• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Why we organised chess tournament for pupils, by Advocaat Law Practice


Fifteen years ago, a full service commercial law firm, Advocaat Law Practice (ALP), started providing legal services in Yaba, near Makoko, Lagos.

Makoko, sometimes described as the “largest floating slum in the world” is a unique low-income community, a third of which is built on stilts in a lagoon off the Lagos mainland.
That was where Advocaat initially pitched its tent. It has not forgotten the days of its little beginnings.

As part of activities to mark its 15th anniversary on September 3, 2023, it organised a mini chess tournament for pupils of Whanyinna School in the floating community of Makoko.
It was an exciting occasion as the talented school children participated in the “Chess in Communities Mini Tournament” held last Saturday.

The winners, who got scholarship support, are Kisegbeji Benjamin (overall winner), Avlessi Thank God (best junior player) and Kpago Mary (best female player).

The ‘Chess in Communities Mini Tournament’, which held on the sand-filled ground of the school, saw no fewer than 48 players from primary and junior secondary classes competing for a trophy and scholarship prizes.

L-R: Chess in Slums Africa representatives; Julius Nwachukwu and Adebukola Benjamin; the overall winner, Kisegbeji Benjamin and Managing Partner, Advocaat Law Practice (ALP), Ola Alokolaro.

ALP Founding Partner, Ola Alokolaro, said the mini tournament was one of many events to celebrate the firm’s 15th anniversary.

He said that it was organised through Strictly Law Business (SLB) in partnership with a non-profit organisation, Chess in Slums Africa.
Alokolaro said: “It’s our way of giving back to our community.

“We started off the practice in Yaba, very close to this place, which is why we chose this particular community to give back to.

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“We’re looking for talent. Majority of these children are gifted, so it’s important to harness these gifts for the benefit of the community and our country.

“The intent is to collaborate and help with the development of some of these communities and uplift some of the underprivileged.”
On the choice of chess, he said: “Chess is a very strategic game and it helps to build the mind and it’s important that the minds of these kids are engaged from an early age.

“It is our intention to sponsor the children from first to third place and ensure that their education for the year is taken care of.
“We’re definitely going to continue to partner with Chess in Slums, with some of their initiatives, both in the near and the future terms.”

He urged other law firms to consider similar charitable causes to lift the society.
“It’s very important to uplift each other and that’s the only way we can build the nation,” Alokolaro said.

Founder, Strictly Law Business, Olubosola Ajala, said her organisation empowers lawyers and law firms on growing profitable practices.
“Being one of our clients, we had to work together with Advocaat Law Practice on its 15th anniversary, to conceptualise the idea of giving back to society.

“We worked with them to organise this chess tournament. It’s their way of giving back.
“As a service provider to them, we had to ensure that everything that had to do with the success of the chess tournament was well-executed.”

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Advocaat Law Practice is a leading full-service commercial law firm with extensive experience in advising stakeholders of various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

It is structured on a partnership basis, with the Energy and Infrastructure, Financing and Capital Markets, Corporate Commercial, Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT), Dispute Resolution, Shipping and International Trade, and Government Relations and Public
Policy Groups as its core practice groups.

With a strong and dedicated team of lawyers and support staff, as well as a global network of consultants, the firm provides legal advisory services to organisations and individuals with business interests in Nigeria and the Sub-Saharan African region.

Its client-focused approach is renowned and further reinforced by the firms commendable transaction experience.

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ALP has been recognised both locally and internationally. In 2019, it was awarded Law Firm of the Year (mid-size practice) in Nigeria by ESQ.

In 2017, the firm was voted the Law Firm of the Year (small practice) in Nigeria by ESQ. In 2016, it was recognised as the Emerging Law firm in Africa by the Law Digest Awards.
The firm is ranked for its Energy and Infrastructure, Corporate Commercial and Banking and Finance.