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Editorial

Legal market overview

Nigeria has experienced growth in its agricultural and sold minerals sectors, but the country’s economy remains turbulent in light of the drop in crude oil prices and the resulting depreciation in the value of the naira (₦). The country is now believed to be coming out of a recession, with the federal government carrying out deficit financing in order to restore confidence. The country is seeing considerable investment in the energy, agriculture and banking sectors.

The Nigerian legal system is based on English common law, as modified by legislation, Nigerian court decisions, the constitution of Nigeria, customary law and Islamic law. Foreign lawyers are not entitled to practise law in Nigeria unless they have also been called to the Nigerian Bar, and foreign law firms are not licensed to operate in the country. Consequently, domestic legal practices dominate transactional and contentious practice areas; key firms include Aluko & Oyebode, Banwo & Ighodalo, G. Elias & Co, AELEX and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie.

Certain international firms also regularly act on Nigeria-related matters. Clifford Chance, for instance, handled a number of global medium-term note programme instructions, and Stephenson Harwood acted in high-profile commercial disputes and arbitrations arising from Nigeria’s oil and gas, maritime and banking sectors.

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