Peters & Peters guides Mittal in oil access row

Litigation boutique Peters & Peters is advising steel magnate Lakshmi ­Mittal on a claim being brought against him by businessman Moni Varmer.

The High Court claim was launched in June and alleges that Mittal reneged on a multimillion-dollar agreement to pay fees to Varmer for introducing him to former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The meeting, it is alleged, was arranged in 2006 so that a deal could be set up that would allow Mittal to gain access to two unexplored oil fields in the Niger Delta.
According to the claimant, Mittal agreed the previous September to pay him between 5 and 15 per cent of the investment should the deal go through. However, Varmer was later excluded from the deal and no money was handed over.

A settlement offer of £5m has been turned down and the case is expected to go to the High Court.

Varmer has instructed Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner Tim Brown on the matter.

Peters & Peters partner Keith Oliver, who last year represented former Liverpool FC owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett in their battle for ownership of the club (The Lawyer, 15 ­October 2010), has instructed 3 Verulam Buildings’ Paul Lowenstein QC to lead Serle Court’s David Drake for Mittal.