Ngo-Martins Okonmah

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Ngo-Martins’ sound working knowledge of intellectual property law, shipping and aviation principles, construction contracts and commercial litigation, underpinned by a thorough understanding of arbitration law, makes him the go-to person for clients confronted with challenging disputes requiring Nigerian law. As satisfying as trying and winning a case may be, Ngo-Martins believes that a lawyer should first understand the client's business and commercial objective, particularly in high-stakes controversies. The overall strategic approach and tactical decision-making process must be tailored towards achieving the client’s objective.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Ngo-Martins is a skilled litigator with a strong understanding of his clients’ industries. In 2017, he was on the team that successfully represented a local subsidiary of a British multinational company in insolvency proceedings, which sought to dissolve the company on the grounds of an inability to pay a debt contained pursuant to an arbitration award. This case was a notable professional accomplishment for the team because it laid down the law on the requirement to enforce arbitral awards under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, before initiating insolvency proceedings. Ngo-Martins is also a lawyer who recognises that in certain instances, the peculiarity of a case requires the law to “move on” for the client’s commercial objective to be achieved. For example, Ngo-Martins represented JGC Corporation in a successful tax appeal dispute involving the company’s tax liabilities under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract executed with ExxonMobil. This victory turned on a reappraisal of the concept of “fixed base” in assessing offshore companies with respect to Nigerian tax. The success of the appeal resulted in savings for the client to the tune of US$8,205,536.10.

Education

Nigerian Law School, BL, 2008

Awards & Recognitions

International Lawyers for Africa 2015

Memberships & Professional Associations
  • Nigerian Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Society of Construction Law, Nigerian Branch
  • Association of Young Arbitrators
Community Service/Pro Bono

Criminal defence

Speeches

Publications:

“An Analysis of the Effective Means Standard as an Alternative to Securing Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Nigeria”, IBA Construction Law International, Vol. 11, Issue 2, June 2016

“Introduction to the ICC Dispute Board Rules”, Construction Europe, Vol. 26 No. 9, November 2015 (with Danielle Griffiths)

The Nigeria Chapter of “Intellectual Property Review”,  Edition 5, 2016 (with Mark Mordi)

The Nigeria Chapter of “Getting the Deal Through – Product Recall 2011”, Law Business Research Limited, (with Babatunde Sodipo)