Nigeria: Banking 2016
While the market may be depressed in Nigeria, and indeed across the whole of Africa, banking is one area in which investment remains steady. A circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria in April 2015 meant that all products and services must be priced or denominated only in naira, and that all banks should refrain from using foreign currency to settle transactions originated and concluded in Nigeria. With reforms being attempted and the increasing presence of electronic and digital banking in the country, we recognise 15 lawyers who are best placed to advise on this fast-changing landscape.
|Most Highly Regarded Individuals|
|Ayotunde Owoigbe||Banwo & Ighodalo|
|Tominiyi Owolabi||Olaniwun Ajayi LP|
|Aniekan Ukpanah||Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie|
Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie is highly reputed for its banking and finance team with three lawyers recommended for their practices. Aniekan Ukpanah co-heads the banking and finance team and is a leading figure in our research. He is considered an “outstanding negotiator”, and has advised various lending syndicates on financing for industries including telecommunications, steel and power. Managing partner Dan Agbor is esteemed for his “experience in cross-border transactions”, including advising on Nigeria’s earliest global depository receipt programme and its first Eurobond transaction. Yinka Edu provides “intelligent, well-considered advice” and she is also noted for her “skilled handling” of financing transactions.
Olaniwun Ajayi sees two of its senior practitioners listed. Wolemi Esan is a “leading figure” who is lauded for his “broad experience of commercial transactions” in Nigeria. Tominiyi Owolabi is a leading name in our research. His work in project finance across multiple sectors has earned him a reputation as an “invaluable” lawyer whose “advice is analytical and gets to the heart of the issue”.
At Abdulai Taiwo & Co, managing partner and co-founder Ladi Taiwo is an expert in the field of banking and finance in Nigeria. His “depth of knowledge” and “superb handling of complex lending transactions” is highlighted by respondents. Alayo Ogunbiyi heads the banking team and is noted for her work in capital markets, securities, lending transactions and PPP, where she provides “excellent advice” and is “always assured and well-informed”.
Banwo & Ighodalo is represented by founding partner Femi Olubanwo, who is considered “a standout leader in the field”. He counts several major investment banks and financial institutions operating in Nigeria as his clients. Ayotunde Owoigbe heads the firm’s corporate finance group and regularly advises on complex financing deals and banking regulations. One client recommended her as “a diligent lawyer with strong commercial awareness”.
Aluko & Oyebode sees Kofo Dosekun recommended as a “core figure” who leads the firm’s banking and corporate finance practice in many of its biggest mandates. Her engagements have included advising lenders on syndicated loan transactions as well as other complex financing transactions. Oghogho Makinde advises on a wide range of financing transactions, as well as regulatory compliance for domestic and international financial institutions. She is described as “a very practical advisor with a commercial outlook”.
Lawrence Fubara Anga at AÉLEX is considered a well-known practitioner in his field, and has been extensively involved in lending transactions in the energy sector for many years, where he displays “great prowess”.
At B Ayorinde & Co, principal partner Bolaji Ayorinde SAN is recommended for his “years of expertise in banking law”. He is said to offer clients “analytical and well-considered advice”.
James Okoh at Fidelis Oditah & Co is noted for his “ability to break down complex scenarios and explain them in ways that people can understand”.
G Elias & Co is represented by Fred Onuobia, the firm’s managing partner. He is highlighted for his “strong understanding of the banking and finance sector”, in which he has over 20 years’ experience. He is valued for his “conscientiousness” and his “diverse knowledge”, having worked on high-profile securities and loan transactions.