JOHNPAUL OKWOLI

Johnpaul Okwoli has legal experience spanning over 15 (Fifteen) years in corporate law and practice as well as civil & criminal litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. He is actively involved in mainstream litigation at the superior courts of record particularly in the areas of protection and the enforcement of legal rights. He is also involved in commercial and corporate law practice with emphasis on providing advice on complex investment and commercial transactions, including providing company secretarial services.

 

He advises on and carries out legal and regulatory compliance for companies, and is also actively involved in the protection of intellectual property rights, and corporate due diligence. Johnpaul had served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees (Proprietor) of a leading private University in Nigeria and also as Honorary Secretary of the Board of a foremost not-for-profit organisation committed to the development of corporate governance in Nigeria.

 

Practice Areas

 

Corporate and Commercial Law 

 

Johnpaul has substantial experience in commercial restructurings including foreign direct investments, franchises, and strategic alliances. He provides services for businesses in these specific areas. The Clients he has provided services to in this field include start-up ventures, small and medium scale enterprises, and well-established multinational corporations.

 

Johnpaul’s advice and representation ranges from initial business planning along company structure, organization, registration and financing, to ongoing regulatory and corporate compliance.  It also extends to related matters such as brokerage and advisory contracts and employee benefits and investment regulations. Johnpaul specializes in: – 

  • Corporate Commercial Law
  • Commercial restructurings
  • Corporate Controls
  • Resolving Shareholders Disputes
  • Minority Protection in companies 
  • Takeovers
  • Corporate Formations (Business Establishments)
  • International Joint Ventures & Strategic Alliances
  • Commercial Real Estate

 

Debt Recovery

 

Johnpaul has substantial experience in Debt Recovery for multinational companies, private companies, commercial Banks, and other going concerns. He takes advantage of the various legal options for the expeditious and efficient recovery of debts owed to his Clients, employing the method which is best suitable for the situation, and this ranges from simple letters to complex negotiations and litigation. His methods have proved very effective. 

 

Real Estate

 

Johnpaul provides services in the Real Estate sector. These services include assisting Clients in the purchase and sale of property (or acquisition of interests in property) by carrying-out pre-transactional Due Diligence, preparation of the transaction documents like leases, Deeds of Assignments etc, and also assisting in post-transactional activities like obtaining Governor’s Consent and Registration/Filing of Mortgages/Charges. He also provides advice on acquisition and investments, property management, Landlord & Tenant Disputes, Claims in Real Property and Disputes arising from Secured Lending. Johnpaul has successfully conducted several cases relating to securing rights in Real Estate in the Courts.

 

Johnpaul has been involved in the following transactions –

  • Brokerage of sale of a Housing Estate with 20 Hectares of land and 10 units of semi-detached duplexes in Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos. 
  • Brokerage of Joint Venture of the multi-million Dollar infrastructure development of a $25M office complex in Victoria Island, Lagos. 
  • Marketing and Lease of Commercial Office Complex on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. 
  • Due diligence and the acquisition of 38 hectares of land for the development of mixed Housing units in Abijo G.R.A, Lekki, Lagos.  
  • Due diligence, structuring, and legal advisory on long Lease of an island on the coast of Lagos.
  • Advised the promoters of multi-million Dollar infrastructure projects including malls in Lagos and Kano on issues of joint venture modelling, financing arrangements, due diligence requirements and transaction dynamics.

 

Services as Company Secretary

 

Johnpaul provides services as company secretary on retainer basis to Clients. These company secretarial services include the following:

  • Attending meetings of Shareholders, and Board of directors; and advising on compliance with the applicable rules and regulations.
  • Ensuring Regulatory Compliance and maintaining registers & records required by the Companies & Allied Matters Act.
  • Rendering statutory returns to the Corporate Affairs Commission, and carrying out such necessary administrative or secretarial duties.
  • Advising on Ownership and Management functions and rights 

 

Business Establishments & Immigration Procedures

 

Johnpaul provides services relating to Business Establishment & Immigration procedures, which includes the following: 

  • Obtaining expatriate quota (statutory permission to employ expatriates
  • Obtaining business permits, and Residence & Work  permits for expatriate staff and families, and obtaining Subject To Regularization (STR) Visas
  • Directorate of Petroleum Resources Licenses, Statutory licenses 
  • Other Industry specific government approvals.

 

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation

 

Johnpaul adopts alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques to help Clients settle disputes in an optimal way. These techniques include advance planning, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. 

During the negotiation and preparation of dispute resolution clauses in contracts, He relies on his experience and the constant legal developments regarding arbitration.  With experience as Counsel in numerous disputes, he is able to provide advice on the comparative advantages of the various options to resolving the dispute. 

 

Criminal Law

 

Johnpaul has developed significant experience and on-the-ground knowledge of the criminal justice system in Nigeria and have channelled the knowledge and contacts to assist Clients in protecting and defending their rights when faced with problems at the Police or other law enforcements agencies. He has also successfully conducted criminal cases in the Courts. 

 

Trusts and Estates 

 

Johnpaul has successfully provided legal services covering key phases of Estate Planning, Estate and Trust. These services include preparation of Wills and Testaments, administration of estates, trusts, custodianships, and guardianships. 

 

Labour and Employment Law

 

Johnpaul is adept at providing services relating to labour disputes and claims including counseling, dispute resolution through arbitration & litigation, employee benefits, pensions, collective bargaining, and employment issues arising from business restructuring and under various local employment laws and and best practices.  

 

He has successfully represented clients (corporate and individual) in several labour/workplace related claims at the National Industrial Court, and at the appellate level. He also assists Clients in the preparation of Handbook/Code of Conduct, and employment contracts.

 

Papers

 

  • ‘The Position Of “Res Gestae” In The Nigerian Law Of Evidence’ (2004)
  • ‘Members Voluntary Winding Up’ (2009)
  • ‘The Legal Effects Of Notices In The Termination Of Leases’ (2009)
  • The Legality Or Otherwise Of The Lagos State Hotel Occupancy & Restaurant Consumption Law’ (2009)
  • ‘The Enforcement Of Judgment On Moveable Property Via Writ Of Attachment And Sale’ (2011)
  • ‘Garnishee Proceedings: Practice & Procedure’ (2013) 
  • ‘Legal Perspective To Pollution In The Nigerian Petroleum Sector’ (2013)
  • ‘An Appraisal Of The Lagos State Mortgage Law, 2010’ (2015)