Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Commercial Litigation

Our lawyers have leveraged on the vibrant Corporate/Commercial practice of the Firm to understand the intricacies of the business world and its needs. This gives us the advantage of appreciating each dispute from a business angle and proffering solutions that are tied to commercial efficacies and profit imperatives.

Our services in this area of practice include the following:

Corporate Litigation

We are proud of our heritage in providing a service we refer to as ‘Corporate Litigation’! In our dictionary, “Corporate Litigation” means managing the entire, or a substantial part of the litigation portfolio of a corporate entity across the states of the Federation or within a defined territory in Nigeria. One hallmark of this specialized service is our ability to deploy personnel to different parts of Nigeria to intervene in, and deal with crises situations involving our clients within the shortest possible time.

We successfully managed the entire litigation portfolio of a leading construction company which involved defending the company in over 200 different types of cases in various courts and tribunals all over the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the same vein, we manage the entire litigation portfolio of a leading oil and gas company which has involved over 150 different cases in different parts of Nigeria including the Niger-Delta region.

Labour and Employment Litigation

We have extensive experience in handling all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law disputes. We have had a track record of handling high profile disputes and litigation matters, as well as regularly advising on a wide range of employment and labour matters involving employee welfare and benefits; boardroom and executive management severance claims dispute; collective bargaining issues (including negotiations with and defence of enforcement actions against trade-unions); redundancies, dismissals and terminations issues; occupational health and safety; employment contracts and employees’ handbooks/manuals; employee compensation; enforcement actions involving breach of trade secrets and restrictive covenants; judicial review actions; employment issues in corporate restructuring transactions; out-sourcing related matters; amongst others.

Real Estate & Property Disputes

Members of our Dispute Resolution team have been involved in some of the landmark real property cases in Nigeria including matters involving ownership of property, construction/property development contracts, structural and environmental damage, commercial property management and services agreements. This hard core experience, combined with our knowledge of modern real estate businesses, is a great advantage to the several clients we represent in property related cases.

Tax Litigation

We have advised and represented leading corporations in complex tax related litigation in a variety of venues, including disputes before the Federal Tax Appeal Tribunal, Joint Tax Board as well as State Courts and Tribunals. We have successfully challenged situations of multiple taxations in different parts of the country for some of our multi-national clients.

Our practice in tax litigations include challenging and defending improper tax claims and assessment including taxes imposed by Federal, State and Local Government authorities and/or their agencies.

Insolvency, Debt Recovery & Asset Tracing

We provide focused and timely commercial advice and risk analysis to our clients on complex domestic and cross-border insolvencies. We have an excellent track record in recovery of debts (including secured and unsecured, and/or trade debts), risk assets recovery and collateral review advisory, enforcement and foreclosure of securities, as well as asset tracing and white collar crimes.

We have special experience in relation to asset preservation and enforcement matters, including enforcement of foreign Judgments and foreign Arbitration Awards. We have achieved significant recoveries by developing strategies to obtain and/or exercise powers over the assets of debtor-defendants.

Telecommunications & Information Technology Disputes

Our Lawyers are well positioned to deal with telecommunications and information technology related disputes, including matters involving co-location disputes, interconnectivity disputes, consumer protection claims, commercial contracts, cell site acquisition, community relations, labour and employment, amongst others. The head of our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice was a pioneer member of the Panel of Neutrals (Arbitrators and Mediators) that was set up by the Nigerian Communications Commission at the twilight of the growth in the Nigerian telecommunications sector in 2001/2002.

Shareholders and Boardroom Disputes

We have vast experience and skills in managing, prosecuting and defending disputes pertaining to the management and operations of companies, including derivative actions and shareholders’ litigation, as well as company boardroom disputes.

Corporate Restructuring Litigation and Legal Due Diligence/Audits

We remain a foremost firm in Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions Practice in Nigeria, with a number of blue chip transactions to our credit. This has equipped our litigation team with requisite knowledge and expertise in preparing necessary court processes and obtaining relevant court orders and sanctions for the actualization of corporate restructuring projects including, court-ordered meetings of shareholders of companies as well as sanctioning of schemes of merger and acquisition, schemes of arrangement, business combinations, capital reduction schemes, and Employees Trust Schemes, amongst others.

Brand Protection

Intellectual Property Litigation

Our Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Area is a spin-off from our rich heritage in intellectual property practice which spans over thirty years of collective experience. We have instituted and prosecuted several IP rights protection and enforcement cases for blue chip companies and have obtained Anton Pillar orders of search and seizure with which we hit infringers “below the belt” and constrain them to the negotiation table, thereby saving the clients the time, labour and cost associated with long drawn court cases.

Relevant Experience

  • Represents a major telecommunication company in prosecuting intellectual property right enforcement litigations against offenders dealing in importation, marketing, sale and distribution of counterfeits of its mobile telephones and accessories in Nigeria.
  • Represented a leading American multinational conglomerate and its Nigerian
  • Joint Venture company in three (3) different civil suits involving the protection and defence of its trademarks, trade name and brand name in Nigerian;
  • Representing a US international banking group in protecting its trademark against infringement by a group of Nigerian companies.
  • Advised and represented a third-party content provider for mobile telecommunication networks in Nigeria in a landmark case on patentability of telecommunications lottery.
  • Advised and represented a multinational airline carrier company on claims pertaining to copyright infringement action.
  • Acted on behalf of a US cosmetic manufacturer in successfully appealing the adverse ruling of the Registrar of Trademark in respect of offending trademarks. Obtained a court final judgement revoking five unlawful trademark applications.

Anti-Counterfeiting

The Anti-Counterfeiting Practice functions between the firm’s Intellectual Property and Litigation/Dispute Resolution Practice Groups. It is designed to execute specialised anti-counterfeiting campaigns to meet the particular challenges of each client. These assignments are carried out by a dedicated team of expert lawyers, paralegals and investigators with practical experience on the field.

To continually meet needs of our clients in combating the challenges posed by the dynamism of the counterfeiters, our Anti-Counterfeiting Team has evolved several effective means within the ambit of the law (other than traditional civil litigation) of dealing with the menace of counterfeiting

The firm’s Anti-Counterfeiting services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Extensive on-site investigations at known addresses where counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trades are carried out in any part of Nigeria and the West African sub-region
  • Market survey of known markets where counterfeit products are sold and distributed, with a view to determining the source of manufacture or importation;
  • Investigative trademark searches at the Trademarks Registry
  • Administrative actions at the Corporate Affairs Commission in relation to the conflict between company names and trademarks;
  • Obtaining Anton Pillar orders and injunctions;
  • Organising and conducting Police raids in the markets and at locations of suspected dealers in counterfeits, with a view to seizure and destruction of offending products and prosecution of offenders;
  • Combating parallel imports;
  • Negotiating amicable settlement and extracting relevant written non-violation Undertakings from offenders;
  • Organising awareness/sensitization campaigns in the markets.

Trademarks Opposition

We have a team dedicated to protecting clients’ trademarks by opposing the registration of any conflicting trademarks or defending any opposition against client’s trademarks at the Nigerian Trademarks Registry. We are quite experienced in prosecuting trademark cancellations both at the Registry and in the regular courts, and have handled upwards of a thousand trademark opposition cases and cancellation actions.

The firm’s Trademark Opposition practice includes the following services:

  • Trademark Journal Watch Service
  • Advising on chances of successfully defending or opposing trademark applications
  • Initiating trademark opposition actions against off ending trademark applications
  • Defending trademark opposition actions
  • Drafting petitions and making representations before the Registrar of Trademarks;
  • Negotiating amicable settlement between opposing parties;
  • Extracting written undertakings from offenders to refrain from infringing on clients’ Intellectual Property rights.

Arbitration & Mediation

Our Arbitration & Mediation team comprises experienced and skilled Arbitration and Mediation practitioners, engaged in acting as Counsel to clients who are parties in arbitration proceedings and mediation processes, as well as presiding over disputes as Arbitrators and Mediators. We have on our team Fellows and members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom, and a pioneer member of the Panel of Neutrals of the Lagos Multi-Door Court House who presides over disputes as an Arbitrator.

Our services include initiating and defending contentious disputes before Arbitration Tribunals, including institutional and ad-hoc tribunals. We are also involved in the enforcement of Arbitral awards, whether issued by local or foreign arbitral tribunals. We advise on, and draft arbitration clauses in commercial contracts.

We have represented clients in arbitration proceedings arising from labour & employment matters, IP and Domain Name conflicts, franchising disputes, telecoms Interconnectivity and co-location disputes, construction/civil engineering disputes, consumer and product liability disputes, trademark licensing disputes etc. We recently instituted, prosecuted and concluded a multi-million-claims dispute on behalf of a Danish multinational brewing corporation at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. The award was entered in our favour.


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