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About Us

About G Elias

We were founded in 1994 and have become one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. We have always had an international outlook. We have a reputation for, and an outstanding record of, carrying out critical, innovative and complex work to the highest standards of excellence.

We have advised and represented our clients on several of the most significant recent developments in Nigerian business law practice. We do corporate, financial, disputes, taxenergy, projects, "new economy" and commercial law work.

Our corporate work includes mergers and acquisitions, compliance, private equity and employment practices. Bankingfinancial markets, derivatives and insolvency law are central elements in our finance practices. Our disputes practices include litigation, arbitration and administrative hearings.

Our energy sub-sectors are the oil-and-gas and electric power sub-sectors. The real estate, transport and other infrastructure, construction and mining sub-sectors are at the heart of our projects work. We work in both traditional and “"new economy"” commercial sectors.

Our traditional commercial law work is on intellectual propertyagribusiness, food and healthcare, trade and industry and transport. The “"new economy"” sub-sectors are telecommunications and technology, media and entertainment, and “Fintech”.

Our clients in these practices and sectors are of many nationalities and every size. They range from foremost global multinational enterprises to ambitious, home-grown fledglings, from government-controlled enterprises (we have advised on numerous privatizations) to companies controlled entirely by private sector actors.

We have and maintain complementary contacts in Nigerian business and government circles, and with law firms and lawyers’ organizations based both in and outside Nigeria. We are a member of the Africa Legal Network (ALN), an association of leading independent law firms founded and based in Africa.

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Highlights

We regularly advise and represent clients on several of the most sensitive, large, complex, novel and critical matters in our market.

Some of the recent highlights of our practice are the following:

  • the merger of the Sokoto Cement Company plc and the Kalambaina Cement company (the merged entity had a “market cap” just short of USD1bn)
  • crude oil forward sale financings for an aggregate total of over USD3bn for Shell, Chevron and Total petroleum entities
  • ICSID and ICC Paris investor arbitrations for over USD2bn in aggregate value against Nigerian Federal governmental defendants
  • the up to USD2bn rehabilitation by a consortium of leading multinational enterprises of the nation’s principal NorthSouth railway
  • over USD3bn worth of currency swaps and securities lending deals for leading global North American and Asian financial institutions
  • largest insolvencies, with an aggregate value of USD3bn, in the Nigerian aviation (on the creditor side), telecommunications (mainly on the debtor side) and oiland-gas (for the creditor) sectors
  • a mass housing programme by Echostone, a North American developer, to build 50,000 homes nationwide annually
  • initial public offerings for leading telecommunications and technology sector operators
  • the largest loan ever from a multilateral lender to a Nigerian bank (USD750mm from the African ExportImport Bank to the Bank of Industry)
  • a pioneering USD742mm transaction to exchange NNPCFirst E&P crude oil for Schlumberger Group oilfield services
  • the sale for USD420mm to a Kellogg entity of a controlling stake in a Nigeria’s largest food products manufacturer (Tolaram (Indomie Noodles))
  • the acquisition by a leading global Chinese investor of a controlling stake in Nigeria’s leading, USD1.5bn, deepsea port developer
  • the defence of a leading global manufacturer of consumer products in a series of product liability claims for an aggregate total of over USD5trillion
  • a large pioneering bond offering programme by the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, a governmentbacked secondary mortgage financier
  • a thermal 950MW IPP in Northern Nigeria for the BUA Group-Siemens Consortium
  • advice on structuring the development of the nation’s largest industrial city with a deep sea port on 15,000ha of land
  • Nigeria’s largest gas sales agreement to an independent power project owner (by Seplat Plc to the Azura IPP project)

Our Ethos

We espouse the values, priorities and psychology of a traditional professional services partnership. We use and celebrate the organizational resources and methods - not least significant investment in professionals and advanced technology - that every ambitious modern institution should rely on.

Our paramount aim is absolutely always to offer our clients service of the very highest quality. That means that we emphasize technical proficiency, speed of response, attention to detail and creativity in developing practical solutions to clients’ problems.

We especially value teamwork, responsiveness, imagination and professional rigour. We aim always to exceed our clients’ expectations and to improve continuously in every aspect of what we do. It goes without saying that we work to the very highest ethical standards.

We always insist on ability, commitment and decency. Beyond these, we seek and encourage diversity in background and gender among our lawyers on the view that such diversity can only enrich our insights, outlook, experience and capacity for empathy with our clients.

Our Firm

The agenda was and is to be an unusually closely-knit team of versatile experts doing the most challenging legal work of ambitious business clients in every sector with passion and intensity, and to the highest standards.

We are an orthodox professional partnership, slow to engage in lateral-hiring and to depart from its “lockstep” system of recognizing our partners. Each of our partners is, and has always been, both a general partner and an equity partner.

We aim to do the most critical, complex and innovative work of serious business clients, whether the clients are young or old, Nigerian or international, famous or self-effacing, big or small. We are certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

We do not seek to be the largest law firm by headcount, and we do not necessarily prefer large clients to small ones. Our focus is on having clients who will challenge us and lawyers who in number and skill are able to discharge with excellence the consequential and challenging tasks that we take on.

Our Clientcare

We are known for our sensitivity to clients’ business needs and concerns and promptness in responding to and executing their requests in dealing with business law assignments of every consequence, complexity, magnitude and novelty.

Every assignment that we take on is overseen by a partner who will be responsible for the quality of the service that we render and liaise regularly with the client on the progress of the work.

We strive to develop our lawyerssuch that each of them will become both a general strategic counsellor and a specialized expert in one or more area(s) of what we do.

We realize that for most clients, it is attractive as much as possible to have a single lawyer who will both master the business background to the full range of the client’s work and plans and have the technical competence to advise on more than one of the practice areas that are relevant to the client.

We therefore insist that each of our more experienced lawyersmust have more than one field of technical expertise and not many clients to look after. In this way, we remain versatile without loss of depth or expertise.

It is also important to us that we should not cause our clients unwelcome surprises. Every client should be carried along at every stage of its work, and agreements on fees and expenses with clients should be fully respected.

Our lawyers

Our strategy is to grow only as quickly as we can largely and to develop exceptionally-able lawyers who have the experience and temperament to be general partners to serve our clients and lead our growth.

We are also very much an independent business law practice by a partnership into which lawyerswho have served an “apprenticeship” with the practice may be admitted.

The bases for admission to the partnership are lawyerly ability and seniority rather than cash purchases of partnership shares or short-term ‘rain-making’ prowess.

From inception, we have been committed to searching for and hiring talented and motivated young lawyers and training them to become proficient, versatile and business-minded practitioners.

Each of our lawyersworks regularly with a partner and gets frequent contact with clients. These features of our practice enable our lawyersto develop a capacity for responsibility far more quickly than would otherwise be possible.

A programme of training courses has been developed for all our lawyers. A wide range of the courses on areas that are at the core of our work are conducted in-house by our own lawyers.

Our lawyers also attend both publicly-available and bespoke courses led by professional instructors from outside the firm both in Nigeria and abroad on other legal subjects and on non-law subjects such as basic accounting and investment banking.

Contact G Elias today

To find out how our team can help you or to arrange an initial consultation with us, please complete our online enquiry form or contact us on +234 1 4607890 or +234 1 2806970 .

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