The British Nigeria Law Forum hosts gala dinner. In a night of glamour and style, British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF) members were recognised at the annual Gala Dinner and Awards in Bloomsbury, London on November 22.
The event marked the 18th anniversary of the forum which was established to build relationships between lawyers in the two countries.
The dinner was opened by the Nigerian High Commissioner George Oguntade, an honorary member of the BNLF.
George Etomi received the highest recognition as an Honorary Member for distinguished service to the legal profession. An additional award recognising George Etomi & Partners, Nigeria was presented for the firm’s work in professional development and learning.
The winners were:
Adenike Balogun - Women in Leadership Award
Lorna Adekaiyaoja - Recognition for Community Service
Adetokunbo Hussain - Rising Star Award
Ifeanyi Odogwu - Lawyer of the Year
The best runners-up were:
Hilda Ephraim Adejumo - Lawyer of the Year
Nwabueze Nwokolo - Women in Leadership Award
Tochukwu J. Anaenugwu - Rising Star Award
Zina Arinze - Recognition for Community Service
Also attending was Christine Ohuruogu MBE, the Olympic athletics star turned lawyer.
Africa Legal sponsored several junior lawyers enabling them to attend the event.
The charity supported on the night was the Sickle Cell Society and Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, fellow and a patron of the Sickle Cell Society, was one of the invited guests.
It was a memorable evening for two nurses of Nigerian heritage Rachael Aina QN (mother of Seye Aina, the Chair of the BNLF) met Professor Dame Anionwu, the first sickle cell and thalassemia nurse specialist in the UK. Mrs Aina qualified as a Queen’s Nurse in 1962 and was a senior manager and district nurse in Islington before returning to Nigeria in 1976.
The hosts for the evening were Sam Onigbanjo and Juliana Olayinka. Solicitor Kash Balgogun said the dinner commenced after a welcome address from His Excellency Ambassador Oguntade who spoke about the important role of lawyers in society.
“During the programme guests were serenaded by the talented saxophonist P Star, singer Laverne Wynter and the comedian, Funmbi, who made us laugh out loud with some relatable experiences. The menu was a fusion of British food with a touch of Nigeria, with the serving of delicious jollof rice.”
Seye Aina delivered a keynote address where she spoke about the highlights of the work BNLF had done in the year. This included:
Participation in a Legal Services Trade Mission to Nigeria organised by the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Trade;
Nigeria & UK Launches of the Junior Lawyers’ Division;
Attendance at the NBA Section of Business Law Conference in Lagos.
Africa Legal was one of the sponsors on the night with co-founder Wendy Bampton saying that Nigeria’s legal system has much in common with that of Britain which makes them natural partners on legal issues.
“It is an honour to be part of recognising and celebrating the success of individuals through the BNLF’s awards.”
The forum is open to membership applications:
To join or renew membership, the annual fee is £30 for full members (Lawyers, qualified Barrister/Solicitor), £15 for law students, CILEx, and paralegals, and £120 for corporate members (members of the same firm can have a maximum of 5 members of their firm as BNLF members under this package). The eligibility and criteria for membership is set out on the BNLF website here
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