International Business Focus
Calmhill Partners is a full-service commercial and dispute resolution firm located in Lagos, Nigeria. They are in the front line of helping businesses grow. The Partners of the Firm understand the interplay between local concerns and the aspirations of foreign investors and the intricacies of navigating the challenging terrain of Nigerian law. Backed by over 20 years of multi-legal experience,the lawyers weave teamwork, accountability, integrity, avoidance of conflict of interest, speed and innovation in providing effective and tailored solutions to legal issues.
Tell us what you do at Calmhill Partners? What are your services?
Calmhill Partners is a full-service dispute resolution and commercial law firm with its main offices in the Nigerian capital of Lagos State. The firm’s pride is the quality of its service offerings delivered through its different practices groups names: dispute resolution, corporate structuring, media & entertainment, employment & labour law, family law, fintech, and real estate advisory.
What are some of the interplay between local concerns and the aspirations of foreign investors?
The core interplay between local concerns and the interests of foreign investors seeking to do business in Nigeria is like legislations and policies which are supposed to guide and, in other cases, ease doing business in Nigeria. Apart from the Executive Orders issued in this respect, other laws like the Petroleum Industry Act, Nigerian Content Development Act, Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, Finance Act 2020, etc., have helped to streamline specific processes and requirements for foreign participation in Nigeria businesses.
Another interplay is the security issues suffered in some regions in Nigeria. In the east, there is the effect of the Indigenous People of Biafra, while in the North, Boko Haram is still rampaging. Other interplaying factors include taxes, cost of doing business, e.g. power, real estate, timelines for obtaining regulatory approvals, and foreign exchange policies.
What can Calmhill Partners bring
to a Canadian audience?
Calmhill Partners recognizes that there is an extensive African population in Canada and the surge of diasporans seeking to reintegrate and recommit to business in Nigeria. To this end, our Firm stands in a unique position with its extensive experience to educate, guide and advise at discounted rates on the commercial threads which investors require to get the best at overcoming legal bottlenecks
How much work has been done in Nigeria to allay the fears of foreign investors?
There has been a substantial amount of effort on the Federal and State Governments in Nigeria to create and retain the suitable climate that would boost investors’ confidence. This has mainly been in the area of policy changes and legislation. The Finance Act 2020, Petroleum Industry Act, Companies and Allied Matters Act are statutes that ease off strains that had hitherto stymied doing business in Nigeria. Also, there has been steering of court rules towards mediated settlements and arbitrations in the area of dispute resolution. The Nigerian Investment Promotions Commission has also been doing a lot to ease legitimate foreign activities. In the area of security, new Generals have been appointed in the military and deployed to the restive regions to tackle attacks by herders and terrorists.
Can you talk briefly about the promise of doing business in Nigeria?
Nigeria is arguably the most active commercial hub in Africa, and this fact is not lost to the Federal Government. It is on the front burner to create the most business-friendly atmosphere for investors and local businesses. In power, steps are being taken to ramp up power generation from the frequent upgrade of the power stations. The policies on alternative energy sources are also applaudable, however, slow the implementation has been. In the area of infrastructure, Lagos State has taken several bold steps in road construction, including the roads leading to the Apapa ports. There has also been aggressive work on the light rails project in and out of Lagos State. Perhaps the most palpable of the promise which portends excellent hope has been the recent review of most of the laws that touch on doing business, such as the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the changes made to the Petroleum Act.
Why vital is the Nigerian market to our Canadian audience?
Nigeria occupies a unique place for any entity seeking to do business in Africa. The country’s unique location for maritime activities, inherent human and natural resources, and advancement of its commercial and socio-economic framework translate into a massive market for any new business.
What books are on your bedtime table?
As lawyers, we gobble up new materials that touch on changes in the legal jurisprudence of Nigeria. However, we frequently partake in other books on personal development, leadership and management. Currently, my bedside table has an occupant – David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.
May we ask you to share your favourite Christmas recipes?
Jollof rice always tops the list, with the usual well-spiced Christmas turkey.
Is there a quote or a person who has inspired you?
Always go the extra mile since it is hardly crowded.
Thank you for stopping by.