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GAR 100 - 5th Edition

Templars (Barristers & Solicitors)

05 March 2012

The Nigerian firm is a new entrant in the GAR 100 this year.

Pending cases as counsel:
6
Value of pending counsel work:
US$6.5 billion

Founded in the 1990s, this Lagos-based firm is a first port of call for international oil and gas clients, which has given it a weighty commercial arbitration portfolio. When our researchers asked GAR 100 firms to name as their preferred African co-counsel, Templars was a name that repeatedly came up. The firm’s been in some of the biggest cases Nigeria has produced. It’s currently working with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on a US$1.6 billion contract claim against Nigeria’s state oil entity.

Partner Adewale Atake in Lagos heads the arbitration practice. He’s a member of the London Court of International Arbitration.

Network

Besides Lagos, the firm has offices in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Uyo.

Who uses it?

In the Freshfields case referenced above, it is representing Esso and Shell subsidiaries in a claim against Nigerian National Petroleum Company. Other clients of note include ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Total, Philippe Lassarat and South Atlantic Petroleum. It also defended the government of Nigeria’s Delta State in a billion-dollar telecoms dispute. The firm is regularly used on arbitration and post-award enforcement matters in the Nigerian courts.

Track record

For Philippe Lassarat, the firm won a US$3.5 million award in a dispute with an international oil company about the painting of offshore wellhead platforms. Hyundai Heavy Industries was also pleased when it blocked enforcement of a US$10.5 million award in Nigeria.

Recent events

Atake was admitted to the LCIA’s African users council.

The firm reports a new instruction arising from a dispute between a major gas supplier and one of the biggest breweries in Nigeria, concerning a take-or-pay provision. The outcome of the arbitration could test an uncertain area of law, it says, since the House of Lords has ruled that such provisions can offend the English rule against penalty clauses.

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