Managing Partner: Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN
Partners: Oluseye Opasanya, SAN, Dr Tominiyi Owolabi, Yimika Phillips, Dr Khrushchev Ekwueme, Muyiwa Balogun, Wolemi Esan, Toyosi Alabi, Ore Olajide, Edem Andah, Yewande Senbore, Anuoluwapo Balogun, Ibi Ogunbiyi
Number of partners: 13
Number of lawyers: Approx. 80
Languages: English, French, German
Olaniwun Ajayi LP is a leading law firm with a broad financial, corporate, energy and natural resources, and regulatory advisory practice areas. With over fifty years’ experience in helping organisations, governments and individuals achieve their goals; the firm has developed expertise in sophisticated commercial transactions, a fact illustrated by a track record of involvement in some of the largest and most complex transactions across many sectors of the Nigerian economy. The firm is a pan-African practice with lawyers who are qualified in multiple jurisdictions, including Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the State of New York. Over the years, the firm has acted for some of the biggest corporations in Africa and across the globe, equipping it with a good mix of local knowledge and international expertise. This enables the firm to provide its clients with the bespoke service expected of a top commercial law firm providing value for money while keeping abreast of the dynamic pace of the business world. The fulcrum of the firm’s strategy is the assiduous protection of its clients’ interests, employing sound judgment and innovative tools for reducing, mitigating, and where possible, eliminating the risks involved in the various aspects of their businesses. The firm is a pacesetter; strategically positioned to offer legal services on all matters related to, arising from, and ancillary to commercial enterprises, from start to finish.
Main Areas of Practice:
-Administrative & Constitutional
-Banking & Finance
-Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency
-Entertainment Leisure & Media
-Information Technology & FinTech
-Infrastructure & PPPs
-Legislative & Regulatory Reform
-Licensing & Regulatory Compliance
-Mergers & Acquisitions
-Oil & Gas
-Transportation (Aviation, Shipping & Inland Transport)
Banking & Finance:
The firm remains one of Nigeria’s foremost commercial law firms, at the cutting edge of banking and finance work in the country and on the continent. With a dedicated team of experts in diverse aspects of finance, the firm routinely advises domestic and international commercial lenders, DFIs, governments and supranationals, as well as some of the largest corporations on various market defining deals. The firm advised a syndicate of lenders in connection with the financing and restructuring of a USD 600 million multicurrency facility granted to Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited. The firm also advised the Bank of Industry in connection with its USD 500 million facility form the AFREXIM.
Highly regarded for its expertise in capital markets transactions, The firm recently advised Seplat Petroleum development PLC, an indigenous oil and gas company on a $350 million USD Eurobond. Also advised on the Viathan Funding PLC guaranteed NGN50 Billion bond issuance programme.
The firm is a leader in the Nigerian power industry, where it is widely recognised as a pioneer, having advised on the Lagos/ Enron IPP and several other pre-reform IPPs. In the wake of the industry reforms and privatisation, the firm advised on 75% of the power assets privatised by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It has also advised on the development of the new wave of IPPs being developed, including the landmark 459MW Azura-Edo IPP and more recently, the 540MW Qua-Ibue IPP in Akwa-Ibom State, and a proposed gas fired IPP in Abia State, as well as a series of off-grid and renewable projects currently being developed in Northern Nigeria.
Infrastructure & PPPs:
Over the years, the firm has driven various infrastructure and construction projects in Nigeria, acting as legal counsel to project sponsors, as well as lenders and borrowers, on the foremost infrastructure projects in the country. It is currently advising on the proposed concession of the eastern and western railway lines by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the development of a deep sea port in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, the proposed concession of four federal airports, and a number of key toll road and bridge projects across the country, including the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project.
Oil & Gas:
Having pioneered some of the landmark transactions in the oil and gas space, the firm continues to provide support to different players in the oil and gas sector on all aspects of the oil and gas value chain. The team is currently advising the sponsors, on the construction of one of the first independent midstream gas processing facilities with a capacity of 200mmscf/day, a significant contribution to efforts towards bridging the nation’s energy demands.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
The firm’s M&A practice is diverse and has proven capabilities to provide first class legal advisory services to clients on transactions spanning various sectors of the economy. In particular, the footprints of the M&A practice in the financial services, healthcare and FMCG sectors run deep. As market leader, the firm advised on all the M&A deals resulting from the Nigerian banking sector reforms, as well as all subsequent bank mergers completed in this market since the banking sector reforms, and it remains trusted advisor to key market regulators. The firm recently advised Alta Semper Capital LLP on its acquisition of HealthPlus Limited.
The firm is a leading choice in providing representation on complex issues to key private sector participants – a highlight, this year, was the firm’s representation on a dispute regarding the largest FPSO in the World. In like fashion, the firm also represents key public sector agencies and continues to act as a trusted adviser to the Central Bank of Nigeria, AMCON and NDIC in their efforts to stabilise the Nigerian banking sector. The past year has seen the firm litigate novel issues of law before the appellate courts. At this crucial time in the Nigerian economy, the firm remains the top choice for complex debt recovery matters (well exemplified by the firm’s work in the receivership of Arik Air Limited – the largest and most complex receivership in Africa today).
Entertainment, Leisure & Media:
The firm’s entertainment, leisure and media practice advises players in the creative industry, including top Billboard artists and award winning players on a broad spectrum of offerings in the industry, including distribution agreements, record label agreements, production agreements and licensing agreements. The firm is currently advising a leading Nigerian music record label in relation to a distribution agreement with a major multinational record label. It is also currently advising on the acquisition of intellectual property rights in a foremost Nigerian record label by a leading international investment and advisory firm. The firm also assists clients in the media sector with raising equity from private equity firms and individual investors.
The firm’s intellectual property practice has a wealth of experience in intellectual property portfolio management and enforcement. The team advises local and international clients including Dangote Group, and Premier Lotto Limited, on global brand protection particularly across the African market. The firm has in depth experience in trademark, copyright and patent infringement cases and also routinely provide transaction support on acquisition of IP rights.
Technology, Innovation & FinTech:
The technology, innovation and fintech practice advises emerging growth companies as well as established corporates and financial services firms in the tech space on all transactional, regulatory and legal issues. The firm offers support to top market leaders including payment service providers, search engine operators, DFIs, cloud processing companies and retail lenders on interests in Nigerian tech businesses.
The firm’s dedicated tax practice is able to combine technical excellence with operational, commercial, and practical approach, to achieve optimal results for its clients. The firm’s in-depth understanding of domestic and cross-border fiscal policies and taxation issues is deployed to support and grow businesses; manage tax compliance and reporting obligations; amicably resolve tax disputes; and plan and structure transactions in the most-efficient tax manner.