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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 > Energy and natural resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Energy and natural resources
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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AELEX’s practice is highly recommended for its expertise in regulatory and policy issues, as well as the commercial and tax matters surrounding power, oil, gas, mining and renewable energy transactions. Typical assistance for the group includes advising on energy and utility finance matters, energy M&A and joint ventures, and electricity and gas transmissions, in addition to distribution and supply, power purchase agreements and off-take and tolling arrangements. Key clients include All Grace Energy, Mobil Producing Nigeria, China National Offshore Oil and Shell. Department head Soji Awogbade focuses on upstream and midstream petroleum issues, advising major, independent and marginal field operators on the legal, regulatory, commercial, fiscal and environmental aspects of upstream operations. Olusina Sipasi is a key name for oil and gas, power, infrastructure, mining, energy finance and environmental issues. Managing partner Theophilus Emuwa, Lawrence Fubara Anga and energy disputes expert Funke Adekoya are also recommended.

Managing partner Gbenga Oyebode heads the practice at Aluko & Oyebode. Oyebode and Olubunmi Fayokun led a team handling ExxonMobil’s ₦90bn sale of its 60% stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria, a deal anticipated to boost investor confidence in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Oghogho Makinde assisted Voltalia with its solar power plant project in Bauchi State, advising on a tax-efficient structure, interfacing with regulators and providing comprehensive advice on the importation and custom clearance process for equipment. Kofo Dosekun and senior associate Fumilayo Otsemobor advised Standard Advisory London on the restructuring of a $600m reserve-based facility provided to an upstream oil and gas operator. Olubare Senbore, Reginald Udom and senior associate Adesegun Agbebiyi are also recommended.

Banwo & Ighodalo is strong in oil and gas work, with work spanning acquisitions and disposals of petroleum assets, gas supply, modernisation and utilisation projects, cross-border capital raising and listings, and corporate restructurings. Clients note the firm’s ‘excellent overall level of service and knowledge of the oil and gas industry’, describing the firm as ‘extremely responsive, detail-oriented and demonstrating very strong analytical skills’. Managing partner Ken Etim has ‘an uncanny ability to come up with commercial resolutions’; Kehinde Ojuawo has ‘vast industry knowledge and is quick on the uptake during negotiations, deploying extensive persuasive skills’. Stella Duru, Asue Ighodalo and senior associate Akindeji Oyebode are also recommended. Highlights included advising Helios Investors Genpar III on the acquisition of a 49% interest in Oando Gas & Power, and assisting Chevron Nigeria on a $780m accelerated upstream production programme financing for the development of eight wells in Sonam Field and Okan Field to produce crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate.

Odujinrin & Adefulufully understands the business needs of upstream corporates’, and is, according to one client, ‘one of Nigeria’s leading energy and natural resources firms’. Independent Petroleum Producers Group instructs the firm on legislative monitoring and periodic reviews of the law. The team also acted for an independent upstream oil and gas company on the financing of and arrangements for the development and exploitation of two offshore oil mining leases. Practice head Adeoye Adefulu has ‘tremendous experience in this area’ and is ‘undoubtedly a first-rate energy and natural resources lawyer’.

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie is noted for its longstanding involvement with the oil and gas sector, having originally been involved in the formation of Nigeria LNG Limited and continuing to advise local and international oil exploration and service companies and gas producers on their Nigerian activities. Highlights included oil and gas team co-head Folake Elias-Adebowale advising Statoil on its participation in the tender process for the purchase of Nigerian crude oil grades from Nigerian National Petroleum. A team led by Aniekan Ukpanah, Yinka Edu and Nicholas Okafor assisted with the joint venture arrangement between General Electric and Geometric Power for the greenfield development, operation and maintenance of a 500MW power plant in Abia State. Other key figures include banking and finance expert Daniel Agbor, Adeola Sunmola, consultant Sally Udoma and senior associate Tega Agbosa.

Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun fields lawyers with specialisms in energy project development, construction, financing and taxation, with the oil and gas group particularly recommended for its experience in oil industry contracts. In the power sector, the group assists prospective investors and new market entrants with legal, regulatory and operational advice. The key advisers are Sola Adepetun, Felicia Kemi Segun, Taiwo Afonja, Donna Obaseki-Ogunnaike and Donna Shodipo.

Excellent firmG. Elias & Co regularly handles mergers between upstream oil and gas companies, acreage acquisition agreements, project site acquisitions and project financings. ‘Go-to lawyer’ Gbolahan Elias is recommended as ‘an excellent attorney, who is incredibly pragmatic and knowledgeable, well respected and very easy to work with’. Elias is currently advising BPI Power International on the development, review and negotiation of the power purchase agreement and gas sale contracts for a 2,300MW power plant project with Egyptian Electricity Transmission in Egypt, alongside senior associate Onyinye Chukwu. Managing partner Fred Onuobia and Segun Omoregie are also recommended.

Ibiola Ogunbiyi and Damilola Salawu head Olaniwun Ajayi LP’s power and infrastructure and oil and gas teams respectively, with the firm servicing clients out of its Lagos and Abuja offices. Ogunbiyi and Wolemi Esan are acting for the lenders on the financing of the Oma Power Project; Esan recently advised a syndicate of lenders on the refinancing of Accugas worth up to $450m. Konyin Ajayi, Tominiyi Owolabi and Jonathan Aluju are all key members of the team.

Sefton Fross is recommended for its oil and gas expertise as well as its experience in the development, financing and construction of energy projects, which include gas processing plants, energy storage facilities, refineries and petrochemical plants. The firm advises energy companies, governments, national oil companies, contractors and financial institutions on all aspects of international oil and gas and LNG transactions. Team head and managing partner Olayemi Anyanechi is highly rated.

Templars’ work in the oil and gas and power sectors spans the full range of instructions, including M&A, upstream exploration and production, midstream and downstream transportation, and licensing. Chike Obianwu’s team assisted Azura Power with the financing and development of a 125MW solar power plant in Katsina State. Oil and gas specialist Oghogho Akpata advised Seven Energy International and its subsidiary Accugas on the negotiation of its gas supply agreement and partial risk guarantee support agreement.

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co provides legal advisory and transactional services to clients in the energy and power sector including Abuja Electricity Distribution, Anglo Energy Oil & Gas and Sakr Power Generation Systems. Ladi Taiwo and Kunle Ayansola provided transactional advice to AG Goldtrust on the second phase of the Adiyan Waterworks Scheme and for the Warri/Effurum water supply PPP concession.

Advocaat Law Practice’s energy and infrastructure group handles oil and gas regulatory matters, and has expertise in electric power and mining transactions. Highlights included advising Tako Exploration and Production on its acquisition of interests in a marginal field, and advising Fan Milk on its electrical power purchase contract with a private power generation company. Practice head Oladotun Alokolaro is recommended.

Bloomfield Law Practiceunderstands the industry and has been very involved in the development of the energy sector, and electric power in particular’; it also provides ‘excellent, timely service’. ‘Excellent lawyer’ Ayodele Oni has been advising Middle Band Solar One on the legal framework for commencing a solar power generation company in Lokoja, Kogi State, and assisting Cleofan with its acquisition of land and construction of two mini-LNG plants in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Adedoyin Afun is also recommended.

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