Tom Adams


Tom is an energy, shipping and offshore construction lawyer with particular expertise in dispute resolution and negotiating contracts relating to the construction, installation, operation and decommissioning of fixed and floating structures, including FPSOs and FSRUs.

Tom advises international shipowners, major contractors, subcontractors and oil companies on projects worldwide.

Tom lectures for BIMCO on its suite of offshore forms including SUPPLYTIME and TOWCON/TOWHIRE.


  • Tom advises drilling contractors on drilling contract terms and disputes thereunder (including IADC, LOGIC, API). Tom has particular expertise in advising contractors in relation to payment security mechanisms during operations in difficult jurisdictions.

    Tom has recently advised a drilling contractor in respect of the early termination of a drill rig and its claim for lost dayrates.

  • Tom has considerable experience advising installation contractors in relation to transportation, installation and EPIC contracts, both in relation to negotiations of their terms and litigating disputes thereunder.

    Tom has assisted clients to resolve disputes concerning:

    • Delay and disruption problems 
    • Defects in design
    • UXO delays
    • Soil conditions (soil set-up, unrepresentative off-set data)
    • Variation disputes
    • Waiting on weather
    • Allegations of defective performance
    • Payment disputes
    • Delays/late completion
    • Post completion defects
  • Tom is a member of the firm's highly specialist, market-leading team in the field of FPSO contracting. 

    Tom advises in relation to the terms for construction/conversion of FPSOs, their delivery into the field, and the charter, operation and management of them, including by supporting the negotiation team at oil company offices.

    Tom has assisted clients with in identifying risks under conversion contracts, and to resolve disputes at the commissioning stage concerning Provisional Acceptance, the commencement of operating rates, rights of suspension and termination, and upon oilfield insolvency.

    Tom has advised on the following FPSO projects:

    • Crystal Sea
    • Frade
    • Ebok
    • Ichthys Venturer
    • Okoro
    • Okwok
    • Libra
    • Madura
    • Kraken
    • Perdana 
    • Aoka Mizu

    Tom also presents FPSO contracting workshops covering design risk, variations, topside integration and commissioning issues.

  • Tom is experienced in advising on the terms for the construction, installation and commissioning of FSRUs and on the terms of their deployment under long term charters.

    Tom has advised potential purchasers of floating production and regasification businesses including a detailed reviews of long term FSRU and FLNG charters including for projects in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, El Salvador and Jakarta. He has also advised on JV Term Sheets and JDAs in respect of those projects.

  • Tom is a well-known lawyer in advising owners and charterers of offshore support vessels.

    Tom has particular expertise in advising in relation to:

    • newbuilds being delivered into bareboat charters direct from the shipyard; 
    • late delivery and non-delivery of vessels and rights and liabilities in those circumstances
    • non-payment of hire under SUPPLYTIME
    • off-hire disputes following breakdown of equipment
    • redelivery disputes as to the condition of the vessel
    • Charterer insolvency and the demobilisation of the Charterer’s equipment and reinstatement of the vessel
    • withdrawal and termination disputes.

    Tom presents BIMCO’s Masterclasses on its suite of offshore forms including SUPPLYTIME and TOWCON/TOWHIRE.

  • Tom advised on one of the first decommissioning projects in the North Sea, being in relation to the North West Hutton Platform. Since then he has advised on numerous decommissioning projects and most recently on a dispute concerning the plug and abandonment of gas wells.

    Topics advised on include:

    • Issues arising out of structures being classified NUI
    • Variations - structure not matching the technical information provided by oil company and the rights and remedies of the parties in those circumstances
    • Access restrictions due to degradation
    • Waiting on weather
    • Consequences of protected species growing on structures
    • Liabilities in respect of decommissioned material

    Tom presents Masterclasses for BIMCO on Decommissioning contracts.