DOA is a full service commercial law firm with expertise in banking and finance, capital markets, VC/PE practice, energy, litigation and dispute resolution, mergers and acquisition and competition and antitrust law.
However, Alex-Adedipe’s passion is anything to do with technology, media and tele-communication (TMT). It is in this world that he and his partners are growing their young, agile law firm which is one of most sought after by start-ups and tech businesses in Nigeria.
When Alex-Adedipe, Adeniyi Duale and Soibi Ovia started the business four years ago they had less than a dozen clients - today the list runs into scores.
“We have massive referrals, many of them are start-ups that need hand-holding on the processes around seed funding and other regulatory requirements. They come to us because they hear about the work we do and the energy around this. Many are small businesses now but they are growing fast and we will stay with them.”
According to Alex-Adedipe, these start-ups understand what drives Nigeria’s tech-hungry population but there is clearly a gap in what is offered by existing traditional law firms and what is required by the start-ups in connection with the legal and regulatory advisory that is needed by businesses on the ground.
“It would appear the big law firms cannot provide this niche market of start-ups with what is required and that’s where we have stepped in.”
“It is a journey we are happy to be a part of. We are ready to take that journey with our clients. We walk them through the seed round and other rounds till it’s time for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) or M&A (exit), which is already happening.”
What this means is that Alex-Adedipe is in constant demand across Africa and on the international tech conference stage to talk about what his firm is doing and how he has matched tech with law. At the time of the interview he was in Kigali, Rwanda to address a conference. He is privileged to be one of the most sought after lawyers in the industry by conference facilitators and clients within and outside Africa.
For Alex-Adedipe a career in law was pre-ordained. He was born into a family of lawyers and remembers watching his father dress smartly for work in his suit (which always included a waistcoat) knowing one day he would follow in his footsteps.
“I had uncles on both sides of the family who were in the profession and I always knew it would be law or nothing,” he says.
When his father, Alex, passed away, the family, who are from Ondo State, changed their surname to incorporate his first name, so continuing his legacy and attaching his name to the vibrant up-and-coming law firm.
“When I went to university I never thought I would practise this noble profession but I thought I would take a legal role as an in-house lawyer in a bank or an oil company. I completed my mandatory law training in a bank and I knew for sure I wanted to go into full private practice.
He was offered an opportunity to work as a solicitor with Paul Usoro & Co in Lagos, where he spent a year, and then with Aluko & Oyebode, where he was for five years before he took the leap and set up his own firm with his partners.
“With my partners, we met and realised we had an aligned vision,” he says.
Today the firm has four partners, Adeniyi Duale, Oluwaseye Ayinla, Soibi Ovia and Alex-Adedipe. To begin with, Duale was Managing Partner but he handed this role to Alex-Adedipe after four years in January 2020.
At the time Duale said, “The partners of the firm have no doubt that his leadership will extend the frontiers of the progress we have made from inception.”
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