“One of the many reasons I love working at Schlumberger is that we are people-oriented, with the employees at the heart of the business”, says Madueke about the company, where she has worked for more than eight years.
Born and raised in Port-Harcourt (South-South Nigeria), she moved to the United Kingdom for her undergraduate law degree at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She then obtained her LLM in Corporate and Commercial Law from the University College London (UCL), with a dual qualification in the Nigerian and English Bar.
As Senior Attorney, Legal & Contracts (Nigeria and West Africa) Madueke says her priority is to protect the company’s brand while delivering value to its customers.
“On a daily basis, my work involves providing legal advice and ensuring compliance with international, federal, state and local laws across all aspects of Schlumberger’s business in Nigeria and West Africa. A large portion of my time is spent negotiating high value E&P (Exploration and Production) service contracts, managing the company litigation portfolio and providing adequate support on all corporate-related matters. My work also spans corporate policies, standards, procedures and laws and ensuring these are aligned in the countries where we operate”.
Madueke also gained law practice experience from Olaniwun Ajayi LP and Aina Blankson LP, prior to joining Schlumberger.
“When I joined Schlumberger in 2012, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Oil and gas is an exciting yet challenging industry to work in. It involves dealing with high risk and high value contracts, so you are constantly balancing risk and reward for each project. As legal counsel, you have to remain up to speed on the continually evolving local and international laws and anticipate changes in the industry.”
She appreciates the opportunity for growth in the company and how this has impacted her career.
“I have worked in various roles and covered various regions, from contracts lawyer for sub-Saharan Africa, to attorney for our Europe Legal Hub.”
It’s no news that the oil and gas industry was badly affected by Covid-19.
“It was a perfect storm – the crash in oil process (oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia) and one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks, all happening at the same time. I had to quickly adjust to the realities that we were going through a massive downturn, while still focusing on protecting the business,” says Madueke.
“On a personal note, I had to deal with transitioning my two-and-a-half year old twins into remote learning. To say this was a difficult task, would be an understatement. What I found helpful, was having a good support system and understanding that everyone was dealing with the same challenges – balancing the family’s needs while ensuring productivity at work did not drop. The good thing is that Schlumberger is a ‘technology’ company, so we had all the digital tools to transition and work effectively.”
In her role, Madueke has had the opportunity to work across Africa and Europe, and has found this very fulfilling. Luckily, it also aligns with her love for travel, which made being in lockdown this year “quite disappointing”. She also works on large-scale projects across different jurisdictions. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your work in action. Negotiating and executing multi-million contracts with stakeholders and seeing the successful drilling and completion of the assets makes me realize that all the hard work was it.”
To young lawyers, she says, “Be solution-oriented, a problem-solver, a business enabler and always add value wherever you go. Be confident, especially as a woman in a male-dominated industry like the oil and gas industry. Take your seat at the table and make sure they understand that you deserve your place.”
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