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Nigeria: Capital Markets 2016

In this chapter, 19 individuals gain recognition as stand out practitioners in the Nigeria capital markets, including experts in debt and equity offerings, and derivatives transactions. Below we highlight some of the most highly regarded in the country. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Asue Ighodalo Banwo & Ighodalo
Gbolahan Elias SAN G Elias & Co
Yinka Edu Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie leads our research with three leading names and a strong team dedicated to all types of capital market transactions. Managing partner Dan Agbor advises on securities offerings and derivatives transactions. He is particularly noted for advising on Nigeria’s first eurobond transaction. Sources say that he is “an eminent and widely respected transactional lawyer”. Aniekan Ukpanah is experienced in securities offerings and often leads the firm’s most notable mandates. According to one respondent, “He is skilled at driving complicated transactions through with his knowledge of local laws.” Yinka Edu handles a wide range of capital market transactions, including debt and equity offerings. She is widely seen as one of the most active players in the market, and is very popular with clients and international legal teams for her “responsive and user-friendly approach”.

G Elias & Co is also seen prominently by market commentators. Lead partner Gbolahan Elias is regarded as “a go-to lawyer in Nigeria for high value securities offerings”. Segun Omoregie is also prominently engaged in the firm’s most notable matters, including advising the United Bank for Africa on its recent series 30.5 billion naira bond offering.

Banwo & Ighodalo has a top tier practice with the team acting on many of the biggest issuances in the country. Co-founding partner Asue Ighodalo is widely regarded as one of the leading capital markets practitioners in Nigeria. A recent transaction includes successfully advising Zenith Bank in connection with a US$500 million eurobond issuance. According to sources, “He is strong and creative dealmaker”. Ayotunde Owoigbe excels with respondents endorsing her “pragmatic and responsive advice”. In particular, Owoigbe regularly takes a leading role on high-value Eurobond transactions.

At Abdulai Taiwo & Co, co-founding partner Ladi Taiwo is a leading figure in securitisations in the country with commentators calling him “one of the most knowledgeable and experienced capital market practitioners”. Alayo Ogunbiyi also ranks highly as one of the most active individuals with expertise in both debt and equity offerings.                

Olaniwun Ajayi’s team is highly thought of providing the full spectrum of expertise in the area. Oluseye Opasanya heads the group and is well regarded for his “prominent position in the market” acting on a number of noteworthy bond offerings. Wolemi Esan is regarded as “a distinguished transactional lawyer with an excellent technical skillset”.

Aluko & Oyebode’s head of capital markets Olubunmi Fayokun is mandated to act on some of the largest securities offerings in the country, including First City Monument Bank Limited’s US$500 million debt issuance programme. According to respondents, she is “one of the best practitioners in the market”, providing “highly sophisticated and responsive advice”.

Timi Austen-Peters is the principal partner of Austen-Peters & Co and a highly regarded lawyer in the country. He leads on many of the firm’s most high-profile securities transactions, with peers praising him as “an excellent operator”.

Ayuli Jemide of Detail Commercial Solicitors is described as “a strong asset on a transaction” with “good negotiation and client management skills”, say peers.

Damilola Adetunji heads Odujinrin & Adefulu’s capital markets team and is described as “a very sharp transactional lawyer and a good communicator”.

Babatunde Ajibade SAN is managing partner of SPA Ajibade & Co, and has experience in public and debt offerings. He is held up as “a senior and accomplished member of the Nigerian bar”.

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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