FRED ONUOBIA | Managing Partner, G. Elias & Co.
Fred is the Managing Partner of G. Elias & Co. in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association and holds an LLM from University College London and an LLB from the University of Nigeria in Nigeria. His practice covers banking, securities, intellectual property, telecommunications, media and technology, commercial litigation, project finance, petroleum and energy law.
MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
- Nigerian Bar Association
- Nigerian Environmental Law Association
- Nigerian Maritime Lawyers Association
- International Trademark Association
- London Court of International Arbitration
2005 Masters of Law (LL.M) University College London
1992 Barrister-at-Law (B.L, Second Class Honours: Upper Division) Nigerian Law School
1991 Bachelor of Laws (LL.B, Second Class Honours: Upper Division) University of Nigeria
1995 – Date, Managing Partner, G. Elias & Co.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- Fred is recognized as a Leading Lawyer by all major international directories of lawyers. Chambers Global, 2016 describes him as “ very detailed, articulate and meticulous”.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
- Intellectual Property
- Project Finance
- Petroleum and Energy
- Dispute Resolution
- Led the team that advised First Bank Nigeria Limited on the restructuring of the acquisition facility for the acquisition of an OML and the grant of a capitalisation facility in respect of same.
- Led the team that advised Regus Group in its acquisition of the serviced and virtual office business of Landmark Group in Africa, and its joint venture with Workplace Plus Limited.
- Leading the team advising First Bank of Nigeria on (i) the restructuring of the acquisition facility of US$33,422,935.42 granted to EER for the acquisition of 9% participating interest in OML 113; and (ii) the grant of a capitalization facility of US$2,500,000 to the Borrower.
- Leading the team advising Goldman Sachs International on several repurchase, securities lending, cross currency swap and other derivatives transactions with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other Nigerian entities respectively including amongst others review of the overseas securities lending agreement between Goldman Sachs International and JP Morgan Chase Bank, Global Master Repurchase Agreement and Global Master Securities Lending Agreements, delivery of sundry opinions on derivatives transactions.
- Leading the team advising a social investment fund on its investment in two leading Nigerian micro-finance banks.
- Successfully defended Citibank Nigeria Limited (subsidiary of Citi Group) in a claim filed by Afribank (now Skye Bank) that it acted negligently in handling investment assets valued at N22,550,000,000 that were deposited with it as custodian which resulted in the conversion and/or loss of proceeds of the investments.
- Leading the team acting for an international financial institution, on the sale to a private equity firm of a non-performing US$125mm loan provided to SWAP Technologies & Telecomms Plc (a telecoms infrastructure provider) in 2012, including advising on the procedures for transfer and enforcement of the existing security.
- Leading the team BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, a leading company involved in fast moving consumer goods in Nigeria, on its NGN5bn term loan and NGN2bn trade and working capital facility.
- Led the team that advised Neconde Energy Limited, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, on the refinancing and enhancement of its USD 640mm term loan facility from a syndicate of foreign and local lenders.
- Led the team that advised FBN Trustees Limited on the lending to Lekoil Oil from Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited.
- Advised African Export-Import Bank and a leading Nigerian bank on Capcom Limited’s acquisition financing of Multilinks and Starcomms Plc (two Nigerian telecoms operators).
- Advised the lenders on their financing (USD420mm) of the Lekki-Epe toll road project (Nigeria’s pioneer toll road).
- Advised Standard Chartered Bank (UK) on its financing of Eland Oil & Gas Plc’s oil acreage acquisition.
- Advised First bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s oldest and leading bank, on its US$340mm Strategic Alliance Agreement financing of NPDC’s interests in 4 Oil Mining Leases.