Sibton Switch Systems Limited v. Bank of Ghana

Hogan Lovells has acted on behalf of the Bank of Ghana with leading Ghanaian firm Addison Bright Sloane to obtain an award from an LCIA Tribunal in favour of the Bank of Ghana.

The Tribunal dismissed all claims brought by Sibton Switch Systems Limited (Sibton Switch) and ordered Sibton Switch to make a substantial payment to the Bank in respect of its legal fees and costs of the arbitration.

Sibton Switch filed a Request for Arbitration with the LCIA against the Bank of Ghana in 2018, seeking US$478 million in damages for alleged breaches to the Master Agreement for the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure entered into by the two parties. 

Following the appointment of a new Management of the Bank of Ghana in early 2017 the contract was reviewed and it was concluded that Sibton Switch had failed to acquire the licence to fulfil a condition precedent to the contract becoming effective. The contract was therefore terminated. 

On 28th July 2021, the Arbitral Tribunal issued an award in favour of the Bank of Ghana in the LCIA arbitration, dismissing all the claims brought by Sibton Switch. The claims were dismissed due to the failure by Sibton Switch to comply with the orders of the Tribunal, including an earlier interim award in June 2019 in favour of the Bank of Ghana, requiring Sibton Switch to pay security for costs.

Following the termination of the contract with Sibton Switch (in 2017), the Bank of Ghana’s subsidiary, GhIPSS, was able to deliver mobile payment systems interoperability at a small fraction of the cost of the Sibton Switch, saving the Ghanaian taxpayers billions of Cedis.

The team representing the Bank of Ghana was led by Hogan Lovells arbitration partner Nathan Searle (Picture) and Addison Bright Sloane’s managing partner Victoria Bright. 

Involved fees earner: Victoria Bright – Addisons Lawyers; Nathan Searle – Hogan Lovells;

Law Firms: Addisons Lawyers; Hogan Lovells;

Clients: Bank of Ghana;

Giulia Di Palma

Author: Giulia Di Palma