I was born on 7 October 1972, and I had my early education in Warri, Delta State.
I thereafter attended King’s College, Lagos from where I proceeded to study Law at the University of Benin (UNIBEN). I graduated from UNIBEN in 1992, and I was called to the Nigerian Bar on 15 December, 1993.
I served in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), in Kano State, and upon the completion of my service year, I joined the firm of Dr. Mudiaga Odje & Co. in Warri, Delta State where I was extremely privileged to cut my teeth in legal practice under the tutelage of the late, great sage: Dr. Mudiaga Odje, SAN, OFR, who was one of the most seasoned Litigators of his time. It was under Dr. Mudiaga Odje, SAN, that I learnt the rudiments of litigation and court room advocacy.
In 1996, I relocated to Lagos and teamed up with my cousin, Oghogho Akpata, who had just set up the law firm, Templars, the previous year, after honing his skills in the firm of F. O. Akinrele & Co. under the leadership of the legendary Chief Frank Odunayo Akinrele, SAN.
From 1996 to date, I have worked with Oghogho, and our colleagues at Templars, in building and sustaining a world class, multi-sectoral and full-service law firm which is now in the 25th year of its existence and consists of over 100 fee-earners, including two Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
I am currently Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate & Commercial Practice Group of Templars, which comprises the following practice areas: Mergers & Acquisitions; Capital Markets; Corporate Law; Labour & Employment; Immigration; Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment and Technology; and Regulatory Compliance. However, in my over two decades at Templars, I have practised across the diverse areas in which we operate, and I have been privileged to lead or participate in some of the major groundbreaking transactions that have shaped commercial law practice in Nigeria and indeed the Nigerian economy. Some of these include:
In addition to my aforementioned roles at Templars, I have over the years also developed and deployed the requisite skills that are a must-have for the management of people and resources in an organisation with a current head-count of over 150 people and which operates out of different locations in Nigeria. In this regard, I have, at different times, superintended the activities of the Operations, Human Resources and Business Development divisions of Templars.
I am deeply gratified that this model, which we at Templars continue to adopt in our approach to legal practice, has paid off handsomely, resulting in our phenomenal growth from a 4-man law practice in 1995-1996 to a tier one full-service law firm today.
Indeed, my experience at Templars, which essentially encompasses the bulk of my career as a lawyer, has afforded me invaluable insight into, and an in-depth understanding of, all aspects of legal practice in Nigeria.