Wednesday, 9 December 2020, Zoom

E-mail Tel: +44 020 3995 4183


Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab

Zulficar & Partners

Ndanga Kamau

Ndanga Kamau Law


Funke Adekoya


Junaid Banoobhai

Pinsent Masons

Stavros Brekoulakis

Queen Mary University of London & 3 Verulam Buildings

Elodie Dulac

King & Spalding

Sally El Sawah

El Sawah Law

Bahaa Ezzelarab


Babatunde Fagbohunlu

Aluko & Oyebode

Hussein Haeri


Mélida Hodgson

Jenner & Block

Michael Mcilwrath

Vice-President, Global Litigation Counsel, Baker Hughes

Julius Nkafu

Great James Street Chambers

Abayomi Okubote

Olaniwun Ajayi

Emilia Onyema

SOAS University of London

Lucy Reed

Arbitration Chambers

Wei Sun

Zhong Lun

Fui Tsikata

Reindorf Chambers

Daniel Wilmot


Wednesday 9th December
All times are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

10:00-10:15: Log in and chairs’ opening remarks

Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab, Zulficar & Partners
Ndanga Kamau, Ndanga Kamau Law

10:15-11:15: Virtual hearings and Africa – overcoming some of the challenges

In these challenging times practitioners have needed to find a new way of working and major arbitral hubs have embraced technology to keep cases moving. In many of those the tools and infrastructure to allow this switch to the digital world existed already but in Africa that is not always the case. So how are counsel and parties in Africa coping with this dramatic change? In this session our distinguished panellists will discuss the platforms that are in place in Africa, and question whether the technology infrastructure is present for this virtual transformation.

In particular, they are expected to discuss:

  • Secure servers and cybersecurity
  • Data Protection – what impact are non-African laws having on arbitration in African jurisdictions? Have there been any laws on this enacted in African jurisdictions and if so, what has their impact been?
  • What is the legal and regulatory framework for virtual dispute resolution like in Africa?
  • Could these recent changes lead to a potential increase in access to dispute resolution?
  • Is there support from the courts for virtual hearings?
  • What are the difficulties in place and how are people managing to overcome them?
  • Is African counsel ready for virtual hearings?

Babatunde Fagbohunlu, Aluko & Oyebode

Junaid Banoobhai, Pinsent Masons
Sally El Sawah, El Sawah Law
Michael Mcilwrath, Vice-President, Global Litigation Counsel, Baker Hughes
Abayomi Okubote, Olaniwun Ajayi
Wei Sun, Zhong Lun

11:15-11:30: Break

11:30-12:30: Decision-making in arbitrations with African parties

International arbitration featuring African parties can be complicated, and for no one more so than the tribunal. In a continent where hundreds of languages are spoken and where countries have very differing worlds of thought, what laws are applicable in decision making, what is the value of the legal authorities and how do you make your reasoning when awarding? Our panel of leading practitioners from around the world will share their experience and provide insight into these issues.

In particular, they are expected to discuss:

  • How do you ascertain the content of the applicable law?
  • What is the value of legal authorities and precedents before arbitral tribunals?
  • How do you make your reasoning in arbitral awards?
  • Are there differences between African jurisdictions with civil law vs common law traditions?

Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab, Zulficar & Partners
Ndanga Kamau, Ndanga Kamau Law

Stavros Brekoulakis, Queen Mary Unviversity of London & 3 Verulam Buildings
Elodie Dulac, King & Spalding
Hussein Haeri, Withers
Mélida Hodgson, Jenner & Block
Julius Nkafu, Great James Street Chambers

12:30-12:45: Break

12:45-13:45: The GAR Live debate

In Oxford Union style, we will hear teams of debaters argue in favour of, or against, a motion in a lively back-and-forth. Our judges will then grill our debaters on their stated positions before deliberating and delivering their verdicts. In a twist from the norm, our audience will have the opportunity to act as a judge and via live polling cast their vote on the motion. 

Motion: ‘Arbitrations between African parties must have African seats’

Funke Adekoya, ǼLEX 
Lucy Reed, Arbitration Chambers


Bahaa Ezzelarab, BonelliErede
Emilia Onyema, SOAS University of London
Fui Tsikata, Reindorf Chambers
Daniel Wilmot, Stewarts

13:45-14:15: Chairs’ closing remarks and networking

Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab, Zulficar & Partners
Ndanga Kamau, Ndanga Kamau Law

Ticket prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price
Tier 1 $50
Tier 2 $100


In-house/Government Rate
Type Price