Prof. Gbolahan Elias | Partner | G. Elias & Co.
Gbolahan is a Partner in G. Elias & Co. in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). His practice covers taxation, corporate finance, litigation, mergers and acquisition, power, oil and gas and telecommunications.
Membership in Professional Societies
- Nigerian Bar Association
- International Academy of Defence Counsel
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK
- London Court of International Arbitration
- Chartered Institute of Taxation
1990/1991: New York State and Federal Bar
1989: Doctor of Philosophy (D. Phil.) Oxford University
1986: Master of Arts (MA) Oxford University
1983: Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) Oxford University
1981: Barrister-at-Law (B.L) Nigerian Law School
1980: Bachelor of Arts (BA) Oxford University
1994 – DATE: Partner G. Elias & Co.
1989 to 1993: Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore (New York)
Awards & Accolades
- Senior Advocate of Nigeria (2005)
- Energy Institute (a Fellow)
- Gbolahan is ranked as Band 1 lawyer in Chambers Global, 2016 in Banking and Finance, Corporate/Commercial, Band 2 in Dispute Resolution and Energy & Natural Resources.
- Visiting Professor, Babcock University, Ilishan
- Junior Research Fellow, Merton College, Oxford (1986-1989)
Areas of Expertise
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Oil and Gas
- Dispute Resolution
- Winning for Lutin Investments Ltd. and enforcing a USD330mm arbitration award against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”).
- Advising the lenders of USD3bn for the NNPC under a forward sale funding structure.
- Advising the privatization acquirer of NITEL, the old government telephony monopoly (USD252mm).
- Advising Tolaram–Africa on a joint venture and sale of a 50% equity stake to Kelloggs for USD450mm.
- Advising shareholders in the Ikeja Mall on a sale of their stake to Hyprops (over USD100mm).
- Advising the sellers in Nigeria’s first-ever sale of a “bridge” bank, Enterprise Bank (USD350mm).
- Leading the litigation team representing a listed global multinational manufacturer of tobacco products in the most extensive series of product liability cases ever filed in Nigeria to recover over ₦5trn in total by 5 States’ Attorneys-General plus the Attorney-General of the Federation. There are now 21 of these cases in courts in six Nigerian jurisdictions as well as in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
- Led the team that advised a leading Egyptian Investor in developing, reviewing and negotiating legal documentation for a 2300MW power plant project with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company.
- Leading the team advising Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company, on a pre-export forward sale transaction to finance the NNPC, Shell Petroleum and Total oilfield developments for the national gas-to-power programme.
- Leading the team advising 2 power distribution companies and 2 IPPs on their embedded power projects.
- Leading the team advising an oil and gas company in Nigeria on the over USD1bn financing of the acquisition from Shell Petroleum of interests in two oil mining licences, a gas processing plant and a power plant through a senior secured amortizing term loan facility, mezzanine loan facility, issuance of mandatorily-redeemable preferred shares and ordinary shares.
- Leading the team advising on the circa US$1bn NNPC/SPDC/TEPNG and the US$700mm NNPC/CNL JV pre-export financing on oil and gas generation projects.
- Prosecuting a total of 4 suits and defending 2 others, for Zhongfu Investment Int. (Nig.) FZE against (i) the Free Trade Zone Authority for administrative connivance in approving the unlawful ejection of our client from the Ogun Guandong Free Trade Zone (ii) the Nigerian Police Force for its role in the act, and for violating the fundamental rights against our Client’s staff (iii) the government of Ogun State of Nigeria for recovery of possession of the zone land, (iv) and against a former employee of our client for collusion. He further advised the client on filing international arbitration before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.
- Led the team that successfully defended First Bank in a suit filed by the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation for the reversal of debits on the Claimant’s JV Account in respect of Standard Form Guarantees given in respect of environmental damage claims against oil producing companies.
- Led the team that advised to Transcorp Energy Ltd. on its US$220mm acquisition financing for the Ughelli Power Company.
- Led the team that advised the lenders to NNPC-ExxonMobil on its NGL Phase II Project Financing (USD1.1bn).
- Advising on the Ecobank Transnational “IPO”, an IPO listed on 3 securities exchanges in West Africa (USD 2.5bn).
- Advising on the largest ever bond offering in Nigerian history (₦3trillion, for AMCON).