3PB specialist commercial barrister Poppy Watson analyses the recent case of The Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industrial Developments Limited  EWHC 2638 (Comm).
Poppy Watson is a commercial and chancery barrister based in London. She is particularly interested in matters involving breach of contract and the sale of goods as well as disputes in the energy sector.
Poppy is regularly instructed to represent clients at interim applications for strike out, summary judgment or to set aside default judgment. She frequently appears in the High Court to present winding-up petitions and to represent individuals in bankruptcy proceedings. Poppy also has experience in property litigation, including landlord and tenant disputes and possession proceedings.
Prior to the Bar, Poppy worked within the Global Litigation team at an international energy major. During this 12-month internship, her caseload ranged from multi-jurisdictional, high value, complex oil and gas litigation to small-scale domestic disputes across the energy sector. Whilst in this role, Poppy learnt the importance of commercial pragmatism along with a keen understanding of overlapping legal principles. Poppy worked on various matters including:
- high value oil spill compensation claims concerning parent company liability, negligence, nuisance and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher
- an anti-suit injunction to enforce an LCIA arbitration agreement
- applications for injunctive relief at oil terminals and commercial property based on trespass and unlawful means conspiracy
- an ICC arbitration concerning breach of contract and force majeure in the context of an LNG agreement
- a judicial review challenge regarding a North Sea gas licence
- litigation disclosures arising out of the divestment of overseas assets
- independently leading a successful defence to a contractual claim relating to alleged unpaid water charges
- working on news and brand-sensitive projects, advising alongside media relations teams on matters with a high reputational exposure
Business-fluent in German, Poppy previously worked as a trainee (stagiaire) within the competition law team of the European Commission Legal Service (Brussels). In this role, Poppy worked on cases concerning cartels, mergers and abuses of a dominant position. Poppy assisted with legal research, the formulation of legal argument and the review of documents ahead of hearings at both the Court of Justice of the European Union and the General Court.
One of the most notable cases Poppy worked on at the European Commission was T-799/17 Scania and Others v Commission. This case concerned an appeal by truck manufacturer Scania against a 2017 decision when the European Commission imposed a fine of EUR 880 million on Scania for its participation in a European-wide cartel in the trucks sector, contrary to Article 101 TFEU. Poppy has since utilised her knowledge and experience whilst working on competition-related matters during her time working as an in-house counsel.
Outside of work, Poppy enjoys going to the theatre, baking, travelling and keeping fit.
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Poppy is a busy member of 3PB’s Commercial team and advises a range of clients on contractual and commercial matters. Poppy’s recent success includes:
- defending a sole trader in a breach of contract claim concerning an alleged failure to provide services with the requisite skill and care
- defending a contractual claim concerning alleged defective work and a franchise agreement
- applying to set aside a default judgment of around £40,000 in a construction matter
- defending a claim relating to goods alleged to be unsatisfactory and unfit for purpose under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
Poppy also regularly appears in the winding-up court and represents individuals in bankruptcy petitions at the High Court.
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Poppy is a much-in-demand member of 3PB’s Property and Estates team and her practice covers disputes including landlord and tenant claims and real property litigation in both the residential and commercial sphere.
Poppy has specific expertise in possession matters in the public and private sector including section 8 and section 21 claims and claims against persons unknown. Poppy has also been instructed to attend directions and case management hearings and has appeared in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) on applications to the Tribunal, including those relating to service charges.
During her pupillage at 3PB, Poppy drafted opinions, mediation position statements and skeleton arguments on matters concerning proprietary estoppel, adverse possession, constructive and resulting trusts and easements.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industrial Developments Ltd: $11bn Arbitration Award Successfully Challenged for Serious Irregularity10th Nov 2023
“Thank you very much for assisting us with this matter, especially on such short notice. You have been excellent and I will be recommending you to others at my ﬁrm.” Instructing Solicitor
“I just wanted to confirm that I'm highly grateful of how Barrister Poppy Watson dealt with the hearing at Brentford County Court last week. She had prepared well for the case and was thorough and professional. Her attention to detail and listening skills were second to none. I'm very satisfied with the judgement; I couldn't have asked for a better Barrister!” Lay Client