At Kenna Partners, we understand the importance of maritime transport as the backbone of global trade and the global economy at large. As such, our services are tailored to foster maritime transport and trade in the 21st century and to ensure that the benefits of trade and commerce are more evenly spread through the avenue of shipping. Kenna Partners has actively been involved in fostering the growth of the shipping industry in Nigeria with specific regard to ship financing and acquisition.
Our Shipping and Maritime Department’s approach is based on the fact that our clients’ risks do not necessarily abate when the subject cargo arrives on land. Consequently, we provide additional legal advisory services in the transportation of goods by air, sea, and beyond, syndication and vessel acquisition. The Firm has expertise in the workings of the maritime industry, both at home and abroad.
Our team provides legal advisory and representation services in the Maritime Industry, which involves representation of our clients in contentious matters, as well as maritime arbitral proceedings. We also provide legal services with respect to financing ship and maritime infrastructure, purchase, and registration of vessels, chartering agreements, bills of laden, syndication and vessel acquisition, cargo claims and other maritime-related matters. Our non-contentious work also involves wet shipping, wherein we advise on collisions, salvage, environmental pollution, and safety management. With specific regard to Nigerian law, we advise clients on compliance with the relevant laws (The Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007, etc.) in relation to licensing and registration requirements of Nigerian owned ships and foreign-owned ships in the Special Register for Vessels by the Nigerian Ship Registration Office.
Kenna Partners has a broad Client base that covers both local and foreign maritime jurisdictions. We currently represent International Shipping Lines, Private Ship Owners, Shipyards, Insurance Companies, Financial Institutions, Protection and Indemnity (P and I) Clubs, Brokers, Maritime Logistics Companies, Maritime Security Companies, as well as Freight Forwarders.
Kenna Partners also advises its Clients in relation to international trade transaction documentation and bilateral investment treaties as well as represent clients in trade negotiations. Notably, in 2019, Kenna Partners led the research committee of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICARB) that produced the working paper on “Deepening The Practice and Use of Arbitration in Bilateral Investment and Trade Treaties in Nigeria and West Africa”.
Some of our successes in this regard include that we acted as Lender’s Counsel in a Norwegian ship mortgage transaction and advised on issues of registration and enforcement of security. We also successfully managed regulatory issues for a shipping company in its corporate and vessel registration process, successfully advised a foreign shipowner on the arrest and judicial sale of ships in Nigeria and provide defence litigation analysis. Our partners have also provided expert declarations to foreign courts on issues relating to the enforcement of trade agreements, arbitral awards and foreign judgments in Nigeria.
We also lead the research in the Nigeria scheme, notably, our principal partner authored the books Ship Acquisition and Finance: Law and Practice, Trade and Investments in Nigeria: Legal and Regulatory Aspects (Commercial Law Development Series, 2017), Petroleum and Sustainable Development, and Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Commerce. (Centre for Commercial Law Development, 2014). Also, in 2019, members of our International Trade team led the research committee of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICARB) that produced the working paper on “Deepening The Practice and Use of Arbitration in Bilateral Investment and Trade Treaties in Nigeria and West Africa”.