Meet Erin! She’s Senior International Legal Counsel at Total Exploration & Production (E&P) Division. “At Total, I get the opportunity to work on some of the most complex and challenging legal issues worldwide. Although I’m based in Total’s headquarters in Paris, I spend about half my time on the road – between Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea and the UK. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Arts (major in Political Science) from the University of Western Australia.
I provide legal support to Total’s new business activities globally, negotiating acquisitions and divestments in partnership with a commercial negotiator from the new business team and also to Total E&P’s affiliates (and joint venture companies). I draft and negotiate agreements with third parties (including other oil and gas companies, governments and banks) and put in place suitable measures to mitigate the legal and commercial risks which Total faces.
Each project is unique – you need to understand the legal, political and financial drivers and implications of each deal. It may involve different countries, companies and governments, different legal regimes and risk profiles. So we need to create bespoke solutions for the legal issues we face.
In my role, what really matters is to understand what your client, your company and your counterpart want: you need to listen and explain your advice clearly and concisely. In most cases, leave something on the table: a win-win outcome ensures a workable relationship going forward.
Finally, it’s important to always be respectful of your colleagues, clients, advisers and third parties – remember that the world (and particularly the oil and gas industry) is a small place: your reputation and your integrity are your most important asset.”