Admiralty and Maritime Law
The carriage of goods by sea is indispensable to the global movement of goods in international trade and trumps all other modes of transport in terms of volume and weight.
We understand the challenges involved in doing business and navigating the complex issues of the maritime industry. As a team, we have the breadth of experience in diverse areas of law and the unique ability to deal with any shipping-related matter, from the most complex structured finance to anti-competitive actions, from ship conversion disputes to offshore disputes and any dispute arising at any stage of the transport and trading chain, and from the current environmental regulation to the digitalization of the entire industry.
Whether you are a ship owner, vessel builder, charterer, trader, insurer, operator, stevedores, classification society, non-vessel-owning common carriers or financier; our multijurisdictional insight and cross-sector understanding of the complex nature of admiralty and maritime law places us in a great position to offer pragmatic, commercially-focused advice.
We provide effective enforcement measures including but not limited to ship arrests, liens, freezing orders and emergency court procedures.
In non-contentious matters, we advise on and draft user agreements, time and voyage charter party contracts and related standard terms and conditions, ship sales and purchases, ship and bareboat registration, shipbuilding contracts, ship title search and documentations, collateral management agreement, registration and notation of mortgages, and marine insurance.
We work in conjunction with lawyers in our insurance, energy and natural resources practice areas to provide cross-sector support to those who rely on, support and facilitate marine transportation.
Our practice offering encompasses a detailed knowledge and understanding of the aviation industry derived from our experience acting for a myriad of aviation businesses. These include airlines, leasing companies, banks and financiers, aviation insurers and brokers, travel agents, service providers, and trade associations.
Considering the multi-jurisdictional nature of this sector, we have experienced aviation lawyers and affiliates in other jurisdictions with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities that may be available. This means we can be on hand when and where our clients need us.
Our advice reflects the realities of this specialised sector and covers the entire breadth of aviation issues including but not limited to emergency response and liability, as well as non-contentious work including finance, regulation and employment.
We also provide guidance on operational issues that are common to every business, including but not limited to contracts, imports/exports, environmental issues, restructuring and insolvency, insurance, intellectual property, public policy, security and taxation.
In addition to our transactional work, we provide a comprehensive range of litigation and dispute management services. We advise owners, lessors, lender and guarantors in the planning and exercise of remedies pertaining to delinquent or defaulted financing, including the pursuit of actions for damages or specific performance in courts of competent jurisdiction and arbitration tribunals.
Banking and Finance
We provide exceptional transactional banking and finance practice with high-end expertise in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary approach.
We offer a responsive, partner-led involvement from the onset backed up by a comprehensive team of specialists covering all aspects of corporate, finance, regulatory and capital markets law.
Our multi-jurisdictional capacity and technical expertise enables us to provide a global perspective coupled with an understanding of local client needs. As a result, we are able to assist our clients navigate the evolving progress in the industry, including increased regulation, structural changes challenging traditional banking models and the increment in use of technology.
We provide comprehensive advice on a broad range of matters, including:
- General corporate lending
- Acquisition/leveraged finance
- Asset-based finance (ABL)
- Digital financial services
- Structured finance including project finance and public-private partnerships
- Real estate finance
- Corporate restructuring and recovery
- Swaps and Derivatives
- Security perfection
- Financial regulatory investigations and dispute management
We deliver comprehensive and fully integrated solutions by drawing on the support of specialist legal expertise from other practice areas including but not limited to tax, IP, real estate, and dispute management.
We provide an integrated and unique commercial offering to clients including large corporations, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), innovative start-ups looking to disrupt the market, and professional practices across a wide range of industry sectors.
Our sector approach means we have a deep understanding of how businesses operate and comprehend the key business drivers applicable to our clients’ sectors. This enables us to guide our clients through the entire life cycle of their business, providing practical and cost-effective legal solutions to various business challenges.
In view of our extensive experience, we provide full commercial service to our clients in all forms of contracts and commercial agreements, including negotiation, bid advisory services, joint ventures, franchising, confidentiality agreements, joint study and bid agreement, joint operating agreement, sales and distribution agreements, supply services, manufacturing, and outsourcing.
Our Commercial practice group takes a cross-disciplinary approach in our engagements, because the path to success frequently is not linear, but one that demands careful coordinated efforts in different forums. Accordingly, this practice group works in conjunction with the firm’s other practice areas to provide a complete solution that fits into our clients’ wider business strategy, and the key risks and opportunities that this presents.
Corporate and M&A
We offer a unique combination of expert advice and distinctive service that meets the legal and commercial needs of our clients. We draw on the experience and expertise of our team to anticipate our clients’ legal needs and help our clients achieve their goals.
With lawyers who think and act beyond their traditional role, we have a deep understanding of today’s fast-paced and increasingly complex business environment. We apply that understanding and a commitment to provide outstanding service to ensure quality and value is delivered in every instance.
We are a relationship-driven firm and strive to develop enduring relationships with our clients by developing a deep understanding of their business needs applying our broad knowledge of the industry sectors in which they operate. As a result, we are well placed to provide pragmatic, commercially relevant advice through every stage of the company life-cycle. As a result, we are able to assist our clients achieve successful deal outcomes in all areas of our corporate practice, which include:
Closely-held and family-owned businesses
Franchise and distribution
General business counseling
Mergers and acquisitions
Public-private partnerships and ventures
With a valuable combination of global insight and local knowledge that enables us to handle all aspects of complex domestic and cross-border corporate transactions, we are well-placed to develop a deep understanding of our client’s business needs and to provide cost-effective, pragmatic advice on business development strategies.
Our corporate practice is fully integrated with our finance, corporate governance, dispute management, employment, real estate, tax, IT, IP, employment and pensions practices.
Our structure places our lawyers in different industry sectors based on their competence. We comprehend the pressures that our clients experience in the course of a transaction and the industry-specific issues critical to the success of a deal. We advise and support our clients through the life cycle of a deal-from due diligence and structuring, to negotiation and preparation of relevant documents, to post-transaction transition and post-merger integration. As M & A activities affect other areas of company law, our cross-disciplinary approach places us in a great position to address all aspects of M & A deal.
Corporate Governance and Compliance
With increased regulation, heightened disclosure requirements and stringent enforcement practices, companies are facing a more challenging terrain. No singular facet should be more important to a company than an effective corporate governance and compliance program. Indeed, it should be the bedrock upon which a company is established.
We have the depth of experience in corporate governance and compliance issues, and in a position to offer comprehensive counsel and representation to private and public companies concerning the regulatory landscape and best practice for corporate governance matters
Our team advises corporate boards of directors, audit and other committees of boards, and individuals in connection with:
- Contests for corporate control
- Director and officer indemnification and insurance
- Internal control and risk management systems
- Internal investigations
- Shareholder or government challenges to board authority
- Conflict of interest and related party transactions
- Other questions of director and office fiduciary responsibilities and liabilities
- Evolving trends and best practices for corporate governance.
We also have considerable experience in advising shareholders of listed and privately-held companies on best practice in relation to corporate governance issues, to wit:
- Defining the rules and establishing procedures for making decisions among stakeholders, board members, committees, managers and auditors;
- Defining the distribution of rights and responsibilities for stakeholders, board members, committees and managers; and
- How to implement structures for corporate governance to achieve shareholder objectives.
We provide assistance to our corporate clients on the following compliance issues:
- Compliance with the laws and regulations
- Insider trading considerations
- Preparation for annual meetings, including preparing proxy statements and annual reports and furnishing guidance regarding shareholder proposals
- Public disclosure of material developments and transactions.
Employment, Pensions and Incentives
We have an unrivalled knowledge and experience in employment and labour related matters, and therefore well-positioned to manage risk and find resolutions in relation to challenges from employment, incentives and pension matters, whether in a single jurisdiction or to support their cross-border operations.
We have significant experience derived from providing advice to the boards of listed and privately-held companies on employment issues, as well as the latest corporate governance and efficient policies to deal with any potential labour issues.
Our multi-disciplinary approach positions our pension lawyers to join the dots, contemplate the wider picture and think laterally and work in efficient, partner-led teams. Our team have the experience in developing and implementing cost-efficient reward, compensation arrangements and stock-based incentive schemes tailored to each client’s unique human resource and corporate strategy.
We also provide legal advisory with regard to issues involving discrimination, termination, restrictive covenants and other work-related claims.
We understand that effective personnel management is an important means of minimizing the number of lawsuits an employer faces and increases the likelihood of success when a suit is filed. We assist our clients in attaining that goal by ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations; and providing counsel on the increasing technical requirements of employment laws, regulations, and court decisions.
Considering a significant part of our practice involves managing employment disputes and unfair dismissals; we deploy all resources to ensure many of the matters in which we are involved achieve amicable solutions, and in the event that any of the matters including pension matters are placed before an adjudicator, we deploy our proven litigation capability.
Energy and Natural Resources
The energy sector is one of the most significant and fast changing sectors in Nigeria and across the globe; where political, technological, environmental and economic factors influence markets at all levels as well as the businesses that service them.
Set against the background of a complicated legislative and regulatory framework, managing legal risk and devising the necessary contractual arrangements to create robust platforms for long term projects can be challenging for companies of all sizes.
We have a comprehensive knowledge of the law and the business of energy and natural resources. The combined knowledge and experience of our team ensure they are well-positioned to provide risk-conscious advice, which is both commercial and pragmatic.
We work with our clients to anticipate market trends in this specialized and fast-changing sector, identify its implications for their businesses and ultimately help achieve their goals. Our cross-disciplinary team and hands-on approach guarantees we will work closely with our clients to develop a real understanding of their business needs and assist by responding decisively to the dynamic landscape in which they operate.
Geopolitical and market factors continue to exert pressure on the energy and natural resources sector, while environmental concerns have boosted the renewable industry. This creates significant challenges as well as attractive opportunities for our clients, and we are adept at providing support in responding decisively to the very progressive landscape in which they operate.
We have the competence to assist in all aspects of mining operations considering our in-depth experience in the interpretation and application of legislation relating to mineral exploration and mining, and also able to adapt swiftly to an ever-changing international business landscape.
Our full-service mining and resources team advises clients through the life of a project, including development, funding, operation and exit by sale or IPO. Our in-depth knowledge and experience of the legal and operational challenges faced by mining operators avails us the capacity to support our clients with advice on all relevant legal aspects and to provide innovative solutions in respect of mineral development, water projects, and natural resources sales and trading.
Environment and Regulatory
Regulatory demands continue to broaden and deepen in response to international environmental, human rights and trade concerns, and present more and more compliance issues affecting both processes and products, as well as liability issues in business transactions.
We proffer well-grounded legal advice and counsel in connection with compliance issues, transactions, and disputes concerning environmental requirements and potential environmental damages.
Our advice encompasses the local remediation programs to national environmental policy regulations.
We cover all aspects of environment law, including:
Environment litigation and enforcement
Environment due diligence and transactional advice
Environmental compliance and regulatory advice
Environmental impact assessment and approval of energy, infrastructure, resource and development projects.
Environment management systems
Funding projects that have positive environmental or climate benefits
We have the competence to identify and assess potential environmental liabilities and manage responsibility for known and potential environmental risks. In achieving the objective to keep abreast, we closely track environmental policy, climate change and trade policy and regulatory developments.
Our environment litigation practice has engaged in disputes involving contaminants, for which evidence of adverse health effects and enforceable standards are changing rapidly. In litigation we represent clients relating to remediation of contaminated sites, compliance with environment laws, environmental insurance coverage, rights and obligations under environmental contractual indemnities, and environmental liabilities in bankruptcy.
We recognise that issues involving immigration can be complex, stressful and frustrating, whether it applies to a large multinational corporation or a single individual.
We are able to provide clients with practical, balanced advice to assist them understand the complex immigration legislation, rules and guidance.
We have significant experience in managing the immigration needs of businesses wishing to employ foreign nationals, foreign businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to set up in Nigeria, private individuals and families wishing to live in Nigeria, and those desiring to reduce their tax exposure by establishing residence or citizenship in different jurisdictions.
We have the unique ability to develop immigration strategies or creative solutions for exceptional cases and work closely together with associates in other discipline to “stress test” applications before submission.
Should immigration or expatriation be part of a broader set of needs, we can depend on our cross-disciplinary approach by utilising lawyers in related fields such as employment, banking and finance, real estate, tax, trusts to assist.
Our immigration team has developed long-established network by working in partnership with local lawyers, and through these networks can offer advice to clients in a multitude of jurisdictions.