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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 Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

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AELEX’s ‘very professional and intelligent’ team, which is led by Soji Awogbade and Olusina Sipasi, ‘has a deep understanding of the energy industry’ and ‘a highly commendable sense of commitment, urgency and diligence’. The group handles the full spectrum of work in the space, including utilities finance, M&A, joint ventures, distribution and supply, legal due diligence and power purchase agreements, and has expertise in legal, regulatory and policy issues. Key clients include Chevron Nigeria, Shell, Mobil Petroleum Nigeria, South Atlantic Petroleum and Addax Petroleum. Olusina Sipasi assisted a client with the acquisition of a petroleum company with participatory interest in an oil mining lease, conducting comprehensive due diligence, advising on the application of Nigerian law and reviewing the sale and purchase agreement. Theophilus Emuwa advised on the requirements for the establishment, operation and maintenance of a petroleum refinery. Lawrence Fubara Anga is recommended for industry-related disputes.

In recent work, Aluko & Oyebode’s Olubunmi Fayokun advised ExxonMobil and Oando on a number of downstream asset divestments. Oghogho Makinde, Kofo Dosekun and Gbenga Oyebode are praised for their ‘integrity, professionalism and understanding of the big picture’ when it comes to commercially-focused mandates in the energy and natural resources sector. Oludare Senbore assisted Lafarge Africa with negotiating and drafting a power purchase agreement to procure power from a 20MW mini-hydro dam. The ‘knowledgeable, creative and hardworking’ team advised on transaction-structuring issues pertaining to the construction, operation and management of a solar power plant. The firm is also acting as lender's counsel on the financing of an oil pipeline.

Banwo & Ighodalo provides the full spectrum of legal expertise in the energy and natural resources sector. Oil and gas mandates range from asset acquisition and divestment, cross-border capital raising, corporate restructuring, legislative drafting and dispute resolution. In the power sector, the firm advises on industry reform, privatisation transactions, post-privatisation transactions, equity acquisition and divestments and development projects. Practice head Ken Etim and senior associate Akindeji Oyebode are advising Oriental Energy Resources on the establishment of a 50MW solar power plant. Etim, alongside Asue Ighodalo, is also acting as project counsel to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the development, financing and construction of a 480MW gas-fired power plant. Stella Duru advised the government of Nigeria on a privatisation exercise. Other clients include Lekoil, Helios Investment Partners and Shoreline Natural Resources. Kehinde Ojuawo is also noted.

Odujinrin & Adefulu's practice advises on electricity law and policy, cross-border transactions, policy and regulation, divestment transactions and M&A exercises in the oil, gas and natural resources sectors. Notable clients include First E&P, OVH Energy Marketing, Aura Energy, Oando and ExxonMobil among others. Adeoye Adefulu is assisting First E&P with a financing arrangement concerning two offshore oil mining leases. The firm also acted as legal adviser to Ibile Oil & Gas on a transaction involving legal and financial modelling for a gas project proposed by the Lagos state government. Another highlight involved advising Optimum Petroleum Development on a participating interest transfer to Mayfair Assets and Trust. Senior associate Aderemi Ogunbanjo is also noted for her experience in corporate and commercial transactions in the oil and gas and energy sectors.

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie's is a key name for project transaction structuring, licensing, contract and risk allocation advice, M&A transactions and regulatory advice in the energy and natural resources space. Clients include local and international project developers, project lenders, private equity investors, national oil companies and gas service companies. Energy co-head Nicholas Okafor is advising Solius NGDC on its greenfield project development of a 100MW solar power plant in the burgeoning renewable energy industry. Daniel Agbor leads on corporate advisory, M&A and private equity transactions. Agbor and Folake Elias-Adebowale advised an energy and commodity trading company and a syndicate of lenders on a $530m facility forwarded to Shoreline Natural Energy Resources, utilised for working capital and refinancing purposes. Aniekan Ukpanah and Okafor are advising Starsight Power Utilities on the development and deployment of its distributed solar power solutions to a number of clients in the energy sector. Adeola Sunmola is also noted for her expertise in project finance matters including advising on Oma Power Generation Company’s 500MW gas-fired power plant. Statoil Nigeria, Petrobras and Aion are also clients.

Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun’s expertise encompasses core oil and gas transactions, foreign investment, acquisition finance, project finance, M&A transactions and tax matters. Managing partner Felicia Kemi Segun advised Anhui Synee Mining on a joint venture transaction with Multiverse Mining and Exploration. Sola Adepetun is another key contact and Donna Shodipo is also recognised for her expertise in general corporate and commercial matters.

With ‘strong industry knowledge’ and ‘the ability to simplify complex issues’, G. Elias & Co. advises its international client base on complex tax matters, oil field developments, regulatory licensing, sale and handling of crude hydrocarbons, drilling contracts and acquisition agreements. On the energy side, the firm advises on significant finance and development matters in the electric power and renewable energy sectors. Gbolahan Elias led the team that assisted the Transmission Company of Nigeria (owner of Nigeria’s transmission grid) with the application of new regulations implemented by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The team also assisted a syndicate of lenders with the financing of Shell, Total E&P and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s joint venture gas generation project. Fred Onuobia and Elias provided advice and drafted field development agreements concerning Summit Oil International’s Otien field project. Segun Omoregie and senior associates Oluwatoyin Nathaniel and Okechukwu Okoro are also noted.

Olaniwun Ajayi LP’s ‘extremely responsive’ power and infrastructure head Wolemi Esan ‘has extensive knowledge of the energy industry, which enables him to provide definitive and comprehensive counsel’. Asan and Konyin Ajayi are advising a syndicate of lenders on the financing of the 450MW Azura independent power project, the largest of its kind in Nigeria. The ‘excellent’ Tominiyi Owolabi leads on oil and gas matters for clients including international and domestic gas companies, national and foreign governments, banks and other financial institutions. The ‘responsive, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team advised Nova Scotia Power Development as project sponsors on the development of an 80MW solar power plant. Managing associate Jonathan Aluju ‘unfailingly provided sound legal advice’ on the matter. Aluju and Ajayi also advised on due diligence issues, risk mitigation advice, document drafting and negotiations for Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund for a refinancing loan forwarded to Cummins Power Generation.

Templars handles market-leading transactions in the oil and gas sector. Chike Obianwu assisted a joint venture comprising Shell, Total E&P and the NNPC as sponsors of $1bn worth of pre-export financing for drilling and non-drilling development activities. Managing partner Oghogho Akpata, who heads the practice, is advising China Machinery Engineering Corporation on a proposed equity investment in OMA Power. The investment is intended to fund a 468MW gas-fired power plant. The team handled ExxonMobil and the NNPC's sale of the 540MW Qua Iboe power project to a joint venture comprising Black Rhino Group, Dangote and NNPC Power. On the renewables side, Obiawu is assisting Pan Africa Solar with the development and financing of a 70MW solar power plant. Other notable clients include Midwestern Oil and Gas, Petrobras and Azura Power West Africa.

Power law and policy expert Ayodele Oni heads Bloomfield Law Practice’s energy and natural resources group. Oni is providing legal advisory services to the promoter of a floating gas-power plant and 7km pipeline. The firm is currently advising the government of Nigeria on post-privatisation restructuring aspects of the electric power sector. Key clients include Engie Group, Fenix International, Rematco and Geogrid Energy.

Tunde Oyewole and Dayo Idowo handle Olajide Oyewole LLP’s energy and natural resources mandates. The team has particular expertise in acting for investment syndicates and engineering, procurement and construction contractors on the financing and construction of refineries and other matters. Oyewole and Idowu assisted Mainstream Energy Solutions with the negotiation and implementation of a technical services arrangement concerning a turbine system rehabilitation project. The team was also Nigerian counsel to Oando on its $461m divestment of downstream assets to Vitol and Helios Investment Partners.

Sefton Fross’ expertise encompasses development, financing and construction advice, acquisition and divestment mandates, due diligence and contact drafting assistance. The firm is prominent in the oil and gas, energy and natural resources sectors. Managing partner Olayemi Anyanechi is the main point of contact and associate Olayinka Alao is also recommended.

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