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Nigeria: Aviation 2016

Civil aviation is a vital part of Nigeria's transportation system and its economy. As Africa’s most populated country it has over 20 airports, five of which operate internationally serving as important destinations for over 22 foreign carriers. Indeed, Nigeria currently has bilateral air services agreements with more than 78 countries. The country also passed the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme in the first half of this year. By passing it for the second time in 10 years, Nigeria has shown consistency in maintaining and sustaining the ICAO safety standards. However, industry analysts note that Nigeria still lags behind its potential as an aviation hub for West Africa. Revenue from the aviation sector does not reflect the high population of air travellers, as many Nigerian airlines are experiencing financial lows. Two issues in particular are hindering the aviation sector: Nigeria does not have a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, and skilled manpower in this sector is diminishing with no defined government supported programme for manpower development. Against this backdrop we identify seven leading practitioners. 

Two outstanding individuals are recognised from AÉLEX. Lawrence Fubara Anga is recommended as an “exceptional practitioner” in the field. He particularly receives praise for his “savvy approach” and “superb technical skill” which together allow him to produce “work of the highest quality”. Alongside him, Adedapo Tunde-Olowu focuses his practice on dispute resolution, with 19 years’ experience handling a range of matters from passenger, cargo and baggage claims to insurance disputes. Clients praise his “thorough and intelligent approach” and “sophisticated solutions” to complex issues.

From Streamsowers & Köhn Etigwe Uwa SAN has a reputation as “an authority on Nigerian aviation law.” He covers finance, regulatory and contentious matters in the industry, and clients say he “impresses us with his willingness to always go the extra mile”.

F O Akinrele & Co is home to Adedolapo Akinrele SAN known among clients and peers for his “first-rate advice”, based upon “a wealth of experience”. As well as being the managing partner of the firm, he leads the aviation and transport law groups, advising on matters ranging from aviation-related disputes to aircraft financing and leasing.

Yomi Oshikoya & Co boasts the “excellent” Otunba Yomi Oshikoya who is known in the field for his “deep commercial insight”. Described as “responsive, hardworking and practical”, he specialises in carrier’s liability and insurance claims.

Uzoma Azikiwe at Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie brings “clear-sightedness to complex issues”. With a reputation for “versatile thinking”, he advises high-profile national and international clients on dispute resolution and regulatory compliance in relation to the aviation sector.

At JB Majiyagbe & Co, Folorunsho Majiyagbe covers both contentious and non-contentious areas of aviation law and he is praised for his “high level of technical skill and knowledge that allows him to pay close attention to the detail, while never losing sight of the bigger picture.”

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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W11 1QQ, UK