Nicholas Antonas Special Counsel

Nicholas is an internationally recognised energy and resources lawyer.

He represents international and domestic companies and investment funds throughout their energy and resources investments including asset and share level acquisitions and divestments, farm-ins/farmouts, joint ventures, project development, special situations and restructurings.

Nicholas spent over seven years at an international law firm in London, where he worked on a broad range of complex energy and resources transactions, including market leading experience in restructurings and special situations in the energy sector, distressed energy M&A and cutting edge decommissioning matters. Nicholas was also seconded as interim general counsel of the FTSE 250 African downstream company Vivo Energy plc.

Nicholas has been recognised by Chambers UK as an associate to watch, by Euromoney as a rising star and in Euromoney Expert Guides.  He has co-edited the leading text on decommissioning law and has written and spoken extensively on energy and ESG matters.



Premier Oil plc

Advised an ad hoc group of creditors of Premier Oil in connection with its US$2.7 billion restructuring and merger with Chrysaor to create Harbour Energy.

Vivo Energy plc

Seconded as interim general counsel to this FTSE 250 Shell and Engen licensee with operations across 23 African countries.

Endeavour Energy

Acted for the lenders in its restructuring, including the receivership sale of its entire UK portfolio to Waldorf Petroleum.

Discover Exploration

Advised this Carlyle backed company on its acquisition of Bahari Resources, owner of oil and gas assets offshore Comoros.


Advised on multiple transactions including its A$220 million takeover proposal for ASX listed FAR Ltd.

International hedge fund

Advised on its initial investment in a Norwegian oil and gas company.

International oil and gas restructurings

Advised ad hoc committees on oil and gas restructurings and related divestments across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including Iona Energy, Noreco Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Afren, Seadrill, Hurricane Energy, PA Resources and Xcite Energy.

Special situation investors

Advised various international funds in relation to bespoke lending to distressed energy companies across Europe and Africa.


Advised various oil and gas companies, offshore contractors, special situation investors and creditors on a wide variety of oil and gas decommissioning matters including with respect to trailing liability, decommissioning security agreements, alternative end of field life solutions and the resolution of liabilities as a condition to transaction approvals.


Career & qualifications


  • University of California at Berkeley – Master of Laws (Hons)
  • University of Melbourne – Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • University of Melbourne – Bachelor of Engineering  (Hons)

Memberships and Associations 

  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
  • Australian Mining and Petroleum Association
  • Liveryman of the City of London Solicitor’s Company

International Experience

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, London 2014 – 2021
  • Secondee interim general counsel Vivo Energy plc, London 2020
  • Admitted in England & Wales  

Insights Read more insight

Nicholas Antonas co-authors decommissioning chapter in leading oil and gas law text

Nicholas Antonas, Special Counsel in Johnson Winter & Slattery’s Energy and Resources team, has co-authored a chapter on decommissioning in Sweet & Maxwell’s book Oil and Gas Contracts – Principles...

Winds of fortune: the tide turns in for Australia’s offshore wind industry

Australia’s new offshore electricity infrastructure legislative framework goes live on 2 June 2022. Regulations are close to being finalised and Victoria is the first state to announce a large...

Australia’s revamped offshore oil & gas laws go live

Australia’s offshore oil and gas laws were amended in September 2021, and key changes went live on 2 March 2022. A new change of control test will make oil and gas M&A in Australia more complex...




  •  “Oil and Gas Contracts – Principles and Practice”; Sweet & Maxwell; Third Ed 2022; Second Ed 2019; First Ed 2016; Co-authored chapter on Decommissioning
  • “Oil and Gas Sale and Purchase Agreements”; Globe Law and Business; Second Ed 2020; Co-authored chapter on Decommissioning
  • “Oil and Gas Decommissioning: Law, Policy and Comparative Practice”; Globe Law and Business; Second Ed 2016; Co-editon


  • “ESG Regulation: Are you Ready to Disclose?”; European Leveraged Finance Association webinar, London, November 2020.
  • “Decommissioning of Oil and Gas Fields: International Human rights, Environmental and Social Issues”; The University of Buckingham Centre for Extractive Energy Studies Round Table Conference on Oil and Gas Decommissioning, May 2016.