Foley Hoag is fully engaged in Africa. The Firm has a large and longstanding practice of representing African States in international disputes. We have served as counsel to more than 20 States over the past two decades. Among our most significant accomplishments include:

Before International Courts & Tribunals

  • The Gambia v. Myanmar: Representing the Gambia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in lawsuit seeking to hold Myanmar accountable for genocide against the Rohingya people, securing a historic unanimous provisional measures order against Myanmar in January 2020.
  • Ghana v. Cote d’Ivoire: Successfully represented Ghana before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which adopted a maritime boundary entirely favorable to Ghana, preserving intact all of Ghana’s offshore oil and gas fields.
  • Legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965: Successfully represented Mauritius in advisory proceedings before the ICJ in which the Court held that the Chagos Archipelago forms an integral part of Mauritius’ territory, and that the United Kingdom’s colonial administration is a continuing breach of international law which must be terminated as rapidly as possible.
  • Gosling v. Mauritius: Successfully represented Mauritius in an ICSID arbitration against U.K. investors concerning the building of a luxury resort at the Le Morne UNESCO World Heritage Site commemorating resistance against slavery, securing an award in Mauritius’ favor.
  • Switzerland v. Nigeria: Representing Nigeria in proceedings against Switzerland before ITLOS concerning Nigeria’s detention of a Swiss-flagged oil tanker for violations of Nigerian law, securing a victory for Nigeria against Switzerland’s attempt to obtain provisional measures.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda: Representing Uganda before the ICJ in a case brought by the Democratic Republic of the Congo seeking reparations for harm caused during armed activities on the territory of the Congo between 1998< and 2003.
  • Somalia v. Kenya: Representing Somalia before the ICJ in a case concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the two States in the Indian Ocean.

Before National Courts

  • Successfully represented Nigeria and nine other Nigerian state entities and officials, in a case seeking to enforce a judgment issued in Nigerian courts and to recover $657 million before the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, securing a dismissal of the case.
  • Successfully represented Angola and its government officials in a lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York alleging libel and other torts, securing a judgment in Angola’s favor.
  • Successfully represented Kenya before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit concerning the government’s alleged role in a breach of contract, securing judgments in Kenya’s favor.
  • Currently representing Tanzania and various of its ministries before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against efforts to enforce multi-million dollar foreign arbitration awards and court judgments, seeking judgment in Tanzania’s favor.

Primary Areas of Service

  • Maritime and land boundaries
  • International investment law
  • Natural resources & extractive industries
  • Human rights
  • Environmental law
  • Sovereign & diplomatic immunities
  • Anti-corruption and asset recovery
  • Extradition and asylum 

Commercial Arbitration of African Disputes

Although Foley Hoag’s principal focus is the representation of sovereign States, the firm also represents private clients in litigation or arbitration of commercial disputes involving business in Africa. Examples include:

  • Representation of a Nigerian insurance company in an ICC arbitration against a Belgian engineering and construction company concerning alleged construction defects under a contract for the construction of a hotel in East Africa.
  • Representation of a Chadian subsidiary of a major American oil group in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of Chad’s onshore oil infrastructure.
  • Representation of a West African subsidiary of an international oil operator in an ICC arbitration concerning the operator’s license.
  • Representation of a French offshore construction company in an ICC arbitration concerning alleged defects in design and construction as part of a project to design, supply, build and install four drilling and gas extraction platforms in Nigeria.
  • Representation of a major agricultural investor in Madagascar against a trader in North American spice and flavor extracts in an arbitration concerning the breach of a vanilla contract.
  • Representation of a French hotel chain in an arbitration concerning a dispute governed by Ghanaian law concerning the non-payment of amounts owed under a management contract.