Name of arbitrator:
Ace Anan Ankomah
Education, awards, and selected publications:
- LLB (University of Ghana)
- QCL (Ghana School of Law)
- LLM (Queen’s University)
- The Interplay between the Courts and Arbitral Proceedings – Ghana’s Old Order Changeth? (2016) Vol. 29 University of Ghana Law Journal 183.
- Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards – The Legal Framework in Ghana and Nigeria, (2014) Mauritius International Arbitration Conference Book of Conference Papers
- De-Fanging A Monster: When Rules of Civil Procedure Become Unruly (2001-2005) 21 Review of Ghana Law 155.
- The Procedure for Removing Directors – A Balancing Act? (2001-2005) 21 Review of Ghana Law 121.
- Upcoming (2020): Ratification of Pre-Incorporation Contracts in Ghana (University of Ghana Law Journal, 60th Anniversary Special Edition).
Countries qualified to practice:
Name of law firm or institution:
Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah
Area(s) of specialisation:
Litigation, Dispute Resolution, Regulatory Investigations and White Collar Defence, Company Law, Law of Taxation
- Panel of Arbitrators, ICSID
- Lex Mundi
- Aspen Global Leadership Network
- Ghana Bar Association
Please provide a brief background of yourself and your experience working on disputes in Africa?
I have worked in the same law firm since being called to the Bar in 1992. After years of handling mostly corporate work, I moved to head the disputes practice in 2003 and have been doing that to date. I have sat as arbitrator and mediator on several matters in Ghana. I have also been Counsel in countless disputes both in Ghana and before international arbitral panels. I have taught Company Law, Tax Law, Civil Procedure and Legal Writing at both the University of Ghana and the Ghana School of law.
Can you provide a summary of the legal regime for arbitration in Ghana?
Ghana has always had a positive legislative approach towards arbitration, having been one of the very first countries to ratify and domesticate the New York Convention. In 2010, Ghana passed the UNCITRAL Model Law as law in Ghana.
What is the attitude of the courts in Ghana to arbitration?
The current attitude of the courts to arbitration is best summarised in the words of the Supreme Court in Westchester v Ashanti as follows: “the arbitration process…should be jealously guarded and there should be no or little court interference with it.”
What do you think can be done to make African states more attractive seats?
Conducive municipal legislation. Positive attitudes of the courts towards arbitration. The existence of modern day facilities for conducting hearings.
With more African states acceding to the New York Convention, what are your thoughts on the enforcement trends in Africa?
Arbitration is on the rise. The accessions should lead to more ease in enforcing awards throughout the continent. This can only get better if the African Continental Free Trade regime recognizes this and enacts a protocol to further enhance the status of arbitration in Africa.
What advice do you have for young practitioners who see you as their role model?
It is all about preparation. Read deeply and widely, and know your material, both the facts and the law. Think about the matter. Organize your thoughts. Make yourself indispensable to any team in which you find yourself. And, be yourself.