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Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal

Global Leader

Energy 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

NJ Ayuk is a "big name" in the African market, with experience advising international and domestic companies on structuring and implementing natural resources projects. 


Mr NJ Ayuk is the CEO of Centurion Law Group, a pan-African legal and advisory conglomerate with its headquarters in South Africa and offices in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon and Mauritius. His experience includes advising major companies on investment strategies, the establishment of joint ventures and cooperation structures, privatisation, licensing and related tax matters, OHADA law, oil and gas, power, local content development, litigation, contracts negotiation, governance and other matters pertaining to Africa’s energy sector.
He is particularly active in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of petroleum, mining, LNG, and other natural resource projects for leading private operators in Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, Uganda, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Nigeria, Senegal and other sub-Saharan countries. His experience has included facilitating and negotiating PSCs, EPSAs, JOAs, service agreements, concessions, oilfield service and drilling contracts, and dealing with licensing and pipeline and marine transportation issues, including the sale and transportation of LNG, in over 15 African countries.
As part of his most recent work on African content development, he has advised the Ministry of Petroleum and Energies of Senegal, the Ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan and the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea on their national local content implementation strategies. He has also been part of the most strategic investments and projects shaping Africa’s energy sector in recent years, including the drafting of South Sudan’s first exploration and production sharing agreement and the launch of Equatorial Guinea’s offshore gas mega hub in 2019, the first such project on the African continent.
Drawing from past experience working with the United Nations, he advises governments on judicial modernisation, rule of law issues, and the training of African judges, prosecutors and lawyers on a pro bono basis. Mr Ayuk regularly participates in industry-specific conferences and seminars as a speaker and moderator.
In order to bring the African legal industry into the 21st century, he launched in 2018 CenturionPlus, Africa’s first lawyers and advisors on demand service offering that lets companies and investors scale their legal teams up and down according to their corporate and project requirements.
Since 2018, he is also the executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber where he leads continent-wide efforts to build domestic capacity and advocate for a stronger and more united African energy industry.
Mr Ayuk is recommended in Chambers, Who's Who Legal, and Forbes Magazine. He is also the author of the industry best-seller, Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity,  which recaptures the narrative on Africa’s oil and gas sector to provide a more objective and balanced picture of the industry’s benefits for African economies and entrepreneurs.
He graduated from University of Maryland College Park and earned a JD from William Mitchell College of Law in the United States. He holds an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology and is an active member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), the Institute for Energy Law (IEL) and the Petroleum Joint Venture Association (PJVA).
His second book, Billions at Play: The Future of Africa Energy and Doing Deals, will be published at the end of 2019.

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