Our Anglophone West Africa practice provides legal advice across Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone and the Gambia.
Led by Olamide Oladosu and Kayode Oladipo, two dual-qualified (Nigeria and England & Wales) lawyers, our team has genuine on-the-ground experience in advising international and locally based businesses, with expertise in delivering international market practice in the regional business environment.
Our clients include financial institutions, industrial conglomerates, companies involved in oil and gas (operators as well as suppliers), construction companies, transportation companies, financial investors and private equity funds as well as public institutions and agencies.
A dedicated team
Our team comprises partners and associates, many of them with deep roots and experience in the relevant jurisdictions. They are spread across our global network, including offices in London, Germany, Amsterdam, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, China and Japan. Our team includes lawyers who are well-recognised as regional and subject-matter experts in their respective fields. We are familiar with the relevant underlying business issues, risks and local considerations for each jurisdiction, ensuring that we consistently provide the best and most pragmatic commercial advice to enable our clients achieve their commercial objectives in the most innovative and efficient manner.
Our coverage of the region includes a wide variety of products (from project finance to capital markets, lending, corporate/M&A, and dispute resolution) and sectors (financial services, energy and natural resources, power (conventional and renewables), infrastructure, private equity, telecoms, media and technology (including fintech), healthcare, commercial real estate, FMCG). We have advised on many of the market-first transactions in the region and also have experience with political risk mitigants (including the use of bilateral investment treaties, insurance and agency support).
A commitment to the region
We are actively involved in many pro bono, educational and community programmes across the region, including advising on legal reforms and the establishment of local charities. Our Clifford Chance Academy trains lawyers across the region, and we have supported the Sickle Cell Foundation.
Our core areas of focus across Anglophone West Africa
Our recent experience includes advising:
- Clifford Chances advises Genser Energy on its USD425m financing for the expansion of its Ghanaian operations
- The lenders to the Africa Infrastructure Managers, STOA, Egis and Mota-Engil Consortium on the Accra Tema Road PPP, a pathfinder road project in Ghana
- On the largest ever independent power project in West Africa and the first ever Ghanaian IPP (multi-award winning Cenpower Kpone project)
- The independent Ghanaian power company Genser Energy on the financing for the expansion of the company's business of small scale off-grid gas generation
- Dangote Industries Limited on a US$3.25 billion financing for the planning, development and construction of a greenfield fertilizer manufacturing plant and a greenfield crude oil refinery plant
- Lenders on the acquisition of oil and gas assets in Nigeria (one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in the last decade)
Our recent experience includes advising:
- Globeleq on the acquisition of a private power generation company in Nigeria
- A private equity house on the sale of the Mouka Group (a leading West African manufacturer of luxury mattresses and pillows)
- Honoris, a pan-African higher education platform backed by Actis, on the acquisition of Nile University of Nigeria
- Medical Credit Fund on the establishment of MCF II, its second fund fully dedicated to the African health sector
- Adenia Partners, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and IFC, on a US$130 million joint investment to support Eastcastle Infrastructure, a company specializing in Africa’s telecoms tower sector on its build-to-suit strategy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire.
- SAHAM Finances on its acquisition, by the ECP (Emerging Capital Partner LLC) fund II led consortium, of a 53.6% share of the Nigerian reinsurances company, Continental Reinsurance PLC
Our recent experience includes advising:
- On a US$634.5 million bank-to-bank syndicated lending involving 31 lenders for Access Bank Nigeria plc – this financing till date represents the largest syndicated borrowing raised by a commercial bank in West Africa
- On an up to US$2.2 billion buyer credit financing for the development and construction of the Kano-Maradi Rail project
- Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) and Atlas Mara on a US$200 million financing provided by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to UBN to support inclusive lending across Nigeria, including investments in digitization, on-lending to SMEs, and funding for women-led, women-owned, and women-supporting businesses
- Africell Holding Limited on a US$100 million financing provided by the United States Development Finance Corporation to fund telecommunication infrastructure investments in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Gambia and Sierra Leone
- On the US$1.8 billion debt refinancing of IHS Netherlands Holdco B.V, the leading operator of telecommunications tower infrastructure in Nigeria – this deal won the African Corporate Debt Deal of the Year 2020 at the Africa Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Awards
- A commercial lender on a US$600 million loan to the Ghana Cocoa Board to finance new warehouses, rehabilitate plantations and support the processing sector
- Lenders on the first-of-its-kind LNG vessel financing in Ghana
In Nigeria, we have become the go-to firm for Nigerian issuers acting for Access Bank, Africa Finance Corporation, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Zenith Bank.
Our recent experience includes:
- Defending a consortium of international oil companies in an ICC arbitration (Nigeria)
- Advising shareholders of a Nigerian mobile operator in a US$1.5 billion UNCITRAL dispute in Lagos concerning alleged breaches of pre-emption rights
- Advising a consortium of oil companies in relation to disputes arising out of long-term LNG sale contracts and the construction of liquefaction and regasification plants in West Africa
- Africa Academy: a Clifford Chance team hosted a session for leading law firms from Nigeria and Ghana, covering M&A and Private Equity transactions and principal aspects of the LMA loan documentation for developing markets (Lagos – July 2022)
- Ghana - Implications of current economic conditions on its energy and infrastructure sectors
- Clifford Chance elects Kayode Oladipo to the firm's partnership further strengthening its Africa Practice
- Clifford Chance is a highly respected international firm that maintains its involvement in a variety of commercial matters in Nigeria. It is often sought out for private equity matters, in addition to M&A mandates and project financing. The firm represents blue-chip global clients from a range of industries, including energy and natural resources.
Nigeria Corporate/Commercial (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2022
- Dubai-based Edmund Boyo is notable for his experience of the Nigerian market. He regularly advises on project finance matters in the oil and gas, mining and infrastructure spaces.
Nigeria Projects & Energy (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2022
- Jeremy Connick has significant experience in the Ghanaian energy market. He is well regarded locally for his expertise in financing energy projects.
Ghana Energy & Natural Resources (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2022
- Led by Jeremy Connick, Kayode Oladipo and Olamide Oladosu, the team at Clifford Chance LLP is 'very active' in Ghana. The firm has a strong offering and acts for a variety of clients including financial institutions, industrial conglomerates, corporations active in the energy sectors as well as construction companies, private equity funds and public institutions and agencies. It has played a key role in a sizeable number of major power projects in the country. Connick specialises in advising sponsors and lenders on a whole host of energy, natural resources and infrastructure projects. Russell Wells is another key member of the group; he has extensive experience in energy and natural resources.
Tier 1 – Ghana (Foreign firms) – Legal 500 2021
- Capital Markets Deal of the Year 2022 – Access Bank Tier-1 Eurobonds, Nigeria – IFLR Africa Awards
- International Bank/FI Bond Deal of the Year 2022 – Access Bank USD 500m 144a/RegS Perpetual NC5.25 Bond, Nigeria – Bonds & Loans Africa Awards
- Africa Deal of the Year 2021 – TNOG Hybrid Finance, Nigeria – PFI Awards
- Africa Hybrid Finance Deal of the Year 2021 – TNOG Hybrid Finance, Nigeria – IJ Global Awards
- International Bank/FI Bond Deal of the Year 2021 – First Bank of Nigeria USD 350m 144a/RegS Senior Unsecured Bond, Nigeria – Bonds & Loans Africa Awards
- International Sovereign, Supra & Agency Bond Deal of the Year 2021 – Africa Finance Corporation USD 700m RegS Senior Unsecured Bond, Nigeria – Bonds & Loans Africa Awards
- Restructuring Deal of the Year 2020 – Savannah Petroleum / Seven Energy, Nigeria – IFLR Sub-Saharan Africa Awards
- Project finance: energy, infrastructure and natural resources Deal of the Year 2020 – Genser Captive Power Project, Ghana – IFLR Sub-Saharan Africa Awards
- African Corporate Debt Deal of the Year 2020 – IHS Towers, Nigeria – Africa Bonds & Loans Africa Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2019 – Bridge power, Ghana – IJ Global Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2019 – Bridge power, Ghana – PFI Awards
- African Upstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2017 – Vitol Sankofa OCTP (Upstream Oil & Gas), Ghana – IJ Global Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2016 – Amandi Energy Power Plant, Ghana – PFI Awards and IJ Global Awards
- African Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2016 – Offshore Cape Three Points Integrated Oil & gas Project, Ghana – PFI Awards
- Africa Multi-sources Financing Deal of the Year 2015 – Azura Edo IPP, Nigeria – IJ Global Awards
- EMEA Deal of the Year 2015 – Kosmos Financing & Refinancing, Ghana – Trade Finance