Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa
Our Anglophone West Africa practice provides legal advice across Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Our team has genuine on the ground experience in advising international and local-based businesses, with experience of delivering international market practice in the regional business environment.
We act on a broad range of matters for a wide variety of businesses. Our clients include financial institutions, industrial conglomerates, companies involved in oil and gas (operators as well as suppliers), construction companies, transportation companies, investment and private equity funds, mining companies and public institutions and agencies.
Our team comprises members from the whole Clifford Chance network and includes Nigerian and Ghanaian lawyers.
We have relevant experience in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia in a variety of industries (banking, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecoms) and across a full range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity and corporate/M&A, dispute resolution):
- Power sector: we are currently advising on six IPP projects under the Nigerian power sector reforms, including Azura-Edo, a pathfinding transaction. In Ghana, since successfully advising on the largest ever independent power project in West Africa and the first ever Ghanaian IPP (multi-award winning Cenpower Kpone project), we are currently advising on all of the major power projects in the country. In Sierra Leone, we are advising a developer in connection with the development of Bumbuna II Hydro project.
- Oil & Gas: we act for both IOCs as well as indigenous oil companies in Nigeria in respect of disposals/acquisitions of OML and the financing thereof. We have also acted on reserve base financings for lenders as well as borrowers.
private equity and funds: we advised global and regional private equity houses doing business in Nigeria such as Actis, KKR, Quantum, Carlyle, African Capital Alliance and others.
- Private equity and funds: we advised global and regional private equity houses doing business in Nigeria such as Actis, KKR, Quantum, Carlyle, African Capital Alliance and others.
- Banking & finance: we regularly act for lenders and borrowers on some of the most high profile transactions in the region including Dangote's USD$ 3.25 billion and the Azura Edo USD$1 billion financings.
- Capital markets: we have become the go-to firm for Nigerian issuers acting recently for Access Bank, First City Monument Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Africa Finance Corporation, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank.
- Dispute resolution: we act principally for international clients, in particular in the oil & gas and power sectors.
We have excellent and long standing relationships with all of the leading law firms in the region. We launched in September 2013 the Clifford Chance Africa Academy ("CCAA"), which provides a structured training programme that is accessible for all our relationship African counsel. For law firms in the region, we have already held four sessions in Lagos and in Accra.
Awards and milestones
- African Upstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2017 - Vitol Sankofa OCTP (Upstream Oil & Gas) - IJGlobal Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2016 – Amandi, Ghana: PFI Awards
- African Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2016 – OCTP, Ghana: PFI Awards
- Africa Multi-sourced Financing Deal of the Year 2015 – Azura Edo IPP – IJ Global Awards
- EMEA Deal of the Year 2015 – Kosmos Financing & Refinancing – Trade Finance
- Best Power deal in EMEA and Best Project Finance Deal in Africa 2014 – Cenpower – EMEA Finance Project Finance Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2014 – Cenpower – PFI Awards
- Infrastructure & Project Finance Deal of the Year 2013 – Barclays financing of district hospitals – The Banker
- Deal of the Year Africa 2012 – Barclays financing of district hospitals – Trade Finance and GTR
- Nigeria Azura-Edo IPP – Advising the senior lenders on the ECA and MLA-backed financing of the Azura-Edo IPP, a 450MW OCGT power station – the first of the new wave of project financed IPPs in the country and the first greenfield IPP to be developed with the support of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading plc. Africa Multi-sourced Financing Award – IJGlobal Awards 2015
- Nigeria – Advising First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank as lenders in relation to a USD$1 billion debt refinancing for Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.
- Nigeria – Advising an independent exploration and development company in respect of a USD$1 billion acquisition of interests in an Oil Mining Licence in Nigeria from a consortium of International Oil Companies
- Nigeria – Advising Dangote Industries Limited on a USD$3.25 billion financing for the planning, development and construction of a greenfield fertilizer manufacturing plant and a greenfield crude oil refinery plant
- Nigeria – Advising both Zenith Bank and Fidelity Bank on their debut eurobond issuances
- Nigeria – Advising 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.
- Nigeria – Advising American Tower Corporation on the purchase of the Nigerian communications tower business of Bharti Airtel Limited
- Nigeria – Advising Actis on its majority investment in Nigeria's Sigma Pensions
- Nigeria – Representing a consortium of companies involved in the development of an oil & gas field in off-shore Nigeria concerning the interpretation and performance of the Production Sharing Contract entered into in respect of Block OPL 212 – a deepwater offshore block operated by Shell, commonly known as the "Bonga" oilfield
- Ghana – Advised lenders in connection with the financing for the construction of the Cenpower Kpone IPP, a 340MW combined cycle power plant – African Power Deal of the Year 2014, PFI Awards; Best Power Deal in EMEA 2014 and Best Project Finance Deal in Africa 2014, EMEA Project Finance Awards
- Ghana – Advising a sponsor on the development and financing of the Asutsuare Water (PPP) Project and its associated infrastructure. This project is the first water project and first PPP to be project financed in Ghana
- Ghana – Advising in relation to a ECGD supported and a separate uncovered Cedi-denominated financing of seven district hospitals in Ghana. The deal was high profile in the British Government as it highlighted British investment for development in Africa – GTR Best Deal of 2012, Trade Finance Deal of the Year 2012 and The Banker, Deal of the Year 2013 Africa
- Sierra Leone – Advising the syndicate of lenders and the administrator and receiver of London Mining in relation to the administration and receivership of London Mining
- International firm which continues to strengthen its practice throughout Africa. Regularly identified for its frequent involvement in significant project financing and high-profile M&A mandates as well as private equity matters in this jurisdiction. Acts on behalf of major international clients from sectors spanning media, energy, banking and commerce. London-based Russell Wells and Dubai-based Edmund Boyo are key contacts for the practice.
Nigeria (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2018
- “At Clifford Chance LLP, London-based Jeremy Connick has significant experience in African power markets. The group is currently advising the lenders on the development of a 190MW combined cycle gas-fired plant, which will be located in the Western Region of Ghana. The team has strength in energy projects and is experienced in advising on reserve-based lending. Dubai-based Edmund Boyo is well known for his work on structured finance transactions and has expertise in acting for sponsors and lenders on the financing aspects of mining, ports and petrochemical projects.”
Legal 500: Ghana, 2017
- "A global firm with an increasing focus on key economies in Africa. Sought after by clients across a breadth of sectors, including banking, energy and infrastructure. Noted as a frequent presence in this space, and routinely advises on sizeable project finance and transactional matters."
- Nigeria (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2017
- "At Clifford Chance LLP, London-based Jeremy Connick has significant experience in the African power markets, and is currently leading the advice to the sponsors, GE and Endeavour, in relation to a 1,000MW-plus greenfield integrated gas-to-power project. The team remains strong on the projects side, with considerable expertise in sectors such as power, oil and gas, and infrastructure. Its roster of clients includes Rand Merchant Bank, Denys, IFC and Barclays. Frankfurt-based Edmund Boyo is well regarded for his work on structured finance transactions, and has extensive experience acting for sponsors and lenders on the financing aspects of mining, ports and petrochemical projects."
Ghana – Legal 500 2016