Udowa Attorneys is a law firm registered in Nigeria and enrolled by the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) to practice law. We serve clients in Nigeria and internationally in various aspects of law and provide a wide range of legal and consultancy services with specialty in Corporate Law Practice, Banking Law Practice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Chartered Tax Consultancy. Our team is made up of seasoned and distinguished attorneys from diverse background. Our attorneys recognize that clients should expect the very best, and we are committed to delivering just that. With skills, practical experience and extensive resources that are grounded in the real challenges of today, our attorneys provide clients with unique solutions to their most important and demanding needs.
At Udowa Attorneys, we are not interested in telling you why something cannot be done. We’re interested in finding solutions to make things work. We understand you want lawyers with business sense who can give practical legal advice, not just answers that are technically correct but leave you wondering what to do next.
The firm’s Corporate Headquarters is at Plot GO5, Tony Asikpo Street, Shelter Afrique Estate, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria while our Abuja office are at Suit 106 Garachi Plaza, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, FCT. The firm’s philosophy is driven by its quest to exceed the expectations of our clients and stakeholders.
Our vision is to be an exceptionally rated law and legal services provider.
Our mission is to exceed client’s expectations in achieving the generally acknowledged efficient and effective legal services while creating value for all our stakeholders, abiding by the greatest professional and ethical standards, and building an enduring firm.
Our corporate uniqueness is centered on five deep-seated values which are hinge on the acronym FIRST – Focus, Integrity, Resilience, Service, and Trust.
We focus on our clients and stakeholders satisfaction. We are aware that without them there will be no us. We are modest, unassuming, and respectful to all by shifting the focus away from ourselves and continually recognizing the contributions of others. To us, humility is the True Greatness.
We will be a catalyst in fostering ethical practices in individuals, institutions and business through transparency, complying with rules & regulations, and good corporate governance. We will remain a honourable organization with a high degree of integrity in all our transactions.
Our character attribute is to respond successfully to challenges by anticipating, confronting, and managing all challenging situations. Our enterprise spirit makes challenging situations motivating, and we know that our Resilience in the face of adversity will contribute to excellent performance, deeper life satisfaction, and happiness for all stakeholders.
We will be an exemplification of supreme excellence by exceeding the maximum possible standards through meticulous attention to details. We will continually distinguish ourselves as an efficient, innovative and quality firm.
Show strong internal and external loyalty by being faithful to commitments or obligations of our clients and stakeholders to earn their trust while ensuring employees’ total devotion to the aspirations of the firm.
Our brand driver is the quest to be reliable, earn our clients’ trust and exceptionally exceed expectations
AREA OF PRACTICE/SPECIALIZATION
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Corporate Law Practice
- Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
- Contract Law
- Banking & Finance Law
- Telecommunications and Internet
- Aviation Law
- Maritime Law
- Environmental Law
- Oil & Gas Law
- Mining Law
- Revenue Law
- Intellectual Property
- Pharmaceutical Law:
- Employment and Labor Law
- Insurance Law
- Criminal Law
- Cyber Criminology
- Immigration Law
- Land Law
- Restructuring & Insolvency
- Real Estate
- Forestry Law
- Family Law
- Succession and Wills
- Public/Private International Law
- General Litigation and Counseling
- Litigation etc.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to the several different methods of resolving legal disputes without going to court or litigation. Litigation system of administration of justice is the traditional form of dispute resolution by action through the courts. In this system, a judge sits and listens to argument on the interpretation of the relevant law as applied to the particular dispute and then makes a decision as to who wins and who loses. Over the years, it has become obvious that the administration of justice through regular court or litigation is usually fraught with long delays and associated costs as courts face backlogged of cases some spanning over many years. This is because litigation system of justice administration is adversarial and time consuming and is likely to encourage an adversarial culture and to degenerate into an environment in which the litigation process becomes a battle field where no rules apply.
It is in response to these delays and to ensure swifter and cost effective dispensation of justice and judicial control that Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Multi-door Court House were developed. Alternative Dispute Resolution is therefore an alternative to litigation. The aims of Alternative Dispute Resolution are to discourage delays and degeneration of an adversarial culture in the attainment of civil justice.
The resolution or agreement reached by the parties in the ADR system can be made binding by being reduced into written agreement, duly executed by them and filed in court as a consent judgment. ADR could be court connected or non-court connected. Court connected ADR is where the matter was already in court and the parties agreed on an out of court settlement while it is non-Court connected ADR where the parties mutually reach an acceptable agreement without recourse to court. At Udowa Attorneys, we have a highly skilled and experienced Dispute Resolution Team that is actively engaged with both court connected or non-court connected dispute resolutions.
We bring Alternative Dispute Resolution to virtually all types of disputes, including:
- Oil Spill disputes
- Employment disputes
- Workers’ Compensation – appeals, coverage, liability, and compensation issues
- Landlord/tenant conflicts
- Escrow and earnest money disputes
- Land title disputes
- Domestic/Family- divorce, child custody, marital property, inheritance, alimony, child support, and other family law issues.
- Loans, sales, collections, or contract disputes
- Non-Competes and trade secrets disputes
- Intellectual Property/Patents disputes over trademarks, copyrights, advertising, patents, licensing, software, trade secrets, unfair competition, and literary and artistic works
- Government Contracts – disputes between and among government contractors and/or subcontractors, and those involving contract procurement
- Malpractice disputes – medical, legal, and accounting malpractice claims
- Estates/Trusts disputes involving wills, trusts, estates, and other probate matters
- Business/Commercial – contract disputes, buyouts/restructurings, and business dissolutions
- Products Liability – consumer claims regarding defective products
- Class Actions – class or collective action lawsuits involving wage and hour issues, employment law issues, products liability claims, consumer protection issues, and securities and shareholder derivative claims
- Environmental – statutory violations
- Education – tenure issues, contract disputes, and labor negotiations
- Ethics – ethics violations, complaints, and grievances
A significant part of our work under this specialization involves:
Advising and assisting our clients to settle disputes using applicable ADR technique which include:
- Early neutral evaluation;
- Min trial; med-arb;
- Private judging; peer review; and
- Online Dispute Resolution
- Representing our clients in ADR processes
- Serving as adjudicators, arbitrators, conciliators and mediators in ADR processes
Corporate Law Practice:
Corporate law practice covers the legal framework involved in transactional, litigation and alternative dispute resolution techniques concerning the establishment, ownership, operation, management, regulation and dissolution of business and non-business organizations. Corporate law practice requires in-depth, broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of the various applicable laws, regulatory agencies and institutions and interfacing with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC ) and other Regulatory Agencies such as: Nigerian Investments promotion Commission (NIPC), Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) etc to achieving best practice in corporate transactions.
In addition, our corporate law practice offers value adding advice to the significant Nigerians in Diaspora and foreign investors requiring advice and intending on establishing a presence in Nigeria. We advise international companies and banks in connection with establishing a branch in Nigeria and foreign companies in connection with foreign investment regulations and the structuring and establishment and or expansion of local entities in the form of limited liability companies, branch or joint ventures.
Our services in corporate law practice include but not limited to the following:
- Registering different types of business and non-business organizations,
- Represent the interest of different parties in business/non business organizations & commercial transactions, according to the needs of the clients and requirements of the applicable law/rules.
- Effective handling of the functions of Company Secretary, particularly in respect of Company meetings, filing of Statutory Returns and acting as Legal Adviser and rendering legal opinion on compliance by the organization with relevant laws.
- Computation and filing of tax returns and obtaining of Tax Clearance Certificate
- Entrenching corporate governance and responsibilities in corporate management.
- Corporate amalgamation, restructure, liquidation,
- Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)/ Transaction support in mergers and acquisitions
- Company securities
- Modification of the share capital
- Modification of Memorandum and Articles of Association;
- Share transfer through gifts, sales, etc;
- Corporate agreements
- Capital market practices
- Company search/investigation
- Legal due diligence
- Registration of mortgages and other securities
- Loan recovery
- Defence against hostile takeover
- Corporate dispute resolution
- Other Corporate procedures
- Public-private partnerships
- Digital Forensic Advocacy
Corporate restructuring is the process of redesigning one or more aspects of a company. The process of reorganizing a company may be implemented due to a number of different factors, such as positioning the company to be more competitive, survive a currently adverse economic climate, or poise the companyto move in an entirely new direction.
Restructuring a corporate entity is often a necessity when the company has grown to the point that the original structure can no longer efficiently manage the output and general interests of the company. For example, a corporate restructuring may call for spinning off some departments into subsidiaries as a means of creating a more effective management model as well as taking advantage of tax breaks that would allow the corporation to divert more revenue to the production process.
Corporate restructuring may take place as a result of the acquisition of the company by new owners. The acquisition may be in the form of a leveraged buyout, a hostile takeover, or a merger of some type that keeps the company intact as a subsidiary of the controlling corporation. When the restructuring is due to a hostile takeover, corporate raiders often implement a dismantling of the company, selling off properties and other assets in order to make a profit from the buyout. What remains after this restructuring may be a smaller entity that can continue to function, albeit not at the level possible before the takeover took place.
The restructuring options available under Nigerian corporate law practice may either be External or Internal to the company or a combination of both. Internal Corporate restructuring options which involve the company with its members or creditors include:
- Arrangement on Sale
- Arrangement and compromise
- Loan Workout
- Management But Out
The external restructuring options on the other hand which involves the company and other third parties include
- Merger and Acquisition
- Take Over
- Purchase & Assumption
- Cherry picking
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
The M&A team is valued for its efficient management of complex and intensive projects, and assists clients in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of M&A transactions of all types and sizes. The team’s experience covers business sectors which include energy, mining, manufacturing, food and beverages, telecommunications, health care and financial institutions.
Restructuring & Insolvency
Udowa Attorneys’ Restructuring and Insolvency team acts for both financial institutions and investors in restructuring issues following official restructuring proceedings under the insolvency laws or in negotiating deals between creditors and entities in distress.
The experience of the Udowa Attorney’s Pharmaceutical Law team extends to all legal matters related to pharmaceutical products, medical devices, cosmetics, vaccines and veterinary products. Advice is given in relation to healthcare contracts, grants and donations, promotion and distribution issues, clinical trials, pharmacovigilance, data protection and pricing issues. The team assists clients in developing, implementing and monitoring compliance programs and supply policies and represents them in contracts disputes, collections, infringement of IP rights, distribution agreements and more.
Employment & Labour Law:
Udowa Attorneys’ Employment Law team participates in projects involving legal compliance in labour law issues. The team is recognized for top quality service, in-depth legal support, management orientated and beneficial-focused solutions, responsiveness and dedication. We advise clients in connection with employment issues, drafted employment contracts, reviewed internal employment regulations and provided advice on termination of employee contracts. We carry out Employment audits, General advice on employment law and Labour disputes
Energy, Natural Resources & Utilities:
Udowa Attorney’s Energy Law practice is known for being dedicated to clients energy y related projects, covering all aspects of the energy sector: regulatory, M&A, project finance and project related contracts. The Energy team has decades of experience and is acknowledged as one of the foremost firms in the oil and gas sector, while it also has a long history in mining law and regulations, representing both international and domestic investors in the Greek mining industry. Additionally, the team is active in the electricity and renewable energy sectors.
Industrial & Intellectual Property:
Udowa Attorney’s IP team advises clients on the registration of trademarks, designs, patents and domain names, it conducts searches for conflicts, handles the preparation and filing of applications and has an excellent track record in IP litigation cases. The firm undertakes passing off and unfair competition cases. It also offers support on copyright, trade secrets and confidentiality issues and on agreements on the assignment and licensing of all IP rights.
The real estate industry has expanded rapidly in the past decade and growing by the day.. We work as a matchmaker by connecting buyers, sellers and renters to the best properties in Nigeria and around the world. With the help of our professional team, your sale, purchase or rental will be seamless, straightforward, and wonderfully simple. Our edge lies on our skilled team with a commanding database of properties and interested buyers for more than you could ever find on your own.
Our corporate team is experienced in advising on a wide range of real estate issues in Nigeria, including issues relating to title, rights over land and environmental matters. We advise our clients on the real estate and property transactions including drafting and vetting of building and development contracts relating to promotion of buildings, apartments, estates, lease, licence, mortgage, conducting searches on encumbrances and investigating property title, lease agreements, rental agreements, and mortgage deeds. The firm also undertakes litigations relating to property disputes in all the levels of various courts. Legal support when implementing property transactions; Consultation on land ownership issues; Legal support relating to property investment activities.
Together with our Banking & Finance practice, we provide a seamless service on all matters relating to financing real estate, real estate development, construction and ancillary corporate matters, and offer our clients unparalleled expertise in creating and implementing an efficient legal structure for real estate projects in Nigeria.
Banking and Financial law Practice:
The importance of banking business in the survival and development of any socio-economic system cannot be overemphasized. Banking basically involves the mobilizing of funds from the surplus units of the economy and lending to the deficit units. Banks are large and complex organizations. Their clients or customers include individuals, companies, institutions, and governments. The relationship between bank and customer is based on contract under which the bank agrees to hold the customer’s money as savings, or to lend its own money to the customer as loan, and to render various other services. The contractual relationship gives rise to rights and obligation on each party.
Banking practice therefore reflects underlying legal principles through which the bank gives the services which the customer expects while safeguarding its own position. It is believed that the legal principles underlying banking in Nigeria will become more complex with the introduction of the cashless policy and four new laws that will tighten the financial sector regulations by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The bills are the Electronic Transaction Bill, the Financial Ombudsman Bill, the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) Bill, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulatory Commission Bill.
The Electronic Transaction Bill, if passed into law, would give effect to the admission in evidence of all electronically generated statements of account which the Evidence Act currently forbids. The Financial Ombudsman Bill, aims to facilitate faster resolution of financial disputes, while the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulatory Commission Bill is proposed to create an ADR Commission to promote and regulate the practice and use of ADR in Nigeria.
Our attorneys handle a broad range of matters, including:
Bank Formation, Regulation and Compliance
We help our financial institution clients build and grow from the ground up. Clients include commercial banks, microfinance banks, thrifts, trust companies, financial and bank holding companies, mortgage lenders, finance companies, investment advisers, broker dealers, bank agencies, and many other types of financial institutions. Udowa attorneys are exceptionally adept at forming these entities and helping these entities navigate the regulatory and compliance issues in this highly regulated area of law.
- Banking operations (including international settlements);
- mergers and acquisitions,
- anti-money laundering,
- Bank Secrecy Act,
- lending, licensing,
- Lender liability,
- SEC compliance,
- Receivership Managers
- Mortgages over land
- Debt Management/Recovery
- Loan transactions;
- Perfection of securities for bank lending
- Arbitrators, Mediators and Conciliators in Banking and Finance Matters
- Financial Investigators, Supervisors and Examiners
- Project financing;
- The securitization of assets and hedging;
- Equity, fixed income and other securities;
- Securities transactions
Our Banking & Finance team advises lenders, arrangers, underwriters and issuers in all activities related to the Nigerian market, such as bond issuances, project and shipping finance, securitizations, IPOs/SPOs, private placements, public offers of debt and equity and tender offers.
We advise listed entities, and those entities seeking to list their securities, on market conduct issues, ongoing obligations, corporate governance, exchange membership and exchange rules. We advise various financial institutions on establishing and developing compliant products and services.
Our Loan Recovery Team has the expertise to locate Hard-to-find-Debtors you have been unable to reach and get the most up-to-date contact information. Our databases of consumer and commercial information are updated frequently, enabling you to locate elusive debtors, make contact and collect unpaid debt. We develop a more focused collection strategy by determining which accounts have the highest payment potential. Our advanced scoring and segmentation tools arm you with the complete portfolio intelligence you need to stay ahead of the competition. Further increase debt recovery through ongoing portfolio monitoring. By analyzing industry trends and testing new strategies, our clients will be able to maximize collections and better manage their accounts receivable. We monitor your debtor accounts and let you know when a customer’s ability to pay has improved so you can immediately start working the account again and collect the unpaid balance. In addition, Udowa Attorneys debt collections management system supports all types of customer debt, including mortgages, credit cards, loans and overdrafts and has a proven track record of improving debt receivables.
Chartered Tax Consultancy
Tax law covers the rules, policies and laws that oversee the tax process, which involves charges on estates, transactions, property, income, licenses and more by the government. Taxation also includes duties on imports from foreign countries and all compulsory levies imposed by the government upon individuals for benefit of the state.
At Udowa Attorneys, we advise clients in all areas of tax law. Our practice includes Federal, State, and Local government tax matters, as well as the tax aspects of transacting business in foreign jurisdictions. Our clients include both public and private companies. Our attorneys have extensive experience with transactions, especially those involving mergers and acquisitions. Another strength is our tax controversy practice, which includes representation in connection with audits and appeals and litigation of federal and state tax matters.
Our tax areas of emphasis include the following:
- Corporate tax planning, including corporate formation, reorganization, liquidations, distributions and consolidated group issues
- Business acquisitions and divestitures, including taxable and tax-free mergers
- General business tax planning, including selecting appropriate entities, business continuity planning, and general tax management
- Design and analysis of complex partnership and limited liability company arrangements representing both fund managers and investors
- Structuring real estate transactions, including like-kind exchanges and other tax deferral techniques
- Tax audit and tax controversy practice, including negotiation of post-audit offers in compromise
- Tax litigation in Federal District Court, Federal Court of Claims, United States Tax Court, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and various state courts
- Taxation of international operations including application of tax treaties and foreign taxes
- State and local tax planning
- Formation, qualification and operation of tax-exempt entities
- State and local tax litigation, including property tax litigation and litigation of corporate sales tax, partnership and individual tax assessments
- Legislative representation on tax matter
Some of our attorneys are proud members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
WILLS & INTESTACY
We provided advice to our clients in matters involving contentious probate and intestacy disputes. We “warned off” caveats filed for letters of administration, conducted relevant searches at the Probate Registry, provided advice to clients on the resealing of grants of administration and prevent a deceased’s estate being taken into receivership pending the grant of letters of administration.
In addition, we advise and Assist the Personal Representative/Executor with the following:
- Locating and securing both probate and non probate assets
- Obtaining date of death values and appraisals of all of the decedent’s property
- Collecting life insurance proceeds
- Rolling over and making appropriate elections with regard to retirement plans
- Advising on the payment of the decedent’s final bills and outstanding debts
- Keeping track of the estate checking account
- Determining if any estate and gift taxes will be due and, if so, then figuring out where the cash will come from to pay the taxes
- Addressing income tax issues
- Settling disputes among Personal Representatives/Executors and beneficiaries
- Assisting with the sale of estate property
- Requesting court permission for various actions as required by applicable state probate laws
- Retitling the decedent’s assets into the names of the estate beneficiaries
- Preparing and filing all documents required by the probate court in a timely manner.