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 an independent firm offering the full range of corporate and financial legal services. It has offices in Lagos and Abuja and a preferred friend relationship with law firms across West Africa.

In banking and finance the firm acted for borrowers, lenders and arrangers recently, and the team helped The Infrastructure Bank as finance arranger for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail project.

In capital markets the firm advised Mutual Benefits Assurance as the issuer on a rights issue, and advised Trust Bond Mortgage Bank on the issue of a private placement of shares.

In M&A the firm advised on domestic and cross-border transactions, notably assisting Emzor Pharmaceutical Manufacturing as the target on a private equity investment.

The project development and project finance teams have been advising the Federal Ministry of Transport on PPP development. The firm also worked in other projects in the utility, transport, and oil and gas industries, advising on matters valued at billions of Nigerian naira.

Other key clients include Stanbic IBTC Bank, Afrinvest West Africa, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and the Marina Quayside Development. 

Client feedback

“Attentive and quick response.” – M&A

“Great practice.” – Banking and finance

Ladi Taiwo

"Attentive and gives a quick response." 

Advisory Legal Consultants

Advisory Legal Consultants is a boutique focusing on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. The firm has worked on project advisory mainly in the oil and gas sector recently. 

Senior consultant Pacer Guobadia joined the firm in May 2018.

Some key clients are Platform Petroleum and Newcross Petroleum, Brass Fertilizer Company, and the West African Gas Pipeline Company.

Advocaat Law Practice

Advocaat Law Practice is a full service commercial firm focussed on baking and finance, M&A, and project work.

In banking and finance, the firm acted as the borrower’s counsel to Power & Energy Africa on the refinancing of existing facilities.

The M&A team worked for Tako Exploration & Production in its acquisition of participating interests in a marginal field, and advised Range Mercantile in the acquisition of Oil Prospecting Leases 276 and 283. 

In projects, the firm advised Cummins Power Generation Nigeria on its proposed project in the Republic of Benin and on another power project in Banana Island for the residents of Ikoyi, Lagos State. 

Other key clients are First Bank UK and Power Gas Delta Innovations.

AEC legal

AEC Legal is a full-service law firm recognised for its work in the M&A, project finance and project development.

In M&A, deal highlights include working for Whytecleon Nigeria in the acquisition of In Sourcing.

The project development team advised on project Bali, and worked for Zakhem Construction Nigeria in the expansion of the Escravos to Lagos Gas Pipeline II.

Other key clients include First Bank Nigeria, Tripple K Trading Concept, and Financial Institution Training Centre.

AELEX

AELEX has solid practices across all financial and corporate areas but is best known for oil and gas work.

In banking, the firm has acted for arrangers and lenders and other financial institutions on local and international credit facilities, and structured financings, as well as regulatory advice. 

The capital markets team has been active advising primarily issuers, though most of its work and clients are confidential, it advised NCR Nigeria. 

In M&A, the firm worked mainly for buyers in the energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, and finance industries. Some key clients are Lekki Port LFTZ, Helios Investment Partners, and Coca-Cola Nigeria. 

In the projects space, the firm has acted on oil and gas and renewable energy projects recently.

Key clients include the Nigerian Stock Exchange, PayU Payments, and Keystone Bank.

Client feedback

“The firm's work is very thorough. Detailed report and analysis carried out all the time and work is done to a high standard.” – Banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency

Olusina Sipasi

"Extremely knowledgeable in area of work and a professional at what he does. Seeks to satisfy the client and provide good quality of work." 

 

Aluko & Oyebode

Aluko & Oyebode is a top tier firm best known for its work in banking and M&A in various industries of the Nigerian economy. 

The banking team worked on acquisition financings, credit facilities, and refinancing in the research period. 

In capital markets, the firm was active on the debt side advising on bond issuances and programme issuances for the likes of LAPO Microfinance Bank, Lafarge Africa and Guaranty Trust Bank. On the equity side, the firm advised Guinness Nigeria in its rights issue.

The M&A team acted for clients in the oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, healthcare and finance industries. Work highlights include work for SYNLAB International on its acquisition of a majority equity stake in Pathcare Nigeria, and advice to Greenwich Trust on its acquisition of Mainstreet Bank Trustees and Asset Management Company from Skye Bank.

In the projects space, the firm has been active on projects advising sponsors and project companies in the oil and gas and energy sectors on work including contracts and financing. 

Key clients include Standard Bank of Africa, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Shell Western, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Client feedback

“Great knowledge of applicable rules. Ability to see clearly the commercial implications of available options.” – Banking and finance, and M&A

“Aluko & Oyebode is noted for its attention to details and proven technical knowledge. It can improve in its client response time.” – Banking and finance, restructuring and insolvency

“I find the services provided by the firm generally satisfactory. The firm has highly skilled partners dedicated to ensuring the desired outcome and client satisfaction.” – Banking and finance, and capital markets

“In the last decade, I have found Aluko & Oyebode to be a thorough and highly professional law firm. Best in class. Speedy with feedback and very deeply experienced in many areas.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“The firm is very responsive, and appears quite knowledgeable. Very proactive. They are also reasonably priced.” – Banking and project finance 

“They are extremely competent in commercial law and can match top international firms.” – Project finance and development, restructuring and insolvency

Funmilayo Otsemobor

"Very responsive, and can predict what I will ask for next."

Oghogho Makinde

"She is a thorough lawyer and has vast knowledge of her practice area."

"Highly efficient, very experienced, competent and most professional."

Cephas Caleb and Joke Aliu

"Competent, efficient, and extremely thorough."

Ayodeji Oyetunde

"Great knowledge of applicable legal requirements, strong network with required regulators and other resources. Great sector and industry knowledge. Brings great perspectives and solutions to client challenges." 

Banwo & Ighodalo

Banwo & Ighodalo is a top tier firm across all financial and corporate areas but is best known in banking and capital markets.

The banking team acted for lenders and sponsors in relation to financing, refinancing, and new money loan facilities on deals for borrowers in the telecommunication, oil and gas, and real estate industries. 

In capital markets, the firm acted primarily for issuers and on debt side mandates. Deal highlights include advising in the first ever sovereign Sukuk issuance by the Federal Government of Nigeria, work on note issuance programmes and Eurobonds. On the equity side, a clear highlight is work for Unilever Nigeria on its rights issue. 

In M&A, the firm worked mainly for buyers in the oil and gas, technology, healthcare, energy, and infrastructure sectors. 

The projects team worked for consortiums, sponsors, and project companies on the financing and development of many projects in the automotive, healthcare, oil and gas, infrastructure and energy sectors. 

Key clients include Bank of Baroda, Deutsche Bank, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Chevron Nigeria.

Client feedback

“Banwo & Ighodalo is very knowledgeable and pays attention to detail. The quality of their work is first-class. The firm's strengths include pragmatism, thinking out of the box and thoroughness. There is adequate senior lawyer involvement and supervision, and this reflects in the quality of output...” – Banking

“Generally very good service especially in relation to practical objectives and support (such as filings, document execution, corporate maintenance). Advice is generally of a good quality. Billings are reasonable and fair.” – Project finance

“I have found that the lawyers are generally prompt and responsive, and do not rigidly watch the clock. They understood that we were new to doing business in Nigeria and were accommodating in addressing our queries on the Nigerian legal and regulatory framework.” – Banking and finance

“Local advice was concise and all timelines were met. We appreciated the clarity of the advice given, including a detailed explanation of the options available to our common client.” – Banking and finance

“Strength: Responsive and able to address queries effectively and quickly...” – Banking and finance

“Very responsive attorneys and great depth of knowledge of Nigeria law and project financing issues. They work efficiently and also very cooperatively with foreign UK counsel.” – Project finance

Seyi Bella

"She has significant financing experience. She is very knowledgeable and is good at leading negotiations."

"Technically sound and commercially savvy."

Damilola Wright 

"He is one of the smartest young associates in the industry."

"Able to review facility documents and address queries on an urgent basis."

Seyi Bella and Damilola Wright

"Both our contacts at this firm were very responsive and completed all that we asked of them in a timely manner. We thought the work was completed to a high standard."

Olamide Oshikoya

"He is well respected as an expert in real estate matters, and is very hands on and pragmatic. He is also very accessible and always willing to assist."

Stella Duru

"Very supportive, very knowledgeable, quick to resolve issues..."

Ken Etim

"Very client-focused, skilled in project finance and understands issues faced by in-house counsel."

Benchmac & Ince

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

Deal highlights include work for Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading on the Nigerian Electricity and Gas Improvement Project for PPA and PCOA negotiations with QIPP Limited. The firm also advised the Nigerian Ports Authority on the concession for the Kirikiri Lighter Terminals 1 & 11.

Other key clients include the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – the German Agency for International Corporation. 

Bloomfield Law Practice

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

The banking and finance team recently worked for The Sea Trucks Group on the financial restructuring of its Norwegian law issued bonds, and advised Purple Capital Partners as the borrower group on the refinancing of its special purpose vehicle, Maryland Mall. 

In M&A the firm advised The Angel Investor on the acquisition of a Nigerian bottling company, and acted on a number of joint ventures. 

In projects the firm has been active in the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure sectors, acting as counsel to project sponsors, promoters and contractors. 

Key clients include Middle Band Solar One, Fenix International, General Electric, Imalnudo and Cleofan Oil and Gas. 

Client feedback

“Bloomfield’s strength is that the team is highly competent and easy to work with. An area of improvement is for the firm to be more diligent in ensuring ongoing client satisfaction.” – Banking, M&A, private equity

“Excellent, practical and on time delivery of work and advisory services. The firm’s partners are highly sought after and since they love to dedicate their time to clients, it’s hard getting a hold of them for new work.” – Banking and finance, M&A

“The firm has quite a number of young and vibrant individuals who are financially savvy and equally have a deep knowledge of the industry our company plays in.” – Banking and finance, M&A, private equity, project finance and development, restructuring and insolvency

“The firm is highly skilled in immigration related services and regulatory advisory services in the area of law related to immigration. Their strength lies in their timeliness in resolving issues related to our immigration services, however I would have loved to have more communication from them on some of the tasks being undertaken without necessarily having to probe or request clarifications.” – Banking and finance

Ayodele Oni

"He is an excellent lawyer in the energy field." 

"He has got fantastic work ethics and is extremely considerate."

Adedoyin Afun

"He is an astute lawyer and very knowledgeable in his field. He works very well with his partners and together they do  make a formidable team."

Olamide Soetan

"She is very knowledgeable in her field of service and quite innovative with her communication. She however needs to be more involved on the billing communication with clients."

Detail Commercial Solicitors

Detail Commercial Solicitors is active across all the financial and corporate areas. 

In banking and finance the firm assisted Stanbic IBTC Capital as lender, providing a senior term loan facility to Kellog Tolaram Nigeria. 

The capital markets team worked as solicitor on a bond issue by the Nasarawa state government, and acted for the trustee on a capital raising exercise for Masters Energy Oil & Gas. 

The firm has also been active in the M&A area, with one deal highlight advising EMA and Aiteo Consortia on the acquisition of National Integrated Power Plants. 

In projects the firm worked in the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure sectors. A clear highlight saw the team advising Lagos’ government on the Light Up Lagos project.

Key clients include Falcon Corporation, CrossBoundary Energy, Lagos State Government, BlackPace Africa, The Infrastructure Fund and FBN Bank. 

Client feedback

“Excellent and diligent with delivery of thorough legal and regulatory advice in a timely manner.” – Banking, project finance and development

“Exceptionally good client service, providing me with reviews of regulatory actions and orders. Also very responsive to assisting in the design of financial solutions to problems.” – Banking, capital markets, project development, project finance 

“I found Detail Commercial Solicitors'(DCS) rather unconventional approach to its practice direction, viz., the exclusive focus on non-court litigation rather welcome and refreshing. In reality, what this has meant is unparalleled focus on pure play commercial and transaction-related issues in the practice of its legal advisory work. The quality, professionalism, range and breadth of its lawyers is top-notch; further, the independence and latitude afforded its associates makes for even more innovative and creative thinking in solving potential pitfalls. As for the partners, they are simply a joy to work with.” – project development, project finance 

“I've found them extremely professional, focused on the details (as their name suggests), quick to respond and quite warm and pleasant to be engaged with. We have worked on a series of very detailed contracts with lots of potential manholes and I've found them to be patient, thoughtful, protective of our positions and creative in their solutions. They are not cheap but their costing is transparent and communicated with clarity.” – Restructuring and insolvency

“Strengths: responsive, well-informed, good depth, helpful. Weaknesses: a little expensive at times (but then the good firms are).” – Banking, project finance, restructuring and insolvency

Dolapo Kukoyi

"Very responsive to client requests for ideas and opinions."

"Trusted adviser; extremely knowledgeable; inspires and exudes confidence; the thorough professional!"

"She handles commercial conversations and oversees the big picture. I've found her a tough but fair negotiator and a competent and pleasant person to do business with."

"Very responsive; very switched-on; an absolute pleasure to work with."

"Excellent work ethic, technical knowledge is impressive and communication is very strong."

Ayuli Jemide

"Solid professional, inspirational leader!"

Seun Lofinmakin

"She is detailed, swift, communicative and sympathetic to our needs as clients, thus allowing her to protect what is important to us. She has a good understanding of the complexities of the contracts we are signing and has been good at researching where there is gaps or consulting within the firm to get answers."

 

G Elias & Co

G Elias & Co is a member of the Africa Legal Network. Its strongest areas are banking, capital markets and M&A.

In banking, the firm advised arrangers, lenders, and borrowers in acquisition financings, term loan facilities and refinancing in the oil and gas, finance and energy sectors, acting for the likes of Citibank Nigeria and AMNI International Petroleum Development Company.

In capital markets, the firm worked for trustees, issuers and underwriters. Debt issues was a focus, advising on note programmes and bond issuances. On the equity side, the firm advised in IPOs and capital increases but the transactions are confidential. Highlight deals include advising C & I Leasing on its bond issuance programme, and work for Tower Funding on the restructuring of its medium term note programme. 

The M&A team has been active in the food, oil and gas, infrastructure and finance sectors, working for buyers and sellers, though most of its work highlights are confidential.

In projects, the firm worked for sponsors, borrowers, and project companies in the infrastructure, oil and gas, real estate and energy sectors. Key clients include Ossiomo Power and Infrastructure Company, Ossiomo Offsites & Utility Company, African Capital Alliance, General Electric International Operations, Kaizen Properties and El Alan Group.

Client feedback

“An excellent law firm. Dr Elias' advice is always on-point. Their turn-around time is particularly impressive. Industry knowledge and international network are also major plusses.”-Restructuring and insolvency

“Extremely knowledgeable and helpful.”- M&A and private equity

“G Elias & Co is very technical and professional. They are responsive and specialised in corporate finance transactions. One way the firm could improve is to suggest other solutions that may be applicable in a transaction - it does not have to be the way of the client at all times.” – Banking and finance, capital markets

“Great response time. Available for meetings at short notice. Very dynamic, practical and solution driven. Always willing to find a solution, including trying new things which Nigerian law may not cater for.” – Project development

“The firm of G Elias & Co has some of the best minds in the legal profession in Nigeria & Africa. The quality of legal services is very outstanding and has supported our business in a very responsive manner.” – Banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency

“The firm provides incisive advice on issues material to the deal.” – Banking and project finance

“Very strong corporate finance practice. Strong technical skills. Highly responsive.” – Project finance and development

Gbolahan Elias

"He makes it all seem so easy."

"Excellent and world-class service by any standard."

"Strong technical skills. Highly innovative. Very responsive to client requirements."

"He is astounding, cordial and intelligent. He has a solution for every issue."

Oluwatoyin Nathaniel

"She is detailed, quick and most importantly, available."

Segun Omoregie

"Very hands-on. He is a partner and he provides the necessary leadership to the deal with the team."

Fred Onuobia

"Knowledgeable, accessible, and very helpful."

Lynda Chinweokwu

"Good understanding of the industry and practice area. Sound technical knowledge and very good response time."

 

Greychapel Legal

Greychapel Legal is active across capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency practice areas. 

In M&A the firm worked for Technomet International as buyer, and Zenith Capital as lender, on the proposed acquisition of Sumire International’s shares in Federated Steel Mills.  

Key clients include Pretoria Atlantic Properties LIITED, Rodger Young, Yazeba, and Rhombus.

Client feedback

“Strengths: in-depth use of research, wide range of knowledge and expertise, strong leadership, honesty and integrity. Weakness: relatively new practice.” – project development, project finance restructuring and insolvency

“This team is exceptional with Oladele Oladunjoye [providing] a free consultation at the start of my professional relationship with the firm. They were very professional yet relatable. We had business exit negotiation that lasted over six months. Communication over that timeframe was clear and concise with all questions and issues resolved in a timely manner. This organisation is a top-notch law firm in my experience. The attorneys working at this firm have helped me move past an extremely stressful time in my business life, and I would highly recommend them no matter the situation.” – Banking and finance, M&A, private equity, project development, restructuring and insolvency

Oladele Oladunjoye

"He is very thorough and always provides timely feedback for all enquiries. He always puts the integrity of the firm before its earnings."

"He is very courteous and friendly, gave an honest assessment of the matter at hand with clear and concise options of actions. Communication throughout our dealings was professional and timely. Deadlines were met and all objectives were achieved. I have nothing but a wonderful experience working with him."

 

Ikeyi Shittu & Co

During the research period the firm advised the issuer, Viathan Funding, and the co-obligors, on a bond programme, and worked for Synergy Viathan Holdings on an equity capital raise.

Key clients include Niger Delta Power Holding Company, and Candesco. 

Jackson Etti & Edu

Jackson Etti & Edu is active in banking, capital markets, M&A, projects, and restructuring and insolvency, and has offices in Victoria Island, Ikeja and Abuja. It also offers international legal services through its associate office in Ghana.

In banking, the firm advised arrangers, lenders, and borrowers. Deal highlights include work for the banks on a loan facility to Africa Finance Corporation, and advising the banks again on a secured loan facility to Dangote Cement Limited.

The capital markets team worked for the Lagos‘ government on a bond issuance.

In M&A the firm has been active and acted as deal counsel on the global acquisition of BJ Services Company by Baker Hughes.

In projects a clear highlight saw the firm advice Orange Island Development Company on the reclamation of land from the Lagos Lagoon and subsequent construction of basic and lifestyle infrastructure.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm worked for Ontario Oil & Gas on a loan restructure agreement and a loan exit agreement, and provided advice to Vitamalt on its insolvency. 

The firm’s key clients are the Standard Bank of South Africa, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Lagos State Government, Baker Hughes Company, PathCare Nigeria, Orange Island Development Company and the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. 

Odujinrin & Adefulu

Odujinrin & Adefulu is a Nigeria-focused independent firm with practices specialising in M&A, capital markets and finance, real estate, mining and energy. It has offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. 

During the research period it advised on financing facilities, funds, bonds, private equity investments and oil and gas projects.

Olajide Oyewole

Olajide Oyewole is a member of DLA Piper Africa, a Swiss Verein whose members are independent law firms in Africa working with DLA Piper. The firm has been active in the project finance and M&A recently.

In project finance the firm advised BB Energy on a convertible loan agreement with security over Nigerian assets, worked for Argentil Asset Management on a land development project, and advised Argentil Capital Partners on an equity and debt investment in Chocolate City Express.

The M&A team advised the Overseas Mercantile & Manufacturing Limited on the share sale and purchase of Minority Shares, and as legal advisory on the share sale transaction.

Other key clients include Bankers Warehouse and BASF Netherlands.

Client feedback

“I engaged with the corporate team and was impressed with their work.  The firm assisted us to effect a capital injection into a local entity, even with the complicated exchange control landscape in Nigeria.  The firm could do better on its response times and indicate what to expect from the regulatory authorities from the start of the instruction.” – M&A

“Reputable Nigerian law firm. Reliable, knowledgeable in Nigerian laws and regulations and has a good management team and associates in diversified fields and international relations.” – Banking, M&A, private equity, project development, restructuring and insolvency

Samuel Salako

"Excellent, always alert and responsive."

Hauwa Otaru-Elabor

"She went ensured that we got the necessary approvals, even with difficult exchange control landscape in Nigeria. The process took time, but we were able to achieve a capital injection for the local entity."

Oluwatobi Pearce

"He assisted Hauwa on the capital injection project. He is very responsive to client queries."

Olaniwun Ajayi

Olaniwun Ajayi is strong across all practice areas and has a number of top tier rankings.

In banking, the firm worked for borrowers and lenders on loan facilities and financings, mainly in connection with the oil and gas sector. 

In capital markets, the firm assisted issuers and trustees on bond issuances, notes issuances and equity issues. Highlights include work for the Debt Management Office and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its bond issuance, and work for Seplat Petroleum Development Company in relation to a euro bond programme. 

The M&A team advised mainly buyers on acquisitions in the healthcare, finance and food sectors. Key clients are Alta Semper Capital, eTranzact Global Limited, Apple & Pears Limited, The Netherlands Development Finance Company, and Abraaj Investment Management Limited.

In projects, the firm has been active on the financing and development aspects of a number of infrastructure and energy projects. Work highlights include work for the Federal Ministry of Transportation on the rail rehabilitation programme to improve the delivery of freight and passenger rail services in Nigeria, and advice to Access Power as the project sponsor of the development of a 75MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Kaduna State. 

Key clients include International Finance Corporation, Africa Development Bank, Bank of Industry, and Seplat Petroleum Development Company.

Punuka Attorneys & Solicitors

Punuka Attorneys & Solicitors is mostly recognised for its work in M&A, and the banking and finance areas.

During the research period, the firm has been active in banking, and restructuring and insolvency areas, but all its work is confidential.

Streamsowers & Köhn

Streamsowers & Köhn is known for its work in banking and finance, project development, and restructuring and insolvency. 

In banking, the firm advised the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on an intervention fund.  

The firm is advising Bayelsa Eco Industrial Park on project development matters.

The restructuring and insolvency team worked for Trustbond Mortgage Bank on the restructuring of the share capital of the bank which is a public limited liability company.

Other key clients are Engee Pet Manufacturing Company Nigeria, and CEC Africa Investment. 

Templars

Templars is best known for M&A and project work, both development and finance.  

In banking, the firm advised lenders and sponsors in loan facilities, financings, and restructuring of finance facilities. Highlights include advising Lekki Ports LFTZ Enterprise as concessionaire and project company in the development of the financing of the Lekki deep sea port in Lagos. 

The capital markets team worked primarily for issuers and was active on the debt side, advising on bond and convertible notes issues. 

In M&A, the firm acted for buyers and sellers on a number of notable transactions in the healthcare, energy, oil and gas, and financial sectors. Work highlights include work for Exxon Mobil on the sale of the 540MW Qualboe IPP, and advice to the International Finance Corporation and to African Capital Alliance in an equity investment in Santa Clara Medical through an offshore holding company. 

In projects, the firm continues to work on the development and financing of the Lekki deep sea port. The firm also acted on an NNPC and Shell joint-venture pre-export financing, and on the development and financing of the 80MW solar power project in Jigawa State. The team works for clients acting as sponsors, investment managers, lenders, and project companies. 

Key clients are the United Bank for Africa, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Fidelity Bank and the Lagos State Government, and Shell. 

The New Practice

The New Practice is an independent corporate law firm, especially recognised for its M&A work.

During the research period the firm advised on M&A transactions, a bond issue, and a rights issue.

In M&A the firm worked as joint-lead counsel to Synergy Private Equity Fund in its acquisition of Dimension Data, part of the NTT group, now Cloud Exchange West Africa.

Tsedaqah Attorneys

Tsedaqah Attorneys is a boutique corporate firm with offices located in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, and a representative office in Ghana.

A clear recent deal highlight saw the firm advice the Development Bank of Nigeria as the issuer on a equity programme and on a private placement.

Some of the firm’s key clients include Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Alaoji Generation Company, and Calabar Generation Company. 

Client feedback

“Tsedaqah Attorneys goes beyond just legal advice, providing invaluable support and information which helps shape our strategies. The firm responds quickly to responses and returns quickly with carefully prepared documents. The firm understands that it is important to collaborate with the in-house team and maintains a good rapport with the in-house team. Tsedaqah Attorneys provides excellent services with very reasonable costs.” – Banking and finance

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie is best known for its work in the banking and finance, capital markets, and M&A practice areas. 

The banking team advised arrangers, borrowers and lenders on credit facilities, refinancing, and loans in the energy, finance, healthcare and real estate industries. Key clients include Vitol Energy, HSBC, Citibank, and the Standard Chartered Bank. 

In capital markets, the firm worked on debt and equity transactions. Deal highlights include advising the trustees on a sukuk bond issuance by the Government of Nigeria. The firm also worked for the dealers and joint lead managers in the increase of the government’s notye programme. On the equity side, the firm worked on Lafarge’s and UACN Property Development Company’s rights issues.  

The M&A team worked in the food and beverage, oil and gas, TMT, finance, and energy industries. Deal highlights include advising in the merger of three AB Inbev Nigerian subsidiaries, in order to consolidate its position in the Nigerian beverages market. As well as advising Sahara Energy Group in a business combination of nine group companies within the group, and working for HNA Group on the acquisition of a significant stake in the global oil storage terminals business of Glencore. 

In the projects space, the firm has been advising lenders and project companies in energy, and oil and gas matters. 

Key clients are Solius NGDC in Nigeria and South Korea, Oma Power Generation, Starsight Power Utilities, Statoil Nigeria, and Aion Holdings. 

Client feedback

“Best value for money law firm in Nigeria by a mile. You get world-class work done, on time without paying more than you would have if you had used other firms. Firm has a depth of partners across the African region that makes our acquisition easier. The quality of work from Udo Udoma has always been first class. The partners are extremely competent and customer service is great.” – Banking and finance, M&A and private equity

“High quality, responsive and conscious of deadlines.” – M&A and private equity

“Most cross border activities and foreign investors require a one stop point that will provide efficient and cost effective solutions to countless hurdles. These solutions will require professional counselling for result-yielding direction. We ventured into Nigeria and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie provided that leverage from a very high professional threshold.” – Banking, Project finance and development

“Responsive and highly competent.” – Project finance and development 

“Strengths: subject matter expertise both industry and country specific. Deep bench of partners and associates. Well connected and driving policy. Weaknesses: remaining in contact. Other firms do a better job of following up to confirm tasks have been completed.” – Project finance and development

“They understand the local environment very well and are plugged into the market. Quality first draft of agreements. Very responsive.” – M&A and private equity

“Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie has proven to understand our need. In working on our legal matter, their lawyers have proven to be experts on the subject matter, the law and its application. Additionally, I am most impressed by the fact that they take feedback and criticism in good spirits and immediately make corrections in order to meet a client's expectation.” – Banking and finance, M&A, private equity and restructuring and insolvency

“UUBO has been very efficient and knowledgeable in corporate finance and M&A transactions we have engaged in.” – Banking, capital markets and project finance

“UUBO is a full service law firm with relevant experts in key areas, and capable of delivering tailored services for its client. I am also happy to use UUBO because of its relationship with similar law firms in other jurisdictions outside Nigeria. The key contact experts are quite experienced and have been with the firm long enough.” – Project finance and development

Ozofu Ogiemudia

"Great customer management abilities. Very strong in M&A and private equity. Good team leader. She is a brilliant lawyer. I will like her to increase her visibility in the industry as I don't believe the industry knows how good she is yet. She is beginning to do a lot more of that recently through the initiatives she has lead for the Nigerian Bar Association."

"She is very knowledgeable in the law and its applications. Whenever I have asked questions regarding certain local laws and how it may affect our assets, she either has the answers available or she immediately has a comprehensive answer prepared. However, I am most impressed by her client management abilities. She understands the needs of her clients and she often goes out of her way to accommodate the needs of her clients. Finally, when I have had a criticism of any legal work and brought my concerns to her, she has been easy to speak with. She listens, she takes in the criticism in good spirits and promises to make the changes. And more importantly, the changes were made."

Nicholas Okafor

"Competent, responsive and pragmatic."

"Very knowledgeable in the energy space and works at a high standard." 

"He is a very sound corporate and commercial attorney and with his litigation background can anticipate preempt potential risk areas. He is extremely protective of his clients' interests and works extremely hard to make transactions come out beneficial to both sides."

"Very responsive and effective." 

"Professional, versatile, and responsive." 

Folake Elias-Adebowale

"Extremely strong in her practice area, might be the best in Nigeria for finance and investment."

"Personable, effective and practical."

Tega Agbosa

"He is a professional who understands the law and how it applies to issues that affect my business. Additionally, I have also found a professional who is responsive and very accessible."