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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 31 Mar 2016

Court cannot intervene in arbitral proceedings outside provisions of Arbitration Act

The Abuja Court of Appeal recently considered whether a court can appoint an arbitrator on its own volition and order parties to report the outcome of the arbitral proceedings to the court. The decision confirms that a court is not permitted by law to order that the outcome of arbitration be reported to it; arbitration cannot be treated the same as negotiations for out-of-court settlement.
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 17 Dec 2015

Appeals court rules on illegal termination of arbitral proceedings

The Lagos Court of Appeal recently ruled on the issuance of an arbitral award after the arbitrator's termination of proceedings in illegal circumstances. The court found that misconduct was established against the arbitrator for terminating the proceedings in contravention of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and handing down an award after he had divested himself of jurisdiction to......
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 23 Jul 2015

Can a non-party to an arbitration agreement intervene in proceedings?

The Abuja Court of Appeal recently ruled on the right of a non-party to an arbitration agreement. The first respondent instituted the suit on the basis that any potential award in the arbitration pursuant to the production sharing contract – to which it was not a party – would impinge on its right to discharge its statutory functions.
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 30 Apr 2015

Appeal court orders parties to honour arbitration agreement

The Lagos Court of Appeal recently ordered the parties to a will dispute to honour their arbitration agreement. The court held that the parties' family agreement was unequivocal and related to all disputes arising from the mode of sharing the estate and personal property of the deceased. Where the parties have voluntarily and willingly entered into an agreement, that agreement must be honoured.
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 12 Mar 2015

Court rules on commencement of enforcement of arbitral award

The Court of Appeal recently considered whether it was required to comply with the Lagos State Arbitration Law 2009 regarding the commencement of enforcement of an arbitral award, rather than the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 2004. The decision is a call for accelerated proceedings in respect of arbitration matters before the courts for determination.
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 26 Jun 2014

Court rules on right to stay proceedings pending arbitration

The Court of Appeal recently ruled on the discretionary right of a party to an arbitration agreement to apply to court to stay proceedings pending arbitration. The trial court held that the suit was premature, as there was an arbitration clause between the parties, and struck out the appellant's suit. In a welcome decision, the Court of Appeal reversed this ruling and heard the case on the......
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 8 May 2014

Appeal court cautions on setting aside of arbitral awards

The Lagos Court of Appeal recently cautioned the courts on the setting aside of arbitral awards. While cautioning the Nigerian courts to exercise restraint when setting aside arbitral awards, the appeal court emphasised that parties must accept the arbitrator's decision and that an award will not be set aside lightly. The case confirms the pro-arbitration stance of the Nigerian courts.
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 12 Dec 2013

Lagos Court of Appeal lifts anti-arbitration injunction in groundbreaking decision

The Lagos Court of Appeal has handed down a groundbreaking decision on the limit of a court's intervention in arbitral proceedings, which will put Nigeria on the map as an arbitration-friendly country. However, certain aspects of the ruling, particularly related to an arbitrator's jurisdiction, should be viewed with caution. The ruling should assist in stemming the habitual issuance of......
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria, United Kingdom | 10 Oct 2013

Court rules on grant of stay of proceedings pending reference to arbitration

The Lagos Court of Appeal recently ruled on the basic requirements for the grant of an order to stay proceedings pending reference of the dispute to arbitration. Having found the subject matter of the action to be arbitrable, the court refused – perhaps erroneously – to grant a stay of the proceedings on the sole ground that the appellant had not established readiness and willingness to......
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Dorothy Ufot & Co | Nigeria | 4 Jul 2013

Arbitrating foreign investment disputes in Nigeria: prospects and challenges

Nigeria's investment laws and policies are geared towards liberalisation, deregulation and competition. As a result of this favourable climate and its economic and political stability, the country has become increasingly attractive to foreign investors. However, with increased investment comes increased potential for disputes. This update examines the infrastructure available in Nigeria for......
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