ǼLEX law firm is one of the largest most diversified law practices in West Africa.
It providescorporate and commercial legal services that include, transactional, regulatory and policy matters. Litigation and dispute resolution services in the corporate and commercial space are also offered.
Clients are predominantly multinational companies. They include banks and multilateral lenders, oil and gas companies, oil service companies, telecommunication companies, insurance companies, trading and manufacturing conglomerates, project owners, EPC contractors, airlines and shipping companies. It also advises foreign embassies, multilateral agencies and chambers of commerce.
Its lawyers are admitted to practice in several jurisdictions including Nigeria, New York, Texas, Ghana, England and Wales. Its lawyers are also qualified in political science, economics and engineering disciplines and posses skills and experience from their involvement in major transactions and projects.
Regular interaction with industry operators means advice is offered in anticipation of, and consistent with, changes in policy and regulation.
Global Rankings and Accolades
ǼLEX has frequently achieved top tier rankings by international directory platforms including: Legal 500, Chambers Global Guide, IFLR 1000's Guide to World’s Leading Law Firms and the Who’s Who Legal Nigeria Firm of the Year (this was achieved a record five consecutive times).
With data protection laws falling into place globally so too is Nigeria working on ensuring compliance. ǼLEX associates Kanyinsola Ojeshina and Florence Bola-Balogun explain the intricacies of the draft implementation framework informing individuals and corporations of compliance requirements. Read more here
MTN in Nigeria has 60.3million subscribers many of them unbanked. Now this powerful telco has been granted a “super licence” enabling it to offer financial services. ǼLEX associate Kanyinsola Ojeshina considers what this means for grassroots communities and traditional banks.
***Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade becomes first African world trade board member
Dr Adesegun A Akin-Olugbade, International Counsel at ǼLEX, has been appointed as a member of the World Trade Board joining 20 global trade and finance leaders and becoming the first from Africa.
The World Trade Board, initiated by Finastra, comprises global leaders, innovative thinkers, industry influencers and experts in trade, finance and commerce.
Dr Akin-Olugbade is an international legal and finance expert, combining academic qualification and professional distinction with legal skill, extensive transactional experience and corporate governance expertise.
He said, “The appointment of the first African to The World Trade Board comes at a most auspicious time, with the formal launch of the operational phase of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which has established a continental free trade area for Africa’s 1.2 billion people, with a combined GDP of US$2.3 trillion.”
Before joining ǼLEX he was with the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, the Africa Finance Corporation and the African Export-Import Bank in Egypt.
Simon Paris, Chair of the World Trade Board and Chief Executive at Finastra said, “With protectionism looming large around the world, and ever-increasing regulation throwing up new challenges, global trade is in a state of flux. In this unchartered environment, the Board’s common vision of collaborative, connected, inclusive trade – enabled by the latest business technologies – has never been more important. We welcome Dr Akin-Olugbade to our cohort as we continue to strive towards driving open trade for the benefit of all.”
***The deferment of the new free float rules bu the Nigerian stock exchange: What Nigerian investors should know
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has deferred the introduction of its Free Float rules but, warns ǼLEX associate Kofoworola Oyegunle, it would be wise for investors to understand the regulations and ensure they comply.
***Cybercrime and Cybersecurity: FinTech’s Greatest Challenges
There are two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be, former FBI director Robert Mueller said. ǼLEX associate Ademola Adeyoju describes the landscape where cybercrime thrives and advises businesses what they can do to protect themselves.
ǼLEX hosts banking and finance roundtable: Unlocking DFI funding for the private sector
In Nigeria traditional bank financing for projects is proving steadily more difficult to access as interest rates for naira loans remain high and obtaining US dollar loans becomes difficult.
This has led investors and sponsors to a search for non-traditional sources of financing for their projects.
It was along these lines that ǼLEX hosted a roundtable which brought together stakeholders and project sponsors for discussions on how to structure and pitch projects that attract funding from development finance institutions (The Roundtable).
The Roundtable was co-ordinated by Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade, the firm’s International Counsel. Dr Akin-Olugbade has more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession and financial services sector and was the General Counsel of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He has also served as the Chief Legal Officer of the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM), Africa’s leading trade finance institution. Most recently he served as Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Africa’s foremost infrastructure development financing institution.
Guests benefited from the insightful presentations and contributions from ǼLEX partners like Mr Lawrence Fubara Anga and Mr Olusina Sipasi of the firm’s Banking and Finance and Capital Markets practices.
***An overview of Big Data and data protection in Nigeria
The world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information and its huge value has made it attractive to governments, companies and even hackers. In this article, Davidson Oturu, a partner at ǼLEX Legal Practitioners and Arbitrators, gives a summary of where Nigeria stands on data protection and privacy. He notes that data protection is an extension of a citizen’s right to privacy under the Nigerian Constitution. He also highlights other laws and regulations on data protection and concludes that all transactions on personal data must comply with the existing regulations.
Strong Men vs Strong Institutions: Strengthening Democracy in Africa.
The ǼLEX annual lecture, themed Strong Men vs Strong Institutions: Strengthening Democracy in Africa, was held on July 3, 2019 at the Muson Centre in Lagos.
The guest speaker was Professor Patrick LO Lumumba, former Director of Kenya’s Anti- Corruption Commission and the Kenya School of Law, while the Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, chaired.
The lecture is among the biggest Corporate Social Intervention projects by a law firm in Nigeria due to the nature of topics addressed.
In 2019, the brand of democracy obtainable in Africa was examined through the topic “Strong Men vs Strong Institutions”. Some of the leadership challenges faced by African countries were discussed by the panel with a view to proffering solutions.
Watch Professor Patrick LO Lumumba's interview with ARISE TV about the eventhere
***Fintech Regulations in Nigeria- An Overview (Part 2)
Fintech testing and data protection are front of mind for Nigerian regulators. ǼLEX partner Davidson Oturu works with Associates Hannatu Dan-Habu and Kanyinsola Ojeshina to reflect on existing laws affecting Fintech and warns that there are more to come.
***A Discourse on the Intellectual Property Aspect of Big Data
Big Data is the new oil, writes ǼLEX's Ademola Adeyoju. As it swells to a size almost incomprehensible to human thought, so too will the law need to keep pace with the challenges it presents. Intellectual property and privacy laws and business processes will need to be adjusted to keep pace but, maybe, entirely new systems are needed to cope with the prospects and challenges it presents.
It seems common sense that fines and penalties would not be tax deductible. Nevertheless there are high-stake battles being fought between the Nigerian taxman and major corporations on the issue. ǼLEX associate Temiloluwa Oladele examines the legal technicalities. Read more here
ǼLEX is delighted to announce that Funke Adekoya, SAN, was crowned winner of the Partner of the Year Award at the African Legal Awards 2019.
The African Legal Awards recognises exceptional achievement in Africa’s legal services industry.
The scoring criteria include the contestant’s track record of exemplary leadership, strong legal skills, resourcefulness which has led to successes, upright client management practices, and measurable contributions to the wider community.
Funke in over 40 years' of practice has received considerable recognition and numerous awards for excellence in the commercial litigation and corporate dispute resolution areas. She leads a team at ǼLEX that represents businesses in various sectors.
The awards ceremony took place in Johannesburg on Friday 6 September 2019.
***The review of the framework and guidelines for the use of social media platforms by public institutions
Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency has issued guidelines on the use of social media by public institutions. This is to prevent institutional harm. ǼLEX associate Tobiloba Oluleye welcomes the regulations and warns non-compliance could lead to sanction.
ǼLEX associate Onyinyechi Iwuoha seconded to Latham & Watkins (London) under the ILFA flagship secondment programme (IFSP)
We are delighted to announce that Onyinyechi Iwuoha, an Associate in ǼLEX’s Banking and Finance Practice Group, has been selected for the ILFA Flagship Secondment Programme (IFSP). Under the IFSP she will be seconded to Latham & Watkins (London) from September to December 2019.
Onyinyechi, an outstanding Associate, has been ranked as a Rising Star by IFLR 1000, the guide to the world’s leading financial and corporate law firms. Mrs Iwuoha frequently advises Nigerian and international clients on complex loan transactions and supervises other associates in ǼLEX’s Banking and Finance Practice Group.
The IFSP is an annual international secondment programme where lawyers practising in Africa are selected for a three month secondments to highly reputed law firms and corporations in London, Paris, Lisbon or Dubai.
***ǼLEX recognised as Nigerian ‘Law Firm of the Year’ by Who’s Who Legal(WWL) 2019
We are delighted to announce that ǼLEX has, once again, been recognised as Nigeria’s ‘Law Firm of the Year’ by Who’s Who Legal (WWL).
The firm was recognised at the WWL’s sixth annual ceremony held on May 16, 2019 at the Gibson Hall in London.
This is the sixth time the firm has won this award - recognition for its exceptional quality of work over the past year.
Partner, Davidson Oturu, received the award on behalf of the firm.
Partner ‘Soji Awogbade, who heads the firm’s Energy Practice, was recognised as one of the Thought Leaders Global Elite for Energy law from Nigeria.
ǼLEX Managing Partner, Theophilus Emuwa, said it was an honour to be recognised again by Who’s Who Legal as the top law firm from in Nigeria.
“We understand that this recognition speaks to the quality of legal services we deliver,” he said.
***Spotlight on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is intended to stimulate economic growth by encouraging trade between African nations. However, Nigeria, which has the biggest economy on the continent, has not yet bought into the idea. ǼLEX's Tobiloba Oluleye explains the thinking behind Nigeria’s cautious position.
***Facebook to launch its Digital Currency, Libra. Implications for Africa
The launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency might herald a new way of doing global business but there are some big questions that still need answers. ǼLEX associates Hannatu Dan-Habu, Tobiloba Oluleye and Kanyinsola Ojeshina look at the hard issues in this analysis of the new “Libra” coin.
The taxman could soon use citizens‘ electronic banking information to ensure they are registered and paying tax in Lagos State. In this article, ǼLEX associate Florence Bola-Balogun outlines the motivation behind the move and the logistics that will impact bank clients.