Chambers Global 2017 ranking of Nigeria’s best law firms and lawyers has been released today by Chambers & Partners (www.chambersandpartners.com). The Chambers Global directory, published every year by Chambers & Partners, is a rating of leading law firms and lawyers in various practice areas such as Banking and Finance, Corporate/Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Energy and Natural Resources as well as Intellectual Property.
Chambers’ directories are considered a go-to guide for clients in search of the best lawyers and law firms across the globe. The rankings are the product of extensive research conducted by a team of nearly 200 researchers, covering over 200 territories.
A total of 29 Nigerian law firms are featured in the Chambers Global 2017 ranking. Chambers said Nigeria is a bustling legal market. Since 2000 when the first directory was published, the number of law firms and lawyers in the annual directory has continued to increase. With the inclusion of Intellectual Property practice area in 2016, the coverage of the Nigerian legal market has become more extensive, as the country entered the league of titans of commercial law on the African continent alongside Kenya and South Africa.
“By covering more practice areas, we have a chance to speak to a broader variety of people – lawyers and clients – and it is these voices that give us a direct route to the pulse of the Nigerian market,” said Rachel Annandale, Deputy Editor of Chambers Global.
Chambers said the diversity of practice areas supports the economic diversification agenda of the Nigerian government. A number of sectors in the economy are emerging, including the financial services sector where Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of local fintech start-ups over the past three years, as the country became a favourite destination for venture capital investment in Africa.
Chambers added that as long as the rule of law plays a central role in the Nigerian business environment, law firms will be consulted on new developments in all sectors. Lawyers and law firms have an important role in helping investors interpret and navigate regulatory guidelines for structuring transactions in relevant sectors. Recently, improvements in Nigeria’s legal system and regulatory environment have led to resolution of disputes between some major multinationals and regulators in the country.
The Nigerian law firms and lawyers are ranked in categories or bands, with Band 1 having the highest rating. For instance, top-ranked law firms in Band 1 under the Banking and Finance sector are Aluko & Oyebode, Banwo & Ighodalo, G. Elias & Co., Olaniwun Ajayi LP and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie. Jackson, Etti and Edu emerged as the only first-tier firm under the Intellectual Property sector.
Only four law firms feature in all five practice areas covered by the ranking. The law firms are Aluko & Oyebode, one of the largest integrated law firms in Nigeria; Banwo & Ighodalo, leading Nigerian corporate law firm; G. Elias and Co, one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms; and AELEX, a full service commercial and litigation law firm. Jackson, Etti and Edu is ranked in all practice areas, except Energy and Natural Resources.
Apart from the aforementioned firms, other leading Nigerian law firms in the ranking are Templars, Detail Commercial Solicitors; F.O. Akinrele & Co; Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore; ACAS-Law (Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun); Ajumogobia & Okeke; Odujinrin & Adefufu; Stillwaters Law Firm; Abdulahi, Taiwo & Co; O. Kayode & Co; George Ikoli & Okagbue. Others are Wole Olanipekun & Co; Giwa-Osagie & Co; Olajide Oyewole & Co; Solola & Akpana; Allan & Ogunkeye; Kola Awodein & Co; Strachan Partners; Babalakin & Co; SPA Ajibade & Co; Advocaat Law Practice; and Streamsowers & Köhn.
Some of Nigeria’s best lawyers, according to Chambers Global 2017, are Dan Agbor, Managing Partner at Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie; Dr. Konyinsola Ajayi, Managing Partner at Olaniwun Ajayi LP; Prof. Gbolahan Elias, Principal Partner at G. Elias & Co; Asue Ighodalo, Partner at Banwo & Ighodalo; Gbenga Oyebode, Managing Partner at Aluko & Oyebode; Dosekun Kofo, Partner at Aluko & Oyebode; Ayuli Jemide, Lead Partner at Detail Commercial Solicitors; and Funke Adekoya, Partner at AELEX.
Akpana T. Iboroma, Managing Partner at Solola & Akpana, is classified as an Eminent Practitioner by Chambers & Partners.
Some lawyers moved up in the ranking over the last year, notably Olanipekun Wole, Principal Partner at Wole Olanipekun & Co; and Dolapo Kukoyi, Partner at Detail Commercial Solicitors. Meanwhile, new entrants in the ranking this year include Nwokedi Afamefuna Francis, Principal Counsel at Stillwaters Law Firm; and Nwokocha Uche, Partner at Aluko & Oyebode.
Up-and-coming Partners in the Energy and Natural Resources sector is Stella Duru of Banwo & Ighodalo. Ogunbanjo Aderemi of Odujinrin & Adefulu is an associate to watch in the same sector.
Chambers also noted that there has been a growing interest from law firms who want to be featured in the annual rankings.
“Many firms want to be ranked, but no firm can buy their way into a ranking. We explain our methodology frequently, and there’s no substitute for good research. Clients have a lot of choice in the market, so they deserve rigorous research before deciding who to work with,” the Deputy Editor of Chambers Global said.
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