Interviewed by R. Atanda Quadri
Can you tell us who you are sir?
My name is Olugbenga Akinlabi a Legal Practitioner and Notary Public. I have been practicing law for about fifteen (15) years now having been called to the Nigerian bar in the year 2005. After my call to bar, I joined one of the leading commercial law firm in Nigeria- Templars. It was at Templars that I cut my legal teeth and I practiced in the firm for about nine (9) years until the year 2015 when I joined friends of like minds to start a new law practice which today is known as Broadridge Legal Practitioners & Notary Public. Broadridge is a commercial law firm with bias for commercial dispute resolution (litigation and all alternative dispute resolution), employment law and corporate and commercial law practice.
Kindly provide insight into your family background?
I am from a humble and upright family of five (5) children. My both parents are seasoned teachers in Lagos State who rose to the peak of their careers, they retired and are now resting in the Lord.
In 2010 I got married to my wife Mrs Grace C. Akinlabi and our marriage is blessed with two vibrant children.
Tell us about your educational background
I attended Yewa High School and Lagos Africa Church Grammar School for Junior and Senior Secondary School education respectively; both schools are in Lagos State. After my secondary school education, I proceeded to the Faculty of Law of the University of Ilorin for my LL. B programme and thereafter to the Nigerian Law School (Lagos Campus) in 2004 for the mandatory Law School (B.L) training.
How was your growing up years like?
My parents being teachers, myself and my siblings, we were brought up by very strict disciplinarians. They are parents who do not spare the rod whenever we erred. They brought us up to know the value of education, hard work, honesty, integrity and fear of God. They hum it to our ears regularly that the only inheritance they will leave us with is the education we were being given truth be told they did their best along that line. This goes a long way in molding us all to a responsible adults today.
What inspired you to study law as a course?
That is a question that will take us a bit down memory lane. Many factors and individuals influenced my decision to study law. The first being my parents, they saw those qualities and they guide me into choosing law as a course of study. Also, the period I was seeking admission into the University, Nigeria was still under military dictatorship as at then. Efforts of those lawyers such as Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Late G.O.K. Ajayi and Femi Falana all played a major role increasing my passion in choosing law as a career.
How has the legal profession been to you?
It has been a roller coaster of an experience for me. The good, the bad and the not so ugly. The joy is that we have enough victory, good and sweet memories that keep us going despite the challenges we face on a daily basis.
What challenging briefs or career issues have you experienced as a lawyer?
We took up the defence of some indigent persons who were ex- employees of a company in phantom charges of conspiracy to steal and stealing on a pro bono basis. The case span through a period of about eight (8) years. It was a grueling eight (8) years of going to court. Eventually, these indigent employees were discharged and acquainted. The experience can best be described as a long walk to freedom. Happy to see these persons being able to return to their normal lifes today.
If you are not a lawyer, which other profession would you have preferred?
For me the legal profession is quite a very interesting one. If you are busy it is not a boring career. The briefs that comes your way will present you with diverse situation and experience but per adventure if not law, maybe today I would have been a Diplomat because that was the path I was heading to until I was appropriately counselled about my area of strength.
How do you view the legal profession and developments relating to the profession in Nigeria of today?
The world is evolving and it will continue to evolve, things change very fast that the first quarter of a year may be different from the second quarter of the same year. Looking at the speed at which the world is evolving, the legal profession also needs to evolve with time. There is a constant need for timely review of our laws to be in tune with modern realities and international best practices.
If you are to mention your icons in the legal profession, who are they?
They are quite many and diverse because these individuals are all unique in their own way and they are authorities who have carved a niche for themselves in the legal profession and in different life endeavours. Many of them are my senior at the bar and some are my contemporaries who are doing marvelous things in their sphere of influence. Chief Afe Babalola is one of such icon that has been remotely shaping and influencing my path in the legal profession.
Why is he your legal icons and not some other legal practitioners?
He is an astute advocate, author and educationist. Known for far reaching philanthropic acts and gestures. He has many laurels to his name and lawyer that has risen to limelight under him are quite handful.
As a family man, what advice do you have for couples given the rate at which relationships are presently breaking up?
The family is the microcosm of a nation. It is important that we should do everything to ensure that sanity reigns in families and the institution is protected. In our firm matrimonial matters is one of our forte and from our experience we will suggest more tolerance and patience from the parties operating within the institution. In recent times, our society is witnessing more cases of gender-based violence, we must rise up to nip this in the bud and protect the vulnerable ones through legislation and prosecution of defaulters.
What are your hobbies?
I love reading and watching movies.
How do you unwind after a hectic days job?
Believe me the surest way I unwind is to take a walk or jog out the Lagos stress out of my system and thereafter take a sleep. I enjoy doing this from time to time. Occasionally I hang out with friends and attend social functions when the busy schedules permit this.
What legacy will you like to be remembered for in future as a lawyer?
The legacy I would love to leave behind will be the numbers of life I will be able to impact positively, helping people that cannot repay me. Showing up for people when all hopes is lost.
When were you called to bar?
Then your office contact, email and phone number, the kind of legal services you render
Head Office: 32, Saji Ayangade Street, Anthony Maryland, Lagos
Branch Office: 191B Jide Oki Street, Off Ligali Ayorinde, Victoria Island Lagos
Telephone: +2348036194120; +2347058685361
Twitter: @broadridgelaw Facebook:
Broadridge Legal Practitioners & Notary Public
Our practice areas include:
• Dispute Resolution (Mediation, Litigation and Arbitration) • Labour & Employment • Properties, Titles and Mortgages Perfection • Company Secretarial Services • Corporate & Commercial Law • Corporate Finance • Energy Law • Corporate Immigration • Family and Succession Law • Notary Public Services
Thank you sir