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Uisdean is an upstream oil and gas lawyer, meaning that he principally advises oil companies on the acquisition and divestment of oil and gas licences through bidding, farmouts, asset acquisitions and corporate acquisitions. He also advises oil companies on joint venture agreements (i.e. JOAs) and unitisation agreements. Furthermore, he advises oil companies on commercial arrangements for the processing, transportation and sale of hydrocarbons.

Uisdean also advises both oil companies and oil service companies on oil service contracting of all kinds.

He also advises nomads, private equity and banks on the oil and gas aspects of raising finance.

Uisdean has had 30 years’ experience in the international and UK oil sector. He studied for an LLM in International Oil & Gas Law in Louisiana State University in the early 1980s and went on to take the State Bar exam, practicing with a major at a New Orleans law firm for five years. In the 1990s he began a career in the Latin American oil sector, first practicing as an oil and gas associate in the Caracas office of Clyde & Co. and then establishing the Caracas office of Calgary-based Macleod Dixon (now Norton Rose). In 2001 he moved to Rio de Janeiro to establish the Macleod Dixon Rio office. He returned to Scotland in 2003 and became Head of Oil & Gas in major Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2004. He left MMS (along with a team of lawyers) to join Bond Dickinson as Partner in 2013. Since returning to Scotland, Uisdean has been active in North Sea work and international work, the latter with a focus on Africa. Uisdean has also developed a strong interest in UK onshore and unconventional petroleum. He is a regular visitor to Norway, Texas/Louisiana and Alberta. Uisdean is a frequent writer and speaker on oil and gas matters.

Uisdean is qualified to practice in Scotland and Louisiana. Uisdean is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.


  • Advising Rocksource ASA on a complex three-way re-negotiation on a farmout also involving Ophir and Noble Energy in the joint development zone of Senegal/Guinea-Bissau
  • Advising a North Sea independent oil company in a year- long negotiation with a partner who was in serious conflict with the client on issues of force majeure and FOA compliance and finally drafting and negotiating a complex settlement deal which served to trigger a number of petroleum deals
  • Advising an independent oil company is a complex corporate divestment of a Moroccan subsidiary with an obligation on the part of purchaser to offer a carry deal to a new subsidiary of the client
  • Advising Charles Stanley on the oil and gas aspects of the AIM flotation of North Sea independent IOG
  • Advising an independent oil company on a year –long conflictive relationship with a major drilling company.

Sector expertise

Energy and Natural Resources

  • Developing and leading a major Latin American oil and gas practice from Caracas and Rio de Janeiro over a period of ten years – this involved numerous different kinds of E&P and Oil Service deals, commercial work and regulatory advice
  • Advising the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia on a greenfield system of Third Party Access to Offshore Infrastructure
  • Advising a major UKCS player on several significant North Sea deals and on all commercial contracting arising out of their being operator of an offshore development costing around US$3 billion
  • Leading the worldwide due diligence of around 60 offshore oil and gas construction contracts and hard prospects in the acquisition of ABB’s oil and gas division​
  • Advising an innovative and ground-breaking UK onshore oil company on coalbed methane and shale gas operations, including a major UK onshore farm-in with an integrated oil company and forming a JVC with the same company in Poland.


Scottish Corporate Lawyer of the Year – 2007

"The AGC Profond deal [Rocksource/Ophir/Noble] was one of the most demanding and complex oil and gas transactions which I have been involved in. Uisdean provided us with superb legal support from beginning to end. Strong in legal knowledge, drafting and negotiating, Uisdean has the creative imagination and deep knowledge of the international oil industry to allow him to reach positive results for his clients. He is also very easy to work with"

Chris Spencer, former CEO of Rocksource ASA

"Is noted for his expertise in oil company to oil company E&P matters."

"Has significant overseas experience." 

Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Contact Uisdean Vass

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