Mr Michael Sullivan QC, a London-based Lawyer who has acted as counsel for the Republic of Zambia in a number of high profile legal cases in London was among five eminent practitioners shortlisted for the United Kingdom (UK) Lawyer of the Year 2007 Award.
Mr Sullivan was shortlisted for his conduct of the corruption proceedings in the ZAMTROP, Donegal as well as his involvement in an ICC arbitration in London relating to the former lottery, Kwachamania.
According to a statement released by Second Press Secretary at the Zambian embassy in Britain Rejoyce Lukumba and obtained by ZANIS, the Awards, which are intended to acknowledge lawyers pre-eminent in their fields, were conducted by the Legal Business Awards at the well attended ceremony held last Thursday at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, in London.
The nomination of Mr Sullivan reflects recognition in the English legal community of the importance of the cases brought in London on behalf of the Republic of Zambia and the fight against corruption.
Asked to comment on his being shortlisted for the Lawyer of the Year Award, Mr Sullivan said: “the progress that is being made in the fight against corruption would not have been possible without the political will and determination of President Levy Mwanawasa, who has taken a direct interest in the cases and has spearheaded the fight against corruption”.
Mr Sullivan has also been appointed as a Queen’s Counsel of Her Majesty the Queen.
Her Majesty the Queen recently approved the appointment of Mr. Sullivan.
On his appointment as the Queen’s Counsel, Mr Sullivan said: “it is an honour to be bestowed the title Queen’s Counsel”.
Mr Sullivan, a Barrister practising at One Essex Court, is instructed in the cases by Solicitors, DLA Piper, who also won the Dispute Resolution Team of the Year Award.
The Award was in recognition of DLA Piper team led by, Janet Legrand that represented the Republic of Zambia on three highly significant matters, including the Republic’s flagship anti-corruption proceedings against former second republican president Dr Frederick Chiluba, and its defence of a major vulture fund claim.
Instructed in the cases by Solicitors, DLA Piper, Mr Sullivan has co-led the cases with Mr William Blair QC, in a London High Court, which later held Dr. Chiluba and four others to have conspired in defrauding Zambia of US$25 million and US$21 million respectively from two major conspiracies.
Mr Blair, a specialist in banking and commercial fraud, joined the team upon Mr Sullivan’s recommendation.
Mr Blair has since been appointed as High Court Judge.
The team defended the Government of the Republic of Zambia after a High Court judge ruled that Zambia must pay a substantial sum to a so-called “vulture fund” when a British Virgin Islands-based Donegal International paid less than US$4m for a debt Zambia owed, but later sued Zambia for a US$42m repayment.