Several of the most topical issues in Nigerian securities law today have arisen in these disputes: what amounts to "false trading" and "market manipulation"; the extent to which issuers can give "financial assistance" to subscribers or repurchase issued securities; and the standard of proficiency required of managers and other capital markets operators.

We have always been active in representing commercial banks with large portfolios of banker-customer litigation disputes. The cases here have been wide-ranging.

At one end of the range have been routine, traditional banker-customer disputes over credit transactions. At the other end are a recent, novel class action filed against credit card issuers and an attempt to unwind derivatives transactions.

We have advised on disputes over credit transactions with large blocks of tradeable securities as collateral for the credit. In these cases we have represented creditors (both commercial banks and other financial institutions), debtors, issuers, custodians, and security agents and trustees.

We have also worked extensively on business insolvencies. Our clients in these contexts have included both creditors and debtors in situations ranging from workouts negotiated amicably out-of-court to acrimonious court litigation.

We have also represented creditors, shareholders and corporate institutions in disputes over attempts to re-organize the share capital of such institutions by seeking the approval of the courts and shareholders for schemes of arrangement.

On intellectual property, we have represented clients in seminal disputes over the extent to which “ideas” are protected by copyright law and improvements in telecommunications technology are protected by patents law.

Our other intellectual property work has extended to disputes on controversial issues such as the priority of competing registrations of the same trademark in the same class in favour of two separate applicants, and the extent to which the previous use of a trade design invalidates the registration of the design and court challenges to the validity of registrations of key patents.

Employers, most commonly financial institutions, have frequently engaged us to represent them in proceedings, often controversial and acrimonious, initiated or threatened against them by their former executive and other employees as well as their current and former chairmen and other directors.




© 2015 G. ELIAS & Co.