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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Nigeria > Banking, finance and capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking, finance and capital markets
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Aluko & Oyebode’s ‘excellent’ department is headed jointly by banking and finance specialist Kofo Dosekun and capital markets expert Olubunmi Fayokun. Dosekun advised a syndicate of lenders on restructuring a proportion of $2bn-worth of loan facilities granted to a Nigerian oil and gas company, and acted as Nigerian counsel to J.P. Morgan on the hedging of a portfolio of its investments in Nigeria, representing one of the first over-the-counter (OTC) FX futures hedging contracts in Nigeria. On the capital markets side, Fayokun’s team advised Access Bank on the issuance of ₦100bn commercial paper listed on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, and acted for Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria as joint transactional counsel on its issuance of ₦80bn-worth of multi-currency commercial paper to support the bank’s short-term financing requirements. Other key individuals for banking and finance are Oludare Senbore, Oghogho Makinde and Reginald Udom; other capital markets experts include Ayodeji Oyetunde. Senior associates Jennifer Martins-Okundia and Funmilayo Otsemobor are also noted.

Banwo & Ighodaloalways goes the extra mile to satisfy clients’, and is noted in particular for its ‘legal and business savvy, market presence and professionalism’. Asue Ighodalo and Ayotunde Owoigbe handle the full range of banking, finance and capital markets work, while Femi Olubanwo and Azeezah Muse-Sadiq are also key contacts for banking and finance and for securities and capital markets respectively. The firm, together with Clifford Chance, advised a syndicate of lenders on the restructuring of an existing $300m revolving credit facility for Seplat Petroleum Development, and advised the Debt Management Office as counsel to the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the Nigerian law aspects of its issuance of $1.5bn-worth of eurobonds. Seyi Bella and Isa Alade are recommended senior associates.

G. Elias & Co is ‘one of the best out there’, with ‘top-notch response times and the ability to deliver desired results’. Practice head and managing partner Fred Onuobia recently advised several international financial conglomerates on a $1.5bn securities loan to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and on a $1.4bn cross-currency swap with the CBN. On the capital markets side, Segun Omoregie led the team acting for Flour Mills of Nigeria on its ₦100bn commercial paper issuance, while name partner Gbolahan Elias is advising the underwriters on the prospective IPO of a major Nigerian telecoms company. The team also handles syndicated lending arrangements, securitisations and insolvency matters. Key banking and finance clients include Standard Chartered Bank, African Export-Import Bank and First Bank of Nigeria. Associates Oluwatoyin Nathaniel and Nosakhare Aguebor, who is ‘able to understand clients’ requirements and ensure that clients’ requests are met accordingly’, are also noted.

Olaniwun Ajayi LP brings ‘a wealth of knowledge to bear on transactions’, with a strong track record for project finance, acquisition finance and corporate borrowing transactions. Team head Yewande Senbore and Tominiyi Owolabi are currently advising the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its $300m diaspora bond programme, involving bonds to be listed on the London Stock Exchange; Wolemi Esan assisted Forte Oil with its ₦9bn bond issuance on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange in 2017.

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie’s banking and finance practice is well known for advising on syndicated and bilateral loans, debt capital markets, and structured and acquisition finance. Nicholas Okafor provided guidance (including advice on the provision of upstream guarantees) to Citibank London on the Nigerian law aspects of its syndicated $120m revolving credit facility for IHS Holdings, while Aniekan Ukpanah and Yinka Edu advised Swiss Re and Mythenquai Investment Services on entrering into a ₦5.9bn facility provided by Standard Chartered for the acquisition of a 25% stake in Leadway Assurance. Managing partner Daniel Agbor heads the team and is recommended for securities offerings, derivative transactions and debt restructurings.

AELEX regularly advises on the provision of domestic and international credit facilities, with notable involvement in the financing of various asset acquisitions in the power, oil and gas sectors. The practice’s experience includes negotiation of local and international credit facilities, loan and security documentation, structured financing, IPOs, eurobond issuances, private placements and derivative transactions. Practice head Lawrence Fubara Anga and Olusina Sipasi assisted FBN Capital, the mandated lead arranger to Eurafric Power, with raising a multimillion-dollar medium-term loan to acquire Sapele Power Plant. Other clients include Keystone Bank, Alpine Investments and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Managing partner Theophilus Emuwa is also recommended.

The ‘extremely professional and good-value’ team at Bloomfield Law Practice is known for handling complex acquisitions, ship and aircraft financing, capital markets, real estate and project financings. Key clients include Purple Capital Partners and AXA Mansard Investments. Practice head Adedoyin Afun has ‘very good relationship skills, is dedicated to clients and responds quickly’.

Odujinrin & Adefulu is well known for assisting with bank lending, acquisition finance, structured trade finance and project finance matters. Head of department Damilola Adetunji has acted on numerous market-leading transactions, advising the African Export-Import Bank on a $5bn international swaps and derivatives agreement with the CBN, assisting First Exploration and Petroleum Development with a $724m investment by Schlumberger for the development of oil mining fields, and advising Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria on its ₦500m loan to a vehicle leasing business. Adetunji, Olubukola Olabiyi and associate Jide Babalola are recognised for their ‘strong response times, business acumen and industry knowledge’.

Managing partner Olayemi Anyanechi leads the department at Sefton Fross; with Adeola Owoade and senior associate Enovwor Odukuye-Akpoguma are other key figures. The firm was instructed by BUA Sugar Refinery on a ₦9bn loan from Stanbic IBTC Bank, and advised the solicitors of the trustee regarding Fidelity Bank’s ₦80bn issuance of fixed-rate subordinated unsecured bonds.

Templars is acting for a consortium of international petroleum corporations, as sponsor, on the pre-export financing of $1bn-worth of drilling and offshore development projects; finance group head Chike Obianwu is leading the advice. Desmond Ogba and Zelda Akindele are key members of the practice.

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co is noted for its expertise in PPP and PFI projects. Highlights included Ladi Taiwo advising Marina Quayside Strip Development on its $2.8bn PPP project, with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Lagos State Government as stakeholders; it involves the regeneration of a 144-acre lagoon into a verdant city centre. Practice head Alayo Ogunbiyi advised Presco on reviewing and negotiating ₦23bn-worth of agricultural loan facilities arranged by Stanbic IBTC Bank.

The ‘very responsive and helpful’ team at Advocaat Law Practice was instructed by Cummins Power Generation as borrower on a ₦2.5bn loan facility from Chapel Hill Denham Management to develop, construct and manage power plants in parts of Lagos state. Ola Alokalaro is recommended for energy and infrastructure mandates; Olaitan Oladejo is ‘a very proactive problem-solver’.

Jackson, Etti & Edu’s strengths include leveraged, trade and project finance. Practice head Folasade Olusanya assisted Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC Capital as mandated lead arrangers on ₦17bn-worth of acquisition financing facilities for GZ Industries, to partially fund the acquisition of a manufacturing plant and to refinance existing loan facilities. The team was strengthened by the hire of Kingsley Opia-Enwemuche from Aluko & Oyebode.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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