Ms. Stella Duru is one (1) of six (6) female partners of Banwo & Ighodalo (“B&I”) and the
only female Partner in the Firm’s Energy Practice Group.
Ms. Duru attended the prestigious Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos and thereafter, obtained
her law degree from the University of Lagos. Whilst in Unilag, Stella held the revered
position of Vice-President of the Law Society and was also a member of the Law Ladies
Committee; as well as a member of AISEC.
She was called to the Nigerian Bar on January 23, 2001.
Stella joined the law firm of Banwo & Ighodalo in 2001, shortly after being called to the bar
as a youth corper. After her youth service, Stella was retained by Banwo & Ighodalo.
Starting her career, Stella advised several local and international companies (looking to set
up and invest in Nigeria) on matters pertaining to legal and regulatory framework for doing
business in Nigeria. Particularly, she advised on the incorporation, shareholding structures,
and on-going operations of companies in Nigeria. She was very integral and pivotal in
advising on company law matters particularly as it related to provisions in the Companies
and Allied Matters Act and how same impacted the rights of companies and shareholders in
companies carrying on business in Nigeria.
Given her dedication to duty, her efficiency and hard/smart work, Stella was promoted from
Junior Associate to Associate position within two years and also became a Team Lead in
Banwo &Ighodalo in the same year (year 2003).
A couple of years after holding the position as Team Lead, following a rigorous and deeply
intellectual interviewing selection process (which involved lawyers in private practice, in-
house counsel and lawyers working in governmental agencies, all over Africa), Stella was
selected as the best candidate in Africa for the nine (9) weeks, African Visiting Lawyer
Internship in Edward Nathan Pty Limited situated in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In recognition of her excellence and unrivalled dedication and loyalty to the Firm and all that
its stands for, Stella was admitted to Partnership (after her promotion to Counsel and then
Senior Counsel), on March 1, 2012.
Stella’s core areas of practice are Energy & Natural Resources, Project Finance, Corporate
Finance, Corporate and Commercial Law; and Mergers and Acquisitions. With her
experience in project finance, Ms. Duru leads teams involved in financing deals undertaken
by oil, gas and power companies.
Stella has deep experience in oil, gas and power projects in Nigeria and has indeed been
involved in World Bank sponsored work streams advising on the power sector reforms in
Stella continues to advise on transactions along the entire value chain of generation,
transmission and distribution; as well as on deals pertaining to IPPs, off-grid and on-grid
solutions to the power deficit in Nigeria. She is very passionate about monetizing and
utilizing Nigeria’s natural gas resources in order to get Nigeria powered up.
She is currently leading the initiative on renewable energy transactions and Private Equity
deals, in her Firm and has been instrumental in assisting investors understand the legal and
regulatory framework as it pertains to doing business in Nigeria with particular focus on
start-ups, regardless the sector they wish to play.
Stella authors articles in leading law publications as well as a key resource person for
continuing legal education for young and aspiring lawyers. She is continually invited as a
Speaker at different conferences and seminars in Nigeria and internationally, including
conferences held at the prestigious Harvard Business School in Boston and Power Africa in
Stella is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association (Section
on Energy and Natural Resources Law) and Association of International Petroleum
She is also an Associate of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (a leadership development not-
for-profit, affiliated with the Aspen Institute) as well as an Associate of “WimBiz” (An
association of Women in Management, Business & Public Service).
Stella loves to laugh, watch intriguing movies, read interesting non-fiction/ fiction books,
travel as well as participate in intellectual discourse.