Joint Property and Joint Ventures; the Laws of Unintended Consequences
Reg Fowler, Senior Legal Counsel, Shell International, UK
This article examines how joint property is legally held by participants in an upstream oil and gas joint venture. Using the examples of English law and Kazakh law, it makes the point that it is increasingly difficult to rely upon the traditional unincorporated joint venture structure or to organise the ownership and management of joint property in terms of a trust. Subject to tax and investment protection considerations, much can be said for the simplicity of locating the joint venture's property in a special purpose operator vehicle, using it not only as custodian of joint property but also as outright titleholder.
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