Nigeria

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body:  Supreme Court (Nigeria)

Financial regulator: Securities and Exchange Commission (Nigeria)

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction:

Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Project developmentProject finance

Jurisdiction overview

Nigeria gained independence from the British Empire in 1960, forming its own republic three years later. The country remains a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations, and its official language is English, although several other languages are widely spoken. English common law has a great influence on the Nigerian legal system, and forms a considerable amount of its local law.

There is legislation in place that has heavy restrictions wholly preventing foreign law firms opening in the jurisdiction, or even from forming associations with local firms. A few firms do have loose affiliations, Giwa-Osagie & Co with Lex Africa and G Elias & Co with the Africa Legal Network, are examples.  

To practice law in Nigeria you must be locally qualified. Foreign lawyers may practice in Nigeria, but must re-qualify and pass two separate bar exams at the Nigerian Law School. On top of that, only lawyers coming from those jurisdictions governed by common law are allowed to do so, those from civil law jurisdictions are prohibited.

Subsequently, the market only comprises domestic firms. Nigerian firms tend be relatively large in volume, with a number of specialised lawyers. Several firms compete across a number of practice areas; Aluko & Oyebode, Banwo & Ighodalo, G Elias & Co, Olaniwun Ajayi, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie are considered market leaders, and AELEX and Templars also come recommended. 

Due to Nigeria’s position as a world leader in energy production, a large proportion of the legal work in the jurisdiction is linked with the energy market, and while there are no international firms present on the domestic scene, there is a lot of cross-border work undertaken from outside the country’s borders by firms, mostly from the UK, whether independently or via best friend arrangements.

The majority of Nigeria’s legal activity takes place in its largest city, Lagos. 

Financial and corporate
Abdulai Taiwo & Co

Abdulai Taiwo & Co is well known for its work in the capital markets area and is active in the banking, M&A, project finance and development spaces. 

In banking during the research period the firm advised arrangers, lenders and borrowers on financing, syndicated facilities and project finance deals.

In capital markets the firm worked for issuers on the placement of shares, an IPO and a rights issue.

The M&A team acted on deals in the energy, pharmaceutical, healthcare and financial services sectors working for a mix of buyers and sellers.

In project development the firm represented sponsors, contractors and project companies in the infrastructure and power industries.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Cerba / Lancet joint venture

•Lagos Metro

•Lancet Services acquisition of TargneetCo

•Mutual Benefits Assurance $11 million rights issue

•Siat Nigeria $63 million financing

 

Client feedback

"Abdulai, Taiwo & Co. has demonstrable expertise and competence across a broad spectrum of practice areas. I especially recommend the firm for its pro activeness in resolving issues, staying abreast of developments and profferring "out of the box" solutions." - M&A

"I thought that they advised appropriately and the advice given was well explained and easy to understand." - M&A

"They are experienced, proactive, they think ahead of what the client wants. Issues with time delivery." - M&A

"Knowledgeable, experienced and quick to respond." - Project development

"They respond quickly and produce high quality work at short notice." - Project development

"We consider the work done by the firm excellent. In fact, the government party we were negotiating with at the signing of the concession agreement made a public statement, mentioning thoroughness of their work, and how they were diligent resolving the issue. The director of the PPP office said: "I have not engaged another firm with the level of detail shown in preparing the concession agreement and dedication shown to concluding work in a timely manner"." - Project development

"The legal support and advisory work was excellent, especially with due diligence, agreement drafting in line with extant laws and negotiation support." - Project finance

Alayo Ogunbiyi

"Only issue was the turnaround time and lack of dedications. However very knowledgeable and shows expertise."

"Transactional history and experience especially with concession agreements and associated commercial terms to include credit enhancement instruments for project bankability."

"Very knowledgeable on M&A as well as shareholders agreements, subscription agreements and company matters."

"We find the forms work to be thorough, very efficient and timely, with out of box solutions to a difficult project and legal matters. We find the partner always prepared deeply for all meetings and negotiation conference."

Kunle Ayansola

"Responsive and produces good work quickly."

"Quick response and good quality work at short notice."

Ladi Taiwo

"Excellent responsiveness, great contacts, deep experience and recall. Interested in his client's success."

"Ladi is deservedly a luminary in commercial and IP practice. His professionalism and sound expertise are stellar."

Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun

Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun is well known for its work in the M&A and project development practice areas and has a particular focus on oil and gas matters. It is experienced in representing developers in the operation of oil and gas production and on port concession agreements.

During the research period the firm advised lenders and borrowers on financing for oil and gas projects.

The firm worked for joint venture partners and acquirers on M&A and private equity deals in the logistics, food, oil and gas, healthcare and financial services sectors. It also advised a seller on the privatisation of an electricity company and on a joint venture in the oil and gas industry.

A notable staffing change saw the departure of project finance partner John Chibueze who became an in-house lawyer for a petroleum development company.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Mediterranean Shipping Company $10 million investment in Five Star Logistics

•Millennium Oil and Gas / First Modular Gas Systems joint venture

•Opera $6 million acquisition of Paycom Nigeria

•Vantage Mezzanine III $13.7 million financing

•Vitol-led consortium $1.4 billion acquisition of 50% in Petrobras

•Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemicals $35 million financing

•West African Seasoning $532 million acquisition of a 33.33% stake in Promasidor

•Yola Electricity Distribution Company privatisation 

Advisory Legal Consultants

Advisory Legal Consultants is a Nigerian boutique focusing on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. During the research period the firm was particularly active in oil and gas matters. 

In banking work recently the firm advised borrowers on the restructuring of an acquisition finance facility and on project finance deals. 

The M&A team worked on deals in the oil and gas sector. It represented acquirers, sellers and joint venture partners.

In project development work the firm was counsel to project companies and sponsors on the development of power, petrochemical and oil and gas projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Platform Petroleum acquisition of interest in the Abigborodo and Hely Creek Marginal Fields in OML 49

•Western Interconnection 

 

Client feedback

"Responsive and detailed." - Project development

Pacer Guobadia

"Very responsive."

Advocaat Law Practice

Advocaat Law Practice is recognised for its work in banking and finance, M&A and project development.

In recent banking work the firm acted as counsel to borrowers and lenders on loans, refinancing and project financing deals.

The M&A team worked on deals in the real estate, power, financial services and food and beverages sectors. The firm advised both acquirers and sellers. 

In projects the firm advised developers, sponsors and contractors on the development of power and oil and gas space.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Cummings Power Generation $7 million refinancing 

•Osara Water PPP

•Power & Energy Africa $7 million refinancing 

•Unique Grains and Foods acquisition of Gossy water

AELEX

AELEX is broadly strong across work in the financial and corporate area but is best known for oil and gas work.

In banking the firm recently worked for lenders and borrowers on syndicate lending and project financing deals. 

In capital markets it advised an issuer on an issue under an MTN programme. 

In M&A the firm advised acquirers on financial services, oil and gas, insurance, and food and beverage deals, and sellers on the aviation sector.

The firm was busy working for developers on the construction of gas power plants and the development of solar photovoltaic plants and of a port terminal.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Coca-Cola $588 million acquisition of Chi

 

Client feedback

"The firm could manage to identify the weaknesses and the strengths of the transactions and came up with productive solutions and in a very timely manner." - Banking

"The team was very thorough in their work and quite supportive of the transaction, providing commercial and helpful advice." - M&A

"Strengths: team supporting each other, every member has fundamental knowledge of Nigerian law, very experienced in litigation and arbitration; I appreciate the constant communication with the client and timely addressing our requests. Things to improve: timely drafting of documents and sending them for revision of the client. The team seems not being enough for the scope of work it takes." - Project development

Chinyerugo Ugoji

"Very experienced and insightful."

Perenami Momodu

"Strengths:  Competent in building an effective strategy to protect the interests of the client, experienced negotiator, out of the box and quick thinker, excellent communicative skills, very energetic. Things to improve: Meeting deadline and being sometimes too busy with several cases at one time.”

Aluko & Oyebode

Aluko & Oyebode is a broadly strong firm across all financial and corporate practice areas, especially banking, M&A and capital markets work.

In banking during the research period the firm worked for borrowers and lenders on loans, credit facilities, refinancings and project financing work. 

The firm was busy in debt capital markets, advising issuers on bond issues and a commercial paper programme. In the equity capital markets, the firm worked for issuers on IPOs in the financial services and aviation sectors, and of a rights issue. 

In M&A the firm acted for joint venture partners on mergers in the banking and aviation industries, advised sellers on deals in the financial services and consumer goods sectors, and represented acquirers on deals in insurance, agriculture and oil and gas.

In projects the firm worked for developers and contractors on power plant projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Access Bank / Diamond Bank merger

•Access Bank $41 million green bond issue

•Allianz Nigeria Insurance rights issue

•Eroton $398 million financing

•KKR $8 billion acquisition of spreads business from Unilever

•MTN Nigeria Communications $552 million financing

•SAHCO Nigeria Stock Exchange IPO

•Union Bank of Nigeria $277 million bond programme

 

Client feedback

"Strengths are that some of its partners who have vast experience understand complex legal transactions and are very responsive. However, some teams within the firm are not necessarily as strong." - Banking 

"Very responsive and very helpful. The team is solutions driven and efficient." - Banking

"Dare and Mutiat were exceptional professionals in seeing us through this transaction and highlighting our corporate blind spots." - Investment funds

"Overall good performance, they seem knowledgeable about the local market. The firm keeps their time commitments and reacts to client requests on short notice." - M&A

"The firm's work is always of a high standard and their turnaround time and response time is commendable. The team I have worked with in the past is very professional and exhibits a high level of integrity." - M&A

"The quality of the firm's work is quite high. The firm produces clear and easy to read reports, which focus on commercial issues which are key for the client and the transaction." - M&A

"They are quite insightful and knowledgeable of the law and the issues that could arise in respect of the transaction. They are able to solve complex legal issues and point out potential issues ahead of time and propose solutions to mitigate the risk of such issues arising." - M&A

"Overall, the services provided were above satisfactory. Strengths: competent and knowledgeable staff, ability to participate in technical meetings with third parties at short notice, quick response time when reviewing and preparing documents." - Project development

"The firm is quite attentive to our needs, responds timeously and has been able to tailor the transaction to suit our peculiar needs whilst complying with legislation." - Project development

Ayodeji Oyetunde

"Ayodeji is an extremely good lawyer and always provides excellent service.  He has extensive legal knowledge and offers practical solutions."

"Ayodeji is very knowledgeable about the local market and the local insurance industry. He is fully committed to the transaction and very responsive to requests from clients."

Dare Senbore

"Excellent."

"Insightful and supportive."

Jennifer Martins-Okundia

"She is able to appreciate and understand the needs of her client and package transactions to suit the peculiarity of the client whilst complying with the relevant legislation."

"She is analytical, knowledgeable on the law and the issues and capable of proposing innovative solutions to address the client's concerns."

Joke Aliu

"Very professional with a client oriented approach to work. Makes herself available at short notice and gives the client the feeling of being important."

Reginald Udom and Temitope Sowunmi

"Both very responsive, very reasoned and very experienced. They are a pleasure to work with."

Austen-Peters & Co

Austen-Peters & Co is active on financial and corporate work and is well known for its capital markets practice. 

The capital markets team’s recent work included advising an issuer on a sovereign green bond. It also worked on the listing and trading of derivatives on a major securities exchange in Nigeria.

In M&A a highlight of the firm’s work was acting as counsel to an acquirer on a deal in the real estate sector.

A notable staffing change over the research period was the departure of partner Nehizena Ibhawoh.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•CMB Building Maintenance $12 million acquisition of prime land 

•Federal Ministry of Environment $41 million sovereign green bond issue 

Banwo & Ighodalo

Banwo & Ighodalo is a top tier firm across all the ranked practice areas in Nigeria with expertise in banking and finance and capital markets work.

During the research period the firm was busy working for borrowers and lenders on project financing, loan facilities and refinancing deals.

The firm is notably experienced in debt capital markets matters and, during the research period, advised issuers and trustees on notes, sukuk, green bond and a commercial paper issues.

In M&A the firm acted for a joint venture partner on a merger in the banking industry, advised sellers on deals in the consumer goods, power and oil and gas sectors, and represented acquirers on deals in insurance, pharmaceutical, financial services and oil and gas.

It was also active in project development, working for developers and sponsors on the development and construction of oil and gas and power plants projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Africa Finance Corporation $300 million financing

•Beth Adorn $14 million acquisition of Oreon

•Dangote Cement Niger $150 million loan facility

•Federal Republic of Nigeria $2 billion 7.625% and 8.747% bond issue

•Federal Republic of Nigeria $276 million sukuk issue

•Jigawa 50MW solar power plant 

•KKR $8 billion acquisition of spreads business from Unilever

•North South Power Company $23 million 15.60% green bond issue

 

Client feedback

"The firm has been on the top of the transaction and has provided high quality legal assistance during the whole transaction. They have been solution finders, which is extremely appreciable in the context of a difficult counterparty." – Banking

"We worked with them through English law. They were very attentive." - Banking

"The firm was very professional, responsive, cost-friendly, hand-on and willing to place its wide professional and industry network at our disposal." - Capital markets: Debt

"Top notch, professional work which was done in a timely manner." - Capital markets: Debt

"Strengths: the firm was thorough in the documentations and displayed hands on experience on the transactions. Weakness: response time was sometimes slow, because the relevant units of the firm had to confirm their aspect of the transaction." - M&A       

"The firm brought professionalism and dynamism to bear in the execution of the mandate. Their speed and quality of delivery were impressive while client focus was commendable." - M&A

Ayotunde Owoigbe

"Ayo is a brilliant commercial lawyer, certainly one of the best in her area of expertise. She is accessible, willing to listen and a tough lawyer to have onside in difficult negotiations."

"Ayo is a consummate and highly industrious commercial lawyer with extremely strong deal making capacity. A highly skilled negotiator ever willing to go beyond the ordinary call of duty to deliver the perceived impossible." 

"Ayo is an astute professional who is very switched on when it comes to financial services and corporate legal work generally. Due to her depth of experience in financial services (equity and debt raising, securitisation and project financing), she is my first go-to professional in the market even at ideation level when we are thinking through the best structure for a transaction."

Seyi Bella

"Great work, my experience with her was very good."

"Seyi is very knowledgeable, thorough, dynamic and accessible. She can improve on the turnaround time of her team."

Tomisin Ojuawo

"Tomisin is focused, driven, a hard and smart lawyer you can rely on."

Benchmac & Ince

Benchmac & Ince is recognised for its work in project development, particularly in the power and infrastructure sectors.

During the research period, the firm advised sponsors and developers on the development of power, infrastructure and PPP projects. 

A recent staffing change was the hire of corporate finance partner Obinna Kes Ukpabi. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Kaduna State infrastructure improvement PPP

•Lagos and Abuja medical warehouses PPP

•Rural solar power mini-grids PPP

•Nigerian grain stores PPP

 

Client feedback

"Responsive, competent and agreeable to work under challenging conditions." - Project development

“The firm was always available to provide legal advice on the project and helped prepare and review the management contract between the government and the private party.” – Project development

Ike Ibeku

"Brilliant, vast knowledge of the Lagos island waterways."

"Excellent deliverables, on time and up to standard expected."

“Ibeku is a legal practitioner of remarkable character and knowledge. He is a professional that is very good at details. He is responsive and accessible. He meets deadlines.”

Bloomfield Law Practice

Bloomfield Law Practice is recognised for its work in banking and finance, M&A, and project development.

In recent banking work the firm worked for borrowers and lenders on debt restructuring, asset financing, acquisition financing and project financing deals.

The M&A team advised joint venture partners, acquirers and sellers on deals in the oil and gas, mining, shipping, real estate, power and retail sectors.

In the project development area the firm represented sponsors and developers on the construction and development of oil and gas, power and mining projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Garnet Homes $98 million financing

•Geogrid Lightec IPP 

•Larr Corporation acquisition of 50% in Docupress Printing Solutions 

•Milhouse Energy Services coal mine

•Zomay Marine / Logistics joint venture

•Zomay offshore / Peola joint venture

 

Client feedback

"Bloomfield Law Practice is a 'practical and hands-on' Nigerian law firm with expertise in corporate commercial, private equity, real estate and financing matters." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"Excellent, top quality work provided by firm at all stages of the process. Top quartile work done by all members of the team on all elements of the engagement including general legal advisory, due diligence, project documentation, and finance documentation." - Project development 

"Strengths: knowledgeable, professional, punctual, over-communicate, and extremely ethical.  Weaknesses: get offended if you work with other firms that have different skill-sets then their own firm." - Project development

"The firm's team is highly skilled in the power and energy sector with diverse understanding of the issues.  Secondly, the firm has timely response to client's work and provide practical solutions to issues." - Project development

"They are excellent. They are timely, efficient and always ready to help." - Project development

"Very deep knowledge of the energy industry with good connections. The partners are always accessible and have a strong team of lawyers behind them who they give opportunities to." - Project development 

"Normally pretty responsive. Willing to think flexibly and commercially. Sometimes need to focus on the longer term view and establishment of consistent narrative across multiple actions, rather than focusing on short-term "technical" wins." - Restructuring and insolvency

Adedoyin Afun

"Very responsive, took role seriously, thought commercially, handled multiple matters effectively. Sometimes too focused on short-term technical victories in proceedings, which didn't necessarily advance long term goals."

Ayodele Oni

"By far the best attorney in the country, hands down. I have worked over the course of six plus years in the country working with over 20+ other attorneys, and he is so far superior in terms of knowledge, accessibility, work ethic, and candour. He never over-promises to get work and he never under-delivers on expectations. We have followed him to new firms when he left prior positions due to his abilities."

"Excellent leadership of the team and providing strong partner support on all aspects of the transaction."

"Extremely knowledgeable about energy space in Nigeria and well connected.  Always attentive to client needs and always accessible."

"He is excellent. He puts the client's needs first."

"He is highly intelligent and professional in his work dealings.  I can confirm that he is one of the most intelligent lawyers I have met who has a wide knowledge of the energy industry."

DealHQ

DealHQ is a new Nigerian boutique active in M&A. During the research period the firm advised acquirers on deals in the energy, consumer goods and financial services sector.

Client feedback

"I was impressed with their work ethics, timeliness and overall presentation on the job. I will say their key strength is their knowledge in buy side DD." - M&A

"The firm was very helpful with handling the transaction and also communicating effectively with the target company as well as with the other investor in the deal." - M&A

"Despite their small team, the firm has in-depth knowledge of law and business. The team is also extremely efficient." - Private equity

Tosin Ajose

"She did a good job with leading the team and providing timely feedback."

"Very creative, business minded and value conscious."

Duale Ovia & Alex-Adedipe

Duale Ovia & Alex-Adedipe is focused on banking and M&A work.

In recent banking deals the firm advised borrowers on acquisition financings and corporate loans.

The M&A team worked for a seller on a private equity deal in the technology sector. The firm also worked for companies on capital raises.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•TeamApt $5.5 million Series A financing

•TLcom Capital $5 million investment in Terragon Group

 

Client feedback

"The firm has been an excellent legal partner since inception. We have had access to their DOA partners as well as the general legal team. As a start-up, we are extremely price sensitive, so the only possible weaknesses would be on service commercials." - Financial services regulatory

"Their work is excellent and on time. Perfect service, would recommend." - M&A

"Extensive understanding of the TMT industry, extremely efficient, and very business savvy." - Private equity

"The firm is knowledgeable and extremely efficient. They went far and beyond to ensure that we understood the transaction end to end, and profferring solutions to help us achieve the objective." - Private equity

Adeleke Alex-Adedipe

"Alex-Adedipe has been an excellent partner. He is attentive and is professional. No immediate or obvious weaknesses."

Chika Oke

"She is very skilled and professional. She communicates properly and on time, and a lot of times she goes above and beyond."

Niyi Duale

"Niyi is a brilliant lawyer, in particular, he was ability to fully understand what it is we do, the way we do it, and what we are trying to achieve. DOA lawyers are clearly very smart, and even better at managing our sometimes overly demanding needs and timelines."

G Elias & Co

G Elias & Co is a member of the Africa Legal Network and is known for work in the banking, capital markets and M&A practice areas.

In the banking area the firm recently worked for lenders and borrowers on syndicated loan facilities, project financings and refinancing deals. 

In the capital markets the firm was busy working for issuers and trustees on bond issues and commercial paper issues. It also worked for the underwriting banks on a telecommunications company IPO and issuers on a rights issues and a capital increase.

In M&A the firm acted for acquirers, sellers and joint venture partners on deals in the cement, ports, food, financial services and energy sectors.

The firm represented developers, sponsors and contractors on the development of oil and gas, infrastructure and power projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Africa Finance Corporation $25 million acquisition of 50% in Infracredit

•Bank of Industry $750 million loan facility

•Cement Company of Northern Nigeria / Kalambaina Cement Company merger

•Dangote Industries $650 million loan facility

•Ecobank $277 million bond programme

•Kellogg $420 million acquisition of 50% stake in Dufil Prima

•Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company $1.22 billion bond issue

•OML 83 and 85 $724 million financing

 

Client feedback

"The firm's outstanding understanding of legal issues and the knowledge of the Nigerian market makes a big difference." – Banking

"They performed excellently well. Their approach to work is commendable and also provided accurate professional advice to see the success of the transaction." - Capital markets: Debt

"The work approach is very commendable. Appropriate advice was provided and in good time. A knowledgeable understanding of the industry."  - Capital markets: Debt

"Excellent. Good attention to details, very responsive and has extensive knowledge of the Nigerian power sector." Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

"The firm performed to a high standard. Main strength: provided timely advice and documentation for the transaction." - M&A

"Excellent. Knowledgeable, attentive and responsive. Nothing to improve. This firm stands out head and shoulders above its peers." - Private equity

"Very good in drafting the document, in allocating the risks and in advising us in the discussions with the borrower. Excellent value for money.  Sometimes we have found them a bit slow." - Project finance

Fred Onuobia

"Fred has a thorough understanding of the Nigerian market and maintains focus even on the smallest details."

G Elias

"Excellent. Very good legal and technical knowledge and very good attention to detail."

Nosakhare Aguebor

"Nosa is a good listener and pays good attention to the details and needs of his client. He has a good understanding of the industry and how it is regulated, giving a better advantage to advice properly."

Okechukwu Okoro

"Extremely available, excellent legal and communication skills and very good negotiator."

Ukamaka Okoli

"Strengths: very thorough, meets deadlines, very accessible, and gives quality advice."

Greychapel Legal

Greychapel Legal is recognised for its work in M&A and is active in capital markets work.

In M&A during the research period the firm worked for joint venture partners and acquirers. The firm advised on deal in the healthcare, real estate and media sectors.

In the capital markets area the firm represented the issuer on a rights issue in the healthcare industry.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•May and Baker $5.5 million rights issue

Client feedback

"Detailed, professional and articulate work." - Banking

"Greychapel is consistent and professional in their treatment of clients and the service they provide. They always timely and have a vast network across several industries and government, which they take full advantage of to provide quality service." - Banking

"Professionalism and attention to detail are the strengths we observe whenever we work with Greychapel. They are always available to assist through every step of a transaction they are working on.  Their follow up skill (even after completing a task) is highly commendable. There's always room for improvement regardless of how long you have been in a business, so we'll advise that they keep striving to be the best in their field and keep improving on their strengths." - Capital markets: Equity

"Greychapel is very detailed and goal oriented." - Project development

"Greychapel have been an excellent partner. Their major strengths are their depth of knowledge of the law, how government operate in Nigeria, their responsiveness (they are always, always on call regardless of the time of day), their level of attention to detail, and their impeccable verbal and written style of communication. We are very pleased with Greychapel." - Project development

Oladele Oladunjoye

"Dedicated, professional, knowledgeable and thorough."

"Dele is an astute lawyer with a great understanding of our start up business. He has helped us identify and seize opportunities we otherwise may have lost as a business, and has helped us immensely in our interactions with Nigerian state government in the course of projects we have done for them. His major strengths are his willingness to go the extra mile every single time, the effort he has put into understanding our business operations, and his level of attention to detail."

"Oladunjoye's in-depth knowledge and ability to reduce to writing our exact thoughts and intentions after meetings is commendable."

"Very knowledgeable, extremely committed to client's success. Timely and responsive."  

Ikeyi Shittu & Co

Ikeyi Shittu & Co is active in the M&A and project finance and development areas.

During the research period the firm advised borrowers on project finance deals in the power and oil and gas sectors.  

A recent staffing change was the departure of partner Olusola Arifayan. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Okija 495MW gas fired IPP

Client feedback 

"We have found Ikeyi Shittu & Co to be highly competent in their provision of legal advisory services to our group of companies." - Project finance

Nduka Ikeyi

"Nduka is a person of integrity. He is highly competent, experienced and has a strong network of relationships, which he deploys providing value-added services to his clients."

Jackson Etti & Edu

Jackson Etti & Edu is particularly strong in banking work and is active in the capital markets and M&A areas.

In the banking area the firm’s recent work included advising lenders and borrowers on various new money financings and debt restructuring deals.

The capital markets team worked on the debt side, representing joint trustees and issuers on bond issues. It was also mandated counsel on the equity side to an issuer of secondary share offerings.

In M&A the firm has been active on deals in the telecommunications, media, cement, transport, food and healthcare sectors. The firm advised joint venture partners and acquirers.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Africa Finance Corporation $300 million financing

•Cement Company of Northern Nigeria/Kalambaina Cement Company merger

•Lagos State Government $267 million four tranche (16.75%, 17.25%, 15.60%, 15.85%) bond issue

•Providus Bank $17 million capital raise

•Teleology acquisition of majority stake in Emerging Markets Telecommunication    Services (9Mobile)

•Teleology $251 million financing

•UAC Property Development Company $55 million 16% bond issue

•United Bank for Africa $100 million financing 

 

Client feedback

"Worked with them through Norton Rose in London." - Banking

Kenna Partners

Kenna Partners specialises in dispute resolution work but is also active in the banking area.

Olajide Oyewole

Olajide Oyewole is a member of DLA Piper Africa. During the research period the firm has been active in the M&A space. The team advised on deals in the food and beverages, consumer goods, oil and gas, energy, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•ASL Nigeria acquisition of a 51% equity stake in Checkport Nigeria

•Kupanda MG $5 million acquisition of Mavin records 

•Transportation Services and Technologies Nigeria acquisition of assets of the transportation business of General Electric 

Client feedback

"They have a good understanding of Nigerian law and practice. Excellent relationship management and experience with government officials which is invaluable on any transaction with a governmental agency." - Banking

"Strength: good blend of commercial and legal understanding. Weaknesses: depth of talent resides largely at the partner level. Given their high case load, this can lead to longer lead times on deliverables." - Private equity

"The firm has fantastic lawyers and provided us with a top class, responsive, and in-depth service. We would not use someone else." - Project finance

Dayo Idowu

"Dayo is a brilliant finance and corporate lawyer, with an in-depth understanding of applicable legal issues. I always use Dayo for transactions in Nigeria."

"Dayo is extremely smart and has an excellent understanding of Nigerian law and practice. I appreciate his accessibility, depth and quick understanding of the issues. He has also provided smart solutions within short timelines and is very hands-on with his work."

"Excellent commercial lawyer. Great at providing out of the box solutions that allow you to maximise commercial gains while still protecting the firm's risks."

Sefton Fross

Sefton Fross is a Nigerian firm known for its work in the banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and project development areas.

During the research period the firm’s banking work included advising borrowers and lenders on Islamic finance, project financing, loans, acquisition financing, revolving credit facilities, refinancing and syndicate financing deals.

In capital markets work the firm worked for issuers and trustees on sukuk issues, notes issues and bond issues. It also represented issuers on rights issues and capital raises.

The M&A team was active on deals in the oil and gas, insurance, power, manufacturing and real estate sectors. The firm acted as counsel to both buyers and sellers. 

In project development, the firm advised project companies and sponsors on the development of power and oil and gas projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Atlas Mara $5 million financing

•Eagle Hospitality & Leisure $200 million refinancing

•EMA Consortium $625 million acquisition of 80% equity of Calabar Generation Company 

•Grace Lake Partners $11.5 million financing

•Ignite Investments and Commodities acquisition of 75% of issued share capital of Forte Oil 

Client feedback

"Incisive, impactful and knowledgeable guidance and support delivered with confidence, the firm's work consistently represents a dimension of informed interventions that we have come to rely on." - Banking

"Sefton Fross approached its work professionally and provided a clear path for ensuring a detailed work was done. The firm was able to proffer documentation improvements to assist in regulatory compliance. We were very satisfied with the quality of work." - Capital markets: Equity

"Sefton Fross takes the time to understand their clients' needs and culture. It works with clients to proffer solutions that benefit both sides. They understand the investment space. They are accommodating on cost structures, fair on pricing and like challenging projects. They need more staff at senior levels." - Investment funds

"Very strong legal background in financing, the electricity sector and contract negotiations. Also helpful in negotiating the shareholders' agreement with equity investor." - Project development

Olayemi Anyanechi

"Very intelligent, willing to go the extra mile for clients, proactive in proffering solutions. Employs a win win approach. Needs to hire more people who can perform at her level."

"Yemi is a talented lawyer; with exceptionally strong eye for detail, has subject knowledge and is a "problem-solver."

"Yemi is very strong and experienced in commercial matters. The breadth of the various industries she has worked in clearly shows in the innovativeness of the solutions to the legal issues in transactions. Her commercial knowledge coupled with her legal experience makes her an ideal partner for legal issues in commercial transactions."

Solola & Akpana

Solola & Akpana is recognised for its work in the banking, M&A, project development and project finance practice areas. The firm is particularly known for oil and gas work.

In recent banking workthe firm advised borrowers and lenders on asset financing, acquisition financing and project financing deals.

In capital markets the firm represented the issuer on a bond issue.

The M&A team was active on for both the buy and sell side on deals. The firm was active on deals in the petrochemicals, oil and gas, automotive, energy and consumer goods sectors.

In recent project development work the firm acted as counsel to sponsors, developers and project companies on the construction and development of oil and gas, infrastructure and power projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Cortech gas terminal

•DEL Waste Management Company acquisition of Oilflow Global Energy 

•Glazier Nigeria $3 million financing

•Locodove Ventures $18 million financing 

 

Client feedback

"Response time very good. Credible legal update on new laws. Reachable and versatile." - M&A

"The firm is amongst the leading law firms in Nigeria. We have worked with them extensively. They are one of the few firms that have the right mix of knowledge of both local market practices and international practices. With S&A we feel we have the right advisors to deal with both local banks and international investors (funds, DFIs, and banks)." - Project finance

Abimbola Odunaike

"Bimbo is a fantastic lawyer. He has a very strong experience, he is calm, handles stressful situations with ease. He is very committed and driven and one feels safe navigating with him the hurdles that arise.

"Technically very sound."

Templars

Templars is active across all financial and corporate areas but most notable for work in M&A and project finance and development. 

In banking work during the research period the firm advised lenders and borrowers on loan facilities, acquisition finance and project finance deals.

In capital markets the firm acted as counsel to issuers and trustees on bond issues including high yield, green and eurobond issues. 

In M&A the firm was busy working for a joint venture partner on a merger in the banking industry, assisting a target on a divestment in the oil and gas sector, and representing acquirers on aviation and power sector deals.

It also worked for sponsors on the development of infrastructure, oil and gas and power projects.

A notable staffing change was the recruitment of partner Dayo Okusami who returned to the energy and projects team after three years as an executive director at Zircon Marine.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•ABB Verwaltungs $2.6 acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions

•Access Bank / Diamond Bank merger

•Depthwize $100 million financing

•Ikorodu 300MW power plant

•Katsina 75MW solar power plant

•Lekki deep-sea port

•Seplat $350 million 9.25% high-yield bond issue 

•United Bank for Africa $500 million eurobond issue

 

Client feedback

"The firm had a good grasp of hydrocarbon commercialization and their broad-based knowledge was very useful." - Asset finance

"Very strong combination of power, banking and tax expertise." - Banking

"During the period, the service rendered was excellent and highly professional." - Capital markets: Debt

"Templars is very proactive in its approach and gives a lot of on the ground support which is very valuable to offshore investors." - Capital markets: Debt

"Very informative and knowledgeable advice in relation to local law and security protection rights for us.  Clear in communicating points to us and reliable in making themselves available to support on additional queries and question that we had.  The transaction was also required to complete in a timely manner and Templars were great in working to the required timelines to prevent delays." - Capital markets: Debt

"Extremely capable and responsive, they have always been available and are good at anticipating and identifying issues, and potential solutions.  They have worked with us in an entirely integrated manner for the benefit of our mutual client." - M&A 

"Highly professional and experienced. Strengths: breath of experience, knowledge and dexterity. Weaknesses: none identified yet." – M&A

"Put simply 'outstanding'. The advice is always to the point and delivered in a timely manner. Very experienced law firm, that are always on top of the transaction. Partners (Oghogho, Chike and Zelda) are outstanding." - M&A

"Templars is very detailed, attentive and available in their support. Always willing to provide answers, flexible with demands and changing timelines, available on short notice while maintaining excellent attitudes and building relationships." - M&A

"The firm is very professional, employing excellent lawyers from junior levels to partners. Turnaround times are fast and it has a calm and professional approach. Very strong on corporate commercial. Thorough research and understanding of local and international laws." - M&A

"Great at dealing with issues and navigating unknowns with 'local context'. Take a partnership role and give advice as though they were the sponsor." - Project development    

"Templars has been very thorough with their advice and timely in their responses. They are very responsive to their client's needs." - Project development

"Templars has been the go to firm for my establishment ever since we began using them. Their service provisioning has been first class. For me, I have honestly not seen one weaknesses in the designated team that has worked with us thus far." - Project development

"Thorough, prompt, always available, punctual and good understanding of the transaction." - Project development

"Yet to find a weakness, the team is efficient and extremely competent." - Project development

"Excellent work across the board. The team is strong throughout and not just one or two partners. Very responsible, commercial and want to get the deal done." - Project finance

Ayokanmi Aderibigbe

"Excellent lawyer, no doubt he has the right mix of IQ and EQ. He is always spot on with his judgement calls. I have never had to correct him on out of the box decisions he has had to make."

Chike Obianwu

"Chike is a calm, astute and very professional lawyer. He is never phased and has the calmness of character to handle the most complex of issues/situations. Excellent grasp of corporate/commercial law."

"He is knowledgeable and thorough in his assessment and clear in his advice."

"Very capable, engaged and hands on in supervising and supporting the transaction."

Desmond Ogba

"Desmond is savvy lawyer and displays high level of professionalism in his interaction with clients."

"Excellent knowledge and capacity."

"He is very solid, calm, thoughtful, knows what he is doing, thinks outside the box with you as a business partner."

Dupe Dabiri

"Dupe is a joy to work with. She is extremely sharp and alert and brings this energy to her work and her discussions. She loves to engage with her clients, seeking clarity and discussing key matters as they arise. She exemplifies the spirit of Templars, which is collaborative and inclusive. You will always be carried along if Dupe is working with you.

Oghogho Akpata

"Oghogho is an excellent lawyer. He is able to bring parties together and is always focused on getting the deal done. Other lawyers of note at Templars are Chike and Zelda."

Yemisi Awonuga

"Excellent, highly professional. Strengths: experience, communication and engagement. Weaknesses: none identified yet."

"Thorough, prompt, always available, punctual and good understanding of the transaction. Strength motivating and involving the team associates on the transaction."

"Yemisi and her team give real value for money. Yemisi is thorough in her reviews and always keeps the big picture in mind which enables us to at all times tie together different aspects of the transaction that ensured we were always kept protected. She is open to discussions and suggestions from the in-house team which goes a long way in helping to achieve a better outcome in reviews and negotiations."

"Yemisi has an in-depth knowledge of the oil & gas market. She provided creative options for achieving our aim and was readily accessible."

Zelda Akindele

"Excellent finance lawyer. Commercial and responsive."

"Zelda has been exemplary in the support that she offered us on the transaction.  She has a clear understanding of our business and the constraints that we have in the business environment that we operate in, and is great at providing potential solutions to any issues that we may encounter.  Zelda is extremely knowledgeable of the local legislations and regulations regarding our security protection and was an extremely valuable support."

"Zelda has worked in the London market so is a great intermediary for cross border transactions as she understands both sides very well. She (and her team) will also do a lot of work face to face with your clients which is very valuable when you cannot travel to the country as often as you would like."

The New Practice

The New Practice is recognised for its M&A and capital markets work.

In capital markets work during the research period the firm was active on the debt side working for issuers and trustees on bond issues. It also worked on the equity side, advising an issuer on a private placement and a rights issue. 

The M&A team represented acquirers on deals in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Flour Mills of Nigeria $228 million two tranche (15.50%, 16%) bond issue 

•Flour Mills of Nigeria $110 million rights issue

•NEoT Offgrid Africa $2 million acquisition of Sabon Gari Energy

•Synergy acquisition of Dimension Data

 

Client feedback

"The firm is extremely strong on litigation matters and we are very confident with them handling any litigation on our behalf.  They also do so at very reasonable pricing.  They are also generally competent on capital markets and M&A although there is significant room for improvement there, particularly on structuring these transactions as it does not appear as strong as their litigation side." - Capital markets: Debt

"They are detailed and meticulous in ensuring all requisite regulations are followed without compromising speed." - Capital markets: Equity

"TNP provided legal advice that was succinct, well-thought through, and, most importantly, actionable." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"Feedback was very positive, TNP were pro-active, and provided a responsive and excellent service." - M&A

"Savvy, hands on, commercial minded and solution oriented." - Project finance

Baba Alokolaro

"Baba is excellent. He is knowledgeable and user friendly."

"Commercially savvy, understands business needs and balances them appropriately with legal requirements. He is open and engaging."

"Very good. He is a very careful listener and works extremely hard to provide solutions to clients' problems.  However, because he tends to give personal attention to all clients, he may not be always available."

Babajimi Ayorinde

"Babajimi is a knowledgeable and practical lawyer."

"Excellent responsiveness. Very strong on litigation. Generally competent on capital markets and M&A."

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie is a leading firm in the banking, capital markets and M&A practice areas. 

In banking recently the firm was busy working for borrowers and lenders on loan facilities, refinancing, project financing and credit facilities deals.

In capital markets, the firm advised issuers, lead managers and trustees on bond issues, a commercial paper issue, and a sukuk. It also worked issuers on rights issues.

In M&A the firm has experience representing joint venture partners in the transport and banking industries, and acquirers in the food, real estate, financial services and aviation sectors.

In projects the firm worked for developers in power, infrastructure and oil and gas projects. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Abia 500MW power plant 

•Ecobank $277 million bond programme

•Federal Republic of Nigeria $552 million sukuk

•Kellogg $420 million acquisition of 50% in Dufil Prima

•Lafarge $358 million rights issue

•Union Bank of Nigeria $200 million credit facility

 

Client feedback

"I have been very impressed by the firm's attention to detail, availability for meetings, conferences and consultations at short notices, despite the wide gap in the time zones of parties and advisers in the transaction. The firm has flexibility on hourly rates and billings and depth of experience in international financing of this nature." – Banking

"Proactive, competitive on fees, client focused, excellent service and advice." – Banking

"The firm is detailed and responsive in its approach in handling matters." - Banking

"The firm provides good consistent advice and can always be relied upon as one of the strong firms in Nigeria." – Banking

"The UUBO team are extremely collaborative and responsive. We had confidence that our Nigerian law needs were being looked after and addressed professionally and competently."- Banking

"They have a large team of knowledgeable lawyers and are cost effective." – Banking

"Proactive and engaging." - Capital markets: Debt

"Sound transaction. Supports the client and has knowledge of the law, gives timely responses and has availability." - Capital markets: Equity

"UUBO is one of the top legal firms in Nigeria and is noted for its expertise in capital markets and so since have been in this position, we have used the firm for every capital markets transactions and recently on a debt restructuring." - Capital markets: Equity

"The firm provides sound, practical advice and is solutions driven." - Capital markets: Derivatives

"I am very impressed by the law firm's work. Their recommendations are thorough and when legal advice is sought, it is received timely." - M&A

"Excellent. Deeply professional." - M&A

“They are responsive, hardworking, practical and they know their market." - M&A

"They were extremely professional, provided us with a comprehensive checklist of all the items to be addressed and closely updating as to their findings." - M&A

"Very efficient and hardworking, very thorough and professional." - M&A

"Very responsive. Detailed and considered legal advice. Has in-depth understanding of the Nigerian power sector and was able to leverage this in providing support on a due diligence process." - Project development

"The firm was very professional, timely, flexible and value adding. I enjoyed working with them." - Project finance

"The firm is very thorough and very technically competent in commercial transactions. Can increase its impact in litigation where they appear to be less active." - Restructuring and insolvency

 

Adeola Sunmola and Onyinye Okafor

"Great customer service, high level of commitment and dedication, very satisfactory output."

Ekundayo Onajobi

"Ekundayo has good relationship and management skills, he is driven and always ready to put in man hours to see a deal through."

Ekundayo Onajobi, Mary Ekemezie and Tolulope Osindero

"The lawyers are responsive and diligent in their approach to matters handled."

Folake Adebowale

"She is always responsive and solid."

"Thorough bred professional. Excellent."

Joseph Eimujeze

"He displayed an understanding of the banking sector and legal framework. He also paid attention to the mechanics and details of the respective transactions."

Lolade Osasemi and Mena Ajakpovia

"They struck me as extremely intelligent and immensely capable people. Their listening skills are unparalleled. An improvement on their response time will be greatly appreciated."

Nicholas Okafor

"Very technically competent, has a very deep and good knowledge of the industry. Highly responsive to our needs and willing to go the extra mile to meet our demands."

Onyinye Okafor

"Client centred, transparent on pricing and solution driven. A great lawyer."

Ozofu Ogiemudia

"She is a fantastic attorney with great intelligence. She is very knowledgeable about the subject matter and she is very accessible, always making time to speak to me and discuss our legal needs.  Finally, she goes above and beyond to make sure client feedback is properly implemented."

Yinka Edu

"Ability to guide and lead discussion that is beneficial to both clients (lenders and borrowers)."

"Astute and knowledgeable. Brings a deep depth of knowledge to support clients."

"Excellent.  Yinka is very supportive on transactions."

"Leading lawyer, trusted adviser, excellent service at all times."

"Strong understanding of financial markets and current trends in Nigeria, with practical advice on finding solutions."

"Very hard working and highly professional."

"Yinka is accessible, very experienced in the market, flexible on pricing and has eager to get the deal done. It would be great to be able to prise out more discount on fees but the firm is probably very competitive among peer firms of the same size and experience."

"Yinka (and her team) is very professional, competent and collaborative. I enjoy working with the team as communication is clear."