Melissa has experience representing public and private issuers and underwriters in offerings in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A, and outside the United States pursuant to Regulation S, and SEC-registered equity offerings.
Melissa has also developed a strong track record advising on sovereign mandates, with a particular focus on Africa. Her significant experience, handling major debt offerings in often volatile and challenging markets, has made her a valued resource for sovereign clients across the continent.
Adept at navigating the legal intricacies of complex, cross-border transactions, she has advised on some of the most ground-breaking transactions in frontier markets in recent years, particularly in Africa.
This experience is no better demonstrated then by her work advising Nexii, a global impact investment advisory firm, regarding the drafting of a suite of template documents for social entrepreneurs to use when applying to list debt and equity offerings on the iX, the world's first publically regulated social stock exchange board. Melissa and her team's work for Nexii led to the Firm winning the Innovation Award at the 2012 Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Law Awards.
FBN Finance Company B.V., 2014
Melissa represented Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International as the joint lead managers on the offering of US$300 million fixed rate subordinated note participation notes due 2020 issued by, but with limited recourse to, FBN Finance Company B.V. for the sole purpose of financing the purchase of a subordinated note issued by First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
Federal Government of Nigeria, 2014
Melissa represented the Federal Government of Nigeria in its dual-tranche issuance of 15.10% FGN bonds due April 2017 and 16.39% FGN bonds due January 2022 in the form of Global Depository Notes, deposited into a deposit facility with Citibank, N.A. and sold to international investors in the form of GDNs. This was the first ever issuance of FGN bonds in the form of GDNs by any African country.
Republic of Zambia, 2014
Melissa represented the Republic of Zambia on its Reg S/Rule 144A US$1 billion 8.500% sovereign bond issue. Barclays Bank Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch acted as joint lead managers.
Access Bank, 2014
Melissa represented Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and Goldman Sachs International in connection with the establishment of a US$1 billion GMTN Programme and subsequent offering of US$400 million 9.25% resettable subordinated notes due 2021 under the Programme by Access Bank Plc. In 2012, Melissa also represented the joint lead managers, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Goldman Sachs International, in connection with Access Finance B.V.'s issue of US$350 million 7.25% guaranteed notes due 2017. The notes are guaranteed by Nigerian bank Access Bank Plc.
Caracal Energy Inc., 2013
Melissa represented RBC Capital Markets as sponsor on the admission to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Caracal Energy Inc. (Caracal) in July 2013. Caracal is incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act, and holds three oil and gas production sharing contracts in Chad, covering approximately 26,000 square kilometres. It is currently involved in exploring and developing its existing oil and gas reserves and resources.
Republic of Ghana, 2013
Melissa represented Barclays and Citigroup as dealer managers and joint lead managers in connection with the offering of US$1 billion 7.875% notes due 2023 by the Republic of Ghana.
Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013
Melissa represented the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its US$1 billion Eurobond issue, comprised of two tranches – a US$500 million 5.125% issue due 2018 and a US$500 million 6.375% issue due 2023.
Fidelity Bank Plc, 2013
Melissa represented Citi and Deutsche Bank as joint lead managers in connection with a debut offering of US$300 million 6.875% notes due 2018 by Fidelity Bank Plc, a bank incorporated in Nigeria.
Open for business: practical solutions for accessing international capital markets, Legal Week, 9 November 2012
The challenges faced by African issuers, IFLR, 25 September 2012, (co-author)
Band 1 – Debt Capital Markets, Chambers UK 2019
Leading individual – Debt Capital Markets, Legal 500, 2019
Leading individual – Emerging Markets, Legal 500, 2019
Named one of 'The Hot 100', The Lawyer, 2015, Finance
"Up and Coming":, Chambers UK, 2015, Capital Markets: Debt
Recommended Lawyer:, The Legal 500, 2014
Debt Capital Markets; Equity Capital Markets