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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 > Shipping and transport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Shipping and transport
  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 regularly advises on vessel mortgages, leasing and ship and aircraft financings. Practice head Lawrence Fubara Anga acts in cross-border multi-jurisdictional aviation and shipping disputes and has considerable experience in charter party disputes, ship finance, investigations and handling of collision incidents. Other specialisms include subrogated claims on behalf of insurers, the arrest and release of vessels and negotiating the settlement of claims. The team also defended Lufthansa German Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines against a number claims before the Federal High Court and on appeal. Managing associate Akinloye Ajayi is noted for maritime law issues, in addition to his representation of major international airlines in passenger, baggage and cargo-related claims. Adedapo Tunde-Olowu represents international flag carriers in passenger, cargo and baggage claims, as well as in insurance-related disputes. Dispute resolution practice head Funke Adekoya is also recommended.

Aluko & Oyebode’s shipping and transport team specialises in shipping litigation and arbitration for owners, P&I and defence clubs, charterers, cargo underwriters and bunker suppliers, as well as acting for banks, financial institutions and other entities. The team successfully defended a claim for Northwest Petroleum & Gas for sums allegedly due in respect of spares supplied and services rendered to the MT Mother Benedicta and its crew. The aviation sector is a large source of work; the firm is handling the litigation portfolio of Turkish Airlines, including defence and a counterclaim against an action instituted by Greater Washington Capital pursuant to a general sales agency agreement. Mark Mordi leads the team.

‘Incisive and creative firm’ Banwo & Ighodalo provides ‘a high level of flexibility and always responds quickly to requests’. The group has been retained as counsel to Bourbon for almost ten years, working on innovative ship financing and acquisition transactions as well as a precedent-setting piece of litigation concerning the taxation of crew aboard vessels. Ken Etim heads the practice; senior associate Nonso Azih has extensive experience in advising local and foreign shipowners, charterers, insurers, protection and P&I clubs and financiers. Recent non-contentious projects include advising China Export and Credit Insurance on all legal and regulatory shipping matters for the issuance of an overseas equity investment insurance policy pertaining to the concession of the Tin Can Island Port Terminal. The team defended NIDAS (marine subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum) against claims arising from a contract for the transportation of approximately two million barrels of crude oil.

Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun is recommended for maritime transactions and contentious proceedings. Group head Chisa Uba has advised on numerous vessel acquisitions, including ship building transactions. Funke Agbor is recommended for financing matters, admiralty law and insurance law, including litigation.

The ‘good-value’ practice at Akabogu & Associates services clients ‘with utmost timeliness and efficiency’, providing ‘top-notch maritime law service’. Head of team Emeka Akabogu is ‘intelligent, articulate and diligent’; other key figures include managing partner Joyce Akabogu and the ‘articulate, very likeable’ Victor Onyegbado. Maritime litigation is a strength of the team; recent highlights include obtaining judgment for the Nigerian Shippers’ Council against 12 shipping companies on the illegality of shipping line agency charges on importers in Nigeria. The team also acted as arbitrator in an $18m reference on supply of vessels and equipment for operation of an oil rig in the Niger Delta. Team members have been called upon to train staff of leading companies on maritime industry legal issues including charterparties, maritime finance and recoveries, and marine insurance.

F.O. Akinrele & Co’s client list includes shipowners, P&I clubs, charterers, shipbuilders, traders, banks and insurers. The scope of the shipping team’s work includes vessel sales, admiralty litigation, charterparties, cargo claims and ship financings. In aviation, the transport team advises clients on aircraft financings, leasing and acquisitions, as well as insurance and safety issues. Managing partner Adedolapo Akinrele is recommended.

Paul Usoro & Co’s shipping expertise covers ship financing, litigation, policy formulation and legislative drafting. In aviation, the practice’s client list includes airline operators, financial institutions, aviation leasing companies and regulatory agencies. Managing partner Mfon Ekong Usoro is maritime and aviation head.

Bloomfield Law Practice is recommended as ‘a strong choice for legal support in the shipping and transport sector’, with practice head Adedoyin Afun ‘particularly adept at helping to navigate the complexities of the Nigerian maritime legal framework, demonstrating flexibility in light of changing requirements’. The firm is acting as Nigerian counsel to Sea Trucks Group on the restructuring of its operations, and is defending The American Club and the owners of a vessel in relation to a collision claim before the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

Foundation Chambers’ Luke Chukwudi Ilogu acts for P&I clubs and international law firms. He is also retained by several shipping agencies and lines as well as port terminal operators, and occasionally handles policy and legislation matters. Managing partner Adedoyin Adeloye is also recommended.

G. Elias & Co assists local and foreign investors with development, financing, maintenance and construction of infrastructures in the transport sector. Highlights included advising a syndicate of lenders on the first toll-road concession financing for the Lekki toll road, and advising Philips Projects Centre on an engineering, procurement and construction contract to install lighting systems at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Gbolahan Elias leads the team.

The practice at Marine Partners is recommended for its advice on vessel sales and management, mortgage agreements, arrests, registrations and regulatory compliance. The practice is also experienced in cargo, marine insurance and aviation claims. Sylva Ogwemoh is highly rated.

Ukiri Lijadu acts on matters involving shipowners, charterers’ interests, personal injury, cargo loss and workers’ compensation, inter alia, while regularly attending to regulatory enquiries relating to the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Authority. Ovie Ukiri heads the team, which acted as joint solicitor to the Ministry of Transportation on the concession for the rehabilitation of Nigerian rail lines.

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