GAR “Most Important Decision” Award 2024

25 March, 2024

The English Commercial Court’s recent landmark decision in Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Process & Industrial Development Ltd has been awarded “Most Important Decision” at the 2024 GAR (“Global Arbitration Review”) Awards in Paris. Following an eight-week trial in 2023, the English Commercial Court held that Process & Industrial Development Ltd’s (P&ID’s) colossal US $11 billion award against Nigeria should be immediately set aside in full, having concluded that the arbitral awards had been obtained by fraud and contrary to public policy for the purposes of s68(2)(g) of the Arbitration Act 1996.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Knowles CBE found that P&ID (the BVI registered entity that had obtained the arbitration award against Nigeria) had obtained the award “only by practising the most severe abuses of the arbitral process” and commended the “expertise and tenacity” shown by Mishcon de Reya and Nigeria’s Counsel team which “made the difference in getting to the facts“. Permission to appeal has since been refused.

Tom Ford and Sebastian Mellab, led by Mark Howard KC, and together with Philip Riches KC and Tom Pascoe, acted for the Nigeria instructed by lead Partner Shaistah Akhtar, alongside Partner Andrew Short, Managing Associate Lydia Allaby and Associates Sophia Louw, Holly Edmond, Himaansu Servansingh, Connor Morrison and Sharvani Jeya Putra of Mishcon de Reya LLP.

The Commercial Court’s judgments of 23 October 2023 is available here, and judgement of 21 December 2023 can be found here.