Meet Adefemi Longe, entrepreneur providing specialist legal services for SMEs

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Adefemi Longe is a co-founder of Longe & Akunebu LP, a start-up law firm helping small and medium enterprises to resolve their legal issues.

 

Adefemi is just that legal advisor that businesses and entrepreneurs need, to effectively deal with challenges that present themselves along their journey.

“We are a law firm with a focus on commercial, corporate and civil dispute law as well as property consultants. We support both established and new businesses,” the graduate of Demontfort University, United Kingdom, says.

The young entrepreneur was inspired to establish his law firm by the exemplary life of late Obafemi Awolowo, who was also a lawyer and an ideologist that impacted lives in the society.

Adefemi says that he wants to impact lives by helping to solve legal problems faced by businesses. He established Long &Akunebu LP with Uzochukwu Akunebu, his co-founder, after resigning from his job at a downstream oil and gas firm.

He says his initial start-up capital was very small and was spent on getting an office space and buying stationaries for the business.

Since starting, Adefemi says the business has grown and is still growing, as he continues to get referrals from former clients.

“Since we started in 2014, the business has been expanding.  Now, there is a need for us to hire a junior lawyer, which we never thought would happen soon. This is because we were able to create a niche for ourselves on corporate matters,” he explains.

 “Also, we have ensured customers are satisfied with our services by not taking them for granted. This has made us get referrals for everyone of our past clients,” Adefemi adds.

Speaking on how the chamber has survived in the last five years, the young entrepreneur says that the business has focused on the areas it has strength while creating a niche for itself on corporate matters.

“We have done a thorough and professional job for our clients. Meeting our clients’ satisfaction has been a sustaining factor for us. If we are supposed to be at the court by 9am, we ensure we are there 30 minutes before time,” he says.

“Currently, the business has five full -time employees and it is planning of employing a young lawyer,” Adefemi says.

 Answering questions on the potential in the Nigerian legal industry, Adefemi says that the industry is still developing. He says that in the 1960s Nigerian law graduates had to go overseas to attend law schools but the trend has changed as the country has six law schools across the country.

He notes that graduates of law from other West African countries now attend the Nigerian Law School to become practising lawyers.

Adefemi says that corruption is not only peculiar with the judicial system in the country but is in all strata of the society, adding that the legal industry in the country is progressing but at a very slow pace.

Responding to questions on the challenges limiting his business, the young entrepreneur says that the long time frame in resolving cases remains the major challenge limiting his business. He states that the challenge leads to waste of resources and manpower as constant filing of cases and court proceedings incur costs.

He identifies inadequate court room facilities as another major challenge facing his business. “The Nigerian court rooms are not well equipped,” he says.

He urges the government at all levels to constantly upgrade the court room facilities with modern equipment to aid proceedings.

Speaking on expansion plans for his business, he says he plans to have chambers across the six geo-political zones in the country.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says, “No guts, no glory. Every entrepreneur must have guts to survive. They must have the courage and determination, as this goes a very long way in having your own practice.”

 

Josephine Okojie

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