Squire Patton Boggs boosts Africa arbitration practice
International law firm hires projects and disputes partner in London
Timi Balogun, the Africa-focused projects and disputes specialist has joined Squire Patton Boggs in London after working at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle for six years.
Stephen Anway, global co-leader of Squire's international dispute resolution practice, said, "Balogun's experience in complex international dispute resolution, particularly representing states and state-owned entities, makes him a significant addition to our London team and to our market-leading practice globally."
The move reunites Balogun with former Curtis colleague and Africa-focused arbitration expert Galileo Pozzoli, who joined Squire last year along with a four-lawyer team. It spearheaded the firm's first Italian office launch in a bid to expand its reach in Europe and Africa. Pozzoli's hire had come after a year of Squire grabbing arbitration partner and former Curtis lawyer Peter Stewart from Clyde & Co in 2019.
Stewart, who serves as co-coordinator of Squire's Africa practice, called Balogun a "rare expert" in the arbitration space. He added that his in-house background, qualification and extensive project finance expertise "makes him a natural to take on a leadership role in our Africa practice and serve as a great asset for our clients."
Qualified in Nigeria and the UK, Balogun had joined Curtis in 2015 as a counsel and for three years served as a partner in the firm. He had a six-year stint as general counsel of The Infrastructure Bank, formerly the Urban Development Bank of Nigeria, in the capital city, Abuja.
He was responsible for handling major infrastructure projects in Nigeria and overseas and supervised development loans, project finance and fund management across a number of sectors including transportation, power and renewable energy, waste management, housing, municipal services and water supply.
The firm's Africa practice currently has over 50 lawyers, including 20 partners, working across international offices in London, Paris, Washington DC, Berlin, Dubai, Moscow, Shanghai and Perth. It focuses on arbitration and disputes resolutions in over 30 countries in the Sub-Saharan and North Africa regions.
Balogun has a wealth of experience acting for African governments, state entities and national oil and gas companies in high-profile disputes. His practice also covers the development and financing of infrastructure projects, government tenders and public-private partnerships and commercial transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
His recent work included representing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. It was related to commercial arbitration proceedings regarding disputes over oil lifting entitlements. He successfully defended a Nigerian state entity in enforcement proceedings brought in respect of a Nigerian arbitration award before the Technology and Construction Court in the UK.
Balogun's entry marks the latest in Squire's ambitious growth strategy for its international arbitration practice, which has recently seen several additions in global arbitration centres like Paris, Singapore, New York, Milan and Brussels.