The 7th – 10th May 2019 saw the launch of the inaugural London International Disputes Week (LIDW), with the aim of bringing together legal practitioners from around the world to celebrate the importance of London as a disputes resolution centre, to discuss how and why London should remain a pre-eminent forum to meet the industry’s commercial, business and legal needs in the resolution of complex cross-border financial services disputes and to consider the future of global dispute resolution generally. This unique gathering of representatives from the legal profession, the senior judiciary, industry and legal services specialists included a one-day flagship conference.
Head of Chambers Oba Nsugbe QC, SAN was part of a panel chaired by Sophie Lamb QC, Head of Latham & Watkins International Arbitration group which compared International Dispute Resolution Procedures worldwide, which included African, Asian, European perspectives as well judicial and in-house counsel’s insights.
Speaking on the African perspective Mr Nsugbe QC drew to attention to the fact that whilst the courts were generally favoured by African State Governments, interest and resort to arbitration had grown significantly due to the delays in many of the Continent’s court systems. There was, however, pushback from state actors on the choice of law for business deputes, be it state or federal, governments and the public sector would often insist on Nigerian law as opposed to English whilst the private sector was slower to depart from foreign law clauses in their business contracts.
One advantage of the globalisation of arbitral processes is the variety of seats on offer. Whilst some companies favour London, the rise of African arbitration has seen active centres in Kigali, Nairobi, Cairo and Mauritius and South Africa. Arbitration, he said, is on the rise in Africa. For further information of the event please click here.
Oba Nsugbe QC, SAN