Contributors & Editorial Team

Hamid Abdulkareem
Nigeria

Hamid Abdulkareem

Hamid is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Practice of Aluko & Oyebode (a tier 1 commercial law firm in Nigeria). He is an experienced litigator and arbitration counsel and regularly advises and represents clients in disputes relating to energy and natural resources, taxation, company and labour law.

He has in recent years been involved in the resolution of a wide range of disputes arising from Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry and is a trusted adviser in this area. He cut his teeth in legal practice at Olaniwun Ajayi LP before proceeding for his LLM at the London School of Economics.

Maryan Hassan
Somalia

Maryan Hassan

Maryan is a Somali British Lawyer who currently works as a Legal Adviser to the Federal Government of Somalia – Office of the Prime Minister. She is a Chief Negotiator for Somalia’s Accession to the WTO and a member of the New York convention task force for Somalia. She is a panel member of the ICSID panels of arbitrators and conciliators, nominated by Somalia – making her the youngest arbitrator at the institution at the time of her appointment.

Maryan graduated from SOAS, University of London where she focused on investment and commercial arbitration, international trade and post conflict development – of which her research on Somalia was selected for presentation at the Institute for Global and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School. She is the first Somali recipient of the prestigious JAMS International Weinstein Fellowship in ADR.

Jonathan Lim
London

Jonathan Lim

Jonathan, a Senior Associate with WilmerHale, focuses his practice on International Arbitration matters and complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. He represents clients in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations including under the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, SIAC and UNCITRAL Rules. He has also advised governments in Africa and Asia on Public International Law issues and International Arbitration Law Reform.

He is also a Visiting Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore where he teaches a course on Commercial and Investment Arbitration. He publishes and speaks regularly on International Arbitration and Financial Regulation and has also lectured on the courses at the Singapore Management University and the London School of Economics.

Duncan Bagshaw
London

Duncan Bagshaw

Duncan is a Counsel and member of the International Arbitration and Africa groups at Stephenson Harwood, London. He has extensive experience working in Africa and offers practical commercial advice for clients operating in the region, backed up by powerful written and oral advocacy. He specialises in international arbitration and litigation in matters related to African and global projects and contracts.

He joined Stephenson Harwood after spending three years as the Registrar of the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre in Mauritius during which time he established and developed MIAC into a leading African Arbitration Centre. He has extensive experience of International Arbitration Law in various jurisdictions, particularly in Africa.

Tatiana Serrao
Angola

Tatiana Serrao

Tatiana is a Partner in the law firm of FBL Advogados, Angola. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in law from the Catholic University of Angola and her LLM degree from the Portuguese Catholic University. She is experienced in corporate law, commercial law, foreign investment, administrative law, public contracting and tax law. She has also taught Administrative Law and International Trade Law at the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Angola.

She speaks English, Italian and Portuguese and has a certification in Arbitration and Mediation from the International Law Institute.

Victor Igwe
Nigeria

Victor Igwe

Victor is a Senior Associate in Dispute Resolution Practice at Templars (a tier 1 commercial law firm in Nigeria). He holds a Master of Laws in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration from the NYU School of Law, New York. In addition to this, he worked as a teaching assistant in the arbitration section of the School’s Introduction to U.S. Law lectures for the LL.M. Class of 2016. He is admitted to the New York State Bar.

He has considerable expertise in the oil and gas sector, tax litigation, anti-corruption and compliance under Nigeria’s local content and public procurement laws. He has worked with the International Arbitration team at the Paris offices of Allen & Overy LLP. He was recently selected for the Africa wide Arbitration Mentoring Programme by the Association of Young Arbitrators (AYA) and is mentored by Yas Banifatemi of Shearman & Sterling (Paris).

Laila El Shentenawi
Egypt

Laila El Shentenawi

Laila is a qualified lawyer in Egypt and a Senior Associate in Al Tamimi & Company’s Arbitration & Dispute Resolution Team. Laila studied at the Cairo University-Egypt, Bucerius Law School and Otto Beisheim School Of Management-Germany, and Queen Mary University of London, UK. Her practice focuses on International Commercial Arbitration, Investment Arbitration, Mediation and Sports Dispute Resolution. She represents clients in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations including under the ICC, ICSID, CRCICA, DIAC, LCIA, PCA and UNCITRAL Rules.

She teaches Mediation with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, London and has taught arbitration at the ABA-ROLI. She is a member of several arbitration groups, an accredited mediator by CRDR and a listed mediator with the Cairo Regional Centre for the International Commercial Arbitration- CRCICA as well as the Investors Dispute Resolution Centre affiliated to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones in Egypt- GAFI.

Guled Yusuf
London

Guled Yusuf

Guled is a Senior Associate at Allen & Overy, London. He was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2012. He has experience in private practice and intergovernmental organisations including representing an African State at the UN General Assembly. His areas of practice include Investment Treaty Arbitration, International Commercial Arbitration and Public International Law. He has published a number of articles and book chapters on Public International Law and International Arbitration.

He currently serves as Chair of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s (SIAC) Users Council Committee for Africa and is also a member of the SIAC Users Council Executive Committee. He is, in addition, a member of the Task Force for the creation of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development’s (IGAD) Arbitration Centre in Djibouti. He was previously a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Arbitration Committee.

Pedro Couto
Mozambique

Pedro Couto

Mr Couto is the Chairman of Couto, Graca & Associados (CGA), a corporate law firm in Mozambique. He completed post-graduate studies at Eduardo Mondlane University, and studied Commercial Law at the Graduate Faculty of Law in Lisbon. He speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and is a member of professional organizations such as the Bar Association of Mozambique, the International Bar Association, Lex Africa, and the Chamber of Commerce Mozambique-Portugal.

He has been published in the Practical Manual of Banking Transactions for the International Bank of Mozambique.

Dev Erriah
Mauritius

Dev Erriah

Mr Erriah is the Head of Erriah Chambers, a leading law firm in Mauritius. He graduated in the UK and holds an LLM from the University of London. He was the first Chairman of STEP Mauritius (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners).  He is also a member of the International Bar Association and forms part of Committees N (Tax) and E (Banking). 

Mr Erriah specialises in dispute resolution and advises clients on several aspects of commercial transactions.

Rashida Abdulai
London

Rashida Abdulai

Ms Abdulai is the CEO of Strand Sahara, London. Prior to this, she was a Senior Associate in the International Arbitration Group and a member of the Africa Practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP, London, where she acted for multinational companies on complex, high-value international business disputes across a range of industry sectors including energy and natural resources, telecommunications, consumer goods and banking and financial services.

She is a member of the Africa Users Groups of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Arbitration Centre Taskforce.

Sophia Louw
South Africa/London

Sophia Louw

Sophia is an Associate in the Dispute Resolution Practice at Omnia Strategy LLP. Her practice focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration across a variety of jurisdictions, with emphasis on Africa. She has participated in proceedings conducted before major arbitral institutions including ICSID, the ICC and LCIA. She is qualified in South Africa.

Prior to joining Omnia Strategy, Sophia worked in finance in the City of London and interned at Proskauer Rose LLP. She also served as a Research Assistant at the South African Chair in Property Law.

Sydney Chisenga
Zambia

Sydney Chisenga

Sydney is the Partner in charge of the Dispute Resolution and Public Policy Department at Corpus Legal Practitioners, Rhodes Park, Zambia. He joined the firm in August 2007 and prior to this, he spent two years with a general practitioners firm in Lusaka. His practice includes an emphasis in Commercial Litigation, Telecoms law and Competition Law.

Sydney received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zambia in 2003. He was later admitted to the Zambian Bar in October 2005 and thereafter attained a Masters Degree in Commercial Law from the University of South Africa.

Solomon Ebere
Nigeria/London

Solomon Ebere

Solomon is a Senior Associate in the International Arbitration Group at Omnia Strategy LLP, London, where he focuses on international disputes in emerging markets. Solomon has previously worked at several international law firms in New York, Paris, Geneva and London. He has participated in proceedings conducted under the ICC, LCIA, ICDR, Swiss, UNCITRAL and ICSID Arbitration Rules, as well as in courts proceedings before the US and the UK courts.

He has been admitted to the New York and Paris Bars. He received his JD from Georgetown Law, where he was a Global Law Scholar and founded and chaired the Georgetown International Arbitration Society. He also holds a post-graduate degree in comparative law and a J.D. equivalent, both from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne).

Tsegaye Laurendeau
Ethiopia/London

Tsegaye Laurendeau

Tsegaye is a Senior Associate in the International Arbitration Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, London. Prior to joining Shearman & Sterling, Tsegaye worked for 3 years with Allen & Overy LLP, Paris, and has considerable experience in commercial and investor-state disputes under various arbitration rules and industries. He has also worked in the Ministry of Justice in Ethiopia [where he was born and raised] as a summer intern.

Tsegaye is registered as an arbitrator and mediator with arbitration centres in East and Northern Africa. He is a member of organisations, which focus on the development of international arbitration in Africa, including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) task force advising on the creation of an arbitration centre in Djibouti. He also serves as the Africa regional representative of LCIA YIAG.

Tsegaye is admitted to the Paris Bar and as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. A native Amharic and French speaker, he also speaks English fluently and is conversant in Spanish.

Roger Wakefield
South Africa

Roger Wakefield

Mr Wakefield has been a Director in Werksmans Attorneys Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department since 1996. Roger specialises in commercial litigation and has expertise in cross-border disputes, enforcements of foreign judgments, private international law and commercial litigation in the United States. He is also skilled in arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution; IT litigation; administrative law; intellectual property law, trade marks & copyright law; healthcare and health funding; mining law; and corporate fraud.

He has been involved in a number of foreign judgment cases that are now leading authorities under South African law. He is named as a leading commercial litigator in Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators and in Best Lawyers. Roger is a member of the Management Committee of Lex Africa, a network of leading law firms in over 25 African countries, and is also on the management committee of the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa. He holds a BA LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Patson Arinaitwe
Uganda

Patson Arinaitwe

He is a Partner in the Energy and Dispute Resolutions Practice at Signum Advocates. He has over nine years’ experience advising on some of the biggest energy and infrastructure projects in Uganda, handling commercial disputes at both trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitration.

In 2015, Patson completed work placements at Mayer Brown International LLP and Blackstone Chambers in London. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Uganda Christian University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice of the Law Development Centre and a Master of Laws (with distinction) in Oil and Gas Law from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK.

Tolu Obamuroh
Nigeria/Paris

Tolu Obamuroh

Tolu Obamuroh is an Associate in the International Arbitration Group of White & Case, Paris. He is particularly skilled in international commercial and investment arbitration.Prior to joining White & Case, Tolu was the Associate General Counsel of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, where he was responsible for case management and dispute resolution of the Court. He has also worked in a commercial firm in Nigeria, during which time he was involved in high profile transactions and disputes.

Tolu is the founder of the Lagos Court of Arbitration – Young Arbitrators Network (LCA-YAN) and he’s currently co-chair of Young ICCA. He is a recipient of the prestigious JAMS International Weinstein Fellowship in ADR.

Isaiah Bozimo
Nigeria

Isaiah Bozimo

Isaiah is a Partner at Broderick Bozimo & Company – a boutique Arbitration and Litigation firm in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and has over ten years’ experience as a Barrister and Solicitor. He is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and Queen Mary University of London.

He is the ICC YAF representative for Africa, Middle East and Turkey, and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lagos Court of Arbitration-Young Arbitrators Network (LCA-YAN). He is also an active member of the Nigerian Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK). Recently, he was elected into the Abuja Chapter Committee of the Institute.

Yaye Diabate
Associate Editor

Yaye Diabate

Yaye is an associate in the International Arbitration group of Shearman & Sterling LLP (Abu Dhabi). She is a French qualified lawyer and has worked as a trainee lawyer in K&L Gates (Paris), Shearman & Sterling (Abu Dhabi) and Deloitte (Dakar). Yaye holds a LLB and a Master degree in International Law from La Sorbonne University (Paris), as well as an LLM in International Dispute Resolution from Queen Mary University (London).

Yaye has experience in investment arbitration involving African parties and has acted as counsel for prospective investors in West Africa. Her work also includes multi-billions construction arbitrations in the Middle East, conducted under the auspices of several international arbitration institutions and involving various procedural and substantive laws. Yaye maintains a strong interest in the development of international arbitration in Africa. She is involved in the Task Force for the creation of the Djibouti International Arbitration Centre.

Yaye is fluent in French (her native language) and English.

Stanley U. Nweke-Eze
Associate Editor

Stanley U. Nweke-Eze

Stanley currently works in the International Dispute Resolution Group of Debevoise & Plimpton, London. He obtained LL.M. degrees from the University of Cambridge in 2016 and Harvard Law School in 2017, with focus on Commercial Law and International Law respectively. At Cambridge, he was an editor of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, and at Harvard; he served as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Students’ Government, and an editor of the Harvard International Law Journal, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, and the Harvard Africa Policy Journal.

Prior to his LL.M. programmes, Stanley worked at a leading Nigerian law firm, Templars, where he was part of the teams that represented multinational and domestic corporations in commercial law disputes. He has also interned at the London offices of various international law firms.

Stanley received his LL.B. degree with first class honours from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria in 2013. He is licensed to practice law in Nigeria and the State of New York.

Femi Gbede
Associate Editor

Femi Gbede

Femi cut his legal teeth as a finance lawyer with Olaniwun Ajayi LP, working on cutting edge deals, and advising sophisticated clients, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. He was part of the team that advised on the largest single financial transaction in Nigerian history: the NGN4.7 Trillion AMCON Bond Issuance Program. He had a stint at the Dispute Resolution Practice Group of the firm, garnering experience in litigation, and arbitration.

‘Femi received  a full merit based Arthur Vanderbilt scholarship at the New York University School of Law, where he served as a Graduate Editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics, and was elected to represent students from across the globe at the Students’ Bar Association. He graduated as the best student in his university, and in the top 1 percent in a national class of 4,891 students at the Nigerian Law School, where he also served as the Treasurer of the Students’ Representative Council. 

He worked as a Pro bono Collaborator with Sidley Austin LLP, under its Africa-Asia Agricultural Enterprise Pro bono Program. He was a delegate at the International Young Leaders Assembly, both at the United Nations and the World Bank, and has participated in several international arbitration conferences, seminars, and workshops including  Recent Trends in Investor-State Arbitration (with Herbert Smith LLP), and Limits to Party Autonomy in International Commercial Arbitration, in New York, and most recently, in Spain.

Femi has a background in journalism. He is licensed to practice law both in New York and Nigeria. He is an executive officer of the Nigerian Lawyers Association in New York, and currently works with a law firm in New York.