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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 > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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AELEX’s corporate and commercial team acts for clients including Chevron Nigeria, Mobil Producing and Shell. The group is also assisting Seven-Up Bottling Company with a minority buy-out; Theophilus Emuwa and Chinyerugo Ugoji are handling transaction structuring, regulatory compliance, corporate approval clauses and due diligence issues. Other work includes advising Coca-Cola on its 40% equity acquisition of domestic beverages company Chi and handling a number of global restructuring exercises for various FMCG and manufacturing companies. Lawrence Fubara Anga and Olusina Sipasi are key transaction lawyers and Soji Awogbade leads on energy and environmental issues.

Olubunmi Fayokun heads the commercial, corporate and M&A team at Aluko & Oyebode. In a stand-out matter, she and senior associates Jennifer Martins-Okundia and Lotanna Nwodo are advising Unilever on the Nigerian aspects of its $8bn subsidiary sale to US private equity firm KKR. The team is also advising the Nigerian Stock Exchange on its highly publicised demutualisation process. With support from senior associate Unekuojo Idachaba, Ayodeji Oyetunde is handling Allianz’s 99% equity stake acquisition in Nigerian insurance company Ensure Insurance. The firm also assisted Exxon Mobil with the sale of its 60% equity stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria to Nipco.

The team at Banwo & Ighodalo¬†advises on headline transactions in the healthcare, FMCG, manufacturing, TMT and oil and gas sectors. Name partners Asue Ighodalo¬†and Femi Olubanwo¬†are key names for project and corporate finance, corporate and commercial law, M&A and corporate restructuring. Highlights included handling divestment operations for GlaxoSmithKline and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amcon); the latter sold its ‚ā¶126bn interest in Mainstreet Bank to Skye Bank. The firm also advised financial services company Atlas Mara on its 20.8% equity acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria from Amcon. Ayotunde Owoigbe¬†and Isa Alade¬†handled FCMB Group's 60% equity acquisition (increasing the company‚Äôs interest from 28.2% to 88.2%) of Legacy Pension Managers. Azeezah Muse-Sidiq¬†advised Greenoaks Global Holdings on its acquisition of a majority equity stake in Union Assurance and also handled the merger between Nigerian Breweries and Consolidated Breweries. Seyi Bella¬†,¬†Olumide Osundolire¬†and senior associate Tomisin Ojuawo¬†are other names to note.

In a matter led by Chike Obianwu, Templars’ corporate and commercial team handled Exxon Mobil and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s $33m sale of the 540MW integrated Qua Iboe power project to a joint venture consortium comprising the Black Rhino Group, Dangote Group and NNPC Power. Other stand-out matters include Ijeoma Uju advising General Electric on a restructuring exercise and Zelda Akindele assisting International Finance Corporation with the sale of its stake in FSDH Merchant Bank. The practice is headed by Olumide Akpata.

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie¬†is highly specialised in matters including asset investments, M&A, private equity, disposals, joint ventures and corporate restructuring. Yinka Edu¬†and Folake Elias-Adebowale¬†handled the consolidation of three AB InBev subsidiaries in a transaction totaling ‚ā¶87.5bn. Managing partner Myma Belo-Osagie¬†and Daniel Agbor¬†are recommended for the full scope of corporate and commercial matters including advising Kellogg‚Äôs on its $450m acquisition of food distributor Multipro Nigeria. Jumoke Lambo¬†handles TMT, business establishment and employment matters and Ozofu Ogiemudia¬†heads our pro-bono practice, co-heads corporate advisory practice and is a partner on the M&A, private equity and employment teams. Other clients include Coca-Cola, LeapFrog Investments, Synergy Capital, Bristow Group, MTN and Unilever.

G. Elias & Co advises on market-leading M&A transactions including Tolaram Group’s $420m sale by way of shares to Kellogg’s, which was handled by name partner Gbolahan Elias. Fidelis Adewole handled Cement Company of Northern Nigeria’s merger with Kalambaina Cement Company. The firm is also advising on an $800m controlling-interest acquisition in a port developer and operator. Managing partner Fred Onuobia handles cross-border transactions in the infrastructure, banking and finance sectors and Segun Omoregie is a key name for corporate restructuring and divestment of interest issues.

The ‚Äėhighly professional‚Äô team at Olaniwun Ajayi LP¬†is ‚Äėvery knowledgeable with an excellent understanding of structuring deals‚Äô. ‚ÄėExcellent negotiators‚Äô Anuoluwapo Balogun, who heads the practice,¬†and managing partner¬†Konyin Ajayi¬†advised Alta Semper Capital on an $18m majority stake acquisition in a leading retail pharmacy business. Seye Opasanya¬†and Tominiyi Owolabi¬†also handled market-leading transactions including Ashaka Cement Nigeria‚Äôs ‚ā¶604m shareholder sale to Lafarge and Saham Finances' 79% share acquisition of a leading Nigerian insurance company. Highlights for Yimika Phillips¬†included assisting The Dow Chemical Company with its post-merger establishment of subsidiary DowDuPont and advising three Japanese shipping companies on a joint venture transaction. Wolemi Esan¬†assisted Helios Investment Partners with a $30m investment in Starsight Power Utility, a leading transaction in the burgeoning renewable energy market.

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co’s Ladi Taiwo regularly handles the firm’s core M&A and PPP/PFI transactions. He assisted the Bureau of Public Enterprises with a privatisation sale tender of its majority stake in national power company Afam Power. The team also assisted AG Goldtrust as project sponsor with a build-operate-transfer infrastructure project with the Niger State Government. Alayo Ogunbiyi handled M&A transactions for Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries and Radmed Diagnostics and the team also advised Jil-Amber Consortium on a PPP joint venture with Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation for a 100,000 barrel per day refinery project. Senior associate Kunle Ayansola is a core team member on PPP and corporate and commercial projects and senior associate Oluwaseyi Adebayo assists with regulatory compliance and immigration issues.

Adedoyin Afun leads Bloomfield Law Practice’s corporate and commercial practice, advising on asset management, private equity, commercial law and other transactions in the oil, gas and energy sectors. Ayodele Oni handles corporate matters in the energy and gas sectors and also provides legal and regulatory support to pan-Atlantic institution the Lagos Business School. The firm also advised on the structuring, financing and development of the multimillion-dollar Maryland Mall development.

The team at Jackson, Etti & Edu assists with M&A transactions, private equity matters, consolidation and divestment exercises, recapitalisations and corporate restructuring. Folasade Olusanya handled Bristow Helicopters Nigeria's merger with BGI Aviation Technical Services. Managing partner Koye Edu is also a noted contact. Other clients include Capital Alliance Nigeria and Actis.

Odujinrin & Adefulu advises on mid-tier M&A transactions, private equity investments, corporate restructuring and regulatory compliance. Practice heads Damilola Adetunji, Adeoye Adefulu and Olubukola Olabiyi count insurance provider Old Mutual Nigeria, Rand Merchant Bank and Zenith Assets Management among their clients. Adetunji assisted International Breweries with its merger with Intafact Beverages and Pabod Breweries, providing advice on corporate structuring, regulation and execution. Adefulu assisted One Terminals with a $7.6m private equity investment in the oil and gas sector.

Olajide Oyewole LLP assists with business and loan restructuring exercises and equity stake acquisitions for multinational manufacturing, transport and FMCG companies. Practice head Samuel Salako assisted Overseas Mercantile & Manufacturing with a shareholder transaction whereby the majority shareholder acquired the minority’s equity stake. The team also advised a venture capital company on its restructuring exercise by way of an asset and liabilities transfer and regularly assists with commercial, distribution, franchising, sale-and-supply and leasing agreements. Bola Tinubu is also recommended. The firm became a member of the DLA Piper Africa Group in May 2017.

Olayemi Anyanechi leads Sefton Fross’ corporate and commercial practice, which handles M&A, capital reduction exercises, demerger exercises and joint venture transactions, among other matters. Clients include Standard Alliance Insurance, Planet Capital and Prestige Assurance.

Managing partner Adeniyi Duale leads Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe’s corporate and commercial practice, which handles M&A, joint venture and equity and debt investment matters. Highlights included advising on a $5m private equity round and a $3m acquisition and redevelopment deal. Adeleke Alex-Adedipe advises on matters in the TMT, energy, banking and finance sectors. Recent work includes assisting with a $1.5m seed funding round and a $4.6m financing, development and provision contract. Also recommended is Seye Ayinla, who handles matters spanning project finance, corporate finance, security arrangements, M&A and corporate restructuring exercises.

Alongside co-counsel Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliff LLP, the ‚Äėprofessional, experienced and client-focused‚Äô corporate and commercial team at The New Practice (TNP)¬†handled Synergy Private Equity Fund‚Äôs acquisition of Dimension Data; practice head Baba Alokolaro¬†led the advice. The team has particular expertise in private equity mandates and is noted for its ‚Äėability to go the extra mile‚Äô for clients. Babajimi Ayorinde¬†and senior associate Bukola Bankole¬†are also noted.

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

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