Members of Chambers have worked for clients in, and in connection with disputes arising out of, projects across Africa including Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Energy disputes account for a good proportion of members’ work in Africa – both onshore and offshore – in oil & gas (including drilling, jack-up rigs and FPSOs), renewables (including nuclear), and power plant construction disputes (geothermal and coal-fired).

Members also have a global reputation for their expertise in infrastructure projects and have worked on disputes in Africa and elsewhere in areas such as

  • Transport – road and rail (trans-national and continental, and urban transport schemes), and airport construction.
  • Social infrastructure eg hospitals and educational establishments.
  • IT and telecoms including mobile technology and software/hardware infrastructure

Members have also frequently worked on disputes relating to mining and quarrying, and chemical plant construction (including fertilizers).

While English barristers are most commonly considered in relation to common law jurisdictions, members at Atkin Chambers frequently work in civil law jurisdictions, in cases where there may be local law considerations to consider alongside the law pertaining to the commercial contract at issue and the seat of dispute resolution, and also where other considerations such as Sharia law may be relevant.

Atkin Chambers is delighted to be involved with the International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA) programme, supported by the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR).

Over the years members of Atkin Chambers have been called upon to provide specialist legal advice and services in connection with projects across the continent. An overview of recent involvement is set out below:

Energy disputes in Africa – oil & gas and renewables

  • Acting for contractor in relation to the dispute arising out of the termination of a contract to undertake the onshore construction work as part of a project to build a major gas transmission pipeline between three West African nations with substantial offshore facilities in two other additional countries.
  • Dispute related to EPC Contract for one of the world’s largest solar power production facilities.
  • Liquidated damages dispute between North African and European contractors, and the joint venture partners re: major North African solar facility.
  • Dispute about the construction of a dry-cooled coal-fired power station.
  • Dispute concerning the provision of construction, engineering and procurement services related to the expansion and refurbishment of a major North African state-owned oil refinery.
  • Dispute between local and overseas contractors re: construction of $3.5 billion oil refinery in North Africa.
  • EPIC contract for the expansion of existing gas field facilities to bring new subsea wells online 95 kilometres offshore North Africa.
  • Dispute relating to drilling of an exploratory oil well offshore Tunisia acting for drilling contractor against international energy joint venture.
  • Claim relating to the supply of equipment to LPG facility on the Libyan coast.
  • Equity redetermination case re: offshore oil fields in West Africa.
  • Arbitration concerning the contract to provide technical services with respect to the deployment of a jack-up rig in Nigeria
  • Dispute re: FPSO operating offshore Gabon.
  • A number of disputes in relation to the construction of coal-fired power plants under FIDIC contract terms governed by non-English law.
  • Case in West Africa about the termination of a contract to build the West African gas pipeline.

Water and hydro power projects

  • Southern African project to provide water to a large region and to generate hydro-electricity for the country.
  • Acting in dispute between Asian joint venture and state-owned power company re: the construction of an 80 MW Hydroelectric power plant including the associated generation substation designed to supply electricity to the national grids of three East African nations.

Transport project in Africa

  • Dispute relating to EPCM contract to construct private toll road in West Africa financed by the African Development Bank.
  • Dispute between southern African government and Asian construction company re: airport expansion project.
  • Acting for global integrated design and engineering consultancy re: commuter rail system linking city centres and international airport.

Disputes related to chemicals, mining and quarrying

  • Dispute re: construction of chemical complex in North Africa designed to produce mining grade ammonium nitrate for explosives used in mining and construction.
  • Dispute relating to Low Density Ammonium Nitrate (LDAN) facility in North Africa re: the EPC contract with a German construction and engineering major.
  • Acting on behalf of the owner of a West African fertilizer complex against the main EPC contractor engaged to construct the plant.
  • Dispute concerning construction and operation of phosphate mine and associated port facility to export the product in West Africa.

Other commercial disputes in Africa

  • ICSID case re: bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between German company and the Ghana Cocoa Board.
  • Prestige hotel and commercial development project in North Africa.
  • Dispute relating to construction of new embassy building in Southern African capital city.
  • Design and build of a sugar processing plant in Eritrea and governed by Eritrean law.