirements, termination due to late completion, liquidated damages for delay, disputes concerning installation and location readiness, cost of rectification of defects on location, rectification of defects during production, and termination, including the largest FPSO dispute. 

    Negotiating various contracts for design, construction and installation of new build FPSOs including various projects offshore Australia, in the UK and Norwegian sectors, as for installation in West Africa and Brazil.

  • Negotiating 20-year and medium term charters for new LNG projects including operations out of Qatar, Yamal, USA, Australia and West Africa, including back-to-back new building terms, JV agreements, related ship management contracts and advice on bidding documents.

    Advising on numerous disputes concerning LNG charter operations including disputes concerning boil-off consumption warranties, LNG cargo contamination, LNG lost as boil-off during off hire, loss of boil-off gas due to venting, shortage claims, OPEX disputes, claims concerning operation of reliquifaction equipment and termination of long term LNG charters.

    Advising on and drafting terms for LNG spot cargo fixtures including drafting pro forma terms of GIIGNL and BIMCO documentary committees, drafting terms for a prototype LNG contract of affreightment and advising the Intertanko LNG drafting committee. 

    Advising on the first ever offshore regasification project, drafting terms for numerous LNG FSRU projects and advising on performance warranties, compliance with local regulations, and advising on related modification, JV and management contracts.

    Advising on a number of planned floating LNG production projects, both FLNG and FLSO, including West Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Mozambique and Gulf of Mexico.

  • Advising on various charters for offshore support vessels, primarily on BIMCO Supplytime terms.

    Drafting standard form contract for employment of floating accommodation barges to be used in UK sector.

    Managing claims and indemnity actions relating to a total loss of an anchor handling vessel operating in UK sector.

    Negotiating settlement of a dispute concerning the cost of modifying a multi-purpose offshore support vessel to comply with Norwegian authority standards.

    Defending claims relating to equipment malfunction on offshore supply vessel, including deductions from hire, claims for consequential loss and contract suspension.