Ms Stella Duru is one of six female partners in Banwo & Ighodalo (B&I), and currently the only female partner in the firm’s energy practice group. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Lagos, where she served as vice president of the Law Society, and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 2001. That year Stella began her law career at B&I, where she undertook her mandatory one-year national service; she was then retained as an associate at the firm and after two years became a team leader. A couple of years later, following a rigorous selection process involving lawyers working in-house, in private practice and at government agencies across the continent, Stella was named the best candidate in Africa and was enrolled on to the nine-week visiting lawyer internship at Edward Nathan Pty Ltd in Johannesburg. Stella was successively promoted to counsel and counsel at B&I, before her admission to the partnership on 1 March 2012.
Stella’s core areas of practice are energy and natural resources, project finance, corporate finance, corporate and commercial law, and mergers and acquisitions. In her 18 years at B&I, Stella Duru has advised several local and multinational entities on matters pertaining to the legal and regulatory framework for doing business in Nigeria.
Stella is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association (section on energy and natural resources law), and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. She is also an associate of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (affiliated with the Aspen Institute) and WimBiz, an association of women in management, business and public service.
Stella Duru is renowned for her top-tier energy practice, which covers projects and transactions across the oil and gas and power sectors.
Ms Stella Duru is one of six female partners of Banwo & Ighodalo (B&I) and the only female partner in the firm’s energy practice group. She attended the prestigious Queen’s College (Lagos) and obtained her law degree from the University of Lagos, where she was vice president of the Law Society as well as a member of the Law Ladies Committee and AISEC. She was called to the Nigerian Bar on 23 January 2001.
Stella joined B&I in 2001, shortly after being called to the bar as a member of the National Service Youth Corps. From the start of her legal career, Stella advised local and international companies on the legal and regulatory framework for doing business in Nigeria. Particularly, she advised on the incorporation, shareholding structures and ongoing operations of companies in Nigeria. She was very integral in advising on company law matters particularly as they related to provisions in the Companies and Allied Matters Act, and the Act’s impact on the rights of companies and shareholders in companies carrying on business in Nigeria. In 2003, after two years as a junior associate, Stella was promoted to associate and became B&I team leader. Two years later, following a rigorous and deeply intellectual interviewing selection process (which involved lawyers from private practice and government agencies all over Africa, as well as in-house counsel), Stella was selected as the best candidate in Africa for the nine-weeks African visiting-lawyer internship at Edward Nathan Pty Ltd in Johannesburg, South Africa. In recognition of her excellence and unrivalled dedication and loyalty to the firm and all that it stands for, Stella was admitted to the partnership (following her promotion to counsel, then senior counsel), on 1 March 2012.
Stella’s core areas of practice are energy and natural resources; project finance; corporate finance; corporate and commercial law; and M&A. With her experience in project finance, she leads teams involved in financing deals undertaken by oil, gas and power companies. Stella has deep experience in oil, gas and power projects in Nigeria and has been involved in World Bank-sponsored work streams advising on national reforms in the power sector. Stella continues to advise on transactions along the entire value chain of generation, transmission and distribution, and deals pertaining to IPPs, and off-grid and on-grid solutions to the power deficit in Nigeria. She is very passionate about monetising and using the national natural gas resources in order to get Nigeria powered up. She is currently leading the firm’s initiative on renewable energy transactions and private equity deals, and has been instrumental in helping investors understand the legal and regulatory framework for doing business in Nigeria, with a particular focus on start-ups across all sectors.
Stella has authored articles in leading legal publications and is a key higher-education resource for aspiring lawyers. She is regularly invited as a speaker at national and international conferences and seminars, including those held at the Harvard Business School and Power Africa. Stella is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association (section on energy and natural resources law) and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. She is also an associate of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (affiliated with the Aspen Institute) and Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ).