Aluko & Oyebode, Templars, Jackson, Etti & Edu and other notable law firms have emerged winners at the 2016 ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards (NLA) held at the weekend in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria

At the award ceremony which was held on the 7th of October, 2016 at the Civic Centre Lagos, Templars partners Igonikon Whyte, Ijeoma Uju and Zelda Akindele also each won awards in the ‘’40 under 40 category’’ a newly created category to honour 40 outstanding young lawyers under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves and are clearly setting new standards in the practice of law either in Nigeria or in the various jurisdictions where they practice or work

Aluko & Oyebode defeated last year’s winner Templars to win the Law Firm of the Year award and also won the Telecommunications Team of the Year category.

Templars again emerged big winners at the 2016 ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards, bagging a total of 4 trophies, following the 2015 edition where the firm also won four awards.

Mrs. Justina Lewa, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Sterling Bank Plc, won the General Counsel of the Year award.

Publisher of Esq Legal Practice magazine and convener of the NLA, Lere Fashola, described the awards as having a history of “transparency, credibility and openness in celebrating excellence and professionalism in the Nigerian legal space”.

He said: “A lot of effort is made yearly to ensure that the processes that produces winners for each category of the Nigerian legal awards is, without compromise, open, transparent and clear.
“The Nigerian Legal Awards, besides the new initiatives of the Forty Under Forty, Regional Law Firm, and outstanding young professionals, continues to recognise the invaluable contribution of corporate counsel and lawyers in private practice to business growth.”

Channels TV won in two categories including Shola Soyele’s Media Personality Award while ThisDay was the winner in the Print Media category.

Templars retained its elite position by winning in four categories: Mergers and Acquisition, Energy and Power, Oil and Gas and Project Finance Team of the Year.

Jackson, Etti & Edu won the Private Equity, Intellectual Property and Real Estate Team of the Year awards.

Other winners in the law firm category were G. Elias as Banking and Finance Team of the Year, Banwo & Ighodalo as Capital Market Team of the Year, SPA Ajibade as Dispute Resolution Team of the Year, while Royal Heritage won the Labour and Employment Team of the Year.

Yusuf Ali & Co (North Central) and Compos Mentis, (South South) were winners of the Regional Law Firm category.

Winning legal Teams of the Year in the Corporate Counsel category include Zenith Bank for Banking and Finance, Axa-Mansard Insurance for Insurance, Nigerian Stock Exchange for Capital Market/Investment and Unilever Plc for Manufacturing.

ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards is hosted by ESQ Legal Practice magazine to recognise, honour and celebrate outstanding law firms and legal professionals in Nigeria. The award recognizes novel deals/transactions across different sectors and the In-House team as well as the law firms who were involved in structuring the deals within an eighteen month period (June 2014- December 2015).

This year’s nominations consisted of submissions from over 70 law firms across 11 deal categories, under the scrutiny of a judging panel which comprises carefully appointed highly reputable international lawyers and Chairmen/Heads of the Africa Practice/Business Groups of some of the world’s largest and leading International Law Firms. The deciding criteria include the quantum of the deal, the legal expertise expended in the course of the transaction, innovation, measurable outcomes and precedents set.

View some of the pictures from the event below:

Credit: The Nation, Templars, Aluko & Oyebode


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