Practice/Industry Group Overview
The Public International Law team provides governments and other clients with legal representation, advice, assistance and research on a range of subjects. These include sovereign immunity, international boundaries, anti-corruption issues, and state asset recovery. Our international boundary experience extends both to land (including lakes and rivers) and maritime disputes between States; national boundaries between subdivisions of States; highly contentious border disputes in relation to oil and gas deposits at or straddling international boundaries; and a very wide range of related regulatory and compliance matters, particularly under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
There are very few firms that practice in this field, especially in relation to international boundaries.
Chambers UK 2008 states that the firm is "recommended for more traditional PIL work and is well known for its representation of countries in Africa. Clients are 'extremely happy' with its 'helpful and quick responses.'"
The UK Legal 500 2009 describes the group as "very thorough, paying painstaking attention to detail."
Members of the team were involved in the UK litigation which led to the passing of the State Immunity Act in 1978 and have extensive experience litigating in the UK under that Act. In the US several Edwards Wildman lawyers have experience litigating under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976.
Edwards Wildman advised Nigeria in the boundary dispute with Cameroon before the International Court of Justice. The team also assisted Nigeria in its negotiation of maritime boundary treaties with Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé e Príncipe and Benin and continues to advise on a number of national and international boundaries relating both to Nigeria and other parts of the world.
In addition, Edwards Wildman was heavily involved in the action before the International Court of Justice of the island/river boundary dispute, Botswana/Namibia.
Oil & Gas Issues
Edwards Wildman actively advises governments and oil companies on issues arising when hydrocarbon deposits straddle international boundaries, notably in the Middle East and in the Far East.
Edwards Wildman advises on a number of self-determination situations, including that in Somaliland.
Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery
Edwards Wildman acts for Governments on complex anti-corruption and asset tracing issues, particularly for Nigeria. The group is currently acting for several governments and anti-corruption commissions recovering assets looted by former Heads of State and their families, and high-ranking government officials.