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  • 29 years' litigation and arbitration experience and expertise across a range of sectors, including the banking and financial services and energy sectors.
  • Head of the Firm’s Civil Fraud Litigation practice and specialises in resolving complex disputes and claims which have elements of dishonesty, fraud or corruption.
  • Has applied for or defended applications for emergency injunctions and disclosure orders to support fraud claims on numerous occasions.
  • Head of the firm’s Africa Group and many of his cases relate to or originate from jurisdictions in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Clients he has represented include the African Development Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • Recognised by Chambers and Legal 500 as a ‘leading individual’ for banking litigation and civil fraud, as well as a ‘foreign expert’ on Nigerian disputes.

  

Practices

Representative Experience

  • Acting for global financial services firm in leading a cross-practice team to recover the proceeds of a large-scale, multimillion dollar, sophisticated tax fraud perpetrated on the firm by rogue employees. The team successfully obtained extremely urgent freezing injunctions to protect assets and disclosure orders to assist with the tracing of the fraudulent payments.  The team has also obtained novel orders for alternative service including service via WhatsApp.  The client is on track to make significant recoveries from the fraudsters.
  • Central Bank of Nigeria - Acted for the Central Bank of Nigeria in its successful defence of a claim valued at over £1bn against it brought by a Nigerian citizen in the High Court in England. The claimant alleged that he was the victim of a “sting” operation by the Nigerian state security services and the Central Bank which caused him financial loss. Following an appeal by the CBN, the Supreme Court of England and Wales in a landmark judgment, disallowed part of the claimant’s case and thereby clarified the law surrounding civil fraud claims made against alleged accessories. Williams v Central Bank of Nigeria [2014] UKSC 10
  • A Korean engineering company in the recovery of loans from various Maltese and Turkish shipping companies and a high net worth individual, which involved proceedings in Switzerland, Jersey and the Marshall Islands.
  • A European national oil company in relation to various claims arising under a share purchase agreement pursuant to which oil and gas assets were acquired from an international oil company.
  • An indigenous African exploration and production company in relation to a dispute with a joint venture partner arising out of the acquisition of oil and gas acreage from an international oil company.
  • Almost US$1 bn in favour of the bank - Acted for one of Nigeria’s largest banks in a claim brought to the English High Court against its former managing director. It was alleged that the defendant had misappropriated the bank’s assets and orchestrated an unlawful share price-rigging scheme. It resulted in a final judgment of almost US$1bn in favour of the bank. Access Bank Plc v Akingbola [2012] EWHC 2148 (Comm)]
  • High-net-worth families – Acted for members of a high net worth family who succeeded in proving that other members of the family had engaged in wrongful stripping of the assets of the family business. They were consequently awarded ownership and control of the family business: Ackerman v Ackerman and others [2011] EWHC 3428 and Ackerman v Thornhill [2017] EWHC 99 (Ch). He also acted in successful claims against certain professional advisers who had dishonestly assisted in the asset-stripping of the family business.
  • Multinationals - Acted for Vee Networks (now part Airtel Nigeria), a major Nigerian GSM telecommunications company in London-seat, multimillion dollar arbitrations and ancillary English High Court actions . The disputes arose out of various agreements between Vee Networks and Econet Wireless International, a South Africa-based telecoms company and its subsidiaries: Vee Networks Limited vs Econet Wireless International Limited [2004] EWHC 2909 (Comm); Econet Satellite Services Ltd v Vee Networks Limited [2006] EWHC 1664 (Comm); Econet Wireless Limited v Vee Networks Limited and others [2006] EWHC 1568 (Comm)
  • African Development Bank - Acted for the African Development Bank multi-million dollar claim against the liquidators of BCCI (Overseas) Limited. It arose out of the decision of the liquidators to reject the bank’s claim in the liquidation. Proceedings were commenced in the Cayman Islands to reverse the liquidators’ decision and the bank subsequently made a full recovery of its claim.
  • Federal Government of Nigeria - Acted for the Federal Government of Nigeria in a claim against the estate of the late General Sani Abacha to recover the proceeds of a US$750m fraudulent debt buy back scheme. Worldwide freezing and disclosure orders in support of the claim were obtained in respect of the defendant's assets. After a trial in the English Commercial Court lasting six months, the government was awarded judgment in the sum of DM300m. The judgment sum was eventually paid by the defendants.