Dispute Resolution

G. Elias & Co advises on and represents clients in contentious matters with large claims, complex issues and novel points of law. Our proficiency in and commitment to advising and representing clients at the highest levels in these matters is unquestioned. We regularly work on such matters as well as causes celebre and other critical and controversial disputes in a wide variety of fora in both criminal and civil proceedings. We do so in all of the main practice areas and sectors in which we do transactions and regulatory work.  We appear regularly before arbitral tribunals, in mediations, states and federal high courts, the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and before administrative tribunals.  Many of the disputes that we work on have foreign elements.   We have advised and represented foreign plaintiffs and foreign defendants, and our lawyers have opined as expert witnesses on Nigerian law in foreign fora.

Some of our key successful litigation and arbitration experiences are as follows:

  • Advising British America Tobacco, American but the UK listed parent entity in the most extensive series of product liability cases filed to recover over N5trn in total by 5 States’ Attorneys-General plus the Attorney-General of the Federation.
  • Successfully defended Citibank Nigeria Limited (subsidiary of Citi Group) in a claim filed by Afribank (now Skye Bank Plc) that it acted negligently in handling investment assets valued at N22,550,000,000 that were deposited with it as custodian which resulted in the conversion and/or loss of proceeds of the investments.
  • Successfully defended the oldest and largest bank in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, in a suit filed by Nigeria’s largest and oldest petroleum production company, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, for the reversal of over N6bn debits on Shell’s JV Account in respect of Standard Form Guarantees given in respect of environmental damage claims against Shell.
  • Advised the Ebonyi State Government in a suit filed to stop it from going forward with N15bn bond issuance.
  • Advised MTN Nigeria Communications Limited in respect of a cause celebre “freedom of speech” enforcement suit filed against it and the telecommunications regulator by a political party in Nigeria in respect of MTN’s carriage of political messages during the 2015 presidential elections.
  • Successfully defended Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) in a suit commenced by its former Chairman seeking an injunction against ETI raising new capital at a time when ETI was seeking to raise up to US$400mm.
  • Advising and defending a total of six (6) cases regarding the ejection of our client, Zhongfu International Investment (Nig.) FZE from the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Nigeria and have advised the client on commencement of an international arbitration before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre for claim of over US$50mm.
  • Advising Lutin Investments Limited on the enforcement of the arbitral award of over US$300mm.
  • Advising Sunrise Power and Transmission Company on a long-running dispute against the Federal Government of Nigeria over the cancellation of award of, and an attempt to re-award, the 6,000MW Mambilla hydroelectric power project in the sum of US$6bn.
  • Advising and representing Mobile Decisioning African Limited in about six (6) lawsuits on patentability of airtime advance credit service software technology (an emergency airtime credit service for prepaid mobile telephony subscribers) in which can be fatal to significant lines of the company’s business.
  • Successfully defended ACI Worldwide in two (2) High Court cases (and are defending the appeals arising from the cases) relating to (i) enforcement of an English judgment arising from a software licensing agreement and (ii) the tort of inducement of breach of contract relating to a software licensing agreement in the value of US$1,051,835.24 and GBP29,500 respectively.
  • Advising the Coca Cola Company on product liability claims in relation to some popular consumer products in Nigeria in value of US$4mm.
  • Advising, either prosecuting or defending, on a total of six cases in court involving bad loans in excess of N9 billion arising in respect of the insolvency of Afrijet Airlines Limited, an airline operator.
  • Advising and representing Skye Bank Plc in disputes involving a series of excessive withholding tax demands by several States’ Boards of Internal Revenue with threats to shut down the operations of the Bank and distrain assets of about US$100 million of economic impact.
  • Advising and defending Gruppo Nigeria Limited in a suit brought against it for title to the land on which the US$150mm Ikeja City Mall is situated.
  • Advising and representing IMA Zambia Limited in a dispute over payment for clearing and forwarding services rendered by our client under a work order contract between our client and Dangote Industries Zambia Limited respect of operations in Zambia. The claim in the arbitration is over US$4 million.
  • We are representing Evic Investment Limited, a British Virgin Islands company in suit to recover about US$10,000,000 (plus interest) placed with an investment manager for the purpose of investment in a telecom company that later went into receivership.

For more information on G. Elias’ dispute resolution expertise, please contact Gbolahan Elias and Fidelis Adewole.