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 Corporate Debt Deal of the Year 2020 - IHS Towers, Nigeria: Africa Bonds, Loans & Sukuk 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
- Ghana – Advising 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. This included a refinancing of existing facilities by SBSA and Nedbank and expansion of its gas pipelines and power plants.
- Nigeria – Advising 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.
- 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
- Clifford Chance acts for clients such as financial institutions, industrial corporations, public institutions and oil companies. Its work includes infrastructure projects and corporate and M&A. Jeremy Connick is noted for his experience of advising sponsors and lenders on energy, infrastructure and natural resources transactions. Edmund Boyo specialises in international project finance deals, with particular experience of matters concerning airports, telecoms and roads. Russell Wells is recommended for his experience of advising clients on energy transactions.
Ghana (Foreign firms) – Legal 500 2020
- The 'commercially minded, responsive and thoughtful' team at Clifford Chance LLP is active across the African continent and has a strong offering for Ghana-related matters. It excels in power, oil and gas and infrastructure, regularly taking a lead role on major projects in the country. Olamide Oladosu has significant experience in the renewable and conventional energy sectors. Jeremy Connick and Edmund Boyo are leading figures in the group, and Angela McEwan is also recommended.
Ghana (Foreign firms) – Legal 500 2019
- Clifford Chance's LLP's Ghanaian practice specialises in advising clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors on a wide range of transactions, including general lending, restructurings and inbound investments. London-based co-head Jeremy Connick assisted Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank with two separate financings for Karadeniz Energy regarding the construction of power ships. Connick and Edmund Boyo jointly head the team.
Ghana (Foreign firms) – Legal 500 2018
- Highly respected international firm that maintains its involvement on a variety of commercial matters in Nigeria. Often sought out for private equity matters, in addition to M&A mandates and project financing. Represents blue-chip global clients from a range of industries, including energy and natural resources.
Nigeria Corporate/Commerical (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2020
- Highly reputed international firm that maintains its involvement on a variety of commercial matters in Nigeria. Often sought after for private equity matters, in addition to M&A mandates and project financing. Represents blue-chip global clients from a range of industries.
Nigeria Corporate/Commerical (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2019
- 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