Legal experts convene to deepen knowledge in Nigeria’s oil & gas sector

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Global law firm, Hogan Lovells, in collaboration with Aluko & Oyebode and Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC), partnered with the Legal Division of NLNG, to host a two-day legal training session for select participants of the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG). The symposium, which took place recently at the NLNG premises in Bonny Island, presented a rare opportunity for participants to engage in constructive and interactive sessions with legal experts.

The panel of speakers included Hogan Lovells’ London-based partners Nathan Searle, Angus Rankin, and Hogan Lovells International Arbitration Lawyer, Dr Ademola Bamgbose; Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN, Ngo-Martins Okonmah Construction Law and Arbitration lawyer, and Dare Senbore of Aluko & Oyebode; and Funmi Iyayi, Managing Director, LACIAC.

The discussions revolved around the management of legal risk and in particular, international business disputes particularly with regards to Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contracts in the oil and gas sector with an overview of the governing laws of the industry and challenges experienced by arbitration practitioners in the Nigerian context. The session provided a platform for participants to discuss global best legal practices and trends, as well as explore the issues and opportunities across the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, Nathan Searle, Hogan Lovells partner, expressed confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and said it has a strong future. Acknowledging that Nigeria has one of the largest gas reserves in the world, with NLNG being the fifth largest producer of LNG in the world, Searle said there is a need to further harness the sector’s potential by continuing to build on existing knowledge through trainings like these.

“NLNG is growing in Africa and looking at Nigeria over the past decade, it has had a significant number of international transactions, despite difficult market conditions. This has given the industry a strong profile internationally. Through this training, we shared global best practices and solutions that can lead to the sustainable growth of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector; and we are glad to be amongst the thought leaders that shape the way this sector addresses key issues going forward,” said Searle.

“Discussions such as these provide an opportunity for the industry to focus on processes that will lead to generating increased value. We look forward to hosting more engagements like this across various sectors with other leading players in the African market,” he added.

Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN, Aluko & Oyebode senior partner said, “Large scale projects in the oil and gas sector carry risks and it is important that such risks are properly managed. Discussing how to manage such risks at an early stage from both a legal and commercial perspective is critical to minimising disruption to the business and loss of value. Training programmes such as this, which bring together legal experts and those working directly in industry to share their experience and insights on managing risks is the right step towards consolidating and building on best practice in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria”.

The convener of the symposium, Funmi Iyayi, Managing Director, LACIAC reiterated the body’s efforts towards providing tailored dispute management solutions and assisting businesses not only in the resolution but in the management of disputes through partnerships with local and global thought leaders. LACIAC sees an increasing role for arbitration under its rules to be included in contracts including the Nigerian oil and gas and construction sectors to provide for efficient, cost-effective and local dispute resolution of disputes that may arise during a project.

With over 40 offices across the world, Hogan Lovells is committed to providing business-oriented legal advice and high-quality service across its exceptional breadth of practices to clients around the world.

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