Conflict of Interest

We are in Kuwait City with our local partner. He gives use the news on the project that we are pursuing and his latest information on the activities of our competitors.

He suspects that one of the local agents is actually acting for two of the competing oil groups. I make the mistake of observing that this is a terrible conflict of interest.

Our partner roars with laughter, and says:

“Chris, there are two things you need to understand.

First, there is no Arabic phrase for conflict of interest. In the Arab world the concept does not exist.

Second, this is exactly the position that every Arab businessman wants to get into.”

Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.