With the economy improving and growth on the horizon, lawyers have ample opportunities in new areas of the economy like entertainment, sports, and mining.

Konyinsola Ajayi

Managing Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP

Olaniwun Ajayi LP stands out in terms of innovation, technology, and Fintech. Another area in which the company is growing is leisure and entertainment. The majority of law firms are strong in pure IP, trademark, and patents, but we have taken a different approach and are focusing on music, arts, entertainment, sports, fashion, and design. A significant part of our past work was in banking and finance, power, and infrastructure. Other than that, project financing for the oil and gas industry is our forte amongst other things. One area of opportunity is the banking sector. Having Nigerians at the helm of affairs leads to better communication, as they understand the local market and the risks related to it better than international banks. In terms of the retail market, there are big opportunities, but domestic players need to do extensive work to cash in on them. Supporting financial inclusion is the key here. Law firms like ours have a big role to play in all the aforementioned markets. Other than that, we are also eyeing opportunities with SMEs.

Olukayode Ajulo

Founder, Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law

Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law was born out of a determination to impact society and humanity, using the instruments of law and best professional practices. We have been able to come this far by the grace of God and because we have remained focused and have consistently deepened ourselves in the legal knowledge, studying and fetching experiences both locally studies and elsewhere. One of the most important aspects of our firm is that we have excellent filters in our recruiting system and we maintain certain measure of standards. We are often extremely strict in recruiting new lawyers because we want to hire intelligent and excellent attorneys with sound knowledge and sterling characters. Personally, I am more into commercial and corporate practice, while human rights are a passion for me. We also have partners who are experts in oil and gas and others in real estate, and, as a result, we are extremely diversified. However, we explore other areas too and seek to engage new personnel in other areas of practice.

Clement Ighodarho Osuya

Partner, Osuya & Osuya Law Firm

Innovation is the driving force at Osuya & Osuya Law Firm. There is no end to the opportunities available in the legal profession here, though the system in Nigeria is structured in such a way that most law firms focus on litigation and other areas of practice that have existed for many years. Osuya & Osuya Law Firm does not just follow what has existed in the past; our practice is based on innovation and creative ideas within the legal profession. This approach helps to drive our law firm. The Nigerian legal profession is unique compared to many other countries. When Osuya & Osuya Law Firm talks about wanting to lead in the corporate commercial field, this does not mean we will not practice in other areas of law; however, corporate commercial law has a wider scope compared to other areas of legal practice. Activities such as business, insurance, IP, and mergers and acquisitions all come under the banner of corporate commercial law. Our dream is to become one of the leading commercial corporate law firms in Nigeria and the biggest in Africa.

Ken Etim

Managing Partner, Banwo & Ighodalo

The firm started in 1991, and in 27 years it has clearly defined recognizable footprints in Nigeria and the continent. We provide a basket of services, though to make it easier we broke them down into five groups, the largest being the corporate securities and finance group. It is the largest in our group by revenue and makes up the bulk of the work that the firm is territorially and globally recognized for, namely banking, securities, capital markets, project finance, and corporate finance law. The second-largest, though fastest-growing, area in the group is what we call the energy natural resource group, where we have oil, gas, power and mining. We have a disputes group that does litigation, mitigation, and arbitration, as well as an intellectual properties practices group where we do our information technology work. The newest of our practice areas is our shipping, aviation, and international trade group. Oil and gas is key for the firm's growth because in Nigeria, power has been a problem—and will continue to be—until we get it right.

Afamefuna Nwokedi

Principal Counsel & Group Head, Stillwaters Law Firm

The majority of our clients are active within the IP realm associated with manufacturing, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, retail, technology, media and entertainment, hospitality, and so forth. Many years ago, most of the industrial property issues that we handled were inflows from external jurisdictions; however, in the last few decades, we have seen tremendous rise in the number of matters pertaining especially to designs and trademarks. These are areas that are in the forefront of most IP practices. The entertainment industry also plays a major role as a result of the rise of Nollywood. We handle a few copyright issues for the creative industry in Nollywood. There are two components at play: the music and the film industry. The music part has experienced massive growth, and it is a much simpler process to handle. However, the movie part brings more challenges, as more often than not, it also encompasses the music sector. Most disputes that we have handled in the entertainment sector have been resolved through mediation. A few are in court though. Mediation is in its infancy here.

H. Odein Ajumogobia

Senior Partner, Ajumogobia & Okeke

We are one of the oldest continuing law partnerships in Nigeria, having been formed in 1984. We have concentrated on corporate/business and foreign investment, working for multinationals and other foreign business interests, including a number of diplomatic missions. However, as foreign investment into Nigeria has fluctuated, we have adjusted and widened our clientele toward serving a growing indigenous business clientele. We recently entered the mining sector, which will inevitably be an area of growth because of the abundance of mining prospects across Nigeria. Energy is one of our strongest areas. Dispute resolution across the board is also an area that we are strong in, and we have won several awards for our litigation, arbitration, and mediation services as well as our general corporate commercial services, including aviation. The potential of the local entertainment sector is difficult to predict. Nollywood is a major industry with a huge and growing volume but relatively poor funding. Standards and quality are improving, and there is a great potential in terms of growth.

Oghogho Akpata

Managing Partner, Templars

There is so much happening that no matter which direction the economy takes, lawyers will always be sought after. In Nigeria, certain new gas regulations have recently been passed, and there will be considerable activity in that area. We will see a minimum of 60 new businesses developing gas, which is an opportunity we will look at in the next two to three years. We also see opportunities in the power sector, where we anticipate disputes between producers and bulk traders. In the banking sector we see consolidation in the near future, as weaker banks will not be able to survive much longer because of capital issues, and so forth. Some of them with capabilities and competence in various areas may be merged with larger banks. The outlook for our firm is bright, and we will continue to expand. Our offices around the country are thriving, and we continue to undertake complex and highly sought-after work in the marketplace. The country continues to pick up and maintain a leadership in the core sectors of energy, banking, and finance.

Osayaba Giwa-Osagie

Senior Partner, Giwa-Osagie & Co. Law Firm

We are a full-service law firm and have over 20 lawyers and offices in Lagos and Abuja. We belong to three international legal alliances: LEX Africa Alliance, Mackrell International, and Premierus Primerus. We work with their lawyers and have regular meetings as well as exchange programs, so our lawyers are up-to-date. We cover different areas, including infrastructure work. We also do legal advisory work for international banks that set up branches in Nigeria. We also regularly advise new companies coming into the country on issues such as the regulatory structure and so on. We also do complex litigation and arbitration for multinationals. We are extremely well known for aviation services, telecoms law, construction, M&As, aviation regulatory, real estate, foreign investments, and capital markets. We are the main lawyers in Nigeria for Emirates and have been its lawyers for over 15 years. Most of our clients are foreign. Besides private companies, we work for some of the biggest foreign governments in the world through their embassies in Nigeria. We also work for local companies and several high-net worth individuals.