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Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
Project Finance 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gbolahan Elias SAN is a key player in the Nigerian market who regularly advises lenders and borrowers on project financings across various sectors, from energy to real estate.

Biography

Gbolahan Elias is a partner at G. Elias & Co., a leading business law firm in Lagos. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981 and to the New York Bar in 1990. He read law with distinction at the University of Oxford and holds a doctorate in it from that university. 

He has been advising leading international and Nigerian banks on large and complex upstream oil-and-gas sector project financings for joint ventures operated by sector giants with global operations (such as Shell, Exxonmobil and Chevron entities) as well as for Nigerian independents. 

For nearly two decades he has also been advising on SEMINAL project financings in many sub-sectors: the electric power (e.g. Genesis at the Port Harcourt Refinery), rail (e.g. the Lagos Metro Red Line), roads (e.g. the Lekki Toll Road), airports (e.g. the Lagos MMA2 Terminal), ports (E.G. for inspection equipment For COTECNA at the Lagos Ports) and shopping malls (e.g. the Ikeja Mall at Alausa) sub-sectors. 

His current work includes advising on projects for the development of building materials and hotels. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a Visiting Professor of law at Babcock University, Ilishan, and the Chancellor of the Lagos State University (recently recognized internationally as the nation’s second finest). 

National Leader

Nigeria - Banking 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gbolahan Elias SAN is a distinguished banking lawyer with an excellent reputation thanks to his strong practice spanning a range of transactions, such as oil and gas project financings.

Biography

Gbolahan Elias is a partner in G Elias & Co., one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. He has been a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 15 years and is a member of several distinguished professional bodies. These include the International Academy of Defense Counsel and the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also a fellow of both the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

He read law at Oxford University and was called to the New York Bar in 1990. His work is recognized and commended in leading directories such as The Legal 500IFLR 1000 and Chambers Global.

He advises on both banking transactions and banking regulation. He has advised on large, complex and seminal financings of the operations, projects and acquisitions of leading players in the real estate, telecommunications, electric power, transport, manufacturing and oil-and-gas sectors.

Much of his recent banking work has involved advising international banks lending US dollar sums over 1bn in each case to vehicles including leading global production oil-and-gas companies and state-owned entities. He has also been advising Nigerian privately-owned oil producers on major US dollar borrowings.

Nigeria - Capital Markets 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gbolahan Elias SAN draws widespread praise for his immense experience and expertise in the capital markets arena.

Biography

Gbolahan Elias is a partner in G Elias & Co., one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. He has been a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 15 years and is a member of several distinguished professional bodies. These include the International Academy of Defense Counsel and the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also a fellow of both the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

He read law at Oxford University and was called to the New York Bar in 1990. His work is recognized and commended in leading directories such as The Legal 500IFLR 1000 and Chambers Global.

He has advised on pioneering offerings such as the first-ever Nigerian residential mortgage-backed securities offering, STRIP securities offering, Eurobond and gaming industry initial equity public offering. He has also advised on the formation of what is today by far the largest debt securities market in Nigeria, the FMDQ.

He has also advised on several large and unique offerings such as the largest bond offering ever by a Federal parastatal (AMCON) and on the first equity offering to be listed simultaneously on securities exchanges in three different countries. He counselled the stockbrokers professional body on the legal aspects of the demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Nigeria - Litigation 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gbolahan Elias SAN is a top-class litigation and arbitration expert, with a special focus on representing clients in energy and taxation matters.

Biography

Gbolahan Elias is a partner in G Elias & Co., one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. He has been a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 15 years and is a member of several distinguished professional bodies. These include the International Academy of Defense Counsel and the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also a fellow of both the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

He read law at Oxford University and was called to the New York Bar in 1990. His work is recognized and commended in leading directories such as The Legal 500IFLR 1000 and Chambers Global.

He has been active in a wide range of major court business litigation in both trial and appellate courts for nearly three decades. In these cases, he has represented businesses both foreign and Nigerian, multilateral institutions, individuals and, occasionally, government clients in “must win”, complex and large cases.

His most significant recent work has been as counsel in major arbitrations against the Federal Government at the ICC in London and at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. He also sits on arbitral panels as an arbitrator, and advises individuals and businesses facing hostile investigations.

Nigeria - M&A and Governance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gbolahan Elias SAN comes highly recommended as a M&A specialist by market sources who laud him as the go-to expert for domestic and international clients.

Biography

Gbolahan Elias is a partner in G Elias & Co., one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. He has been a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 15 years and is a member of several distinguished professional bodies. These include the International Academy of Defense Counsel and the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also a fellow of both the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

His work is recognized and commended in leading directories such as The Legal 500IFLR 1000 and Chambers Global.

He has advised on major M&A deals with a wide range of deal structures and key issues, and in virtually every sector: insurance; oilfield service; banking; gaming; building materials; oil exploration and production; consumer goods; electric power; transport; media and entertainment; hospitality; real estate; and telecommunications.

He has also been a significant thought-leader publishing major papers in this field as well as working to establish the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section of Business Law Committee on Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Re-organizations. He was the first chairman of that Committee.

Nigeria - Project Finance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Gbolahan Elias SAN has a “well-versed knowledge” of project finance in Nigeria and regularly leads his firm in financially advising high-profile oil and gas companies.

Biography

Gbolahan Elias is a partner in G Elias & Co., one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. He has been a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 15 years and is a member of several distinguished professional bodies. These include the International Academy of Defense Counsel and the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also a fellow of both the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

He read law at Oxford University and was called to the New York Bar in 1990. His work is recognized and commended in leading directories such as The Legal 500IFLR 1000 and Chambers Global.

Gbolahan has advised clients on significant transactions and disputes in most sectors of the Nigerian economy. Nearly every year for the past decade, he has advised on oil-and-gas sector financings to global players’ joint ventures each for over US$700million.

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