Following the surge in M&A deals in 2012, Nigeria continues to record increased activity across a variety of sectors. As expected the power and energy field remains extremely vibrant, but a recent PwC report also highlights Nigeria as a centre for financial services M&A over the next few years. Our research recognises 16 practitioners who are leaders in the field.
Lawyers across the country face a challenge in advising on the subtleties and changing nature of the employer–employee relationship, and as foreign investment in energy and infrastructure projects increases, corporate entities looking to adapt to Nigerian employment law are seeking the expertise of established figures in the field. Our research identifies three leading specialists in the discipline.
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.
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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.