Paul Usoro SAN, FCIArb

Paul Usoro SAN, FCIArb
Office:
3rd & 4th Floor, Union Bank Building
Plot 1668B Oyin Jolayemi Street
Victoria Island
PO Box 71605
City:
Lagos
Country:
Nigeria
Tel:
+234 1 271 4842 5
Fax:
+234 1 271 4846

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Nigeria - Data

Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb is the senior partner and founder of Paul Usoro & Co, a leading commercial law firm in Nigeria. He is also the president of the Nigerian Bar Association. As a foremost information and communications technology (ICT) lawyer in Nigeria, he heads the dispute resolution and the communications law practice groups of the firm. His expertise pervades the entire gamut of commercial practice and communications, and this has earned the firm the patronage of a diverse range of clients in various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Paul was unanimously chosen by the chief executive officers of 18 commercial banks to lead a team of lawyers in an action by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and the Attorney General of the Federation asking the court for interim orders against all Nigeria’s commercial banks to disclose customers’ accounts not linked to any bank verification number and for an order to forfeit the monies therein to the FGN.

Paul has been involved virtually in all major transactions and regulatory reforms in the Nigerian communications sector. His accomplishments include acting as the sole Nigerian legal counsel who worked on the first ever Nigerian Digital Mobile Spectrum Auction conducted in 2000, earning the FGN a sum of US$855 million.

Paul played a crucial role, as a member of the team that represented the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in obtaining a final settlement of about 300 billion naira from a telecommunication giant for contravening an NCC directive.

Paul drafted the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, a robust piece of legislation that regulates the telecommunications industry till date. He has been the primary advisor to NCC in most of its reform initiatives. As a legal consultant to NCC, he was the only African and the sole legal practitioner in the six-member auction control team for the GSM Spectrum Licence Auction that introduced Econet Wireless Networks Limited (now Airtel), MTN Communications Limited and NITEL GSM (NITEL) to the Nigerian market.

Paul also drafted the Nigerian Communications (enforcement processes etc) Regulations, 2005, the Interconnectivity Agreement between NITEL and licensed private network operators, the Annual Operating Levy Regulations (2014) and the Mobile Number Portability Regulations (2014). His participation in the Second National Operator licensing processes birthed Globacom Limited, Nigeria’s second national carrier.

Paul represented NITEL in the negotiation of the Construction and Management Agreement for the laying of a trans-continental fibre-optic cable project which spans the sub-Saharan African Continent and extends to Far East Asia. This was the first trans- continental cable project in sub-Saharan Africa.

Paul worked on a US$120 million syndicated financing facility for development of 12,378-kilometre submarine optic fibre cable by Main One Cable Company Limited with landing stations in Lagos, Ghana and Portugal. He advised on regulatory compliance and all issues relating to Nigerian law on financing and regulatory matters.

Paul was named the Best Pan African Telecoms Lawyer of All Times by the IT and Telecom Digest.

Paul is a faculty member of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in the area of telecommunications law and practice. Accordingly, he has delivered several papers at NIALS’ workshops, seminars and training sessions.

WWL says: Paul Usoro SAN is a distinguished telecoms lawyer. He is held in high esteem for his excellent litigation practice and is a go-to adviser among major Nigerian companies and multinational clients. 

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Nigeria which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Nigeria - Litigation

Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb is the senior partner and founder of Paul Usoro & Co, a leading commercial law firm in Nigeria. He is also the president of the Nigerian Bar Association. As a foremost and astute commercial litigator, he heads the dispute resolution and the communications practice groups of the firm. His expertise pervades the entire gamut of commercial practice, and as thus represents a diverse range of clients in various sectors.

Paul's skills and prowess as a litigator and strategist are nationally and internationally acknowledged. His litigation practice cuts across all the superior courts in Nigeria with a vibrant appellate experience.

Paul was pivotal to the recovery of 16 billion naira for Access Bank Plc in a highly controversial multijurisdictional dispute against a Nigerian company. He played the leading role in the negotiation of a global settlement agreement between the parties.

Paul played a crucial and leading role in the team that represented a France-based multinational oil servicing company in a landmark litigation against a Nigerian company for the recovery of judgment sums of US$24 million; DM180 million; and 26 million naira. The judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal has become a locus classicus in Nigerian jurisprudence on the principles of subrogation for purposes of realising a judgment debt.

Paul also successfully represented the immediate past group managing director of Access Bank Plc and the current group managing director of Access Bank Plc in a suit challenging the statutory powers of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) to investigate issues of mergers and acquisitions and other business combinations, particularly the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Plc (IBPLC) by Access Bank Plc.

Paul championed the amicable resolution of the dispute between Stanbic IBTC Bank, FRCN and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion. His stellar dispute resolution skills ensured that the parties resolved the most contentious issues out of court, following which FRCN issued its written approval of Stanbic IBTC's restated 2013 and 2014 Financial Statements.

Paul was the strategist and coordinating anchor for the defence of Akwa Ibom State in the Supreme Court oil well matters between Akwa Ibom State on the one hand and Rivers and Cross River States respectively on the other hand. The outcome of these cases resulted in Akwa Ibom State's retention of most of its oil wells, which were the bone of contention in the suits.

Paul successfully defended the Power Holding Company of Nigeria in an arbitration instituted by the Lagos State Government in respect of a dispute pertaining to the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement and a Contribution Agreement.

Paul was unanimously chosen by the chief executive officers of 18 commercial banks to lead a team of lawyers in an action by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and the Attorney General of the Federation asking the court for interim orders against all Nigeria's commercial banks to disclose customers' accounts not linked to any bank verification number and for an order to forfeit the monies therein to the FGN.

Paul is a faculty member of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in the area of telecommunications law and practice. Accordingly, he has delivered several papers at NIALS' workshops, seminars and training sessions.

WWL says: Paul Usoro SAN is an outstanding practitioner who remains a favourite among respondents for his wealth of expertise on a range of major litigation matters.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Nigeria which can be purchased from our Shop.

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