Full Service Commercial and IP Law Firm in Nigeria and Canada

Blackfriars LLP

Blackfriars LLP
The Penthouse, Itiku House
28-30 Macarthy Street

Lagos 40023
Nigeria

Phone+234 1 212 1799 or+234 1 739 0397
Fax + 1 646 536 8978

Website www.blackfriars-law.com
E-mail  Contact Dr. Ikechi Mgbeoji

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Law Firm Overview

Blackfriars LLP is a first class Nigerian law firm with special expertise in trademarks registration and patents prosecution, commercial Litigation, energy law, and capital markets transactions, respectively. A fundamental principle underpinning our success is our unshakeable conviction that the practice of law is a privilege that carries with it the solemn responsibility to apply our talents for the benefit of our clients. We are a pre-eminent law firm in Nigeria.

Our lawyers deliver highest quality service to our clients. Our principal office is in Lagos. We have offices in Abuja and Toronto, Canada. The latter handles most of our immigration-to-Canada inquiries. Regardless of the source of instruction, our clients receive a unified and seamless high quality service.

In addition to our offices, our partners work closely with highly-rated lawyers in several international law firms across the globe. We have highly qualified and experienced lawyers with core expertise in different areas of commercial law. In particular, our partners and associates are renowned for their excellence in the following practice areas: Arbitration (Domestic and International) and Litigation; Capital Markets and Corporate Transaction; Energy and Mining; Financial Products and Taxation; Immigration law, Intellectual Property; Telecommunication and Information Technologies; and Admiralty/Aviation law, respectively.

Our growing reputation as "the firm to see" in Nigeria is anchored on our unshakeable belief that the practice of law is a unique privilege and that each client deserves first class service the first time and every time. We are a firm led by a team of accomplished lawyers whose experience span almost two decades of legal practice locally and internationally. Our lawyers are probably the finest legal minds in Nigeria. The reputation of our lawyers for intellectual brilliance, practical grit and prudence is well-deserved. The soundness of our counsel is only surpassed by the clarity with which it is delivered. That is how we earn and keep the trust of our clients.

Year this Office was Established: 1993

Languages: French; Igbo; Hausa; English.

Areas of Law


Additional Areas of Law: Doing Business in Nigeria; Business Formation in Nigeria; Foreign Direct Investments; Mining; Petrochemicals.


Areas of Law Description

Blackfriars LLP has highly qualified and experienced lawyers with core expertise in different areas of commercial law. The individual expertise of the partners and associates working in the respective practice areas is further enhanced and deepened by the collaborative manner in which our practice groups work with one another. The synergy and team-oriented culture ensures that the firm’s expertise and unique talents are employed to achieve the best possible results for our clients in the following practice areas:

- Arbitration and Litigation

* Domestic and International Arbitration

The lawyers in our Arbitration Practice Group offer clients sound counsel and practical support in all types of arbitral proceedings, both at domestic and international forums. Our lawyers are experienced in various issues and aspects of both domestic and international arbitration. We have tried cases under various procedural rules, including the International Chamber of Commerce, UNCITRAL and ICSID rules. The practical experience of our lawyers is deepened and clarified by their internationally renowned scholarship on a wide range of international arbitration issues. Our lawyers have been published in some of the leading global law journals on international arbitration.

* Commercial Litigation

At Blackfriars LLP, our acclaimed success in litigating cases in Nigerian courts begins from our listening approach. We listen attentively to the problems of our client. We pay attention to the finest detail of our client’s case. Nothing escapes our attention. Before rendering our advice on any matter, we first understand our clients' products and services and the surrounding business environment, including industry-wide factors. We then proceed to apply our intellect, experience, skills, and judgment to give our clients constructive advice in a clear, sound, timely and cost-effective manner to assist in achieving the desired goal.

* International Law

In an increasingly globalized business world, private individuals, corporate entities, and states have to deal with potential benefits and risks of conducting business, trading and investing globally. The risks of exposure to financial, regulatory and legal obstacles are real, especially in countries like Nigeria where paucity of local information, opaque regulatory regimes, and policy instability could yield adverse results. Our firm is especially capable and experienced to offer sound legal counsel and practical help to foreign investors proposing to undertake or already doing business in Nigeria.

- Capital Markets and Corporate Transactions

Lawyers in our Capital markets and Corporate Transactions Practice Group have handled some of the most innovative and complex transactions in Nigeria. Our pragmatic and innovative approach to corporate law practice in Nigeria is complemented by our deep familiarity with the key operators on Nigeria’s capital markets. Our major areas of niche expertise include: Anti-trust and competition; Bankruptcy and restructuring; Corporate governance; International trade and foreign direct investment (FDI’s); Mergers and acquisitions; Privatization; Securities; Venture capital; and Emerging companies.

- Energy and Mining

At Blackfriars LLP, we have a vibrant energy law practice representing an array of clients on transactions that span the gamut of the Nigerian energy industry. We deploy our expert knowledge of Nigerian’s oil and gas industry to help clients avoid and/or solve regulatory and operational issues in Nigeria’s energy sector. Our experience in energy and mining law practice spans the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector, electric power, mining, and environmental law practices. We also provide strategic planning and consultative services to both regulated and non-regulated entities involved in major acquisitions, industry restructuring and competitive analyses in the Nigerian energy industry. Our energy industry clients range in size from local energy providers to international energy conglomerates. Our experience in energy and mining law practice spans the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector, electric power, mining, and environmental law practices.

- Financial Products and Taxation

We have acted for clients in various leveraged finance products, acquisition finance transactions, project finance and real estate finance. Our areas of core competence include: Asset-backed securitization; Banking and financial institutions; Project finance; Public finance; Real estate financing and REITs; Sovereign governments and international financial institutions (IFI’s); Structured finance; and Tax.

- Immigration

Our immigration law practice is largely focused on helping Nigerians secure permanent residency status in Canada. Our Lagos and Toronto offices have some of the most dedicated and experienced immigration lawyers to help clients wishing to emigrate or study in Canada. As a client-focused firm, we take pro-active steps to help our clients to obtain Canadian permanent resident status, and temporary work permits. Our lawyers are experienced in applying for judicial review of persons whose application for Canadian visitor’s or student’s visa have been unfairly refused. Common areas where immigration issues arise include audits of employer compliance with immigration and Nigerian Labour Law regulations; employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visa petitions; expatriate quotas, NOTAP approvals. We also work with expatriates in Nigeria to secure expatriate quotas, work permits, and residency permits.

* Labour and Employment Law

Our Employment, Labour, and Immigration law practice is largely focused on helping expatriate and local workers in Nigeria secure and maintain relevant work permits, visas, and also help resolve various employment and labour issues. We help our expatriate clients in Nigeria regularize their Subject-to-Regularization (STR) visa and Temporary Work Permit (TWP) visas. Expatriates employed by individuals, corporate bodies or governments to take up employment in Nigeria are eligible for STR visas. Please find attached the Requirements for the Issuance of STR Visa/Entry Permit.

- Intellectual Property Rights

We help our clients evaluate and manage intellectual property risks; provide strategic advice on intellectual property protection and enforcement programs; work with clients in the restructuring of intellectual property assets; and help guide companies through branding and licensing strategies. Together with our complementary expertise in corporate, finance, tax, and restructuring matters, our intellectual property practice group offers a seamless, integrated approach to anticipate and meet our clients’ diverse needs. Our areas of core expertise in IPRs include: Registration of trademarks and patents; Copyrights; Public policy and advocacy; Trade secrets and confidential information; and IPR litigation.

- Telecommunications and Information Technology

With the deregulation and liberalization of the Nigerian telecommunications sector, foreign and local investors have made remarkable impact in the telecommunications industry. The privatization of NITEL and the emergence of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the regulator of the telecommunications industry have combined to create a robust practice area in which the depth of qualified personnel at Blackfriars LLP comes to the fore. Our lawyers have advised on virtually all areas of telecommunications law over the past eight years. These include reviewing and opining on the state of the law and regulations in the sector, conducting due diligence on potential targets, compliance issues with the regulatory authorities, corporate finance and taxation advisory work, advising on foreign direct investment and exchange control issues, corporate governance and corporate structure, labour and employment law, drafting and review of various contracts such as leasing and purchasing contracts, joint venture agreements and shareholders agreements.

- Transportation

Our Transportation Practice Group is sub-divided into two, namely, aviation and maritime law practices.

* Aviation

Since its independence from Great Britain in 1960, aviation law and practice in Nigeria has been guided by increasingly liberal government policy. In the past twenty years engendered significant private participation in the aviation industry. We have rendered advice to clients on a wide range of aviation issues such as the creation of security interests upon acquisition of commercial (passenger) aircraft by a foreign client, aircraft finance and charter arrangements, insurance claims under aviation policies and related subrogation claims. Our Litigation Practice Group has also conducted litigation on behalf of numerous clients regarding breaches of aircraft lease agreements, default of fee payments due upon air navigation services rendered to private Nigerian Airlines, and related issues.

* Admiralty and Maritime

Blackfriars LLP is a significant player in Nigeria’s maritime law industry. We have represented ship owners and Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Associations on various specialist issues such as navigation, classification, collisions and damage, salvage, chartering, ship registration and transfer, as well as negotiating between parties on disputed claims. We also provide legal advice and represent clients in contentious issues of admiralty/shipping law in Nigeria. Lawyers at Blackfriars LLP have been frequently consulted by clients on various aspects of Nigeria’s cabotage law. In addition to our healthy working relationships with some of the major international law firms on maritime and shipping matters, the firm has also developed and maintained a good working relationship with the relevant industry regulatory authorities such as the local Ports, Marine Registry, and the Shippers Council.

- Entertainment and Sports Law

Our firm is the leading sports and entertainment law firm in Nigeria. Our clients include not only sports organizations and but also individual athletes, FIFA licensed-agents, performers, and artistes, both professional and amateur, and span numerous sports such as football, boxing, athletics, track and field, and others. Our sports law practitioners have acted as counsel to athletes, sports agents, and artistes in negotiations, trial and arbitration, and in settlements. Our Entertainment and Sports Law practice also represents clients in all areas of the entertainment industry in Nigeria including “Nollywood”, television, theatre, gaming and gambling, new media and music. Given our related expertise in ancillary practice areas, our range of services to clients is wide and varied and includes all aspects of entertainment law including financing, licensing, image rights, distribution, and merchandising, securities, and negotiating international co-productions.



Partners

Mrs. Igbeaku Evulukwu
Associate
Admiralty and Maritime, Boating Accident, Commercial Ship Accident, Divorce, Intellectual Property

Dr. Wiseman Ubochioma
Co-Partner in Charge
Capital Markets, Competition Law, Corporate Governance, Corporate Law, Privatization Law



Lawyers

Ms. Nkeiruka Mgbeoji
Lawyer
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Asset Protection, Banking Law, Capital Markets

Ikechi Mgbeoji Dr. Ikechi Chibuzo Mgbeoji
Lawyer
Arbitration, Banking and Finance, Business and Industry, Business Litigation, Communication

Dr. Obiora Okafor
Lawyer
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Competition Law, Constitutional Law

Pius Okoronkwo Dr. Pius Okoronkwo
Lawyer
Administrative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Arbitration, Business Litigation


Affiliations

  • Advooc
  • INTA

More Information on Blackfriars LLP

Lagos, Nigeria Commercial Law Firm
Litigation Lawyers in Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria Capital Market Lawyers
Energy Law Firm in Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria Intellectual Property Lawyer
Immigration Law Firm in Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria Telecommunications Lawyers
Blackfriars LLP News and Publications

Articles Published by Blackfriars LLP

 Abandonment of Wrecked Ships on Navigational Routes in Nigeria

Calls have been made to Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to remind it of its statutory duties regarding removal of wrecked ships.

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 Admiralty Jurisdiction in Nigeria

Section 251(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria confers exclusive jurisdiction on the Federal High Court to hear and determine admiralty disputes in Nigeria.

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 Nigerian Maritime Industry: Foreign Participation in Cabotage Trade

The objective of the Cabotage Act in Nigeria is principally to reserve domestic coastal trade (“cabotage or cabotage trade”) within Nigerian Coastal and Inland Waters to vessels built and registered in Nigeria, wholly owned and wholly manned by Nigerian citizens.

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 Proposed Industrial Property Commission Bill Reduces Duration of Trademarks from 14 Years to 7 Years - Nigeria

The Industrial Property Commission bill has significantly reduced the duration required for trademark renewal.

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 Nigerian Mining Industry: Opportunities for Foreign Investors

Nigeria is endowed with numerous mineral resources such as talc, iron ore, bitumen, gold, rock salt, gypsum, lead/zinc, coal, gemstones, kaolin, tantalite, bentonite and baryte located in different parts of the country in commercial quantity

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 Cyber Security Bill: Panacea for Cyber Crimes and Related Practices? - Nigeria

Stakeholders in Information and Communication sector recently reiterated their commitment to the passage of the anti-cyber crime bill into law.

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 Patent and Designs Act 1990: Patentability of Inventions in Nigeria

A patent is usually a form of market monopoly granted to the inventors by a government authority as an incentive to invent or innovate. This grant is usually for the period of 20 years.

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 Production Sharing Contract in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector

Nigeria had in the past years engaged in Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) for the exploration of her petroleum resources.

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 Collective Investment Schemes under Nigeria’s Investment and Securities Act 2007

Part XIII of the Investment and Securities (ISA) 2007 creates collective investment schemes in Nigeria.

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 Capital Gains Tax in Nigeria: Exemptions and Reliefs

Capital Gains Tax accrues on an actual year basis.

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 The Nigerian Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2002

The Nigerian Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2002 (MLPA) was enacted at a period when money laundering was synonymous with drug trafficking.

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 Nigeria Set to Reform the Regulatory Framework of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007

In the aftermath of the meltdown of Nigeria’s capital market, the absence of strong regulatory framework has been recognized as one of the contributory factors in the unusual downturn in the capital market.

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 Qua Iboe Terminal Oil Spill: One too Many?

The effects of oil spills on human and aquatic life remains so grievous and almost irreparable if not properly handled. Effective clean-ups and reclamations of affected areas usually take long time and requires much effort and consistency.

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 Telecomms Regulators to Require SIM Card Registration to Curb Cell Phone-Related Crimes - Nigeria

The recent direction by the Ministry of Information and Communications to the effect that all mobile telecoms operators selling new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards must obtain the data of prospective subscribers and that all previously obtained SIM cards must be registered without delay is no doubt a good policy aimed at reducing the incidents of technology related crimes.

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 Nigeria's Aviation Industry Needs Radical Overhaul and Modernization

The deplorable state of infrastructure at both the international and domestic airports in Nigeria has given rise to a call by all and sundry for an immediate radical revamp of the aviation industry.

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 Corporate Tax Refund: A New Concept in Nigeria?

The emergence of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Establishment Act may bring smile to the faces of corporate tax payers if the provision that introduces tax refund will be given the necessary push and attention.

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 Long and Extensive Use: High Court Reaffirms Criteria for Protection of Unregistered Marks in Nigeria

Under Section (5) of the Trademarks Act of Nigeria, the right of a proprietor of a registered trademark is deemed to be infringed by any person who, not being the proprietor of the trademark or a registered user thereof, using it by way of permitted use....

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 Nigerian Money Laundering Prohibition Act

The Nigerian Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2002 (MLPA) was enacted at a period when money laundering was synonymous with drug trafficking. Consequently, the law sought basically to prohibit gains obtained from narcotic drugs and other psychotropic substances.

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 Market-making Proposal in Limbo Two Years after SEC's Approval in Nigeria

The proposal to establish Market-makers in Nigeria has not taken off two years after SEC approval. July 2010 Vol. 23: Issue 7

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 CBN Take-Over of Nigerian Banks: Unresolved Legal Issues

The full extent of the powers of the CBN Governor and the CBN itself to regulate banks registered in Nigeria is contained in two pieces of legislation: the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, and BOFIA, respectively. However, whether these pieces of legislation authorize the CBN Governor to takeover and sell off the banks is a matter of serious legal doubt.

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 Nigeria and Debt-Financing of Joint Venture Cash Calls

Nigerian Government may debt finance and/or equity finance its 2009 joint venture cash call obligations.

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 Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in Nigeria

Commercial arbitration has become a major attraction in international transactions owing to its speed and effectiveness in resolving commercial disputes. Having obtained the award however, the successful party would have to enforce the award against his adversary.

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 Market Makers in Nigeria: The Law and Regulation

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Release Criteria for Licensing Market Makers in Nigeria

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 Corporate Affairs Commission to Deregister Tax-Defaulting Companies in Nigeria

For decades, many companies whose names appear in the Registry of Companies with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) fail to pay annual corporate taxes or file annual returns.

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 Landing Permits for Trans-Continental under Sea Optic Cables in West Africa: Challenges for Telecommunications Outfits

There is a paucity of fibre optic capability in the West African telecommunications industry. In addition to widening the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world, this situation has resulted in slower Internet connections and expensive telecommunications facilities in the sub-region.

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 New National Tax Policy Approved in Late December ‘08 - Nigeria

The Technical Committee on the Nigerian National Tax Policy has announced that the draft document of the tax policy is to be submitted to the Federal Executive Council for approval before the end of the year 2008.

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 The Lagos State Wharf Landing Fees Bill: Is it Constitutional? - Nigeria

Nigeria’s biggest and busiest ports are located in Lagos. Recently, a bill was introduced in the House of Assembly of Lagos proposing the imposition of levies on trucks loading out of any of the ports in Lagos including Apapa and Tin Can Island ports.

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 The Nigerian Public Procurement Act 2007 and Debarment of Multinational Corporations from Participating in Government Contracts

The Nigerian Public Procurement Act 2007 and Debarment of Multinational Corporations from Participating in Government Contracts: Unanswered Questions on Debarment and Exclusion Rules

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 The Nigerian Content Development Bill: What Foreign Investors in the Oil and Gas Sector Should Look out for

The liberalization of the oil & gas sectors of the Nigerian economy and increased global demand for crude oil have combined to make Nigeria a key player in the global oil market. However, for decades, Nigeria’s oil and gas sectors have been dominated by foreign multinational entities with large expatriate workers deployed in both on-shore and offshore locations in the country.

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