Oluwatoyin Modupe Asada is a lawyer, speaker and the founding partner of Sunesis Legal Practitioners – a full-service law firm based in Lagos, Nigeria.
A graduate of the University of Lagos, and the Nigerian Law School. She started her law career as a legal assistant to a High Court Judge, at the High Court of Justice Ibadan, Oyo State during her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), after which she joined the law firm of Kayode Oduba & Co where she worked as an associate lawyer. Years later, she founded Sunesis Legal Practitioners.
She has sound experience in vast areas of legal practice which includes; property law, corporate and commercial transactions, dispute resolution, intellectual property, company secretaryship, family law, etc
She is happily married with a daughter.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing and watching movies.
In this interview with Oyinlola Sale, Oluwatoyin Modupe Asada speaks on how she realized her passion to become a legal practitioner.
When did you realize your passion to become a legal practitioner?
As cliche as this is going to sound, I’ve always wanted to be a legal practitioner since I was a child, let’s say about 7 years of age. As I grew up, you would always find me being involved in debate and speech competitions. I’ve also always been good in writing and excelled in arts subjects like Literature, Government, e.t.c. My parents observed these traits and encouraged me along that path. Fortunately for me, I was able to realize this dream, and the starting point was securing admission to study Law at the University of Lagos. Now, as I continue to practice law after all these years, the passion keeps waxing stronger, in spite of all the challenges that come with the profession.
Over the years, you have built a track record in property law, corporate and commercial transactions, dispute resolution, intellectual property, company secretaryship, family law, etc, tell us more about it?
Well, these are areas of practice that I’ve always been very interested in. What has also helped is the fact that since I had the opportunity to work in a general practice law firm at the early stage of my career, where I got exposed to all these practice areas and more. I also keep doing my best to improve my competence in these areas by extensive studying and research. Most importantly I always strive to provide the best and most effective solutions for the various legal issues of my clients in these areas of the law.
What are some of the challenges you face as a legal practitioner in Nigeria?
Like any other industry and even life itself, the legal profession has its fair share of challenges.
The slow dispensation of justice and the incessant strikes in the judiciary affects the progress of a lot of our cases. Being able to source for clients can also be a challenge, but as times go on I keep making progress in that regard.
Also, the common mentality most Nigerians have regarding the remuneration for lawyers has an adverse effect on how we are able to negotiate for our fees with Clients. We find now that some clients would want to pay so little compared to the high value they are getting from their lawyers.
Funding is another issue that we lawyers deal with.
Time will not permit me to mention all the challenges we lawyers constantly grapple with. However, we keep rolling with the punches and with God on our side, it only gets better.
Now, which Crimes are more prevalent in Nigeria and what can be done to curb them?
I really don’t think that I’m in a position to say accurately the crimes that are more prevalent in Nigeria. But it is common knowledge that fraud and kidnapping have been at an all-time high in the past few years. And a major factor responsible for this is unemployment and poverty, which is a reflection of the poor state of the economy, and the sad aspect is that the law enforcement agencies responsible for fighting these crimes are not usually able to give their best due to corruption and lack of the necessary facilities and/or training.
In my opinion, the government becoming more proactive in fixing the factors responsible for the prevalence of these crimes would be a starting point to curbing them.
What does it take to start up a Law firm in Nigeria?
It all depends on the kind of law firm you want to build and the funding at your disposal. But at the very basic stage, what you need are your law books, stationery and other necessary office supplies, laptop or desktop computer, internet connection and office furniture. These days, a lot of lawyers can set up their office at home till the law firm is buoyant enough to rent an office space.
Most importantly, the law firm owner’s experience, competence and ability to network and market him/herself bearing in mind that the practice of law in spite of its peculiarities is not just a practice but also a business which should be treated as such would help in building a successful law firm.
What makes Sunesis Legal Practitioners stand out in the midst of other legal Practitioners?
What sets us apart at Sunesis Legal Practitioners is firstly our integrity and our commitment to excellence, coupled with the fact that we always strive to provide the best and most effective solutions to the legal issues of our various individual and corporate clients.
We also constantly evolve with the changes in the law and the developments in our society to ensure that we stay relevant, and can serve the current realities and needs of our modern times.