PUC is one of Nigeria’s leading Commercial Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution law firms. We have been at the heart of some of Nigeria’s most complex and high value commercial litigation, courtesy of our vibrant and robust Advocacy & Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice (“AADR Practice”). We have represented varied clients, ranging from financial institutions, multinational oil and gas, telecommunications, manufacturing, energy and maritime companies, to governments at all levels, before all the superior courts of records in Nigeria, and in commercial arbitration proceedings, both locally and internationally.
As a commercial law Firm, our advocacy and alternative dispute resolution portfolio is heavily weighted on the side of commercial litigation. Our AADR Practice covers a wide spectrum of areas, including but not limited to Banking & Finance, Capital Market & Securities, Communications, Constitutional Law, Corporate Restructuring, Mergers & Acquisition, Election Petitions, Energy (oil and gas, power) & Environment, Intellectual Property, Labour and Industrial Relations, Project Finance & Infrastructure, Property and Construction, Taxation and Transport (Aviation and Maritime) matters.
PUC lawyers in the AADR Practice group are highly respected for their deep knowledge and strategic thinking in the handling of complex commercial disputes, and are regular speakers on burning issues relating to dispute resolution, at different fora.
Capital Oil and Gas Limited v. Access Bank PLC
PUC represented Access Bank PLC in a US$131 Million loan dispute against Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, involving multiple complex court actions numbering up to 7 (seven) suits within Nigeria, and a number of international jurisdictions including, the United Kingdom, Greece, Holland and South Africa. We also played a leading role in the negotiation of a global settlement agreement between the parties.
Archianga v. Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation & Ors
PUC defended ExxonMobil Corporation of United States of America (“USA”) in a claim involving alleged damages of US$463,797,990.00, which purportedly arose out of oil spills and gas flaring in the Plaintiffs’ communities in Ibeno Local Government of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. PUC also challenged the jurisdiction of the Nigerian Federal High Court over ExxonMobil Corporation of USA.
US$18 Million Subrogation and Garnishee Proceedings and Appeals
PUC acted as Counsel, advising foreign solicitors and representing a multinational engineering company at the Nigerian Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in several appeals resulting from a garnishee proceeding which subrogated our client as a judgment debtor, imposing on it a liability of at least US$18 million. The original suit involved a claim for brokerage fee against a German company which executed a number of high-capital projects in Nigeria.
Defence of Federal Government of Nigeria in a Dispute involving a Lease Agreement
We represented the Federal Government of Nigeria at the Nigerian Court of Appeal, in a dispute with property developers, County and City Bricks, in respect of a lease agreement over 16 hectares of prime land situated at Ikoyi Foreshore Estate, Lagos, Nigeria. The central issues in the fiercely contested Appeal were questions of the jurisdiction of the Nigerian Federal High Court over ownership disputes in respect of landed properties, the statute of limitation and validity, priority and circumstances for revocation of right of occupancy granted over land.
Cross Rivers State/Akwa Ibom State Oil Wells Suit
At the Supreme Court of Nigeria, PUC successfully represented and obtained judgment in favour of Akwa Ibom State, in a Suit filed by Cross River State claiming ownership of 76 oil wells located offshore the coast of Nigeria, and hitherto attributed to Akwa Ibom State for the purpose of 13% derivation revenue attribution pursuant to Section 162(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
Web-Sat v. Direct-on PC Limited
PUC represented Direct-on PC Limited at the Lagos State High Court, in a suit filed against the company, claiming the sum of US$407,001.44 plus interest thereon as outstanding balance for the provision of access to the internet “via Pan-AmSat PAS-IR using Web-Sat’s hub and technology, with the internet backbone connection being provided by Web-Sat in Dublin for six months, pursuant to an internet-access provision agreement between the parties.
PUC filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the competence of the action and jurisdiction of the Court to adjudicate thereupon, on the grounds that the Agreement, apart from being subject to English Law, conferred jurisdiction in regard to any dispute arising thereon on English Courts, and also based on the provisions of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution and the Nigerian Communications Act, Cap N97, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (NCA). The Court, ruling in our favour, declined jurisdiction and struck out the suit for want of jurisdiction. We are representing DOPC in the appeal by the dissatisfied Web-Sat at the Nigerian Court of Appeal.
CAMAC Group/Brass Exploration Unlimited (BEU) and Moni Pulo Limited OML
PUC provided legal advisory and support to BEU, a Nigerian subsidiary and its parent company, the CAMAC Group in a protracted dispute over ownership interests in an oil well between the group and Moni Pulo Limited (“MPL”). The suit filed by MPL before the Nigerian Federal High Court required a determination of whether or not the consent of Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister is required for the transfer of shares in an existing petroleum company that has already been granted an Oil Mining Licence pursuant to the provisions of the Petroleum Act, Cap P10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and its subsidiary legislations. The parties however opted for a commercial settlement and we played a pivotal role in the negotiations and settlement talks, which led to the eventual amicable resolution of the disputes after a keenly contested litigation.
Ibeno Clan Land Claims against Akwa-Ibom State Government (“AKSG”) and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (“MPNU”)
At the Federal High Court of Nigeria, PUC - as sole Counsel - successfully led the Defence of Akwa Ibom State, and represented MPNU - as a joint Counsel - in a suit by certain representatives of Ibeno Clan, of Ibeno Local Government Area, for certain reliefs seeking in effect, to declare as unlawful and invalid, the acquisition by MPNU of the land constituting its operational base in Akwa Ibom State from the state government, and to grant in their favour, injunctions restraining MPNU from exercising any further ownership rights over the land. The Court agreed with, and affirmed our objection challenging its jurisdictional competence to adjudicate over the suit on grounds, inter alia, that the suit is statute-barred, and struck out the suit. We represented both AKSG and MPNU in the appeal filed by the aggrieved plaintiffs at the Nigerian Court of Appeal, which again agreed with our objections, unanimously affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court and dismissed the Plaintiffs’ appeal.
Nigerian Communications Commission v. Blue-Chip Communications Company Limited
Blue-Chips Communications Company Limited (“Blue-Chips”) sued the Nigerian Communications Commission (“NCC”), contesting NCC’s refusal to grant it a mobile telephony licence. PUC, in its defence of the NCC, successfully argued that the suit was incompetent for the Plaintiff’s failure to follow the mandatory pre-action conditions contained in the Nigerian Communications Act. On appeal to the Court of Appeal, the Trial Court’s judgment was affirmed. We also defended NCC at the Supreme Court, in respect of the appeal of this matter by Blue-Chips.
Lagos State Government v Power Holding Company of Nigeria (“PHCN”)
PUC represented PHCN in a dispute between the Lagos State Government and PHCN, in respect of a Barge Power Purchase Agreement, and Contribution Agreement executed between the parties and a third party, over the implementation of an Independent Power Project in Lagos State, Nigeria. This dispute led to different suits and an Arbitral Proceeding, involving complex power contract issues. We also led and coordinated the Settlement discussions convened by the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Covalent v. Felshade and Ecobank
PUC represented Ecobank Nigeria Ltd. in the hydra-headed and contentious Covalent v. Felshade & Ecobank litigation. This dispute arose out of a loan agreement between Ecobank and one of its customers. PUC was briefed to handle the matter after interlocutory judgment had been entered and executed against the Bank. In ensuring that the said judgment was vacated, PUC successfully argued the principles of joinder of parties, and a creditor bank’s first priority lien over all monies in a debtor’s bank account with the creditor bank.
Engr. Frank Okon Daniels v. Independent National Electoral Commission & 2 Ors.
The root of this Suit lies in the governorship primaries for the 2011 General Elections of Akwa Ibom State (“AKS”) conducted by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (“PDP”). The PDP, seeking to elect the gubernatorial flag-bearer in AKS for the said 2011 General Elections scheduled a re-run of the AKS Governorship Election Primaries for 15 January 2011. The re-run primaries did hold on 15 January 2011. There were 3 names on the ballot – the Plaintiff, Imo Udo (another Petitioner against the 15 January 2011 Governorship Primaries) and the incumbent Governor of AKS, our Client. Our Client won the primaries and went on to contest and win the 2011 General Elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the Governor of AKS. The Plaintiff instituted the Suit at the Federal High Court of Nigeria challenging the PDP rerun primaries. We represented the Governor of AKS in the Suit, and urged the Federal High Court to dismiss the Suit based on salient points of law. The court in its judgment agreed with us, virtually adopting our arguments, and dismissed the Suit.