The Nigerian Bar Association Election: Olumide Akpata emerges President

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Olumide Akpata (born on 7 October 1972) is an Edo-born, Lagos -based, Warri Lawyer.

Olu is currently the Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate & Commercial Practice Group of Templars, which comprises the following practice areas: Mergers and acquisitions; Capital market; Corporate law; Labour & Employment; Immigration; Telecommunication, Media, Entertainment and Technology; and Regulatory compliance.

Olumide had his early education in Warri, Delta State. He thereafter attended King’s College, Lagos for his secondary education. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B) from the prestigious University of Benin in 1992 and subsequently qualified as a Barrister and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1993. He served in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), in Kano State, and upon the completion of his service year, he joined the firm of Dr. Mudiaga Odje & Co. in Warri, Delta State.

Olumide began is legal practice under the tutelage of the late, great sage: Dr. Mudiaga Odje, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, OFR, who was one of the most seasoned Litigators of his time. It was under Dr. Mudiaga Odje, SAN, that he learned the rudiments of litigation and courtroom advocacy.

In 1996, Olumide relocated to Lagos and teamed up with his cousin, Oghogho Akpata, who had just set up the law firm, Templars. He joined in the formation of Templars at the age of 23. He has grown that firm into what is today one of the largest law firms in Nigeria with a workforce of about 100 Lawyers.

He has under his kitty over two decades experience in advising clients on various aspects of Nigerian Corporate and Commercial Law.

He has been recognised by IFLR 1000 as a leading Mergers & Acquisition lawyer in Nigeria and by Chambers and Partners “as having long experience in representing foreign clients” in his area of practice.

He regularly advises local and international corporations on the impact of Nigerian Law on their investments and/or operations in Nigeria particularly regarding: the establishment of local subsidiaries, corporate governance and compliance, mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring, labour and immigration, regulatory issues and tax.

Olu is often called upon to speak at local and international conferences and seminars and currently sits on the Council of the Nigeria Bar Association Section on Business Law.

He became more active in Bar activities upon the creation of the NBA Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) in 2004. He is a foundation member of the NBA-SBL and he worked closely with the pioneer Chairman of the Section, Mr. George Etomi, and his team to operationalise the Section after its inauguration in December 2004 by the then President of the NBA, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN.

He was also a member of the Planning Committee which organised the very first NBA-SBL Conference that was held in Abuja in March 2006 and which proved to be a transformational conference that set the NBA-SBL on its current trajectory.

Olumide Akpata was the Chairman of the Section of Business Law (SBL) of the NBA from 2016 to 2018 and within that period, the SBL became the most vibrant and most reformed of all the sections of the Nigerian Bar Association and attained greater heights.

Under him, the SBL organized many trainings for free for the benefit of all lawyers with the facilitators drawn from all over the world. These programmes were targeted at arming our colleagues with the skills, exposure and know-how required to compete with foreign lawyers, accountants and other professionals that are constantly encroaching into areas of practice that lawyers previously had as their exclusive preserve.

He has advised on several key transactions, some of these are:

Olumide advised on the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises’ restructuring of the Nigerian Electricity sector and the unbundling of the national power utility.

He has advised on international joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and also the world’s second largest port operator in its bid for the Apapa Container Terminal concession.

Olumide advises several local and international clients on regulatory compliance in relation to company law and practice in Nigeria.

He acts for several clients on a wide range of Immigration and Labour matters including the setting up of private pension schemes, employment contracts and general immigration compliance.

He is also the Vice-Chair (West-Africa) of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum.

He polled 9198 out 15988 votes cast by NBA members nationwide to defeat two other contestants who are Senior Advocates.

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