Ken Mildwaters

+44 (0) 7867 970971
Honorary Lecturer


General Background

Ken read jurisprudence (B.Juris. (Hons)) and law (LL.B) at the University of Western Australia and law (Ph.D.) at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee. His doctoral thesis was on joint operating agreements: “Joint Operating Agreements: A Consideration of Legal Aspects Relevant to Joint Operating Agreements used in Great Britain and Australia by Participants thereto to Regulate the Joint Undertaking of Exploration for Petroleum in Offshore Areas with particular Reference to their Rights and Duties”.

In 1998/1999, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University.

He is admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, a solicitor of the High Court of Australia and a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

He has practiced law as a partner with law firms in Australia and England and as a partner and as of-counsel with the London office of American law firms, focusing on corporate, commercial and natural resources (oil, gas, mining and electricity) law.

He also founded and managed law practices on behalf of a joint venture of English and American law firms in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

He also practiced law as an in-house counsel (general counsel of Guinness PLC and, subsequently, Diageo plc) and within the context of a merchant bank.

He is now the senior partner of and practices law with Mildwaters Consulting LLP (, a consultancy focused on the negotiation and documentation of commercial contracts in the natural resources sector (oil, gas and mining), where he focuses predominantly upon cross-border natural resource and natural resource related corporate, commercial and financial transactions.

Over the years he has given numerous papers and conducted workshops in the fields of natural resources law, joint ventures and joint operating agreement, negotiation skills and managing in-house legal functions. His academic interests lie in the intersection of law and business, where he has concentrated on joint ventures/joint operating agreements and negotiation. He is an honorary lecturer and a member of the CEPMLP Global Faculty Team at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee where he lectures on “Commercial Contracts in the International Oil and Gas Industries”. He is also an executive fellow at the University of Aberdeen where he lectures on “Negotiation Skills for Oil and Gas”, part of the requirements for the degree of LLM Energy Law with Professional Skills, and “Negotiation Skills”, part of the requirements for the degree of LLM Dispute Resolution.


He has advised on merger, acquisition and disposal (both public and private), takeover, RTO, IPO, placing, rights issue and other capital raising, privatization (both government and investor), public to private, venture capital, private equity, financing (senior debt, debt to equity, mezzanine, asset-based and project), entity formation, structuring and restructuring, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, unit trust, joint venture, consortium and strategic alliance, direct foreign investment (both government and investor) and international trade transactions.

Natural Resources

He has advised on exploration, development, production, supply and sale activities in the oil, gas and mineral sectors; gas, coal and alternative source electrical power generation projects; gas pipeline and other natural resources sector related infrastructure projects; joint ventures, joint operating agreements, strategic alliances, licensing arrangements, farm-in and farm-out agreements, off-take and lifting agreements, royalty agreements, abandonment agreements, service agreements, transport agreements in the natural resources sector, the acquisition, disposal and financing of all or portions of interests in natural resource projects, entities involved in the natural resource sector, and natural resource assets; capital raising activities in the natural resources sector and direct foreign investment in the natural resources sector; litigation and arbitration; and drafting of legislation.

He has worked on transactions in Albania, Algeria, Angola, Australia, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Italy, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Nigeria/San Tome e Principe JDZ, Norway, Peru, Poland, Puntland, Romania, Russia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Switzerland,  Trinidad, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela and Vietnam.


Dr Ken Mildwaters delivers a module called Oil and Gas – Commercial Contracts Matrix.

The module examines:

- The lifecycle of a petroleum field through its phases:

  • gaining access
  • exploration
  • appraisal
  • development
  • production
  • abandonment and decommissioning
  • post-petroleum authorisation and post-abandonment and decommissioning;

- The contract matrix created for the phases of the lifecycle; and

- The principal commercial contracts that form part of that matrix, for example:

  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Pre-contractual instruments
  • Area of mutual interest agreements
  • Bidding agreements
  • Petroleum authorizations
  • Joint operating agreements
  • Drilling agreements
  • Unitization agreements
  • Farm-out agreements
  • Sale of interest agreements
  • Crude oil sale agreements
  • Gas sale agreements,

from a commercial and practical, as opposed to a theoretical or policy, perspective.

In so doing the focus is on questions such as:

  • Why have this contract?
  • What is it designed to achieve?
  • How does it seek to achieve its objective?
  • Does it achieve its objective?

In considering the questions the focus is on the practical perspective: how does the person working in the oil and gas industry answer these questions?