The litigation team of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have emerged winners of the Leading Case Counsel Team of the 2020 Africa Arbitration Awards. The international event in which participants joined virtually is the 8th edition of the East African International Arbitration Conference (EAIC), which was held in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
The conference, aimed at promoting commercial arbitration and showcasing African lawyers and law firms which have excelled in arbitration practice, had in attendance the NNPC legal team who gave a presentation on the challenges and lessons learnt from arbitrations and the successes recorded.
Among the successful arbitration cases showcased by the NNPC legal team at the conference were the IPCO (Nigeria) Vs. NNPC in respect of the dispute over the Bonny Export Terminal project in which $367.5 million was saved after 13 years of litigation and ESSO E&P Nigeria Limited Vs. NNPC in respect of the dispute over the interpretation of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) covering Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 209/Oil Mining Lease (OML) 133 in which the enforcement of $2.7 billion claim was dismissed.
Other recent arbitration cases presented at the conference include ESSO & Others Vs. NNPC in respect of alleged breaches in interpretation and implementation of the PSC covering OPL 222/OML 138 with over $380.141 million saved and the Atlantic Energy Group vs. NPDC in respect of allegation of wrongful termination of Strategic Alliance Agreements over eight OMLs resulting in the award of $1.6 billion in favour of NPDC.
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The NNPC legal team’s entry for the Leading Case Counsel Team category of the Africa Arbitration Award was adjudged the best amongst entries from 100 other institutions across African continent resulting in the award presentation.
Kennie Obateru, the corporation’s group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, in a statement, said the award was given to the NNPC liitigation team in recognition of its stellar performance.
The corporation asserts that the award is an attestation to the commitment of the legal division and indeed the staff of the corporation to the Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda of the management led by Mele Kyari, group managing director.