A Senior Advocate’s Passion for Writing in the Legal Field

Professor Ajogwu SAN, one of Nigeria’s most seasoned litigators, Nigeria’s first professor of corporate governance and luminary writer released his latest book “The Law & Practice of Private Equity” on November 17, 2020, at a virtual book presentation.
He is not only a boardroom professional, given that he sits on the Board of some of the most reputable companies, but he is also an expert in private equity and dispute resolution. He is the author of an impressive list of experiential law books namely – ‘The Law & Practice of Private Equity’; ‘Ship Acquisition & Finance: Law & Practice’; ‘Corporate Governance & Group Dynamics’; ‘Corporate Governance in Nigeria: Law and Practice’; ‘Commercial Arbitration in Nigeria: Law and Practice’; ‘Fair Hearing’; ‘Mergers & Acquisition in Nigeria: Law and Practice’; ‘Law & Society’; and ‘Decoupling Ownership from Management of Companies.’
He co-authored ‘Outcomes-Based Governance: Modern Perspectives to Corporate Governance’ with Professor Mervyn King SC; ‘Petroleum Law and Sustainable Development’ with Dr Oscar Nliam; ‘Legal & Regulatory Aspects of Commerce’; ‘Trade & Investments in Nigeria: Legal & Regulatory Aspects’; ‘Oral and Written Advocacy: Law & Practice’ with Chief Folake Solanke, SAN; and ‘Collecting Art: A Handbook’ with Dr Jess Castellote.
On his reason for writing the much talked about book ‘The Law & Practice of Private Equity,’ Professor Ajogwu notes that “Private equity is a specialist field of law. The Law & Practice of Private Equity seeks to debrief experiences of the Firm of Kenna Partners garnered over the years in various transactions, Counsel to Novare Equity Partners, the owners of the Novare Lekki Mall, Novare Central Park and the Novare Apo Mall on their investments in Nigeria as well as sitting on the Board of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund amongst other experiences.”
The book has received well-deserved accolades from professionals in the field. Derrick Roper, CEO of Novare Equity Partners, South Africa—pioneers in investment management in Africa—in the foreword to the book noted that Professor Ajogwu, SAN has written his best book so far, “a magnum opus by the Learned Professor in the field of Investment and Financing Sources with an in-depth research an analysis of concepts, legal principles, relevant laws and legislation”. He wrote, adding that “the author should be commended for his insightful analysis of the making of Private Equity deals and by providing practical instances of Private Equity deals within and outside Nigeria. It is indeed a show of hard work and pursuit of excellence in this masterpiece.”
In attendance at the book presentation, were finance and private equity experts. The panelists consisted of Mr. Derrick Roper, Mrs. Tariye Gbadegesin, Mr. Anthony Ogbechie, Mr. Yinka Sanni and Professor Enase Okonedo.
Mr. Yinka Sanni, Regional Chief Executive, West African Region, Stanbic IBTC Bank in his opening remarks commended Professor Ajogwu for the “timeliness of book considering the state of global and African economies, following what is arguably the worst public health crisis since the 1920s. The Covid-19 pandemic has had profound economic consequences for African Private Equity plays a critical role as an economic jumpstart of growth in Africa, especially in bridging the gap between self-financing and conventional capital market activity for Africa’s dynamic and growing enterprises.” He further expressed his optimism that the taught in the book will encourage and embolden Nigeria’s fund managers, especially pension fund administrators.”
One of the Panelists, Mr Emeka Anthony Ogbechie, Chief Financial Officer of Capital Alliance Nigeria, noted that “What Prof. Ajogwu has done is to codify all the different principles of the practice of private equity into one text, and it is commendable. In doing a deal, you need to work with lawyers who understand the field and understand what they are doing. The consequences can be quite dire when working with the wrong legal adviser on a private equity transaction. What is clear is that Prof Ajogwu is an expert in the field. The book is a must-read for all, including entrepreneurs, investors, regulators, financial experts, policymakers, Attorneys and students.
In reviewing the book, Professor Enase Okonedo, Dean of Lagos Business School, observed that “as someone who taught finance for over two decades at the Lagos Business School and has to speak to students about corporate financing options, the subject of private equity was one that was least understood by the many students and one that was greeted with scepticism. Therefore, when I saw this book that Prof Ajogwu had written, I thought that this would fill the void in terms of deepening, not only the understanding but the practice of Private Equity, especially in Nigeria and emerging markets.”
In her words, “The book presents a well-detailed and practical approach to adopting private equity as a funding option for businesses. It draws examples from businesses that have benefitted from Private Equity and explain the financial options taken. It also highlights Private Equity as an effective funding option from startup businesses and businesses that cannot afford debt financing from the inability to meet the requirements. It presents real-life and practical approaches to Private Equity investing, deal-making and protection of stakeholder interests. What I find interesting is that the chapters are interrelated. It is worthy of commendation for its detailed and insightful analysis of deal-making in Private Equity transactions. The learned author provides a practical step-by-step guide to successful deal-making applying Private Equity, including due diligence which is at the soul of Private Equity transactions.”
I commend Professor Ajogwu, SAN for this great feat and we look forward to its utilisation as a private equity guide in our jurisdiction.
Professor Ajogwu is among the top lawyers featured in my forthcoming book, “COURTROOM AND LAW FIRM STRATEGIES—Senior Advocates of Nigeria Share Their Experiences.”

Source: The Sun, February 13, 2021

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