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Bates White client Federal Republic of Nigeria wins high-stakes appeal

October 2023

Partner Glenn R. George testified at trial on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Nigeria v. P&ID, an $11 billion matter in the High Court of England and Wales. The case involves Nigeria’s attempt to overturn an award made in P&ID’s favor in a prior international arbitration matter.

In 2010, P&ID signed an agreement to fund and build a natural gas processing plant in Nigeria in an effort to tackle the country’s chronic shortage of electric power. Over the next seven years, arbitration proceedings were launched by both P&ID and Nigeria, and a tribunal ordered Nigeria to pay P&ID approximately $10 billion in 2017, an amount that, over the next few years increased due to interest to nearly $11 billion. In 2019, Nigeria was granted permission to appeal that decision.

Dr. George’s testimony addressed the financeability of the effort to fund and build the natural gas processing plant in Nigeria. By 2023 due to interest accruing, the amount the tribunal said Nigeria owed had increased to nearly $11 billion—an amount close to its entire federal budget.[1] The matter garnered significant media attention, including in Bloomberg,[2] Reuters, Global Arbitration Review,[3] and various news outlets in Nigeria[4] and elsewhere in Africa.

In October 2023, the High Court upheld Nigeria’s challenge, ruling that the award was won fraudulently.[5] In his decision, Justice Robin Knowles acknowledged “evidence from expert witnesses … of true distinction, experience, and expertise.” In December 2023, the judge refused to hear an appeal to his ruling, closing one of the most high-profile disputes in the arbitration field.


[1] Bianca Castro, “Nigeria Wins Arbitration Award Fight against P&ID as Judgment Referred to Regulators over Lawyers’ Conduct,” Law Society Gazette, October 23, 2023.

[2] Upmanyu Trivedi and William Clowes, “Nigeria’s $11 Billion Case Threatens Biggest African Economy,” Bloomberg, January 23, 2023.

[3] Alison Ross, “Nigeria Seeks to Overturn US$11 Billion Award,” Global Arbitration Review, January 27, 2023.

[4] Clement Alphonsus, “P&ID v. Nigeria, Bid to Overturn $11bn Judgement Debt,” The Nigerian Voice, January 26, 2023.

[5] Upmanu Trivedi, “Nigeria Fends Off $11 Billion Award as UK Judge Finds Fraud,” Bloomberg, October 23, 2023.

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