Shipping and transport in Nigeria


AELEX has first-rate capabilities in transactional and contentious matters in the shipping and transport sector. Its diverse practice covers issues such as vessel mortgages and ship finance, aircraft finance and leasing and contractual disputes, among others. The firm also undertakes subrogated claims on behalf of insurers, and advises on the arrest and release of vessels, as well as negotiating the settlement of claims. Lawrence Fubara Anga's practice spans commercial, regulatory advice and litigation in the aviation and maritime fields. Akinloye Ajayi also specialises in commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Fubara Anga

Key clients

Lufthansa German Airlines

South African Airways

Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency

Seacor Marine

Iberia Airline

Work highlights

  • Advising Seacor Marine, a company that strategically deploys vessels offshore in Mexico, Latin America, the North Sea, West Africa, and Southeast Asia on its proposed structure for cabotage trading in Nigerian waters.
  • Acting as part of a legal team drafting and reviewing the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act.
  • Advising KLM airline on setting up a subsidiary company, which is to provide third-party maintenance services.

Banwo & Ighodalo

Banwo & Ighodalo's shipping practice is led by managing partner Ken Etim, who acts as sole counsel in shipping transactions and related disputes. The practice's other areas of strength include maritime labour issues, marine insurance, ship finance and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Ken Etim

Key clients

Bourbon-Interoil (Nigeria) Limited

Schlumberger (Onesubsea Offshore Systems Nigeria Limited & Cameron Flow Control Technology Nigeria)

Nedbank Limited

The Swedish Club

Work highlights

  • Advising Investec Bank Plc on the sale and transfer of ownership of a vessel under bareboat charterparty to a Nigerian shipping company, following the exercise of Investec’s power of sale, as mortgagee.
  • Advising Bourbon Offshore Interoil Shipping – Navegacao LDA on the enforcement of two arbitral awards against a Nigerian counterparty at the Federal High Court of Nigeria.
  • Advising Petromarine Nigeria on the $515,000 sale of its vessel to a Dutch company.

Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun

Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun's team has extensive expertise in the shipping arena, as is evidenced by its knowledge of the full range of admiralty, shipping and international trade, and marine insurance laws. Funke Agbor is the main contact for all shipping matters. In the wider transport sector, the team assists a broad cross-section of clients with transactions, which included the successful privatisation and concessioning of the largest container terminal facility in Nigeria.

Practice head(s):

Funke Agbor

Akabogu & Associates

The shipping practice at Akabogu & Associates covers a wide range of matters for clients, such as admiralty claims, cargo representation, carriage of goods by sea, marine insurance and environmental issues. Other areas of expertise include the Nigerian cabotage regime, international trade, ports and terminals. Name partner Emeka Akabogu is the primary contact for maritime law advice.

Practice head(s):

Emeka Akabogu

Aluko & Oyebode

Aluko & Oyebode acts for ship owners, P&I and defence clubs, charterers, cargo underwriters and bunker suppliers in shipping litigation and arbitral proceedings. It also has strong capabilities in non-contentious shipping and aviation matters. Practice head Mark Mordi and Tonye Krukrubo are recommended for their expertise in sales/purchases, charter, cargo insurance, arrest and cargo and freight claims.

Practice head(s):

Mark Mordi

G. Elias & Co

G. Elias & Co predominantly advises on aircraft finance transactions and leasings, regulatory issues and contracts for the transport, warehousing and handling of goods by rail, road, air and sea. It also handles contentious maritime matters and commercial disputes in the transportation sector. Fidelis Adewole is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Fidelis Adewole

Paul Usoro & Co

Paul Usoro & Co has a strong profile in the shipping industry, where it acts for domestic and international clients on matters concerning ship finance, shipping litigation and admiralty claims. In addition, it regularly assists with legislative drafting and the development of policies impacting the sector. Also notable is that the firm is highly active in the aviation industry; the scope of the work includes aviation finance and refinancing transactions, corporate deals and litigation. Managing partner Mfon Usoro is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mfon Usoro

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co is active in nationally-significant PPP/PFI projects in the transport sector, where it acts for sponsors, financiers and operators. Recent work included assisting the Ministry of Transport (Aviation) with various matters related to the PPP development of cargo/agro-allied terminals at a number of airports. Name partner Ladi Taiwo is the chair of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Ladi Taiwo

Key clients

Marina Express Train Services

Federal Ministry of Transport (Aviation)

TSL Logistics

CRCC Construction Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised Marina Express Train Services Ltd as the preferred bidder on the $2.4bn Lagos Metro Rail (Red Line) concession with Lagos State Government.
  • Assisting CRCC Construction Co. Ltd, the project sponsor of the Ibadan Inland Dry Port (IDP) Project as transaction counsel.
  • As part of a consortium appointed by the Federal Ministry of Transport (Aviation), the firm is acting as transaction counsel on the PPP development of a national Aerotropolis (Airport City).

Bloomfield Law Practice

Adedoyin Afun leads Bloomfield Law Practice's offering to clients in relation to matters connected with the shipping, aviation and logistics industries. Afun's workload covers ship and aircraft finance and leasing, the registration of ship and aircraft mortgages and interests, port concessions, corporate restructurings, maritime claims and casualties.

Practice head(s):

Adedoyin Afun


The Bloomfield Team is not only technically versed, but also practically knowledgeable about the industry workings. Therefore, when the team proffers a solution, one is certain to receive a well thought-through implementable solution!

Responsive. Working with Adedoyin Afun was a great experience. Apart from being an industry encyclopedia, he also made himself available, in spite of his schedule.

Key clients

Monjasa AS

Telford Offshore Limited

Sea Trucks Group

Aramex Delivery Services

Quest Shipping

West of England P&I Club

Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing

Work highlights

  • Advised Telford Offshore Limited on the bareboat charterparty agreements it entered into with Nigerian oil service company Afrimarine Charters Limited over the lease of six offshore support vessels, and the ship management agreement entered into concerning the management of the aforementioned offshore support vessels.
  • Assisted Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing with the sale of a Nigeria-registered Bell Helicopter Textron 412EP helicopter to International Aviation Marketing Ltd.
  • Advised the lender, FIM Bank Plc on its client’s acquisition of a vessel, PRINCESS OGE, from a Nigerian company.

Foundation Chambers

Foundation Chambers is particularly well-known for its strengths in civil litigation, including admiralty claims and marine insurance related disputes. It also advises clients on ship arrests and cargo claims, ship finance, acquisitions and sales of vessels, cabotage compliance and charters. Elsewhere, beyond shipping-related work, the firm provides a full range of services to clients in the aviation sector. Senior counsel Luke Chukwudi Ilogu, managing partner Donald Ibebuike and Callistus Ojukwu are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Luke Chukwudi Ilogu