BusinessDay

Young Business Lawyer Spotlight

The Young Business Lawyer Section strives to promote our own young lawyers in Nigeria. This article spotlighting Sodeek Oyedeji of Duale, Ovia and Alex-Adedipe in Lagos, Nigeria, is part of our series featuring the voices of the next generation…

Full name- Sodeek Oluwatobi Oyedeji
Firm – Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe
Area of Practice- Private Equity and Venture Capital, Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Banking and Finance, and TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications)
Years of Experience- 7 years (PQE)
Professional summary – Sodeek Oluwatobi Oyedeji (“Sodeek”) is a transaction lawyer with a focus on corporate commercial transactions. Sodeek has an acute interest in finance and its interwoven relationship with the law. Sodeek had earlier garnered experience at the firm of Qais Conrad Laureate, the African office of the Global law firm – Aliantlaw.

Sodeek is currently a Senior Associate at the law firm of Duale, Ovia & Alex Adedipe and advises on private equity and venture capital, mergers and acquisition, capital market and banking & finance-related matters and with a focus on the telecommunications, media and technology, financial services, health services, amongst others. He has advised and acted as the solicitor to Zrosk Investment Management in the USD 11.4 Million Series A Funding Round of Irofit Technologies (Ziroopay). He also formed part of the legal team that advised the Lagos State Government on the N100,000,000,000.00 (One Hundred Billion Naira) syndicated debt financing in connection with the Phase 1 of the Lagos State Redline Rail Project.

Read also: Young Business Lawyer Spotlight

Four Questions with Sodeek
What do you appreciate most about your work as a young lawyer?
The most appreciated angle of my work as a young lawyer is the fact that I play vital roles in transactions of large significance, as some of these transactions go a long way in shaping the socio-economic environment in Nigeria and Africa at large. It gives a great sense of importance and boosts self-esteem when befuddled clients approach us with daunting issues and I, alongside team members, resolve same.

What have you learned from your experience so far?
Over the years of my experience, I will say that I have learned to always be dedicated to whatever course I find myself charting. Putting this into proper perspective, when approached with a task, I put on the client’s shoes and become extremely interested in the client’s business. This aids me to render top-shelf legal advisory services to the Client and earns me the “trusted advisor” tag.

In your opinion, what are the two major challenges faced by young lawyers in the legal profession in Nigeria?
I will say that the most issue that dazes young lawyers is the lack of proper orientation at the inception of being ushered into the Profession. It is important to note that the first practical orientation that a lawyer gets will be at his/her first place of work. In this case, that lawyer doesn’t have a choice of where to get such “proper” orientation from. This means that they are forced to receive any orientation as may be laid to them, whether appropriate or not. Another issue, I will say, that bedevils young lawyers is the lack of proper remuneration.

What one leader do you most look up to and why?
I am guessing this question relates to the Law Practice. Answering strongly, Gbenga Oyebode MFR, “The Tall Lawyer, Investor And Philanthropist In A Power Suit” as described by Forbes. From being called to the Nigerian Bar in 1980, to being conferred with the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR) in the 2001 and the Royal Honour of ‘Knight of the Order of Leopold’ in Belgium in 2007, arguably (and quite strongly here) one of the few forces that shape the face of the current corporate law practice in Nigeria, my reasons are quite apparent.

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