Legal Luminary Profile: Paul Usoro SAN

Paul Usoro SAN

Paul Usoro, SAN is the Senior Partner and founder of Paul Usoro & Co (PUC), a top commercial law firm. He heads the Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Practice Group and the Communications Section of the Firm. Paul Usoro is variously described as the go-to-counsel for complex matters, be it litigation or commercial transactions and the foremost communications lawyer in Nigeria with over 30 years’ experience in legal practice.

Born in Ukana Ikot Ntuen town in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom State on 07 September 1958 Paul Usoro SAN studied Law at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), Osun State, Nigeria where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree (with Honours) in 1981. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982. During his compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) he had a stint with the Benue State House of Assembly and thereafter served at George Uloko & Co in Makurdi where he cut his teeth in advocacy practice. In 1983, he joined Sani Mohammed Kuso & Co in Kaduna. His hard work and intellect resulted in a rapid elevation to Head of Litigation, leading the Firm in complex litigation matters including about 12 (twelve) House of Assembly election petitions in Niger State sequel to the 1983 elections and also the representation of 3 (three) key persons before the Awoniyi Commission of Inquiry in Niger State in 1984.

In 1985, he founded PUC in Kaduna and in 1992, the headquarters of PUC was established in Lagos with the Kaduna office still operational until 2003 when the northern operations were consolidated into a new branch office in Abuja. Today, PUC is a full-service Nigerian commercial law firm, with its principal office in Lagos, and 2 branches in F.C.T., Abuja and Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

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Paul Usoro, SAN was elevated to the Inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2003.  Hr has continued to develop himself through relevant post graduate executive courses, including Leadership Best Practices training at Harvard Business School in Boston, USA and Finance for Executives Program at the Fontainebleau Campus of INSEAD in France. In 2001, Paul earned his preferment as Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

Paul is a nationally acclaimed litigator and transaction expert whose expertise covers the entire gamut of commercial practice including finance, banking, oil and gas, power, election petition and communications practice areas. He represents domestic and multinational companies, public agencies, governments and inter-governmental institutions in various sectors.

His skills and prowess as a litigator and strategist are nationally and internationally acknowledged. The rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is in recognition of his advocacy skills. Paul’s litigation practice (election petitions, real property, criminal matters, oil and gas, commercial litigation) cuts across all the superior courts in Nigeria with a vibrant appellate experience. A passionate and intellectual advocate – multinational companies, Nigerian blue-chip companies, political parties/election candidates and high net worth individuals routinely seek Paul’s litigation support and experience.

The advocacy experience of Paul Usoro SAN is very robust and diverse. He leads the Litigation Group of the firm and is personally involved in representation and drafting of processes for virtually over 286 matters pending before various superior courts as at September 2017. The various matters span all the areas of law including real property, criminal, tort, industrial relations, election petition, taxation, and commercial litigation.

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Apart from earning his stripes as a seasoned and exceptionally skilled advocate, Paul is an experienced transaction lawyer whose records and accomplishments include the world-acclaimed, first-ever and all-round successful Nigerian Digital Mobile Spectrum Auction conducted in 2000. The transaction earned the Federal Government of Nigeria US$855,000,000.00 for 3 Digital Mobile Licences. Paul is indeed generally acknowledged as Nigeria’s leading communications lawyer.

As an ICT law expert, Paul has been involved in virtually all major transactions and regulatory reforms in the Nigerian communications sector. In 2003, Paul Usoro drafted the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, a robust and enduring piece of legislation that regulates the communications industry till date. A founding Secretary General, Telecommunications Law Association, Mr Usoro was named ‘Best Pan African Telecoms Lawyer of All Times’ by the IT and Telecom Digest, Nigeria’s leading and one of Africa’s foremost ICT magazines.

In 2011, he was appointed a pioneer director on the board of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) – Nigeria’s sole power trading organization, fully-owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria.  Paul was also the pioneer Chairman of the NBET Board’s Audit Committee. In 2012, he was appointed into a select Ministerial Committee for the review of Nigeria’s ICT Policy and he played a key role in that Committee’s work, which final work product was approved by the Federal Executive Council.

He is on the Faculty of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies as an astute trainer on telecommunications law and practice. Accordingly, he has delivered several papers at NIALS’ workshops, seminars and training sessions.

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Paul is a committed and active member of the NBA and the International Bar Association. He is also an active member of the NBA Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee set up in 2016. He was the  founding chairman of the Communication Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association`s Section on Business Law. (“SBL”).

Paul has presented several papers at NBA programs, using the platform to share knowledge with old and young lawyers. For nine (9) years and counting, PUC sponsors the Lawyers’ Table Tennis Open (Mfon Usoro Cup), nicknamed the largest sporting event among lawyers. LTTO is a Table Tennis tournament open to lawyers from within and outside Lagos.

Paul Usoro, SAN, is married to Mfon Ekong Usoro and they are blessed with two children.

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Culled: PUC website


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