Global Rankings

Corporate/Commercial in Nigeria

Ranking Tables

Nigeria is defined as a frontier market by MCSI and is a prominent emerging market in Africa, with a considerable amount of economic activity taking place in the country. It is home to the largest population on the continent, with one of the world’s fastest growing middle classes driving its consumer goods market. It is also Africa’s largest producer and exporter of oil, with a thriving natural resources industry. Following a recession in 2016, the country has continued to see investment and commercial activity, bolstering optimism in the economy. Private equity has recently seen an uptake as more and more investors look to the country as a sound investment. Aligning with social trends, the consumer goods industry has been on the rise to cater for the country’s growing population. There have also been significant updates to legislation regarding company law, competition and consumer protection.

The Nigeria Corporate/ Commercial rankings table covers M&A, corporate governance, restructuring, tax and private equity. It also includes areas such as non-contentious Competition/ Antitrust. Transactions in the natural resources space are considered in the Projects & Energy section, with scope for transactions, for example, in TMT to be considered separately for that should we determine it necessary to introduce ranking tables for different industries. The development of further tables in this regard depends on the development of the legal market and the feedback we receive.

The work given most credence is high-value M&A, with this work most often being domestic in nature. Firms also often advise on the Nigerian aspects of multinational transactions, which frequently take place across multiple African jurisdictions. In this regard, compliance with national regulations can also be a key component. In keeping with current trends, there has also been an uptick in private equity matters, resulting in another prominent tranche of work.

The market is dominated by full-service domestic firms, with little on-the-ground presence from internationals, though firms are often part of networks or alliances that give them greater resources to international counsel. The Experts Based Abroad table demonstrates that there is international expertise in the jurisdiction – predominantly from London – with clients well-catered for by local players.