The Survey collates views from a diverse pool of participants including sole practitioners, associates and partners of law firms, in-house counsel, academics, third-party funders, representatives of arbitral institutions and other users of arbitration in Africa.
Abayomi Okubote is the Managing Partner of Pensbury Attorneys & Solicitors and Executive Director of the Africa Arbitration Academy. He has garnered over 10 years’ experience in dispute resolution and coordinates the Arbitration Practice of the firm. Abayomi has represented multinational corporations in high profile commercial disputes and advised government agencies on several cutting-edge projects in Africa. Beyond leading big-ticket mandates, the multiple award winner is the prime mover behind several important arbitration initiatives in Africa. He is the Founder of the Association of Young Arbitrators (AYA) and Managing Editor of the Africa Journal of International Arbitration. He has been involved, including as a counsel, in numerous ad hoc and institutional arbitrations, under the LCIA, ICC, HKIAC, UNCITRAL, CRCICA, CIArb and ICSID Rules. He has sat as an arbitrator in several domestic and international arbitrations. He is a Tutor and Faculty Member at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Diploma Programme.
Abayomi was recently engaged by the Government of Sierra Leone to review the Sierra Leone Arbitration Bill and train Judges in the country. He recently led the Team that drafted the widely celebrated Africa Arbitration Academy Protocol on Virtual Hearings in Africa – which has now been adopted by some African Arbitral Institutions and African Governments. He is a member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC) Court of Arbitration, Panel member of the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration and the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. Described in the Legal 500 Africa Arbitration Powerlist 2021 as “one of the future leaders of arbitration in Africa” and as “innovative and exceptional”, Abayomi speaks regularly in international conferences on Arbitration and ADR. He is an alumnus of the University College London, Harvard Negotiation Institute, ICC Summer School, and the Paris Arbitration Academy. He has completed secondment programs in the London offices of Baker McKenzie LLP and 4-5 Gray’s Inn.
Dr Sylvie Bebohi Ebongo is a qualified Lawyer in Paris -France and Cameroon Bars. She is the Co-founder and Partner of HBE Avocats France and Managing Partner of HBE Avocats Cameroon, a “boutique” specialized in business law. She holds a PhD in Private Law from the University of Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens- France). Her thesis on the “enforcement of arbitral awards: comparative study of ICSID and CCJA enforcement mechanisms” was awarded the best thesis in Business and community law of the OHADA High School ERSUMA 2015. Sylvie has acquired experience in renowned international law firms (Jeantet & Associés, Former KAB & Associés, Cabinet Castellane Avocats…), Audit firms (Bekolo & Partners among others) and has worked also in freelance for experienced practitioners in particular in the field of international arbitration.
Sylvie’s areas of expertise include international arbitration (commercial and investment), contract law, international investment law; commercial law, enforcement and recovery procedures, post award proceedings, OHADA law. Sylvie sits as Arbitrator (ICC, CCJA), acts as Counsel, and Tribunal Secretary. She is a member of the Panels of Arbitrators with the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) OHADA, the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), the Arbitration Mediation and Conciliation Center of Ouagadougou (CAMC-O) Burkina Faso. Sylvie is also trained in negotiation and as a mediator and is very active in the arbitration community. She holds various roles in international dispute resolution organizations and associations. Sylvie publishes articles in various topics mainly in international arbitration. Her working languages are French (native) and English. She reads and understands documents in Italian.
Femi Gbede, a Director at the Africa Arbitration Academy, is an Investment Funds Attorney at the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson LLP. He advises on the structuring and offering of private investment funds and other alternative investment vehicles. His practice focuses on all aspects of fund formation, as well as continuing funds’ operations, fund investments, secondaries and other highly complex transactions.
Femi had his legal teeth cut at Olaniwun Ajayi LP, a foremost law firm in Nigeria, where he garnered significant experience in cutting edge corporate transactions and dispute resolution. He previously had a brief stint at a top multinational bank in New York. He is the Secretary General of the Association of Young Arbitrators and the Treasurer of the Nigerian Lawyers Association in New York. He is also the General Secretary of the Association of Young Arbitrators and was a drafting committee member of the Protocol on Virtual Hearings in Africa, a project that received enormous commendations from the arbitration community, far and wide. He is a member of the editorial team at Africa Arbitration.
Laura Alakija, FCIArb. , is the Managing Partner at Primera Africa Legal – a top tier commercial law firm in Lagos, Nigeria. Her expertise spans the disparate yet connected fields of disputes and transaction advisory services. She has over 15 years’ experience in project finance, power & inf rastructure, asset acquisition, energy and natural resources and dispute resolution. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute or Arbitrators (UK), an Accredited Mediator and a Certified ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) expert. Laura has served as counsel and arbitrator in several disputes and led the team representing clients in a number of big-ticket transactions in Nigeria
She is an active member of the Arbitration and ADR community, currently serving as ICC YAF Representative for Africa, Middle East and Turkey. Laura was part of the team that drafted the widely celebrated Africa Arbitration Academy Protocol on Virtual Hearings in Africa – which won the Innovation in Arbitration at the Africa Arbitration Awards 2020. The Protocol has now been adopted by most African Arbitral Institutions and some African Governments. She was awarded the 40 under 40 Nigerian Rising Star Award by the Nigerian Legal Awards in 2019 and Africa’s 50 Most Promising Young Arbitration Practitioners, 2020 – awarded by the Association of Young Arbitrators (AYA). Laura Alakija received her legal education at University of Jos, Nigeria (LL.B) and University of Derby, United Kingdom (LL.M.)
Dimétrio Raul Manjate is a partner of Filipe Sitoi Law Firm, Maputo, Mozambique. He holds a Law Degree from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, in which he also is a Master in Law candidate. He has worked on high profile transactions and has been actively involved in the training of trainee lawyers in Mozambique. He is a Registered Arbitrator at Mozambican Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation Centre (Centro de Arbitragem, Conciliação e Mediação) and Member of the International Bar Association. He is also a Member of the Association of Young Arbitrators and African Arbitration Academy. His spoken languages are Portuguese, English and he also understands French.
Tabitha Raore is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Senior Associate in the Dispute Resolution Department of Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP in Nairobi, Kenya. She advises on local and international arbitration disputes and represents parties before the courts and tribunals in Kenya on various issues including commercial and civil litigation, constitutional, intellectual property, employment, probate, land and human rights law matters. She is passionate about arbitration and ADR and is a previous member of the Law Society of Kenya’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.
She is a beneficiary of the Association of Young Arbitrators (AYA) 2nd Mentorship Programme 2020. She is one of the Africa Representatives for the ICC’s Young Arbitrators Forum 2021 – 2023 term, Coach to the University of Nairobi Law School’s Willem C. VIS Moot team and the Academic Training Co-ordinator for Africa In The Moot Organisation where she organises arbitration trainings for students from universities in Africa.
Dr Iliass Segame holds a PhD in Private Law and is a Partner at Segame & Maalmi based in Casablanca Morocco, where he specializes in commercial litigation and international arbitration. He is an alumnus of the Africa Arbitration Academy and was recently appointed as an ICC YAF representative for the North Africa Middle East & Turkey chapter – for ICC arbitration 2021-2023 mandate.
Omonigho Oyoma Brown (Mrs.) is a Nigerian trained Lawyer with over 14 years’ experience in different facets of legal practice spanning the Financial Services, Oil & Gas Industry, and Construction Industries. She started her career as a Legal Counsel in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and later proceeded to work in Schlumberger as a Senior Contracts Analyst where She negotiated and handled big ticket multinational oil and gas services contracts in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa. She currently works as a Contracts Manager in Julius Berger Nigeria Plc where She provides expert advice, negotiates, administers and manages contracts for major infrastructural development projects in the Southern and Eastern parts of Nigeria.
She holds an LLM Laws degree from the University of South Wales, UK. She is an alumnus of the Africa Arbitration Academy; an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK; a Professional Negotiator; a Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Professional; a Certified Lean Project Manager, and She is Scrum Fundamental Certified.
Joy Njagi holds a Master of Laws Degree (with Distinction) from the University of Kent, and she is admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with four years PQE. She is an alumnus of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT), Kenya where she obtained her LLB Degree. Joy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and an Alumnus of the Africa Arbitration Academy. She has worked in the Construction industry and acted as Counsel on several arbitration matters: both international and domestic.
Adetola Adebesin is an international arbitration attorney, and currently a MIDS Geneva LLM Candidate. He is qualified to practice as a lawyer in Nigeria, and was an associate in the international arbitration practice at Olaniwun Ajayi LP – a top-tier commercial law firm in Nigeria. He has significant experience representing corporates, multi-nationals and governments in several high profile commercial and investment disputes.
A multiple award winner, Adetola also routinely advises on corporate finance deals and landmark infrastructure projects. He obtained his LLB from the Lagos State University, Lagos – Nigeria and regularly acts as counsel under most of the institutional arbitration rules including the ICC, LCIA, SIAC and ICSID.
He is a graduate of the International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA) Banking & Finance Academy and holds a diploma in International Arbitration from the Africa Arbitration Academy.
Temitope Samuel is an Associate in Pensbury Attorneys & Solicitors – a leading boutique arbitration law firm in Nigeria. She has experience in diverse areas of law including international arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Temitope has worked on ADR engagements across multiple jurisdictions in Africa. she has worked on various project including the engagement by Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationaleZusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) to train Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique, she was also part of the team engaged by the Government of Sierra Leone to review the Arbitration law of Sierra Leone.
Manuela Dieng is a Legal Counsel at the African Legal Support Facility. She has been with the ALSF since July 2018. She is in charge of the ALSF Academy, a three-level capacity building training and certification program and the Investment Treaties and Dispute Resolution cluster of the ALSF.
Prior to joining the ALSF, Ms. Dieng was an Attorney at a leading independent Ivorian law firm where she was involved in litigation practice, arbitration, and corporate law. She has also previously worked in international bank, Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (OHADA) and other law firms.
Ms. Dieng holds a CAPA (Certificate of Lawyer Profession) from the Paris Bar School (EFB), a university diploma in international investment law in Africa from Pantheon Assas – Paris II University and a master’s degree in international investment and commercial law from Pantheon Assas – Paris II University.
Charles is a lawyer with nearly 20 years’ experience in the extractives sector, including in policy, regulation, negotiations, and arbitration. He has advised many governments, international organisations, and firms, and contributed to several initiatives in the extractives sector. While he worked with the Ghana Minerals Commission, Charles was also involved in arbitrations on behalf of the Government of Ghana. Charles is currently the Advisor to the Director of the ALSF, which provides first-rate legal and technical advice and capacity building to African countries in relation to sovereign commercial transactions, including in sovereign debt management, and in the natural resources and extractives, power, and infrastructure PPPs sectors.