In this edition of WWL: Nigeria we highlight practitioners from over 70 law firms, from full-service outfits to specialised boutiques; however, over 40 per cent of the listings in the guide are earned by lawyers from just six standout national firms that we profile here.
Nigerian powerhouse Aélex maintains its strong position in the market for commercial and dispute resolution services. Its lawyers pride themselves on four key points: a global view, expert lawyers, client focus and local knowledge. In this year’s research Aélex performs very well with 16 listings across 12 different practice areas.
The firm’s project finance practice is held in high esteem by market sources, who highlight three top-tier lawyers in the Nigerian market. Energy, natural resources and mining is another of the firm’s strengths, with two outstanding lawyers being recognised for their handling of matters across the oil and gas, power, and mining sectors.
Standout names at the firm include Funke Adekoya SAN, who is recognised as one of the most highly regarded lawyers in the field of arbitration. Lawrence Fubara Anga is singled out as a leading light in the aviation space. Theophilus I Emuwa is well respected for his work across a range of complex corporate tax matters. In the labour and employment chapter, Ola Orewale performs well thanks to his strong expertise in this area.
Top tier firm Aluko & Oyebode ranks as one of the leading outfits in the Nigerian legal market. The firm was founded in 1993 and is home to more than 80 lawyers working across a full range of corporate and commercial practice areas. This year, it achieves an impressive 26 listings, performing very well across 12 different practice areas.
The firm’s expertise in energy, natural resources and mining is reflected in this edition, which sees five practitioners listed for their work in the field. It also shows corporate finance prowess with strong listings throughout our banking, and M&A and governance chapters. In the banking chapter the firm performs particularly well, with Kofo Dosekun, Gbenga Oyebode, Reginald Udom and Oghogho Makinde achieving excellent listings.
Sumbo Akintola ranks very highly in our data chapter thanks to her in-depth knowledge of the field. Uche Nwokocha stands out for her exceptional intellectual property practice. Babatunde Fagbohunlu SAN is recognised as one of the most highly regarded litigators through our research into the market. Oghogho Makinde is also highlighted for her outstanding work in the field of project finance.
Full-service outfit Banwo & Ighodalo remains one of the leading players in the Nigerian legal market, sitting among the top firms in the country according to our research this year. In this edition, its lawyers achieve 15 listings across eight practice areas.
The firm is renowned for its first-rate corporate finance offering. Its team is well acquainted with advising national and international clients on the full gamut of matters, including corporate M&A transactions, restructurings, securitisations, debt and equity offerings, and syndicated loans.
The firm is also well respected for its strong offering across a range of sectors, including energy and natural resources, shipping, construction and real estate.
Key individuals at the firm include Stella Duru and Ken Etim who stand out among the foremost energy lawyers in the country. Ayotunde Owoigbe and Asue Ighodalo are identified as leading lights in the capital markets space, and Femi Olubanwo is recognised as a go-to figure for intellectual property law.
Full-service firm Jackson Etti & Edu has a strong presence in the Nigerian market with three offices in Nigeria, as well as offices in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Cameroon. The firm is home to 11 partners and over 60 professionals covering various practice areas. Their five key values are legal expertise, client centricity, operational excellence, industry knowledge and innovation. It performs very well in this edition with 12 listings across eight practice areas.
Lawyers from the firm gain recognition this year for their outstanding sector-based offering in banking, data and energy, natural resources, and mining. They are particularly strong in the field of intellectual property, with a total of four listings.
Partner Folasade Olusanya, who heads the corporate commercial department at the firm, ranks highly in the M&A and governance chapter. Obafemi Agaba performs well in the data chapter thanks to his excellent work in the field. Koye Edu and Afolasade Olowe are both held in high esteem for their corporate immigration practice.
Full-service domestic outfit Olaniwun Ajayi enjoys a position as one of the leading law firms in Nigeria. It showcases the depth of expertise on offering in our research this year, achieving 19 listings across six different chapters.
Corporate finance is an area of excellence for the firm, particularly in relation to M&A and governance matters, where it sees five impressive lawyers recognised in our corresponding chapters. The practitioners are commended for their expert handling of complex transactions, corporate compliance and governance structures. The firm also performs well in the banking and capital markets arena, where it achieves four and two listings in our respective chapters.
Project finance is a further area of strength for the firm. The group is well versed in advising a range of clients on finance raising, project development and construction matters, most notably across the power and infrastructure sectors.
Standout individuals at the firm include Tominiyi Owolabi, who is one of the foremost M&A and governance lawyers in the country. Wolemi Esan is considered a leading light in the areas of corporate finance, energy and natural resources, and projects, while managing partner Konyinsola Ajayi SAN illustrates the strength of his first-class practice with listings across six areas of law.
Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie stands out as one of the most prominent law firms in the Nigerian market. It illustrates its dominant position in our research this year with 28 listings across 11 practice areas – more listings than any other firm in this edition.
Corporate finance is a key strength for the firm. Six exceptional lawyers are commended for their excellence in M&A and governance matters spanning mergers, restructurings, foreign investment and related compliance issues. The firm also excels when it comes to banking and finance, capital markets, and corporate tax law, reflected in the recognition its lawyers receive in our corresponding chapters.
The firm performs well across our energy, natural resources and mining, and project finance chapters, in which it receives four listings apiece. The team is well equipped to assist domestic and foreign clients on investment structuring, finance raising and project development across an array of sectors including oil and gas, power and infrastructure.
Star individuals at the firm include Folake Elias-Adebowale, who sits among the foremost corporate finance lawyers in the country, while Mena Ajakpovi is recognised as a top name for intellectual property law. Myma Belo-Osagie is highly respected for her leading work in the energy, projects and M&A space, while Dan Agbor showcases the great breadth of his expertise with listings across six chapters: banking; capital markets; M&A and governance; labour and employment; project finance and energy; and natural resources and mining.