Veronique Buehrlen QC

Call: 1991 Silk: 2010

Email: Vbuehrlen@keatingchambers.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

Veronique Buehrlen QC has a wide ranging commercial litigation, international arbitration and advisory practice with special emphasis on complex energy disputes, construction and engineering. She is “fully at home with the most technical cases” and known for her meticulous preparation of complex highly detailed matters requiring penetrating and determined cross examination of expert and other witnesses. Having spent the first 19 years of her practice at Fountain Court, Veronique has a wealth of experience of the workings of the Commercial Court and various international arbitral fora as well as the TCC. “An expert in energy disputes”, she is currently representing the contractor in a € billion ICC arbitration following the termination of a major gas pipeline project.
Veronique is recommended by the leading directories for her energy and international arbitration work and receives praise for being “extremely thorough” and a “ferocious cross-examiner”. Her experience spans the full spectrum of commercial litigation encompassing major trials, jurisdiction and applicable law disputes and preliminary issues as well as numerous forms of interim relief including injunctions (freezing, anti-suit and in connection with the enforcement of bonds and various forms of payment guarantee), summary judgment, strike out, security for costs, pre-action and non-party disclosure. Veronique also sits as an arbitrator. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the ICC’s Commission on Arbitration and ADR and of the ICC’s task force on maximizing the probative value of witness evidence.

Practice Areas
  • Offshore & Marine Engineering
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Commercial Litigation
  • International Arbitration
  • Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Professional Negligence
  • Arbitral Appointments
Offshore & Marine Engineering
  • Conducting an ICC arbitration for a major international sub-sea gas pipe laying contractor following the termination for convenience of a major gas pipeline project.
  • Acting for the contractor in connection with disputes arising out of the decommissioning of Brent Delta (TCC).
  • Advising on pre-action protocol matters arising out of a dispute concerning modifications to the topsides of a North Sea oil rig (TCC).
  • Acting on various disputes arising out of the construction of two semi-submersible rigs (Int. Arb.).
  • Conducting an LMMA arbitration arising out of the sale of an exploration vessel.
  • Commercial Court trial representing an international contractor in respect of a subsea gas pipeline trenching supply contract and geological issues in Asia James Fisher Offshore Ltd   v Interact Activity Management Ltd (t/a Offshore Installation Services).
  • Six week ICC arbitration concerning the construction and installation of a subsea pipeline used in the first gravity based structure for the regasification of LNG.
  • Advising on construction contracts and disputes arising out of the supply of FPSOs and semisubmersible rigs and single point mooring buoys.
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration concerned with oil and gas exploration services offshore West Africa (including the provision of state of the art seismic survey services).
Construction & Engineering
  • Conducting an ICC arbitration for a major international sub-sea gas pipe laying contractor following the termination for convenience of a major gas pipeline project.
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration arising out of the termination (together with delay and disruption) of an EPC Contract for the construction of facilities for the processing and handling of wet sour crude, sour gas and effluent water from wells in northern Kuwait.
  • Acting for the contractor in connection with disputes arising out of the decommissioning of Brent Delta (TCC).
  • Acting for the contractor in relation to a dispute arising out of delay and disruption to works for installation of new platform topside facilities (TCC).
  • Acting for the bank in respect of its claim against its Project Monitoring Surveyor in relation to the construction of a property development in Manchester.
  • Representing the contractors in connection with multi-million US$ claims arising out of the construction of a container port in the Caribbean the subject of FIDIC terms including a 4 week evidential hearing.
  • Successfully resisting an application for interim relief to restrain demands under performance bonds and advance-payment guarantees on construction projects in North Africa (Comm. Court): Ouais Group Engineering and Contracting v Saipem SpA.
  • Commercial Court trial representing an international contractor in respect of a subsea gas pipeline trenching supply contract and geological issues in Asia James Fisher Offshore Ltd v Interact Activity Management Ltd (t/a Offshore Installation Services).
  • Six week ICC arbitration concerning the construction and installation of a subsea pipeline used in the first gravity based structure for the regasification of LNG.
  • Four week trial arising out of the delivery of contaminated LPG to Borealis AB’s integrated olefin plant at Stenungsund and the extensive ensuing damage caused to the plant: Borealis AG v Geogas AS.
Energy & Natural Resources
  • Conducting an ICC arbitration for a major international sub-sea gas pipe laying contractor following the termination for convenience of a major gas pipeline project.
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration arising out of the termination (together with delay and disruption) of an EPC Contract for the construction of facilities for the processing and handling of wet sour crude, sour gas and effluent water from wells in northern Kuwait.
  • Acting for the contractor in connection with disputes arising out of the decommissioning of Brent Delta (TCC).
  • Successfully representing the contractor in an ICC arbitration arising out of claims following rioting on an iron ore mine in Guinea (contract interpretation and force majeure).
  • Advising on pre-action issues and pre-action protocol matters arising out of a dispute concerning modifications to the topsides of a North Sea oil rig (TCC).
  • Advising on construction contracts for nuclear testing facilities.
  • Commercial Court trial representing an international contractor in respect of a subsea gas pipeline trenching supply contract and geological issues in Asia James Fisher Offshore Ltd v Interact Activity Management Ltd (t/a Offshore Installation Services).
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration concerned with oil and gas exploration services offshore West Africa (including the provision of state of the art seismic survey services).
  • Six week ICC arbitration concerning the construction and installation of a subsea pipeline used in the first gravity based structure for the regasification of LNG.
Commercial Litigation
  • Successfully representing the defendant insurers when challenging the jurisdiction of the English Commercial Court to hear claims for contribution arising out of alleged double insurance under Brussels I Recast: XL Insurance Co SE v Axa Corporate Solutions SA (Comm. Court).
  • Acting for the Claimant purchaser on a dispute arising out of a Share Purchase Agreement concerning the acquisition of specialised separation technology for the production of oil & gas (Comm. Court).
  • Advising on breach of warranty claims arising out of a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of North Sea oil & gas assets (Comm Court).
  • Advising on decommissioning liabilities and security.
  • Acting for the claimant in an action for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation in connection with the acquisition and leasing of commercial aircraft (Comm. Court).
  • Successfully resisting an application for interim relief to restrain demands under performance bonds and advance-payment guarantees on construction projects in North Africa (Comm. Court): Ouais Group Engineering and Contracting v Saipem SpA.
  • Commercial Court trial representing an international contractor in respect of a subsea gas pipeline trenching supply contract and geological issues in Asia James Fisher Offshore Ltd v Interact Activity Management Ltd (t/a Offshore Installation Services).
  • Acting for an independent upstream oil and gas company the operator of various North Sea oil fields in relation to injunction proceedings compelling the performance of sub-sea works.
  • Four week trial arising out of the delivery of contaminated LPG to Borealis AB’s integrated olefin plant at Stenungsund and the extensive ensuing damage caused to the plant: Borealis AG v Geogas AS.
  • Advising in relation to North Sea oil exploration licensing agreements including the transfer and assignment of licenses (Comm. Court).
  • LCIA arbitration arising out of shareholder and joint venture disputes in connection with oil & gas storage facilities in Russia.
International Arbitration
  • Acting in numerous ICC, LCIA and other international arbitral fora as counsel involving a variety of different areas of the law including energy, construction, sale of goods and the supply of services, commercial agency, aviation, insurance and reinsurance, jurisdiction and conflicts of laws.
  • Conducting an ICC arbitration for a major international sub-sea gas pipe laying contractor following the termination for convenience of a major gas pipeline project.
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration arising out of the termination (together with delay and disruption) of an EPC Contract for the construction of facilities for the processing and handling of wet sour crude, sour gas and effluent water from wells in northern Kuwait.
  • Successfully representing the contractor in an ICC arbitration arising out of works for the mining of iron ore in Guinea and issues of force majeure.
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration concerned with oil & gas exploration offshore West Africa (including the provision of state of the art seismic survey services). Conducting an ICC arbitration for a major international contractor concerned with the supply of oil rig equipment and services in Kazakhstan including various jurisdiction and conflicts of laws issues.
  • Representing the Respondents in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a container port in the Caribbean the subject of FIDIC terms including 4 week evidential hearing.
  • Representing the Respondent contractors in a dispute as to the arbitrators’ jurisdiction to hear claims and the effect of multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses.
  • Six week ICC arbitration concerning the construction and installation of a subsea pipeline used in the first gravity based structure for the regasification of LNG.
  • Court work in support of or in connection with arbitration including setting aside ex parte injunctive relief obtained by the claimant in support of proposed arbitration proceedings in an attempt to stifle Celtel’s US$ billion acquisition of EWL (Econet Wireless Ltd v Vee Networks Ltd), anti-suit injunctions, freezing orders and the enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention.
Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Conducting an ICC arbitration for a major international sub-sea gas pipe laying contractor following the termination for convenience of a major gas pipeline project.
  • Conducting an LCIA arbitration arising out of the termination (together with delay and disruption) of an EPC Contract for the construction of facilities for the processing and handling of wet sour crude, sour gas and effluent water from wells in northern Kuwait.
  • Acting for the contractors in connection with multi-million US$ claims arising out of the construction of a container port in the Caribbean the subject of FIDIC terms including a 4 week evidential hearing.
  • Advising a market leader on the practical application and construction of NEC2 contracts applicable to sewage and waste water treatment works in a dispute between joint venture partners.
  • Six week ICC arbitration concerning the construction and installation of a subsea pipeline used in the first gravity based structure for the regasification of LNG.
Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Acting for insurers on a claim for contribution based on double insurance; jurisdiction and conflicts: XL Insurance Co SE v Axa Corporate Solutions SA (Comm. Court).
  • Advising on coverage in disputes between contractors and their insurers.
  • Advising on coverage issues in connection with political risk policy arising out of damage to mining facilities following riots.
  • Counsel for the Harel Insurance Company Limited (Israel) in respect of its dispute with First City Partnership Limited concerning First City’s brokerage of various binding authority agreements and facultative treaties at Lloyd’s: Hamishmar Insurance Agency Ltd v First City Partnership.
  • Acting for the new owners of a well known domestic insurance provider in relation to claims for conspiracy, unlawful interference and procuring breaches of contract in connection with the acquisition of insurance businesses.
  • Acting for the insurer on arbitration claims to recover sums due from reinsurers under three excess of loss reinsurance treaties following losses relating to Hurricane Lothar.
  • Acting in a complex insurance dispute arising out of various insurance re-arrangements and giving rise to issues in connection with the assignment of insurance policies, guarantees, trust instruments and letters of credit: Global Risk Capital Limited v Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. & The Institute of London Underwriters.
  • Representing the export credit insurer in the Commercial Court in respect of a substantial multimillion civil fraud trial: Nederlandsche Credietverzekering Maatschappji NV & NCM Credit Insurance Ltd. v Dovertower Ltd & Ors.
Professional Negligence
  • Acting for the bank in respect of its claim against its Project Monitoring Surveyor in relation to a property development in Manchester: Governor of the Bank of Ireland v Watts.
  • Challenging an expert determination in Commercial Court proceedings in the context of professional negligence claims arising out of insurance binder arrangements: Hamishmar Insurance Agency Ltd v First City Partnership.
  • Acting for various professionals including the architect in Jane Duncan v Coussens (TCC) and the accountants in Easterbrook v Lishman Sidwell Campbell (3 week trial, Newcastle District Registry) and in a number of cases for and against insurance brokers including Eugene Ryan & Ors v Anthony Kidd Agencies Ltd., Peter Mee & Ors v English & Welsh & Scottish Railways and Harel Insurance Company Limited v First City Partnership Ltd.
Arbitral Appointments

Veronique is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR and on the ICC task force on maximising the probative value of witness evidence. She acts as both counsel and arbitrator in International Arbitration. Recent appointments have included:

  • Sole Arbitrator on an ICC dispute arising out of the provision of helicopter services to transport personnel and equipment offshore.
  • Arbitrator on an ICC dispute following the termination of oil drilling exploratory works in Israel (including significant arbitral jurisdiction issues).
  • Sole Arbitrator on an ICC dispute arising out of the early termination for convenience of contracts for the supply of iron ore crushers.