In Nigeria, oil and gas play a pivotal role in the country's economy being the government main source of income. Thus, the oil and gas industry is often susceptible to many legal risks and conflicts. This makes the role of oil and gas lawyers in Nigeria crucial, as getting a right and experienced lawyer may advance one's business goal and assist in meeting the targeted operational and business goals of an entity.

Ordinarily, oil and gas lawyers are mostly hired by oil and gas companies and government entities to guide and give advice on various legal issues. Lawyers in this area of law represent individuals, entities and governments involved in all aspects of oil and gas production. Necessary permits and licenses must be obtained before any company can be involved in the oil and gas sector.

However, below are some tips on how to hire experienced oil and gas lawyer in Nigeria

Conduct a Research

Researching before hiring a lawyer will help find the right one with the necessary knowledge and skills. The law practice is very wide with a plethora of lawyers, and one of the best ways to find a lawyer is to ask for referrals. Another great way to make your search is via online. To hire a good lawyer, one must take into consideration reviews and feedbacks from past clients, colleagues or family members. In conducting research, you must consider the following factors to pick a lawyer

  1. Industry Knowledge & Experience
    A lawyer having a good industry knowledge will be vibrant at helping the particular needs of clients in the most challenging transactions. A lawyer with special knowledge of the industry will help reveal the risks and opportunities from all perspectives. Only lawyers with vast experience in the oil and gas industry may be consulted as the experience is a huge factor for selecting lawyers. A client will benefit from hiring a lawyer experienced oil and gas industry. To ascertain with the industry experience, one may ask for a referral or better still visit various law firms' website. The practising of each law firm is written on their website, so one can find out whether a particular firm is engaging in oil & gas law practice.
  2. Professionalism
    This involves the competence, skills and actions of an oil and gas lawyer making such a lawyer highly different from the others. There are certain attributes expected from a lawyer, some of which are; dedication to serving clients, passion for excellence, devotion to excellence, good character etc. This denotes that when it comes to picking a lawyer over the rest, professionalism could serve as a measure, especially in a specialized sector such as oil & gas industry.

Fee Structure

Be sure to know about the budget and mode of payment before hiring an oil gas lawyer. You and the lawyer are both in the business to make a profit. So, list out and compare the price range to know which one is best for you. It is very crucial to negotiate fees before engaging a lawyer. The fee structure may be hourly or fixed. If an oil & gas lawyer is to be engaged to assist or advise in processing licenses or permits, the appropriate fee structure should be a fixed fee. Where a complex transaction is to be negotiated, reviewed or drafted, most lawyers may opt to deliver such service on an hourly fee.

In any event, a client should go for a fee structure he can afford. And once a specific type of fee has been agreed, it is preferable to request for an engagement contract or retainership agreement, which will stipulate the services to be rendered and the applicable fees.

Because oil and gas is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, several legislations and administrative regulations are governing the oil and gas production and generally the oil and gas industry. Thus, an organization or individual seeking to engage in the industry should employ the right oil and gas lawyer to avoid legal conflicts and to advance business goals and ambitions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.