Commercial litigators reported an exceptionally busy year as increased investigations by regulators, a growing number of labour and employment disputes, and strong levels of disputes work in the energy sector put them in high demand. This year we select 25 practitioners who stand out for their specialist expertise in this sector.
Intellectual property is still a hot topic in Nigeria, with both domestic and international companies increasingly concerned about protecting their trademarks and patents in the jurisdiction. Counterfeiting work also remains an active area, with those we spoke to serving clients both in Nigeria and across West Africa. There is continued hope among lawyers and clients of improvements to existing regulation in the near future, which would undoubtedly increase the confidence of international corporations in the country, resulting in more work for practitioners. This year we single out 19 individuals who stand out for their expertise in this area.
There have been calls for change to Nigerian rescue provisions among the business community in recent months, amid discussions between stakeholders over whether the country should adopt a unified insolvency law. Fourteen lawyers are singled out for their expertise in this field.
Environmental issues surrounding oil extraction, deforestation, desertification and road expansions among others are some of the challenges facing Nigerian environment lawyers today. Three leading lawyers are selected for their “standout” practice in this area.
This practice area continues to be one of the largest in the Nigerian legal market with 28 leaders recognised in this edition – understandable, since the country is Africa’s largest oil producer. However, Nigeria’s oil is disadvantaged by instability and supply disruptions, while the natural gas sector is constrained by a lack of infrastructure. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has, moreover, come across weighty legal issues as it looks to change the structure of these industries. All this has resulted in a significant workload for Nigeria’s leading energy lawyers.
In recent years the Nigerian government has strengthened its tax collecting agencies, which saw total taxes collected rise to 5 trillion naira in 2012 (compared with 454 billion naira in 2002). The 2014 federal budget proposes policy actions that will improve the value chain on key automobile products, encourage the local production of rice and the local production and assembly of vehicles in Nigeria. In this chapter, we identify four leading lawyers.
As Nigeria’s economy continues to thrive, foreign investors and businesses are increasingly looking to capitalise on opportunities in the region. These incoming companies are bringing with them experienced foreign employees, creating additional work for the country’s immigration experts. In this chapter we feature six practitioners who each come highly recommended for their work in this area.
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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.