How A Former Nigerian White-Collar Employee Built A Multi-Million Dollar Law Firm
Opportunities don’t always equal productivity, but the ability to utilize these opportunities and make constant wins leads to real success.
This is the story of a man who never settles for the ordinary, always believes in excellence, and strives to achieve it. He is always looking for new ways of doing things better and for more opportunities to improve himself, his skills and the lives of those around him.
He is an inspiration to the younger generation of professionals that success is not just a destination, but a journey of hard work, self-development, and proper use of all opportunities that come your way. It is the ability to be spontaneous and provide solutions for impending problems and road-blocks you would encounter on your journey to success.
This is the success story of Gbenga Oyebode, a diligent, hard-working, smart and passionate lawyer whose passion and quest for excellence placed him above many other individuals and organisations operating in the same legal industry.
Here’s how he did it:
Early life Of Gbenga Oyebode
Gbenga Oyebode was born on the 30th of March, 1959. He had his secondary school education at Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria and after graduating, proceeded to study law at the then University of Ife (now known as Obafemi Awolowo University), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) in the year 1979.
A year after graduation, he was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after which He went on to obtain his Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the year 1982.
Gbenga Oyebode was first hired by the White and Case firm in New York City, in the United States of America as an associate between the years 1982 and 1983, after which he went on to work at Gulf Oil (now known as Chevron) in Houston.
In the course of working for these organisations, he gathered immense experience in the legal understanding of how the organisations operated and also how to efficiently offer great services to like companies.
The Start Of His Firm
In the year 1992, Gbenga Oyebode formed a partnership with Bamidele Aluko, Odein Ajumogobia, and C. N. Okeke to practice law in Nigeria under the name of the firm, Ajumogobia, Okeke, Oyebode and Aluko (Barristers, Solicitors, and Notaries).
In 1993, about a year later, Gbenga Oyebode left his previous partnership and co-founded Aluko & Oyebode with Bankole Olumide Aluko (SAN), which has run successfully till date and services clients in oil and gas and power projects, foreign investment and privatization, telecommunications, project finance, aviation, amongst others.
Gbenga Oyebode Today
Oyebode is a highly rated lawyer with vast knowledge and experience in business law. According to the International Financial Law Review IFLR 1000 (the guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firm), he is one of Nigeria’s most prominent lawyers. Chambers Global, another legal guide that identifies and ranks the most outstanding law firms and lawyers in over 180 jurisdictions throughout the world, also regards him as a great deal maker who has received praises from clients and peers alike for his corporate expertise. This is evident in the several accolades and awards he has received both individually and through his law firm.
Currently, in addition to his position as Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode, he sits on the board of several companies in various capacities including Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc as chairman, Asset Management Group Ltd as chairman, Combined Industrial Agro Consultants Ltd as chairman, Timbuktu Media Ltd as chairman, Socfinaf S.A as director, Crusader Nigeria Plc as director, and MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd as director. He is also on the Africa Advisory Committee of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Some of the high profile transactions he has been involved in includes advising on the Brass LNG Project, the sale by Exxon Mobil Dil Corporation of its 60 percent equity stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to Nipco Plc and the US$360 million Lekki Concession Infrastructure Project for the construction of toll roads and bridges in Lagos State which is the first major PPP initiative in Nigeria. He also advised on the US$1.25 billion financings of the Exxon Mobil Natural Gas Liquid II Project, the US $1.06 billion financings of trains four and five of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Expansion Project and the development, financing, and implementation of the first Independent Power Plant project in Nigeria.
Gbenga Oyebode is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the International Bar Association. He is a past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law.
Recognitions & Achievements
Gbenga Oyebode was conferred with the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2001 and the Belgian Royal Honour of Knight of the Order of Leopold in 2007.
In 2015, he was distinguished with an award for Lifetime Contribution to Law by Law Digest Africa Awards.
To Sum It Up
This success story of Gbenga Oyebode goes a long way to prove that constant learning, self-improvement, perseverance, networking, and delivering great service every time is key to building a great future and organisation.
Growing up, Gbenga Oyebode was given an opportunity to have a good education. But only his diligence, passion, drive, consistency, and the knowledge and belief that he could be the best at what he does drove him to become an extraordinary lawyer.
You too can do the same.