Managing Partner, Tominiyi Owolabi, and Deputy Managing Partner, Wolemi Esan, who recently took up the reins, will be applying the latest technology available to offset the disruption brought on by Covid.
“The global pandemic reminded us of the importance of technology and our need to rely on it to deliver quality legal services. The business community has accepted that there is no return to pre-pandemic life; instead, the platform economy will drive the new normal,” said Owolabi.
Technology will play a key role in delivering premier legal services to clients and in the evolution of the firm that has built a formidable reputation over the past 60 years.
“We are a firm that has its roots in technology and, at several points in history, we pioneered the use of new technology such as the electronic typewriter, the personal computer in our work. Our clients can expect even more ‘bang for their buck’ as we streamline our processes internally to ensure that we work efficiently,” Esan explained. “In relation to our human capital, we expect to grow in size, both in number and in our reach across the continent.”.
While many of the firm's clients have been significantly impacted by the headwinds occasioned by Covid, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has presented new possibilities.
“The creation of the vast AfCFTA regional market is a major
opportunity to help African countries diversify their exports, accelerate
growth, and attract foreign direct investment. The implementation of
AfCFTA, trade facilitation measures that cut red tape and simplify customs
Procedures are estimated to drive US$292 billion of the US$ 450 billion in potential income gains,” emphasised Owolabi.
He said the most significant issue recently has been on how to guide their domestic clients to participate in other markets in Africa and vice versa.
“ We are pleased that we prepared for this, through our Africa Practice which has, over the years, forged a strong presence in African countries other than Nigeria. This enables us to move with our clients and provide representation to them, even as they navigate the new frontiers brought about by the AfCFTA. This is critical, as our clients are moving into economies and countries where they previously had no presence or experience and they are relying increasingly on us to help them navigate these new economies while maintaining profitability even in these times,” Esan explained.
Speaking about their appointments, Owolabi and Esan said they appreciated the recognition by their partners and the firm.
“Beyond this, is appreciation to Sir Olaniwun Ajayi who laid the strong foundations of this firm, and then to Professor Ajayi SAN who has built on that foundation over the course of the past few decades and given Wolemi and I the platform to build on. In addition to this feeling of gratitude, we have a great responsibility. It is critical that the direction and speed with which the firm has grown is added to,” said Owolabi.
Esan said he was pleasantly surprised and gratified by the opportunity. “I am deeply honoured to have been chosen by my partners to take on this role and I am acutely aware that this is an elevation to bring tomorrow into today,” he said.
Both Owolabi and Esan have credited their predecessors for their success as ethical and astute leaders.
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