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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

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Shipping and transport
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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    • Funke Agbor - Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun
    • Emeka Akabogu - Akabogu & Associates
    • Lawrence Fubara Anga - AELEX
    • Luke Chukwudi Ilogu - Foundation Chambers
    • Mfon Usoro - Paul Usoro & Co

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Led by Lawrence Fubara Anga, the ‘very professional and competent’ team at AELEX has expertise in all aspects of shipping and aviation law. The team defended leading international airlines in the superior courts in a number of baggage and cargo disputes including $5m of claims levelled against Lufthansa. The firm assists with airline lease defaults, maritime claims and arrests, ship and aircraft finance and has been involved in drafting civil aviation legislation and regulations. Other key names include Adedapo Tunde-Olowu for issues relating to foreign direct investment, insolvency and insurance disputes and managing associate Akinloye Ajayi for commercial litigation and employment matters. South African Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines are also clients.

Aluko & Oyebode’s practice has particular expertise in shipping and aviation litigation, including handling the litigation portfolio of a leading international airline. Mark Mordi leads on disputes concerning ship arrests, passenger and cargo claims and breach of contract matters. On the transactions side, the firm assists with ship acquisitions, leases, purchases and due diligence exercises prior to purchase. Senior associate Ngo-Martins Okonmah manages Mordi's shipping and transport litigation portfolio.

In one highlight, Banwo & Ighodalo's Ken Etim and Isa Alade are advising on all legal and regulatory requirements concerning the proposed £1bn Ibom Deep Sea Port project sponsored by the government of Nigeria. Etim is also handling Investec Bank’s $17.5m loan facility forwarded to a domestic marine vessel operator for a vessel acquisition. Kehinde Ojuawo has advised marine services provider Bourbon Interoil Nigeria on a number of complex transactions including the acquisition of an offshore support vessel. In the aviation sector, the team assisted Viking Air and Longview Aviation Asset Management with an $8m lease transaction. The firm also handles maritime disputes. Ojuawo represented Guang Hai Overseas Economic and Trading Company in a matter concerning the arrest and repossession of two vessels; the firm successfully negotiated the release of the vessels. Senior associate Kashimana Tsumba  joined the team from Foundation Partners in April 2018.

Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun’s practice handles the full range of admiralty, shipping, international trade and marine insurance matters. The firm routinely handles maritime transactions and disputes. Funke Agbor is the key contact.

Akabogu & Associates’ maritime law expert Emeka Akabogu handles transactions and disputes concerning ships, ports, cargo, labour, trade and all other relevant areas. The team also advises governments and independent bodies on shipping and related commercial areas. Clients include cargo and ship owners, agents, brokers, port operators and financial institutions.

G. Elias & Co. provides ‘unparalleled, second-to-none experience’ in the shipping and transport sector. With ‘an extraordinary insight into the Nigerian market’, Gbolahan Elias ‘brings a depth of experience, diligence and innovation to deals, consistently exceeding clients’ requirements’. Highlights included advising on the first federal government freight and passenger railway concession across state boundaries and assisting with ongoing attempts to recapitalise Aero Contractors (the oldest airline in Nigeria). Elias is also assisting with the road and rail network to be laid out between the nation’s first deep sea port and the adjacent industrial city. Fred Onuobia is noted for his ‘mastery of key legal concepts and attention to detail’ and is, according to one client, ‘the man to have by your side during deal negotiations’. Onuobia advised Multipro Consumer Products on a transport services agreement with Lafarge Africa and is assisting with the concession for the operation, rehabilitation and maintenance of the western and eastern rail lines and associated infrastructure. Senior associates Nosakhare Aguebor and Ukamaka Okoli are praised for their ‘initiative, innovation and no-holds-barred approach to ensuring client satisfaction'.

The team at Paul Usoro & Co. covers all facets of maritime, aviation and general transport law. Practice head and managing partner Mfon Usoro specialises in ship finance and litigation, as well as advising on policy formation and legislative drafting. Clients in this sector include the First Bank of Nigeria, Petrostuff Nigeria and STX Pan Ocean. On the aviation side, the firm advises on leading aircraft acquisition transactions to airline operators, financial institutions and aviation leasing companies, as well as handling litigation for Virgin Atlantic. The firm is retained as the sole legal consultant to the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa.

Bloomfield Law Practice’s Adedoyin Afun leads on shipping and transport mandates, covering notable contentious and non-contentious issues. In a transaction highlight, Afun advised on a term loan facility backed by a foreign lender for the acquisition of 12 liftboats from Hercules Oilfield Services. The team acts for clients in dispute resolution matters at the Federal High Court, including representing a leading ship management company in a multimillion-dollar recovery claim. Other clients include London P&I Club, Total E&P Nigeria, Sea Trucks Group and Waypoint Leasing.

Foundation Chambers advises on ship arrests, cargo claims, ship finance, registrations, marine insurance and civil litigation. The team also has strong aviation experience, assisting with aviation financing, loan securitisation, aviation litigation and passenger claims. Luke Chukwudi Ilogu and Adedoyin Adeloye are key contacts.

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