Speciality Practice Print

OVERVIEW;

Environmental Law Opinion And Advice

 

Company Formation And Representation

Project Finance

 

Energy- Environmental Oil & Gas

Civil, Criminal& Commercial Litigation

 

Energy - Community Development

International Company Representation

 

International Trade and Privatisation

Debt Collection

 

Property & Conveyancing

Fundamental Rights Applications

 

Immigration and International Trade

Media Law/Definition

 

Trademarks/ Intellectual Property

Medical Negligence

 

Parliamentary

Banking Negligence & Supervision

 

Matrimonial

Trust Probate , Wills And Tax Planning

 

Landlord And Tenant

Minority Shareholder Protection

 

Residential/Commercial

Litigation

 

Joint Ventures

Mergers & Acquisitions

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Capital Markets & Loans

Human Rights Law & Practice

 

Intellectual Property Law

Arbitration

 

Commercial Practice & Sales of Goods

 


 

Residential/Commercial;

The firm undertakes the preparation of licences and appropriate consents for the transfer of leases and other property rights.

The firm structures property acquisition agreements, development leases, property sales and provision of security in the commercial, retail, industrial and residential markets. The firm advises, negotiates and drafts appropriate property security documents including mortgages, debentures, charges, leases, assignments , rental agreements, and advises on planning and environmental issues relating to residential property and riparian rights.

 


 

Property & Conveyancing;

The firm provides appropriate agreements and structures for international private client mortgages in property development. The firm conducts real property searches for international corporate and private client acquisition of real property. The firm conducts due diligence searches on title for international clients, and as necessary, consults with clients and foreign law firms (where necessary) to securitize funding for property development and construction. The firm is registered with specialist international banks and undertakes property conveyancing dealings with the Land Registry and Inland Revenue with a view to investment property purchase by international clients.

 


 

Wills & Intestacy;

We have represented and provided advice to international clients in matters involving contentious probate and intestacy disputes either directly or through our vast network of international law firms sometimes where the client could not travel overseas or where litigation had already been commenced against the client in the UK or overseas. In one instance, in the High Court at the Strand, we provided evidence of a mutual will which was not validly revoked by a testator to set aside a later will made by the testator which was not in favour of the testator's spouse. We have successfully "warned off" caveats filed against the applicants for letters of administration in overseas jurisdiction, conducted relevant searches at the Probate Registry, provided advice to clients on the resealing of grants of administration and successfully prevented a deceased's estate being being taken into receivership pending the grant of letters of administration. Clients include individuals and families from the UK, India, Nigeria & USA.

 


 

Project Finance;

A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors) has had considerable experience working with international financial institutions. Aspects of representation include the structuring of agreements dealing with international lending for projects, securitization of loans, taxation, regulatory matters, creditors' rights , bankruptcy, ownership rights, resolution of disputes and jurisdictional matters.

Recent work includes our appointment as international project counsel to a Nigerian Aluminium company in respect of a $35million dollar loan offer granted by a USA bank to the company to enable the mining, exploration and export of aluminium billets from Nigeria by the company.


Project Finance for realty protection
Project Finance for realty protection

 


 

Privatisation & International Trade;

A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors) represent various clients in the process of the privatization of state-owned companies. Clients are assisted in negotiations with government authorities, the structuring and financing of privatization projects, conducting due diligence investigations, preparing and processing applications for government approvals, and in dealing with national regulatory matters. Currently, the firm also advises major international investment banks on the financing of the cross border privatization of service companies and banking institutions.

A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors) are involved in the drafting of policy relating to the set up and transfer of business interests and services under the GATT policy to promote the liberalisation of trade.

Advice to Komplete Aluminium regarding a $35 million loan offer from a USA bank to enable the export of aluminium billets from Nigeria. Review and negotiation of the loan offer .Review of the Central Bank guidelines regarding the repatriation of export proceeds from Nigeria.

 


 

Environmental Law Consultants;

We advise and process requisite environmental approvals including planning consents for specialist engineering construction projects.

We provide advice to both clients and regulatory authorities for the development of contaminated sites, we assist with the negotiation of tenders, bids and compensation claims for project sponsors, we provide labour law advice for clients to prevent trade union disputes, we provide assistance with compliance for strategic environmental planning regulations, we assist in the resolution of construction disputes and in obtaining regulatory approvals for specialist environmental engineering and construction projects.


Environmental Stabilisation in Niger Delta.

Environmental Stabilisation in Niger Delta.

 


 

Energy - Environmental Oil & Gas Projects;

A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors) represents private companies in the energy sector with an emphasis on 'renewables' for their business operations and investment projects involving civil engineering and flood defence agreements. Our advisory work also includes regulatory framework advice in recyclable material engineering and construction projects.


Restoration of effluent degraded community land - Niger Delta
Restoration of effluent degraded community land - Niger Delta

 


 

International Commercial Litigation, Representation and Intellectual Property ;

A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors) provides legal services to a broad range of international clients in contentious shipping litigation disputes in the UK commercial court. We also undertake the structuring of joint-ventures with local companies from various industrial sectors. The firm assists clients in acquiring controlling minority or majority interests in local Nigerian public and private owned industrial and services companies. The firm has also advised a great number of multinational corporations in claims in the High Court.

 

The firm represents foreign companies and international corporations in connection with the establishment of subsidiaries, branches, or representative offices and provides assistance to their managers and personnel in conducting day-to-day business operations. We advise clients on the incorporation of companies, equity and debt investment, increase of capital, management contracts, shareholder arrangements, transfer of shares, in-kind contributions, corporate governance, borrowing and lending, creditors' rights, bankruptcy and reorganizations, as well as obtaining approvals, licenses and registrations related to foreign investments.

Recent work includes project advice provided to Komplete Aluminium Nigeria towards the acquisition of land in a Nigerian state for use as collateral in funding the development and extraction of steel and aluminium billets for export.

 

Successful application for trade mark registration and publication of the Afristorical logo and brand of calendars, diaries and office stationary at the UK Patents office.

Passing off and trademark litigation in the Nigeria Court of Appeal over major brand of international bottled mineral water.

 

Successful application for industrial factory design in oil producing region at the Nigerian Trademarks registry and Patents office.

 


 

Civil, Criminal & Commerical Litigation;

The firm represents privately paying clients and corporations. We have undertaken the representation of clients in the Magistrates Court ,County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal sometimes using specialist barristers depending on the complexity and nature of the case. We have acted as agents for other law firms requiring representation in London. We have undertaken renewed applications for appeal in the Criminal Court of Appeal at the RCJ. We are also Privy Council agents and have advised and conducted privy council appeals arising from commonwealth jurisdictions.

 

Work done till date includes the following;

  • Enforcement of maintenance order payments and visitation rights in the UK county court.
  • Representation of foreign based Respondents in contentious International Cross border family divorce litigation in the Principal registry of the High Court.
  • Successful applications to set aside various judgments in the UK county court.
  • Acting for an international Defendant Corporation in contentious shipping litigation in the Commercial Court.
  • Representation of a UK based Defendant in renewed application for permission to appeal a refusal of the right of appeal at the criminal court of appeal in rape /indecent assault charges.
  • Representation of UK based Claimants in TOLATA proceedings in the High court involving cross border property disputes in Spain.
  • Representation of international corporate claimants in cross border freight claim matters viagra forum navigate to these guys.
  • Preparation of Brief and Representation of Appellant in Immigration Appeals before the Home Office on behalf of a non UK resident.
  • Successful defence of Costs Asessments before the Supreme Court costs office against foreign applicant.
  • Representation of Commonwealth country based Respondent in UK Privy Council Specialist Appeal involving medical negligence.
  • Representation of Tenants in Lease extension applications.
  • Representation of international Defendants in Magistrates Court proceedings.
  • UK Agency work involving case management directions.
  • Representation of Belgian and UK clients in automatically unfair dismissal work by giving advice and providing representation in the UK Employment Tribunal.
  • Representation of UK based Claimant in debt claims by lodging restrictions against Defendant's property at the Land Registry and defending hardship order applications.
  • Representation of UK based Defendants in Road Traffic Offence prosecutions in the magistrate court.
  • Commercial Court Representation of international Defendant ship charterer's in applications for instalmental payment.
  • Representation of restauranteur and licensee in dispute before the West London licensing justices.
  • Advice and representation of European client in international cross border divorce in the Nigerian High court in matters involving South African, Nigeria and Greek matrimonial laws.
  • Advice and representation of major Nigerian national newspaper in UK property dispute.
  • International project counsel to Nigerian Aluminium Company in respect of US$35million loan offer from USA bank.

 


 

LITIGATION

We instructed counsel and represented clients in all the following courts;

  • County Court.
  • Commercial Court.
  • Magistrates Court.
  • Criminal Court of Appeal.
  • High Court.
  • Employment Tribunal.
  • Bankruptcy Court.
  • Privy Council.

 

Human Rights;

Human beings cannot be deprived of the substance of their human rights as they are inalienable. In certain circumstances, some of these rights can be lawfully derogated from or limited by a state. The firm can assist with advice and representation involving fundamental rights issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of regional human rights instruments such as the European Convention for Human Rights ECHR, Inter American Human Rights Convention IAHCR and the African Charter on Human Rights. Where the obligations in these various regional instruments and treaties and the general principles on HR laws have been unlawfully limited, derogated from or inadequately implemented pacta sunt servanda by states, we can assist with the implementation of the relevant international human rights instruments either at the domestic level or internationally through the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) , 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Additional protocols of 1966 and 1989 and the 1969 Vienna Convention by making relevant submissions to the international bodies to seek redress for their unlawful violations.

 


 

Commercial Practice & Sales of Goods;

This practice area involves the law which applies to domestic and international sale of goods, carriage arrangements, payment for and security for international transactions, agency agreements and the use of conventions for documentary credits. The firm can provide legal assistance to buyers or sellers of goods to facilitate the interpretation of and drafting of contracts in transactions and disputes as they arise from the sale of goods. Whilst the express terms of a standard form sales contract may appear to be exhaustive and convey the intention of the seller, complications may arise as a result of the interpretation the court may place on a contract between two parties depending on whether the contract is tailor made or a standard form contract between the buyer and the seller and the interpretation may prejudice either party. Where a marketing or agency agreement is entered into between parties and an agent is appointed, certain implied domestic legislation and EC competition law and other notices and directives apply which may make relevant clauses in the contract void and possibly even a criminal offence. It is important that appropriate advice is obtained in the preparation of and disputes arising from any sales contract, agency contract , distributorship or documentary credit.

 


 

Capital Markets and Loans;

International financial markets are a source of raising finance for individuals or corporations from the corporation itself, a bank, or the capital market. A. Williams & Co. can assist with providing advice and opinion on various types of loan agreements such as overdraft agreements, term sheets, revolving credits , syndicated loans agreements as well as the legal effects of each document when a corporation raises finance. We can also advise on the jurisdictional issues, choice of law and legal issues which apply to these loan agreements including terms relating to conditions precedents , payment issues, covenants, negotiating default, periods of grace, force majeure and collateral security. Bonds are also specific types of loan agreements which may be in temporary or permanent form. There are several legal documents involved in the issue of a bond such as a mandate letter, invitation and allotment telex/fax, subscription agreements, manager's agreement and the legal opinion. Relevant documentation which concern the bond itself after issue include the fiscal agency agreement, paying agency agreement, the trust deed and the terms and conditions of the bond itself. The firm can assist with advice and representation on all the various related issues.

 


 

Mergers and Acquisitions;

There are two different types of acquisitions which we can provide assistance with. The business acquisition and a share acquisition whether an existing company , individual or the management is acting as seller or buyer, . In any of the scenarios, we can review the basic structure involved in the acquisition and the documentation involved in each case. The five relevant stages we can provide advice and representation on are the pre-contract stage, contract stage, pre-completion stage, completion and post completion stage. We will also review the various express and implied terms of the deal as well as identify the potential liabilities of the client and look for ways to minimise them through the negotiation of the disclosures and warranties in the transaction. We can assist with the preparation and negotiation of the acquisition agreement in both types of acquisitions , preparing or responding to the pre acquisition questionnaire and noting the issues regarding the effect of taxation , employees, ongoing trade matters, litigation , environmental and regulatory issues.

 


 

Joint Ventures;

Joint ventures and strategic alliances are a viable option for Company expansion and entry into different markets but can be fraught with several problems including shared management, tax planning, capital and funding, regulatory issues, intellectual property rights, commercial goals and the procedure on termination. The firm can assist with the formation of domestic and international joint venture corporations and disputes arising out of similar alliances .We can provide advice and representation on the far reaching impact of the use of appropriate legal documentation including letters of intent, confidentiality agreements , shareholders agreements, deadlock, company constitutional documentation and the ancillary contracts associated with the alliance to ensure that the intention of the parties and their goals are adequately implemented and that the rights of either the parent companies or the minority shareholders are not marginalised.

 


 

Intellectual Property;

IP rights include trademark, copyright, database right, design rights, patents and confidential information rights. Protection of relevant IP rights is crucial to the economic growth and development of businesses in all countries. The firm can assist to identify relevant IP rights and infringements associated with various rights to effect the protection and exploitation of the rights domestically and internationally and can assist to resolve disputes through negotiation or through the various specialist courts based on the applicable domestic legislation and treaties of the WTO and TRIPS.

Recent work done by our sister firm internationally involves ongoing international trademark work for a major tea company from Sri Lanka.

 


 

ARBITRATION

Arbitration is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts.It is a proceeding in which a dispute is resolved by an impartial adjudicator whose decision, the parties to the dispute have agreed will be final and binding. Arbitration is today, most commonly used for the resolution of commercial disputes, particularly in the context of international commercial transactions. Business dealings have become even more global, and threats can arise in the form of enforcement issues when dealing with other countries.Arbitration is a consensual process; parties will only ever arbitrate where they agree to do so. Such agreements generally provide that, if a dispute should arise, it will be resolved by arbitration. These agreements are normal contracts which contain an arbitration clause.

Advantages of arbitration

Parties often seek to resolve their disputes through arbitration because of a number of perceived potential advantages over judicial proceedings:

  1. When the subject matter of the dispute is highly technical, arbitrators with an appropriate degree of expertise can be appointed.
  2. Arbitration is often faster than litigation in court.
  3. Arbitration can be cheaper.
  4. Arbitral proceedings and an arbitral award are generally private.
  5. The arbitral process enjoys a greater degree of flexibility than the courts.
  6. Because of the provisions of the New York Convention 1958, arbitration awards are generally easier to enforce abroad than court judgments.
  7. In most legal systems, there are limited avenues for appeal of an arbitral award, which can mean swifter enforcement and less scope for a party to delay matters.

 


 

Using arbitration as an alternative to litigation to resolve disputes can open up a number of opportunities. In addition to the enforcement advantage referred to above, arbitration offers commercial confidentiality not available in a public court and a venue that may be considered neutral by the parties involved.

Our Expertise

Given the advantages international arbitration offers over the alternatives in terms of enforceability of awards and the neutrality and flexibility of the procedure, it is no surprise that it has become the dispute resolution method of choice for those doing international business .Such disputes are most effectively handled by a firm with an international presence, which will give a thorough, cost effective and personalised resolution to disputes. By virtue of the fact that our principal is a senior member of the international Bar association, duly qualified in the UK and Africa, an associate of the Chartered institute of arbitrators and the fact that our firm has access to and agreements with leading law firms in the United States and Africa, we can guarantee high quality advice and representation using arbitration.

Issues for our clients

Arbitration does have distinct advantages over litigation in certain situations. However, it is imperative to consider the following issues to ensure the arbitration clause suits the needs of your dispute:

  • What type of arbitration procedure will best suit your transaction?
  • Would it be appropriate to have a “stepped” clause (e.g. negotiation, mediation, then arbitration) in your agreement?
  • Will you use an ad hoc procedure (creating your own procedural rules) or use those of an established institution?
  • Where will the arbitration take place and in what language?
  • How will the arbitrators be selected and how many arbitrators are required?
  • What law will govern the arbitration itself as opposed to governing the contract?

You must also consider whether your particular dispute (or possible future disputes) can be arbitrated in the country you have chosen. The national laws of several states specify what subject matter can be arbitrated and what disputes must be litigated. Russia, for example, insists that all disputes relating to Russian sub soil cannot be arbitrated outside Russia.

Although arbitration clauses can be inserted at any time, it is best to agree the form of the arbitration at the time that the contract is signed. Otherwise the form of arbitration can become a dispute in itself.