There has been a dearth of Legal Practitioners amongst Konnect Africa’s feature stars, and that anomaly is going to be corrected-starting now. My professional colleagues have excelled in advocacy, entrepreneurialism and service to humanity. Ghanaian Elikem Kuenyehia a graduate of Worcester College, University of Oxford has the honour of featuring as our premier Practitioner.
Elikem is a qualified lawyer in Ghana, England & Wales and holds an MBA from the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is the Managing Partner and Founder of Oxford & Beaumont, one of the leading corporate law firms in Ghana with offices in Accra and London. They focus on top-tier, high-value, and complex corporate and commercial work for leading corporations and financial institutions around the world such as Coca Cola, Google Inc., Standard Chartered Bank, and Citibank N.A., and for multilateral agencies including African Development Bank and International Finance Corporation as well as some of the foremost Ghanaian companies such as Chase Petroleum Ghana Limited, the Multimedia Group Limited, and Metropolitan Insurance. In addition, Elikem is an adjunct lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management & Public Administration (GIMPA) where he teaches Entrepreneurship; this prompted him to write a book -Kuenyehia on Entrepreneurship-which details the entrepreneurial journey.
Prior to setting up Oxford & Beaumont, Elikem was Head of Corporate Services & Legal at Standard Trust Bank Ghana Limited (now UBA Ghana Limited) and part of the start-up team of United Bank for Africa in Ghana. He previously worked with the UK magic circle firm Linklaters, where he was seconded to Barclays Capital as a Global Loans Lawyer, and trained with Travers Smith Braithwaite.
Recognised for his entrepreneurial expertise and legal acumen, Elikem is a hot-ticket for board memberships and the like. He is a non-executive director of Metropolitan Insurance Company Limited, Chase Petroleum Ghana, Google Ghana Limited and a trustee of the Akua Kuenyehia Foundation. He is also a member of the Law Society of England & Wales.
In 2010, Elikem was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and one of ‘Africa’s 40 under-40 Achievers by The Network Journal. He also received the Millennium Excellence Awards’ Young Professional of the Year Award in 2006 and won the 2012 title of Young Business Leader of the Year at the West African All Africa Business Leaders Awards.
For someone whose first job was working as a summer crew member at Burger King at Thorpe Park, -an amusement park in England- Elikem has come a long way.
Elikem was prompted to set up his firm because he was dissatisfied and disappointed with the value system of his immediate past boss. His initial financial requirements were thankfully not prodigious. According to him, he only really needed his brain, a laptop and a small office space which cost about $5,000.
Elikem’s success recipe is surrounding himself with the right people; people who are committed and talented, people who consistently challenge and inspire him.
Words of wisdom for African youths: “I’d like to encourage Africa’s young aspiring business people and entrepreneurs to focus on the things they are passionate about and to pursue those passions with integrity. Too many times, young Africans simply follow what is expected of them (from family, friends and society) without stopping to figure out what it is they are most passionate about. In my opinion, passion is the most important criteria for deciding on a job or on what entrepreneurship venture to pursue. It really is true that if you find a job you love you will never work a day in your life”. [www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/meet-the-boss-elikem-nutifafa-kuenyehia-founder-oxford-beaumont/23456/]
Elikem plans to teach full time after he has groomed his successors at Oxford & Beaumont. Don’t you just love lawyers?