Anozie Awambu

LL.B (Hons), B.L (Nigeria); LLM Distinction (Dundee)
Managing Partner

Anozie Awambu is qualified in Nigeria, England and Wales. His experience in energy and natural resources is extensive and varied. In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has advised sovereign states, lenders, and developers, including FTSE, ASX and TSX listed companies, on transactions in over 28 countries, in relation to all the stages of the life cycle of oil and gas investments: from framework arrangements with host states, joint ventures and strategic alliances, to divestment and acquisition of assets, through to the commercial and financing arrangements that effectuate exploration, engineering and construction, production and marketing activities.

His power and project finance expertise were gained working on electricity sector liberalization and power project finance across Africa and emerging economies.

Prior to setting up Crestle Zanders Anozie practised in the UK with Mildwaters Consulting LLP, a legal services firm with an exclusive focus on the natural resources industry. Before this time he had practised with leading law firms in Nigeria focusing on both the transactional and dispute resolution aspects of energy and oil and gas industries. At Mildwaters he worked on cross-border oil and gas and mining investments in Africa and Europe, international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, legislative/regulatory advisory, complex commercial transactions, and UK and international corporate finance.

In 2008 Anozie was appointed a member of the Sustainable Energy Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Anozie regularly facilitates training workshops and conferences on energy and oil and gas law, and is regularly invited as visiting lecturer to a number of UK universities, including the University of Wolverhampton, and the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, where he has taught postgraduate law and other interdisciplinary students oil and gas law, international energy investment law and the legal aspects of energy project finance.

Anozie received LLM (Distinction) in Energy Law and Policy from the Centre for Energy Law, University Dundee, Scotland; BL (2.1) from the Nigerian Law School and LL.B(Hons) from Abia State University, Nigeria. In addition to holding the memberships of the Nigerian Bar Association and several other law professionals associations, he is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and the Energy Institute (UK).

Selected representative transactions and matters Read more Hide

Some of the transactions and matters on which Mr Awambu had previously provided advice or representations include:

  • Advised the Nigerian subsidiary of a multinational oil and gas company in connection with the $130 million reserves based financing by BNP Paribas of the development of its oil and gas asset in Nigeria.
  • For an Africa focused Resources Company – comparative analysis of the petroleum licence/production sharing agreements of several African countries (including Angola, Chad, DRC, and Cameroon) in connection with its decision regarding which jurisdiction in Africa it would invest in.
  • Advised the consultants engaged by the government of Ghana on aspects of the draft Ghana Petroleum Bill 2013 which are inconsistent with the principles of competitive bidding, industry reporting and anti-corruption.
  • Advised a Switzerland based, Africa focused, mining company in relation to its obligations to finance the construction of railroads, power plants and port infrastructure in Liberia under a mining concession between its newly acquired subsidiary and the government of Liberia.
  • Advising a USA-based Africa-focused private equity company on the regime of the Nigeria Electric Power Sector Reform Act in connection with its plan to finance a consortium of companies in their bid to acquire government’s interest in Nigeria’s state power Distribution Company under the Nigerian power sector privatization programme.
  • Advised the UK parent on corporate approvals in relation to the issue of convertible bond (share options) in connection with the borrowing of $25 million to finance exploration project on its Oil Prospecting Licence asset in Nigeria.
  • Advised the government of a West African country on the inconsistencies between its strategy petroleum policy and its petroleum legal framework, in relation to the proposed amendments to its petroleum legislation.
  • Advised a Nigerian upstream petroleum inspection company on corporate restructuring of its group of companies and the impact of the provisions of the Nigerian Content Development Act on its foreign technical assistance and tax planning.
  • Advised the Nigerian subsidiary of a FTSE 250 international oil and gas company on its legal obligations post commercial production that arise from all aspects of the entire contract matrix (over 45 agreements for each field: from framework agreements with the government and farmor, through to the financing, construction, operating and sales agreements) underpinning each of its two marginal oilfield assets in Nigeria.
  • Advised a multinational E&P company in connection with an overriding royalty agreement between its Nigerian subsidiary and an American company in connection with its acquisition of upstream assets in Nigeria.
  • Advising a TSX Ventures listed oil and gas company on its planned entry into the Nigeria market and in relation to its acquisition of oil and gas assets under the Nigerian marginal fields programme.
  • Advised the UK E&P company on the provisions of the UK Bribery Act 2010 in connection with the operations of its Latvian subsidiary.
  • Assisted in the advisory, drafting of the agreements/documentation, pre-transaction and post-transaction due-diligence relating to several mergers and acquisitions transactions, including the acquisition by a Norwegian company of Australian oil and gas company, and also the acquisition by a London AIM-listed company of the Italian subsidiary of an Irish junior E&P company.
  • Advised an Australian company on the UK legal regime for farm-in agreements, government consents and abandonment security, in connection with its farm-in into a UKCS oil production licence.
  • Legal Due Diligence on the Nigeria oil and gas assets of a London-based junior E&P company in connection with its planned reverse takeover of a London AIM-listed company.
  • Advised a Nigerian independent E&P company in connection with its farm-out agreement with ExxonMobil, with regards to regulatory consents, royalty payments, reversionary rights, and the extension of the underlying production licence.
  • Counselled the consultants to the government of Cyprus on the contemporary techniques in oil and gas licensing, state participation, pipeline concessions and third-party access, in connection Cyprus’ plan to establish a national gas company. Project involved a comparative analysis of the models applicable in seven other jurisdictions.
  • Assisted in the legal due diligence analysis, drafting and review of the relevant agreements, and the general documentations, in respect of a multimillion Dollar Takeover (under the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers) of a UK company by an American company.
  • Advised a London Stock Exchange premium-listed oil company on the UK and EU capital markets regime in relation to the booking/reporting of its oil and gas reserves.
  • Provided general contract and corporate advisory services and assisted in articulating financing arrangements for a London based junior oil and Gas Company in relation to the development of its assets in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone.
  • For the benefit of an ASX listed company – advising in relation to the competence (under local law, the African Chatter of Human and Peoples Law, and international law) of a regional government in an unstable East African country to grant a petroleum licence.
  • Advising on the key legal, regulatory and fiscal provisions of the Uganda Petroleum legislation.
  • Advised an international oil company and its financiers with regards to uncertainties surrounding the validity of an extension granted by the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources in respect of its oil production licence.
  • Worked in the team that advised an ASX-listed mining company on the process for fund raising/admission to trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the operator of an oilfield in Thailand on the pricing terms of its crude oil sale/offtake agreement.
  • Advised a FSTE premium-listed oil and gas company in relation to shareholders’ protection, and the restructuring of the corporate vehicles for its operations in West African country.