Dispute Resolution

We are proud to be regarded as one of the
pre-eminent dispute resolution teams in Africa. Our services include litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. In addition, the size of our team means that we are able to offer a high degree of specialisation across a variety of areas.

  • Overview
  • Specialist Services

Overview

Complex working relationships among individuals, companies and other organisations means that disagreements are inevitable. This is particularly true when people from diverse cultures work together in a competitive marketplace. Thus the risk that cross-border business activities will result in disputes giving rise to litigation or arbitration in unfamiliar jurisdictions is real.

We are proud to be regarded as one of the pre-eminent dispute resolution teams in Africa. Our services include litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. In addition, the size of our team means that we are able to offer a high degree of specialisation across a variety of areas.

According to the Legal 500 (2015), we have “a wealth of experience ranging from high-profile cross-border disputes to major business rescue cases”; show “business acumen” and “industry knowledge”; and have “extensive experience representing public sector bodies and parastatals”.

We are proactive in resolving disputes in the best interest of our clients, emphasising the need to be efficient and expedient in the chosen course of action.

We are well-placed to offer clients outstanding legal advice and provide professional and efficient legal service, whether in a court room, arbitration, tribunal hearing or other dispute resolution forum.

Our commercial litigation specialists analyse disputes to identify creative solutions. If formal litigation is ultimately unavoidable,our approach is to try to resolve disputes in the most cost-effective way possible.

Arbitration is a common method of dispute resolution in Africa.International arbitration is favoured by many foreign investors in Africa and domestic arbitration is also common place in the employment, construction and engineering sectors. A number of our lawyers are members of the Association of Arbitrators and have experience in both domestic and international arbitrations.

Our clients include large national clients in African jurisdictions where we have representation as well as multinationals and international law firms acting on their behalf.

 

Specialist Services

International Arbitration

The steady flow of foreign direct investment into Africa over the past decade has resulted in international arbitration fast becoming the preferred method of resolving commercial disputes on the continent. This trend is set to continue as the value of deals climbs amid continuing concerns about the quality of local judiciaries.

We provide cost-effective and practical advice at every stage of the arbitration process from drafting appropriate dispute resolution and arbitration clauses, to conducting pre-arbitral negotiations and arbitral proceedings and ultimately to enforcing arbitral awards. Our on-the-ground presence in six jurisdictions in Sub-Saharan Africa sets as apart from our competitors.

We have developed expertise across various business sectors and have experience in arbitrating under the rules of all major arbitral institutions.

We act for clients in both treaty-based arbitrations and international commercial arbitrations. Our experience ranges from investment protection arbitrations, to arbitrations concerning joint ventures and transactions as well as commercial disputes. We also regularly conduct ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL and other rules.

Our expertise extends to finding cost-effective innovative commercial solutions to settle disputes expeditiously.

Our membership of, and active participation in, regional arbitration associations, such as: the China Africa Joint Arbitration Centre; the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa; Kenya’s Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Dispute Resolution Centre; and the Association for International Arbitration in Uganda, means that we are well connected in the field.

We represent a broad international client base including multinational organisations and non-government entities, governments, state-owned entities and financial institutions.

Restructuring

Restructuring is broader than formal bankruptcy or liquidation processes. Restructuring commences as early as covenant re-setting and ‘amend and extend’ discussions, continues through default and/ or forbearances or waivers of default, consensual solutions such as refinancing, sale of non-core assets, cash injections and restructuring of the business or equity, through to formal processes such as schemes of arrangement and compromise, and ultimately business rescue and liquidation.

We are uniquely placed to advise on the full range of issues that may arise throughout any restructuring process.

Our restructuring and insolvency specialists work closely with expert lawyers in our Banking & Finance and Corporate Departments to provide a comprehensive service.

We are able to draw on in-house expertise in other areas that may be required in a complex restructuring including:  regulatory law (particularly in sectors such as mining, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications), tax, pensions and employment law, competition and merger control and real estate.

We also have English law qualified practitioners to advise on foreign listed facilities and debt instruments.

We have considerable experience in cross-border restructurings that involve simultaneous insolvency filings in multiple jurisdictions. Our team members have also advised on many pan-European and co-ordinated US/ Europe restructurings.