Managing Partner | OAPI Licensed IP Counsel | Corporate & Finance Law Counsel
Academic & Vocational Background
In 2006, Ferdinand D. Galabe obtained his LLB in English Common-law from the Department of Law of the University of Buea – the lone Anglo-Saxon institution of higher learning in Central Africa. He later obtained an LLM in Public International Law from the Faculty of Law & Political Science of the Université de Douala, a university of continental civil law tradition. Ferdinand is an OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organisation) licensed industrial property counsel.
Ferdinand has also received certificates of accomplishment and attestations of participation for successful completion of several professional training courses such as “Professional Lawyering Skills & Techniques” delivered by the International Training Centre for Francophone Lawyers (CIFAF), “Current Challenges on the Fight Against Money Laundering & Terrorism Financing” delivered by the Cameroon Bar Association, “The Madrid System for the International Registration of Trademarks” delivered by the African Intellectual Property Organisation (AIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), “Intellectual Property Law & Litigation” delivered by the Cameroon Ministry of Justice, “Public-Private Partnerships” delivered by the World Bank Group, “Financing for Development” delivered by the World Bank Group, “Citizenship Engagement & Development” delivered by the World Bank Group, “Collective Management of Copyright & Related Rights for Legal Practitioners” delivered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Ferdinand D. Galabe is a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Cameroon who joined the Intellectual Property practice of the Nico Halle & Co. Law Firm in early 2011 before passing the Cameroon Bar exams in October 2014 and joining the Bar in January 2015. He was admitted as a full-fledged advocate of the Cameroon Bar Association on July 4, 2018. Today he specialises in the entertainment law aspects of intellectual property law while equally advising clients on tax, corporate and commercial law. He is the go-to lawyer on copyright & entertainment law at the Dayspring Law Firm.
Areas of Practice
Ferdinand advises our clients, among others, on the registrability of industrial property rights and the copyrightability of literary and artistic works, involving sensitive aspects such as protecting designs in the African fashion industry through trademark law and/or copyright law, protecting IP rights online, protecting technology under patent law and/or copyright law, etc. These areas of law evidently overlap with media law, electronic commerce, internet law, multimedia law, sports law, music law, publishing law, advertisement law, personality rights, defamation, privacy rights, contract law, etc.
Ferdinand has a thorough understanding of how intellectual property functions as a result of his professional training and experience working on several trademark litigations involving infringement of trademarks, cancellation of trademarks for non-use or fraud, oppositions, claim of ownership actions on trademarks registered in bad faith brought after statutory time limits, cybersquatting, etc.
Ferdinand equally works with private businesses, public agencies, multilateral institutions and individuals in multiple areas of law including the OHADA regional business law framework encompassing commercial companies’ law, debt recovery law, arbitration law, mediation law, commercial law, insolvency law, secured transactions law, cooperatives society law, and carriage of goods by road. In this vein he advises clients on corporate forms most suitable for their investment needs, employment law, corporate governance, corporate crime, incorporation, mergers & acquisitions, doing business, international contracts, etc.
Other key areas of law which form a substantial part of Ferdinand’s practice includes: real property law, real estate investment, building & construction law, private investment incentives law, procurement law (MOPs & PPPs), criminal trial practice, competition law, corporate finance, inheritance law, trusts, recognition & enforcement of foreign judgements & arbitral awards, arbitration, and domain name dispute resolution.
Ferdinand has written several articles on civil procedure, intellectual property law, gender discrimination, development, procurement law, enforcement of foreign judgements and arbitral awards, attachment of real property, case commentaries, OHADA business law, etc.
Ferdinand is an expert in arbitration and mediation practice, both as counsel and arbitrator/mediator.
Representative Legal Matters
Some of the relevant work that Ferdinand has done include:
- Advised and assisted a client in the conduct of a due diligence and the preparation of a legal audit report within the framework of negotiations for the prospective acquisition of a major cement company;
- Advised and assisted a multinational in the acquisition of a local ebony supplier;
- Advised and assisted the shareholders of an investment club on the legal and regulatory framework for setting up an investment club in Cameroon and in the negotiation and preparation of a shareholders’ agreement;
- Advised and assisted the shareholders of a healthcare company in its share capital increase, in the amendment of its articles of association and in the creation of its corporate foundation;
- Advised and assisted a pharmaceutical company and a group of investors in the negotiation and preparation of a share purchase agreement, share capital increase, and amendment of its articles of association;
- Advised an advertisement multinational on the legal and regulatory framework for the assignment of business assets/goodwill of a Cameroon target in the advertisement industry;
- Advised and assisted a major bank in the vetting of a loan of FCFA 200 million to a contracting company within the framework of the financing of the construction of a facility which was the object of a call for tenders won by the borrower;
- Advised and assisted a leading local healthcare company on its mandatory change in equity due to losses;
- Advised a solar energy parent company and its subsidiary in the financing of its power concession project;
- Advised and assisted a cocoa company in relation to a USD 20 million syndicated financing for the construction of its cocoa grinding factory by a major local bank and the arm of a continental development bank;
- Represented a major bank in connection with High Court proceedings for the attachment and sale of real property within the framework of a mortgage-backed loan made to a defaulting commercial borrower;
- Advised a major American multinational technology company in connection with its compliance with the legal and regulatory framework for its expansion of its online music and software stores into the Cameroonian market;
- Advised an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in connection with its compliance with the legal and regulatory framework for its expansion into the Cameroonian market;
- Assisted and provided annual updates to an American maritime classification society in connection with the legal and regulatory framework for its classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries.
- Assisted and represented major global brands in connection with actions for the protection and enforcement of their IP rights in the African Intellectual Property (OAPI) space.
- Ferdinand is also a Cameroon chapter contributor to the “Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law”, the definitive reference work on international economic law.