One of Nigeria’s established legal brands, Banwo & Ighodalo has a strong presence in the energy sector in general, in the oil and gas market, and to a lesser degree in infrastructure. The firm advises many oil and gas corporations in all aspects of work, from exploration to M&A. Another key industry for the team is electricity supply, where it has been involved in the development of several power generation plants.
Regarding infrastructure development, a client who worked with the firm on a transport mandate says: “They are extremely professional, with lots of multinational experience. They have foreign partners and they have contacts abroad. The contracts are rigid, and they always have enough lawyers on the case when we have project meetings.” The client went on to highlight the distances the firm is willing to go to ensure its clients are happy. “When we go to contract negotiations, they come with us and negotiate on our behalf - in China, in Australia - they will always come with us if necessary.”
Leaving the energy and natural resources team in 2015 was senior associate Dipo Okuribido. A new hire was associate was Adetutu Sanusi.
Transactional highlights include work for as sponsors counsel to Chevron and Nigerian National Petroleum Co on a drilling program.
Another interesting matter saw the team advising Brass LNG, a project company, on the development of a greenfield LNG project, only the second of its kind in Nigeria.
In infrastructure the firm acted as sponsors’ counsel on the Ropeways Transport major cable car public transport development in Lagos. The firm also acted for Global Maritime and Port Services as transactional consultants to the developers.
With more than 50 lawyers, Banwo & Ighodalo has one of the largest teams in Nigeria and is one of its finest firms across all areas of financial and corporate law. In finance the firm regularly advises both international and domestic lenders, and the corporate practice covers M&A, project finance and capital markets transactions.
A partner at a major international law firm that has worked with the team on a bond issue says: “They are very good - we have worked with the same team for nearly 10 years. They are responsive, understand the legal issues and have a solid commercial awareness of doing business in Nigeria. Another client, this time from a development bank, says: “Banwo & Ighodalo are very knowledgeable, very responsive and they are also very accessible and pro-active.” Stelle Duru, an energy and corporate partner at the firm, receives individual plaudits from a client who says: “Put succinctly, Stella is a fantastic lawyer, knowledgeable, pro-active and a pleasure to work with.”
The banking and finance department works on secured, unsecured, multi-currency and syndicated lending arrangements for a number of clients, including OPIC as lenders counsel for the loan facility agreement extended to Txtlight Power Solutions. Working for Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services the firm is also acting on all aspects of the refinancing of its existing loans, as well as for Vitol in connection with a loan facility extended to Oando Resources. The firm is advising the lenders on the security arrangements of a $278 million medium term acquisition facility to be granted to the Sahara Group’s SPV, Kepco Energy Resource, by FBN Capital, to acquire 70% of power generation company Egbin Power from the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Ministry of Finance.
Arguably the strongest firm in the country when it comes to corporate M&A work, the team acted on several large scale notable mandates over the last 12 months. A representative example saw the firm represent GlaxoSmithKline on the divestment of its drinks, bottling and distribution business to Suntory Beverage and Food’s Nigerian subsidiary. Again working in the beverage industry, the firm acted for Tropical General Investments Group as seller in connection with the sale of an equity share in Chi to the Coca-Cola Company.
In capital markets the firm is representing Guaranty Trust Bank, alongside White & Case as international counsel and opposite Linklaters, in relation to the update of its GMTN programme. The firm also worked on the GMTN programme established by Access Bank, working for a number of lead managers including Barclays Bank.