What do accomplished lawyers Isabel Boaten, Managing Partner at Pan African Law firm AB & David Ghana, and the late Robert Legh of Bowmans have in common? They both stayed the course with the law firm in which they launched their careers and both have been lauded as excellent leaders.
It was, therefore, only fitting that Boaten received the coveted Robert Legh Excellence in Leadership Award at the African Legal Awards ceremony on 1 September.
The two share a similar professional journey. Legh joined Bowmans as a candidate attorney and was with the firm for 35 years; he was chairman and senior partner when he passed away in 2021. Boaten joined AB & David as a junior associate and, after 24 years as the firm, is now managing partner.
“Like Robert, I went through all the different hoops and ranks and have the rare privilege of understanding in a very intimate way what a junior associate, associate, senior associate, partner and now managing partner goes to bed at night thinking about,” Boaten explained. No doubt this level of understanding has made her a better leader.
“Next to his family, Bowmans was Robert’s great love. That reverberates with me. Like Robert, it's been great to see strategic actions of the firm unravel and see life right before your very eyes. It’s wonderful to live history. I am sure Robert would have agreed with me on this,” she shared.
Boaten, who specialises in corporate law, and government business & legislative reform, has earned multiple awards during her career. She began her career just wanting to be a good lawyer, but her prowess in the industry quickly saw her ascend through the ranks.
“Great mentorship is what changed my perspective. I worked with a great senior – David Ofosu-Dorte. He pushed me to be a great professional and leader. With time, I saw myself evolve from simply a committed female lawyer into a person with 3600 perspectives on solutions, working with people and leading them. When I became a light for others, I found deeper inspiration. As I grew and chalked up several milestones, it was also liberating to be reminded that my God-given giftings are unique gifts designed for purpose,” she said.
Boaten says her greatest inspiration when dealing with adversity has come from her “fear buster” husband who helps her put things into perspective.
Her advice to career-driven individuals is to prepare to hit a plateau at some point. “Hitting a plateau can be a very lonely place. Most of us will experience this sometime in our lives no matter how great we have been. Suddenly, even your latent flaws hover over your head like life-size inflated dolls. Then there’s the temptation to believe you have been traded in for a new model when your colleagues grow while you remain fossilised in your old self. Thankfully, being rooted on a plateau can also be the perfect time for introspection and growth. It is a reminder that you may have outgrown yourself; an opportunity to use the experience as a stepping stone to a new level of you,” she concluded.
To join Africa Legal's mailing list please click here