Fred Onuobia

Managing Partner at G Elias & Co
Ranked in Nigeria
WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise

Silver - Individuals

G Elias & Co dispenses nuanced IP advice and sees to registrations, renewals and licensing tasks with a sure hand. Operating out of offices in Abuja and Lagos, the set has cultivated strong networks across East Africa, making it a smart choice for those with regional IP concerns. Setting the standard as managing partner, Fred Onuobia, has a passion for intellectual property and impeccable client service, which is reflected in his thoroughly informed advice and prompt and timely delivery.

Fred Onuobia's Profile

Fred Onuobia is the managing partner of G Elias & Co, one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992 and holds an LLM from University College London. With over 20 years’ experience in IP law practice, he is recognised as a leading lawyer in reputable international directories such as World Trademark Review and Chambers Global. The latter describes him as “very detailed, articulate and meticulous”.

Mr Onuobia is known for his promptness in responding to and executing clients’ requests. His diverse client base includes multinationals, local and foreign producers of branded consumer goods and services, investors and manufacturers. His experience covers advisory work and the commercialisation of IP rights (assignments, franchise and licence agreements, warranties, representations and covenants relating to IP rights in corporate takeover contexts) to trademarks, patents and designs portfolio management. Mr Onuobia has represented and defended multinational business organisations in the prosecution, defence and enforcement of trademarks, patents, utility models and design models, copyright enforcement work (including anti-counterfeiting measures), and media and entertainment type litigation before the Nigerian courts.

Mr Onuobia is a member of INTA, the Nigerian Bar Association, the Intellectual Property Association of Nigeria and the London Court of International Arbitration.

Firm Profile

G Elias & Co is one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. Founded in 1994, the firm is known for its professionals’ original thinking, thorough work, speedy response, infallible integrity and strong resolve to executing clients’ work to the highest standards. We have invested in the technology, facilities and support personnel in order to excel at what we do. We have unusual breadth in the range of our work. Global lawyer directories have consistently ranked us as a top-tier law firm and rated our IP practice highly. Uncharacteristically for a law firm, we have ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification and are currently transitioning to ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Our IP practice’s paramount goal has always been to offer our clients services of the highest quality. That means that we emphasise technical proficiency, attention to detail and creativity in developing practical solutions to our clients’ problems. We are known for our sensitivity to clients’ business needs and concerns, and promptness in responding to and executing their requests. We have the expertise and experience, and we welcome enquiries and instructions.

WTR 1000 2019 wrote the following about our IP practice, while ranking us as a top IP firm in Nigeria:

The IP practitioners here are quick to respond, practical of mind and detail-oriented; they demonstrate equal dexterity procuring, defending, enforcing and commercialising trademarks and other IP rights. The firm makes light work of regional and pan-African mandates thanks to its membership of the Africa Legal Network. Interested parties would be wise to call managing partner Fred Onuobia.

G Elias & Co is your go-to firm for all matters relating to intellectual property, infringement, prosecution, defence and enforcement of trademarks, patents, utility models and design models, as well as drafting and negotiating of licence agreements.


We assist in searching, filing, opposing, registering, prosecuting and enforcing trademark/service marks. We also advise on post-registration matters such as recording of assignments, mergers, renewals, change of name and address, co-existence agreements and licence agreements. We have assisted major clients with maximising the value of their IP assets through franchising, licensing and assignments, and with IP issues arising from mergers, acquisitions and corporate re-organisations. We conduct due diligence inquiries on the title and registration of IP rights and prosecute applications for the registration of transfer-of-technology contracts. We also have IP audits and portfolio management capabilities.


We aid in preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications. Our work covers patent searches, assignments, renewals and providing advice and litigation services relating to patent infringements.

Industrial designs

We prepare, file and prosecute industrial design applications, as well as conduct industrial design searches, assignments, renewals and providing advice and litigation services relating to industrial design infringements.


In the field of copyright, our expertise includes full-service copyright registration of works, assignments, licences and copyright portfolio management. We also conduct copyright litigation and undertake enforcement work, including anti-counterfeiting measures.


Our lawyers have represented and defended multinational business organisations and other clients in the media, entertainment and other sectors before the Nigerian courts. Our primary goal is to help our clients to reap the benefits of their IP assets.

New economy practice

Our IP practice is central to our vibrant ‘new economy’ practice. By ‘new economy’, we mean telecommunications, technology, media and entertainment – all subsectors that today make up 15% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product. We represent writers, actors, directors, producers, production companies, media companies, distributors, sales agents, authors, musicians, composers, management companies and journalists across media platforms. Our work cuts across the film, music, television, theatre, print and publishing, radio, gaming and other areas of established and emerging media. We have industry experience in drafting, negotiating and recording talent and executive employment agreements, and advising creative media and entertainment and new media companies. Our experience in providing legal and business solutions to technology companies extends to licensing, advising on data privacy, protection and registration with relevant regulatory bodies, and to structuring and providing comprehensive legal services to protect and advance our clients’ position in transactions.

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