Since 2000, when Microsoft begun operating in Nigeria, there has been a surge in multinationals looking to expand into the country. In particular, the deregulation of the mobile phone market has seen a significant increase in the number of telecommunication companies. Nigeria is now home to IBM, Apple, Intel, MTN, Google and Samsung, to name just a few. However, well over half of the population remains rural, and the development of infrastructure and legislation that will inspire the growth of multinational media is a work in progress. The following 14 lawyers represent the standout legal expertise in these promising fields.
The Nigerian maritime industry remains widely untapped and investment opportunities across the country’s major exporting industries have shown huge potential for growth. With predictions of more progressive activity in some of Nigeria’s major ports, the future for maritime lawyers looks increasingly promising. We list 10 practitioners experienced in handling the most complex maritime matters.
This year, Nigeria’s fast-growing economy has become the largest in Africa (displacing South Africa), and the 24th-largest worldwide. The reform and privatisation of the power sector over the past few years has helped to drive this increase, and has also caused significant growth in project finance activity in this field. As investors become more confident in the Nigerian market, and other countries struggle to return their economies to pre-financial crash levels, it continues to be a top destination for project finance. This year we identify 19 top lawyers in the field.
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.
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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.