Gabriel O. Onojason
Gabriel O. Onojason
Gabriel is a Partner in Commercial and Corporate law practice and Dispute Resolution Team with over 16 years of diversified experience in management, legal and risk analysis roles in the legal profession, his specialisations across his practice areas include but not limited to, banking and finance, project finance, capital market, corporate restructuring, equity and asset acquisitions, mergers, telecommunications, regulatory compliance, foreign investments, real estate transactions, labour/ employment, intellectual property, Tax, Energy, Insolvency and general
With his penchant for advocacy, he is also deeply involved in the Dispute Resolution and Arbitration department of our Firm where he has been involved as Counsel in various litigation and alternative dispute resolution matters. He manages a large litigation, Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution portfolio comprising top end regulatory, commercial, criminal, labour, tax, insolvency and election petitions.
Gabriel brings his strong skills as a manager, negotiator, and researcher to bear in his areas of multidisciplinary expert knowledge and practice. He has worked on numerous transactions involving the private and public sectors over his sixteen years of practice and is an invaluable asset when structuring new or novel transactions.
● Ahmadu Bello University (LL. B Hons)
● University of Lagos (LLM)
● Nigerian Bar Association
● International Bar Association
● Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
● M & A Arbitration and Dispute resolution
● Banking and Finance
● Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisition
● Energy and Natural resources
● Business Advisory Support and Corporate Governance
● Investment projects / ventures
● Trade and Investment Dispute Resolution.
● Top Lawyer by Chambers 500
● Leading Lawyer in the IFLR 1000
● Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Lagos
A. TRANSACTIONS & ADVISORY EXPERIENCE
BANKING & FINANCING
● Advised Infracredit as Transaction Counsel in relation to the guarantee of a N20 Billion Bond infrastructure debt issuance by GPC SPV Limited;
● Part of the team that advised an Energy Company on a $640 million mid-term Corporate Loan facility from a club of lenders’
● Part of the team that advised a major Telco (“9-Mobil”) on its $400 million mid-term loan facility from International Finance Corporation’
● Part of the team that advised a borrower on its US $1.2 billion global refinancing and restructuring of facilities owed by over 20 entities in the group with 8 major banks;
● Part of the team that advised a borrower on its $1, 950, 000 Billion long term financing under an FTSA of a producing acreage with over 2 billion proven reserves of crude oil.
CAPITAL MARKETS, M & A & ANTI-TRUST
● Acted as Solicitors to the Trustee in the in relation to the N10.5 Billion private bond issuance guaranteed by Niger State Government Of Nigeria;
● Acted as Solicitors to the Issue in the in relation to the N13.2 Billion private bond issuance guaranteed by Niger State Government Of Nigeria;
● Acted as Solicitors to the Fund in the United Capital Asset Management $ 3 Million Global Fixed Income Fund;
● Part of the team that advised Seplat Energy Plc on its global IPO and dual listing of its $550 Million shares on the London and Nigeria Stock Exchanges;
● Acted as Solicitors to the Fund in the United Capital Asset Management N1Billion Sukuk Fund to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange;
● Advised Transcorp Hotels Plc on its tranched N30 billion fixed rate bond issuance programme;
● Advised on a Commercial Note transaction that successfully raised $50 Million for project collaboration in the Energy sector.
ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES (UPSTREAM, MID-STREAM AND DOWN-STREAM)
● Advised Neconde Energy Limited on its USD $ 36 million and 24 million Hedging Policies and Agreements with Glencore Commodities Limited (One of the GT top global bulk traders) in 2016 and 2019.Negotiated
Hedging strategy, pricing, tenure, transaction structure, other commercial and legal terms;
● Advised an EPC operator on a USD $30 million OB3 pipeline project awarded by NNPC;
● Advised a number of service companies on their alliance arrangements with multinational service Companiesnin satisfaction of Nigerian Content Policy;
● Advised on diverse investment, divestment and participation in oil and gas businesses, covering start-up formalities, corporate governance advisory, land acquisition, procurement of permits and licences,
tax and capital planning, Doing Business Advisory, and Governance and Compliance matters
INSOLVENCY, DEBT RECOVERY & RESTRUCTURING
● Part of the team that acted as Transactional solicitor and due diligence adviser to AMCON regarding a debt equity swap transaction as a workout option for a N75 billion debt owed by a Telco in Nigeria;
● Advising an energy conglomerate on its efficiency – driven corporate restructuring of over 20 affiliated entities with combined balance sheet of over $3 Billion;
● Advised Grant Thornton LP on its rights and strategy towards enforcement of an international bank’s rights in an energy entity arising from a $250 Million facility.
● Acting for a preferred bidder for the take-over of controlling stake in an aviation Company via a leveraged buyout of majority shareholder with a view to settling the debts of the entity.
TAX ADVISORY SERVICES
● Part of a team that advised a financial institution in respect of its tax liabilities claim on PPTA from the FIRS to the value of N1.1 Billion Naira and presently representing it in a proceeding;
● Provided Legal/Tax opinion on FIRS on stamp duties of USD $80 million claims relating to acreage acquisition transaction;
● Advised an E&P entity on an $101 Million PPT claims from the FIRS resulting to a successful rebuttal.
B. ARBITRATION, MEDIATION, ADR AND LITIGATION EXPERIENCE
● Acted as Counsel in a negotiated settlement of $12 Million pipeline contract claim and counter claim involving Nestoil vs SPDC;
● Acted as Counsel in a $20 Million arbitration between Drillog Petro-Dynamics Limited and Gobowen Exploration and Production Limited, over claims for breach of drilling contracts and unpaid invoices with contractual interest.
The matter was settled with a confidential consent award entered by the Tribunal;
● Represented a mid-stream service company in an action against an IOC for calling in A $13 Million bank guarantee and canceling an ongoing pipeline project;
● Team member of Plaintiff Counsel in an action for recovery of circa $50 million claimed in respect of an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Contract for a producing oil block;
● Representing a financial institution in a claim seeking to enforce its right as a Secured Creditor in respect of a debt of almost N7 Billion Naira;
● Representing a financial institution in a claim seeking to enforce its right as a Secured Creditor in respect of a debt of almost N6.5 Billion Naira;
● Successfully represented a client in a N70 billion claim by 74 ex-staff in respect of an alleged breach;
● Representing a financial institution in respect of a suit instituted by 287 ex-staff on a claim of about N10 billion for alleged breach of their employment contract;
● Represented the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a gubernatorial, a Federal House of Representative and State House of Assembly election disputes arising from the 2019 general elections;
● Represented the Independent Electoral Commission (“INEC”) in 18 election petition appeals arising from the 2011 and 2015 Gubernatorial, State House of Assembly and National Assembly Elections in Ogun, Oyo,
Lagos and Plateau State from the Election Tribunals up to the final appeal level;
● Represented a group of management personnel of a Bank charged for alleged criminality arising from their handling a private placement and underwriting.