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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 > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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The ‚Äėhighly professional and knowledgeable‚Äô dispute resolution team at AELEX¬†is headed by commercial and tax arbitration expert Funke Adekoya. She successfully represented Chevron Nigeria at the Tax Appeal Tribunal in an $800m appeal disputing a petro-profits tax assessment; the practice is now representing the client in appealing the judgment. Adekoya is also defending a South African retail merchandiser in a $350m breach of contract claim. Adedapo Tunde-Olowu¬†leads on commercial litigation and corporate dispute resolution instructions concerning foreign direct investment, tax, transportation and banking and finance. Alongside Theophilus Emuwa, he is representing the China National Offshore Oil Corporation in six disputes in various superior courts including the Supreme Court and the Federal High Court. Lawrence Fubara Anga, Olanipekun Orewole¬†and the ‚Äėhighly¬†professional‚Äô Davidson Oturu¬†successfully defended Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services in a ¬£2.2m taxation matter.

Babatunde Fagbohunlu heads Aluko & Oyebode’s dispute resolution practice, representing clients including Total E&P Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and MTN Nigeria. The firm is acting for CNOOC Exploration & Production Nigeria in a $1.9bn action against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) concerning a breach of oil mining lease claim. Fagbohunlu represents a series of defendants including Chevron Nigeria, Total E&P and Brasoil Oil Services Nigeria in a series of claims brought against them by the federal government of Nigeria concerning an alleged under declaration of crude oil exports to the US. Mark Mordi acted for Guinness Nigeria in a £131.1m winding-up petition filed against it. Adeniyi Adegbonmire specialises in commercial, banking, corporate recovery, insolvency and company partnership disputes. He successfully represented the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria in two recovery actions brought against Shoreline Power Company. Tax litigation expert Chukwuka Ikwuazom acts for oil and gas company Trafigura Beheer in a $642m tax action filed by FIRS. Tonye Krukrubo is also recommended.

Banwo & Ighodalo handles complex litigation matters for international oil companies, multinationals, government agencies, banks and other financial institutions. In one highlight, managing partner Ken Etim and Abimbola Akeredolu are representing Mobil Producing Nigeria (an ExxonMobil subsidiary) in a labour dispute involving over 500 employees, which is expected to result in precedent-setting judgments on the permissible extent of picketing actions. The firm is also acting for Oando in a $470m shareholder dispute and Chevron Nigeria in a contract dispute. Other significant clients include Ariosh, GlaxoSmithKline and Dangote. Senior associate Chinedum Umeche is a key member of the team and has acted for MIC Royal and Lotus Capital before the superior courts.

G. Elias & Co's ‚Äėoutstandingly brilliant, decisive, resolute and results-oriented‚Äô¬†Gbolahan Elias,¬†‚Äėvery knowledgeable, helpful, empathetic and supportive‚Äô Fred Onuobia¬†and Fidelis Adewole¬†are highly regarded for dispute resolution instructions across all industry sectors, ranging from commercial, maritime, banking and finance, oil and gas and many other areas. The team of ‚Äėsterling professionals‚Äô acts for world-leading multinational corporations, including numerous UK- and US-listed companies, in multibillion-dollar product liability cases. Senior associates Okechukwu Okoro¬†and Steve Arubike¬†and associate Yemi Adeleke¬†stand out for their ‚Äėthoroughness in covering all possible angles in their legal opinions‚Äô.

The ‚Äėeclectic mix of very intelligent partners and associates‚Äô at Olaniwun Ajayi LP¬†has a solutions-based approach and ‚Äėa strong understanding of the businesses they support‚Äô. The firm‚Äôs expertise spans all industry sectors and it has been involved in precedent-setting litigation cases and high-profile arbitration. In February 2017, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria appointed Oluseye Opasanya¬†as receiver manager to Arik Air in the country‚Äôs largest ever receivership in the aviation industry (amounting to ‚ā¶400bn). Khrushchev Ekwueme¬†and Konyin Ajayi¬†are representing the Nigerian FIRS¬† in the recovery of $171m of taxes owed to the government by Seadrill. ‚ÄėStand-out‚Äô individual¬†Ogunmuyiwa Balogun¬†is defending¬†9Mobile (previously Etisalat Nigeria) and the Central Bank of Nigeria in a $49m commercial dispute in which shareholders are seeking to stall the planned sale of the company. Senior associate Olabisi Makanjuola¬†is noted for his experience with disputes involving corporate shareholding, capital markets regulations, fraud, white-collar crime and infrastructure projects.

Templars is a key name for energy-related mandates in the area of international arbitration and also has considerable strength in construction litigation. Practice head Adewale Atake represents numerous major clients in leading cases, including securing a $2bn award at the Appellate Court in a crude entitlement dispute. The team is representing an exploration and production company in a multimillion-dollar arbitration concerning a production sharing agreement with a state oil company. Dipo Komolafe leads on tax disputes; he successfully represented Total E&P Nigeria at the Tax Appeal Tribunal in a dispute arising from the FIRS’ refusal to recognise gas flaring fees paid by the client as tax deductible. The decision saved Total E&P $3.7m in tax liabilities. Godwin Omoako is also noted for his tax litigation expertise. Other clients include ExxonMobil, Halliburton, General Electric and Sahara Energy.

Uzoma Azikiwe heads Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie’s dispute resolution practice, which handles some of Nigeria’s leading arbitration and litigation cases. Clients span the energy, aviation, financial services and oil and gas industries. Highlights for Azikiwe and Festus Onyia included acting for Statoil in a $230m Supreme Court claim and General Electric in a $19 million Federal High Court case. Other work includes defending HSBC against an alleged failure to honour a line-of-credit, defending Uber International in a $1.5bn copyright infringement claim and acting for Virgin Atlantic Airways in an employment dispute. The team is also representing a multinational oil and gas drilling company in a claim against a Nigerian entity for the recovery of over £20m of unpaid invoices. Festus Onyia represented drilling and engineering contractors KCA Deutag in an ICC arbitration, which successfully culminated in a $17.5m payout for unpaid invoices. Other notable clients include Pfizer, Intafact Beverages, Korea National Oil Corporation and Barclays Bank.

Oditah has extensive experience in ad hoc and institutional arbitration in areas ranging from banking, oil and gas, TMT, joint ventures, international trade and investment. Fidelis Oditah QC is the firm's leading arbitrator, acting in commercial and investment arbitration in some of Nigeria’s most complex international disputes. Deputy practice head James Okoh is experienced in commercial litigation and domestic arbitration.

Olajide Oyewole LLP¬†is known for providing dispute resolution services across a range of industries including oil and gas, maritime and aviation, real estate and information technology. Tunde Oyewole¬†is acting as co-counsel (with Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore) to Samsung Heavy Industries in a case regarding a disputed tax levied against the client amounting to $33m. Sola Oyebolu, Oyewole and senior associate Muyiwa Ogungbenro¬†represented Aero Contractors of Nigeria in a claim for tax-owed deductions spanning 15 years; the matter is a counter-claim resulting from a claim of outstanding service charges brought against the client. Led by Ogungbenro, the team also represented the Falae family as survivors and relatives of a victim of the Flight 361 plane crash, successfully securing an award of ‚ā¶246m to be paid out by Associated Aviation Nigeria.

Nnamdi Oragwu currently heads the dispute resolution practice at Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors, representing clients in the full range of litigation, negotiation and mediation instructions. The practice’s client base comprises banks and financial institutions, TMT companies, oil and gas companies and public entities. Anthony Idigbe and Elizabeth Idigbe are notable contacts and senior associate Onyeka Ehiwogwu regularly handles debt recovery and insolvency issues.

Uche Nwokedi & Co. has particular expertise in the field of oil and gas arbitration. Uche Nwokedi is regarded for his expertise in international commercial arbitration and litigation instructions. He is representing a joint venture in a tender dispute whereby the claimant, which alleges it has tendered the highest bid, is suing for declaratory and injunction reliefs. The case is pending at the Supreme Court. The team successfully defended Inducon Nigeria and Mr. John Abebe in a Supreme Court appeal brought by a Norwegian oil and gas company concerning a net-profit entitlement awarded to the client by the lower courts.

Akin Osinbajo leads Abdulai, Taiwo & Co’s dispute resolution team on matters ranging from banking litigation, commercial litigation and arbitration, tax controversy, intellectual property and multi-jurisdictional regulatory enforcement matters. He is representing Procter & Gamble in a number of cases including an intellectual property infringement dispute at the Supreme Court and a commercial dispute at the Arbitration Tribunal, as well as acting for Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria in a tax dispute against Shell. Senior associate Samuel Ibrahim and associate Fisayo Tifase are noted for their support in some of the firm’s leading matters. Other clients include First Bank of Nigeria, The Infrastructure Bank and FIRS.

Current matters for Bloomfield Law Practice’s dispute resolution practice span employment and unlawful termination actions, collision claims in the maritime sector and breach of contract disputes. Adedoyin Afun and managing partner Adekunle Obebe are key names in the practice, with clients including GPK Marine Management Services Group, The London P&I Club and Monjasa.

Lucky Ayeki is a key contact in Odujinrin & Adefulu’s dispute resolution practice. He represents clients at the court of first instance and appellate level up to the Supreme Court. Past instructions have included representing a clients in an environmental pollution suit, tax and contractual disputes, debt recovery proceedings and land disputes.

The dispute resolution practice at Royal Heritage is known for its expertise in civil, criminal and appellate litigation. The team, which includes managing partner Adremi Adekile and notable partners Sussan Oluchi Agu and Okon Uye, receive instructions on commercial actions involving contractual disputes, employment, product liability, creditors’ rights, lender liability, securities and environmental issues. The firm’s client base includes banks, public bodies, governments, retail brands and oil companies.

With ‚Äėprofessionalism, experience and a customer focus‚Äô, The New Practice (TNP)¬†stands out for its¬†‚Äėavailability, knowledge of the subject and analytical thinking‚Äô. The group handles¬†commercial disputes for a number of clients in the oil and gas sector. Babajimi Ayorinde¬†successfully represented Gaslink at the Court of Appeal concerning the enforcement of an arbitration award. Other clients include Flour Mills of Nigeria and Primera Africa Finance Group.

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