People & Money

Gbenga Oyebode Steps Down as Chair of Aluko & Oyebode

Top Nigerian law firm Aluko & Oyebode undergoes major leadership shake-up with a view to invest in legal tech and new practice areas.”

Gbenga Oyebode, a foremost Nigerian business figure has reportedly stepped down as chair of Aluko & Oyebode, a leading full-service law firm in the country that he co-founded in 1993, amid a wider leadership shake-up.

Oyebode served as managing partner from the firm’s founding until 2013, when he became chairman while serving on the board of several multinationals in Nigeria, including Nestle Nigeria. Last December, he became chairman of the Nigerian unit of British healthcare brand PZ Cussons.

His decision to step down comes as the firm looks to transition from a ‘founder-led’ firm to an institution as well as invest in legal tech and new practice areas. Ushering in a new leadership team, the shakeup sees finance specialist Reginald Udom succeed Kofo Dosekun as managing partner, who in turn takes over as chair from Oyebode.

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“Oyebode has been a visionary to both Nigerian as well as African law firms, continually innovating and reinventing Aluko & Oyebode as we transition from a founder-led organisation to an institution,” Dosekun, who took over as managing partner in 2013, said. Oyebode will remain chair “in counsel” to the firm.

Aluko & Oyebode is at an “inflection point” due to the way “technological innovation is changing the way we deliver legal services” and because of a gradual shift away from traditional practice area from a focus on the oil and gas sector, “probably the most significant revenue earners in Nigeria for decades, due to our natural resources,” Udom was quoted as saying by Global Legal Post.

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“To sustain our leading status,” he continued, “we will invest in the new growth areas like fintech and equip our younger lawyers to meet client demand in these sectors. We will also invest in the latest legal tech tools to enable us to provide innovative services to our clients in a changing world.”

Udom joined the firm as a law graduate and has garnered more than 18 years of experience in international debt finance transactions, working on a range of financial, energy, and infrastructure deals. He has been a partner at Aluko & Oyebode for the past decade and is already a member of the firm’s management board, with a clientele of sponsors, lenders, issuers, and underwriters.

Aluko & Oyebode currently has 17 partners and 85 lawyers spread across three offices in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, enjoying tier-one states across a range of key practice areas by the legal directories.

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