07 Dec 2022

Nigeria’s TEMPLARS marks international expansion with Ghana joint venture

Growing demand for services across West Africa sees TEMPLARS add team from Accra-based AMPEM Chambers to launch new firm

TEMPLARS managing partner Oghogho Akpata Image courtesy of TEMPLARS

Prominent Nigerian law firm TEMPLARS has expanded internationally for the first time with the launch of an office in Accra, Ghana in collaboration with a local firm.

Under the arrangement, Accra-based AMPEM Chambers' 12 lawyers will make up the new office, adopting the TEMPLARS brand. A TEMPLARS spokesperson described the arrangement as a collaboration that worked as a local joint venture between the two firms.

TEMPLARS said the move was in response to increasing opportunities for businesses in the region, and the rising demand for service providers with local knowledge and a track record of assisting local and international clients in navigating difficult markets. 

‘Despite recent macroeconomic challenges in both countries, Nigeria remains Africa’s largest economy and Ghana the second largest economy in West Africa,’ the firm said, noting that over the past 15 years Ghana has grown to become one of Africa’s leading economies and is increasingly a destination of choice for both African businesses and international corporations. 

The new firm will service clients from sectors across the Ghanaian economy including mining, energy, infrastructure, financial services, education, franchising, telecommunications and fintech. It is also expected to provide a strategic base for accessing other hubs in the West African region.

“The Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is opening a new vista of opportunities across the continent, and, in spite of recent global economic headwinds, we have seen increasing demand from clients for support across Africa,” said TEMPLARS managing partner Oghogho Akpata. 

“TEMPLARS already has a significant share of the Nigerian legal services market as well as deep client connections to Ghana and elsewhere in Africa, so a natural next step in our growth trajectory is to expand into these other markets where our clients and business relationships require our services,” he added. 

A number of the 12 lawyers joining from AMPEM are dual-qualified in the US or England & Wales as well as Ghana and will work closely with TEMPLARS’ lawyers housed in the firm’s Nigerian offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, the firm said. 

“This collaboration creates the right platform for our clients to benefit from a rare combination of our deep understanding of the Ghana market and international expertise of TEMPLAR,” commented AMPEM’s founding partner Kofi Darko Asante.

“It also realises AMPEM Chambers’ aim to collaborate with law firms across the African continent in a manner that institutionalises common objectives in the practice of law and service delivery. Doing this under the Templars brand goes a long way in creating that desired pan-African institution,” he added. 

Following the arrival of the AMPEM team TEMPLARS will have more than 140 lawyers and partners across Nigeria and now Ghana. The full service firm is recognised by legal rankings guide Chambers in Nigeria for its banking & finance, corporate/commercial, disputes resolution and projects & energy offerings and has worked on signifcant deals with clients including Exxon Mobil, PetroSaudi International and Eroton. 

Meantime AMPEM Chambers was founded in 2004 principally to participate in the expanding economies and emerging democracies of Africa by advising transactions and helping to shape public policy. 

The firm ranks domestic and international companies, institutional investors, governments, think tanks, NGOs and high net worth individuals among its clients and offers advice in areas including corporate law, M&A real estate, tax, regulatory and public interest law and public policy.

Earlier this year Nigerian law firm Aluko & Oyebode moved to bolster its cross-border and pan-African capabilities by joining African law firm alliance ALN

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