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Pillsbury Pillsbury Pillsbury
San Francisco
Four Embarcadero Center
22nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111-5998
Tel. +1.415.983.7215
Fax. +1.415.983.1200
Email  |  Download vCard  | 

2 Houston Center
909 Fannin, Suite 2000
Houston, TX 77010-1028
Tel. +1.713.276.7689
Fax. +1.713.276.7673
State of California
State of Texas
J.D., Yale Law School, 1983
A.B., Stanford University, 1980


Robert A. James

Robert A. James

Rob James is a partner in the law firm’s Energy industry team and is located in the San Francisco and Houston offices. He advises on commercial and corporate transactions in the energy, infrastructure, construction, manufacturing and marketing fields. His practice focuses on energy project development; acquisitions and divestitures of business lines and formation of joint ventures; supply, licensing and other complex commercial agreements; and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for facilities and infrastructure including public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Rob's development practice includes oil and gas production and transportation projects in North America, Asia and Europe; liquefied natural gas (LNG), power and mining projects in North America, South America and Asia; and carbon capture and clean technology projects in North America. His acquisition, divestiture and joint venture projects span sectors including oil and gas production, refining and transportation; chemicals and mining; public transit; renewable and conventional power generation and power transmission; and manufacturing and marketing businesses. Among his EPC projects are a Canada-California gas pipeline, power plants, manufacturing facilities, hotels, campus facilities, offices, water treatment facilities, public transit, other public works and infrastructure, and the San Francisco Giants' celebrated baseball stadium.

Rob also counsels on international investment protection, fine art acquisition, and corporate compliance programs. He has served as the general counsel for several trade associations and as a Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Representative Matters

Rob's transactional practice covers over thirty years at Pillsbury. Clients and transactions for which he has served as lead outside counsel include the following:

Oil & Gas Exploration & Production
  • Seller of California oil production platforms and pipelines and onshore facilities and pipelines.
  • Majority sponsor on expansion of landmark Kazakhstan oil exploration and production venture.
  • Seller of Canadian major mature oil production assets.
  • Buyer of interests in natural gas fields offshore Indonesia, unitization agreements, LNG liquefaction plant agreements, and gas sale and purchase agreements for sales of natural of gas to Chinese customers.
  • Buyer of interests in Peru gas pipeline and LNG liquefaction project.

Pipelines, Processing & Shipping
  • Buyer of largest private interest on privatization of oil pipeline in Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • Seller of Gulf of Mexico natural gas gathering lines and trunk line system, Texas natural gas liquids processing facilities, and onshore crude, products and gas pipelines in Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.
  • Buyer of marine terminals and petroleum products storage facilities in United States.
  • Developer of phosphate slurry pipeline in Utah and Wyoming.
  • Buyer of interests in natural gas storage facilities in California.
  • Partner on reorganization of U.S.-Swedish oil tanker shipping joint venture.

Refining, Manufacturing & Marketing
  • Partner on strategic alliance for refinery catalyst development, manufacturing and marketing.
  • Seller of Texas oil refinery and associated terminals, tank farms and pipelines.
  • Seller of Illinois coke calciner and marine terminal.
  • Buyers and sellers of asphalt refineries and marketing assets in California and Washington.
  • Partner on marine fuels and lubricants venture, integrating terminals, tank farms and vessels in several countries.
  • Developer of marketing exchange based in the U.K. for worldwide online trading of marine fuels and lubricants.
  • Partner on automotive tires, batteries and accessories (TBA) joint venture, and on online logistics for warehouse and distribution facilities throughout North America.

  • Partner on multinational petrochemicals venture in aromatics and olefins sectors.
  • Manufacturer on separation of petrochemical and oil refinery portions of industrial complex and related co-location agreements.
  • Seller of Singapore synthesis gas plant.
  • Seller of several agricultural chemical crop protection product lines in the United States, Europe and Asia.
  • Partner on agricultural chemical development and marketing venture in the United States.
  • Owners on agricultural chemical and fuel and lubricant additive toll processing and formulating agreements.
  • Seller of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing plants in Washington and California.
  • Manufacturer on distribution agreements for sale of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers worldwide.
  • Owner on technology licenses and EPC agreements for phosphate fertilizer manufacturing plant.

  • Seller and lessor of interests in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana coal properties and mining ventures.
  • Buyer of interests in coal properties in Wyoming.
  • Seller and lessor of coal mine and coal and coalbed methane reserves in Alabama.
  • Seller of California rare earths mine, Wyoming coal mine, New Mexico uranium mine, Texas uranium milling facilities, and Utah Gilsonite resin mine and associated reserves.
  • Partner in venture for oil sands extraction, bitumen pipeline and bitumen upgrader in Alberta, Canada.
  • Seller of interest in Brazilian niobium mining and marketing company.

Power Generation & Transmission
  • Seller of Washington and California gas-fired power projects.
  • Buyer of California gas-fired power project.
  • Generator on environmental and other capital improvement projects for gas-fired power generating facilities in California.
  • Developers on EPC of California wind power projects and California photovoltaic (PV) and thermal solar power projects.
  • Owner on lease financing and EPC of cogeneration projects at California and Texas oil refineries.
  • Developer on acquisition and development of geothermal energy facilities in California.
  • Seller of geothermal production resources, power generating facilities and steam or electricity sale arrangements in Utah, Nevada and California.
  • Acquirer of interests in geothermal production resources in Indonesia.
  • Co-owner on EPC of Texas electric transmission line.

Clean Technology
  • Buyer of energy services company and ongoing advice on distributed generation and energy efficiency projects in the United States.
  • Seller of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and related hydrocarbon gasification technology.
  • Developers and hosts regarding research and pilot projects for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), wave and tidal power generation technology.
  • Partner on sale of Chinese gasification technology licensing venture.
  • Prospective investor on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) certified emission reductions (CER) program in India.

Infrastructure & Construction
  • Public agencies on development and EPC of rail transit and transit-oriented development, including PPP facilities.
  • Energy service companies on EPC, lease and PPP arrangements for energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.
  • Public agencies on acquisition of ultraviolet light and membrane technology for water treatment and desalination facilities.
  • Commercial owners on design-build, construction management, design and construction agreements for office buildings, campus facilities, and mixed-use urban developments.
  • Industrial owners on EPC agreements for power generation, cogeneration, environmental treatment, manufacturing and chemicals facilities and other improvements.
  • Technology owners on EPC and license agreements for research and development, software support, telecommunications, and life sciences.
  • Hotel and resort developers on design and construction contracts for new and renovated properties and projects.
  • University and school districts, and private developers, on design and construction agreements for educational, research, residential housing and related commercial facilities.
  • Baseball team on design-build, design and construction contracts for San Francisco Giants ballpark now named AT&T Park.
  • Largest private sponsor on engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) agreements for oil pipeline and terminal facilities in Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • Owners on fixed-price conversion of $1.6 billion EPC agreement for natural gas pipeline expansion project in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.
  • Vessel owners on ship construction and renovation contracts.
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers Global, Projects—USA (2012-2013), Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional)—USA (2007-2011)
  • Chambers USA, Projects—National (2007-2012)
  • Legal 500 US, Construction (2012-2013)
  • PLC Which Lawyer?, Energy & Natural Resources—San Francisco & Silicon Valley (2008-2012)
  • Who's Who Legal, Energy—San Francisco/Houston (2010-2013)
  • Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resources Lawyers, Euromoney/Legal Media Group (2007, 2010)
  • California's 100 Most Influential Lawyers, Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals (2006)
  • Super Lawyers, Construction/Surety, Energy & Natural Resources, Mergers & Acquisitions—Northern California


American Bar Association (including its Business Law Section and Forum on the Construction Industry); Bar Association of San Francisco; Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN); State Bar of California (including its Public-Private Infrastructure, Real Estate and Business Law Sections); Advisory Board Member, Institute for International and Comparative Law (IICL), Center for American and International Law (CAIL), Texas

Speaking Engagements

“Production and Export Projects in the New Global Gas Markets,” The New U.S. Role in Global Fossil Fuel Markets Conference, Stanford, CA, December 2012.

"Strategic Alliances Between National and International Oil Companies" Pillsbury Energy Conference, Lansdowne, Virginia, October 2009.

“Liability, Permitting and Rights Acquisition Issues for Carbon Capture and Storage Project Developers," 2nd Annual Power and Alternative Energy Law Conference, Houston, Texas, April 2009.

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