Chibuzo Ezima (LLB, BL)

PARTNER

Chibuzo Ezima (LLB, BL)

Chibuzo Ezima is a Founding Partner and head of the Corporate Commercial practice of the Firm. With almost 2-decade experience in the legal industry, she regularly provides advice to Clients principally on business setups and company practice, legal advisory on international joint venture transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructuring transactions.

Recently, she was involved in acting as a Lead Counsel in respect of a joint venture transaction. Chibuzo also has hands-on experience in project finance, vessel financing and maritime related matters. Over the years, she has advised on a significant number of transactions, including the concessioning of the Calabar Terminal Port, acquisition of about three Telecommunications companies by a major CDMA service provider, and legal advisory services to a Spanish company investing in Nigeria’s real estate sector. At her previous engagement, she provided advice as a core member of the Lender’s Counsel in the $46.5m Mall Development project loan finance. She also worked on hybrid financing involving mezzanine debt and medium-term loan facility for the construction of a Mall on behalf of a South African Investment Company.

Chibuzo also serves on the Board of some Startup companies and has strong bias for board advisory and company secretarial services, helping companies develop compliance and sound corporate governance polices.

Educational Background

  • Nigerian Law School, BL 2004
  • Abia State University, LLB 2002

Professional Background

  • Partner, Bridgeforte Attorneys
  • Principal Counsel, Raregem Solicitors
  • Senior Associate, Aluko & Oyebode
  • Senior Associate, Kenna Partners
  • Team Lead, Solicitors Unit, Paul Usoro & Co

Summary of some Key Transactions

  •  Lead Counsel, worked jointly with Clifford Chance LP (UK office) to provide legal advisory support relating to, Multi- Currency Loan Facility of USD48.6million for a Mall development project in Lagos State.
  • Lead Counsel, worked jointly with Africa Legal, a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa and a member of the Deneys Reitz Group in Provided legal advisory support on hybrid financing involving mezzanine debt and medium-term loan facility for the construction of a Mall in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Lead Counsel, provided legal opinions to a South African telecommunication investor on its divestment strategies in its wholly owned Nigerian subsidiary.
  • Lead Counsel, negotiated and reviewed loan documentations for a USD10 million Hospital loan facility between some foreign fund equity investors and a Nigerian Hospital.
  • Lead Counsel, provided advisory services on the divestment of shares of the Nigerian subsidiary of a Norwegian Ship fabrication company, review and negotiation of refinancing of loans to the company.
  • Lead counsel in a transaction involving a loan facility between IFC and a Nigerian Food chain Company, review of loan documentation, mortgage transaction documents and due diligence.
  • Lead Counsel, advised an indigenous Shipping company on its maiden ship mortgage transaction with a reputable Nigerian Bank.
  • Legal advisory and Loan documentation review for a loan arrangement to the tune of USD300 million between an offshore bank and a Nigerian bank
  • Provided legal advice on the impact of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, review and drafting of term sheet for international joint venture between a global oil and gas support Company and a Nigerian entity. Drafting and negotiation of a Joint Venture Agreement, advice on regulatory and compliance issues.
  • Worked on transaction documents for the acquisition of a quoted cement company vide a management buyout arrangement.
  • Advised on the acquisition of a Communication Company vide 100% acquisition of the shares of the company.
  • Conducted legal due diligence and advisory in a respect of a crude oil financing vide a prepayment Agreement between a foreign lender, foreign buyer and a Nigerian owner of an Oil Mining License. The transaction was worth about $180m.
  •  Reviewed and advised on some project agreements with respect to the establishment of fertilizer plant.
  • Developed a Corporate Governance Model for a Terminal Operator company and an oil and gas company.
  • Update and preparation of regulatory and compliance manual for a Nigerian Subsidiary of an International bank in relation to carrying on business in Nigeria.
  •  Honorary Secretary, Society for Corporate Governance, Nigeria (2008- 2010): Provision of Board support, advice, coordination of other personnel in the Society, corporate management of the Society’s events, workshops and Trainings.
  • Establishment and re-structure of a Nigerian subsidiary of a multinational United States major rice herbicide manufacturer.
  • Company Secretary to a multinational – Sub Saharan African Maritime Shipping Company: Attended Board Meetings and maintained corporate records, Board secretarial and legal support, interfaced with Regulators on behalf of the Company and management of any other corporate duties assigned by the Board may assign.
  • Company Secretarial Services and legal advisory for a multinational – Waste Management Company.