Stephen Akinsanya

(2015 - 2017)

Stephen is a member of the Bar of England and Wales, he was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1993 to the bar of Turks and Caicos Islands in 2011. He has been in private practice since then practices at Great James Street Chambers, London.

He specialises in all levels of criminal work for most of his practicing career. As an experienced advocate he has appeared in many complex and serious criminal cases including fraud and murder. He has significant experience in the areas of asset recovery and proceeds of crime offences. He has been appeared in a number of high profile criminal cases.

He has experience of sitting as a Chair of Independent review panel hearings.

As a University of Buckingham Alumni, Stephen has been a visiting advocacy advisor to the annual legal workshop since 1994. Stephen has also acted as a mentor on behalf of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple mentoring programme and as an interview panel member for scholarship awards at the same Inn.

Stephen served as Chair of the British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF)(2015-2017) and as an executive officer for a number of years and worked closely with the other committee members to promote the work, aims and objectives of the BNLF to Nigerian lawyers in the Diaspora and their fellow professionals in Nigeria.

He was part of a small delegation of Nigerian lawyers based in the United Kingdom who were invited by the then Attorney General to Lagos State to deliver a training day to the Lagos State Prosecutors. In April 2016, together with the Law Society, he co-ordinated a forum on the topic of asset recovery with a panel of lawyers from prominent City firms.

His final contribution to the BNLF as Chair was to c-ordinate and oversees the response by BNLF to a report by the Nigerian Bar Association Regulation Committee on the urgent reforms of the regulation of lawyers practicing in Nigeria. Together with his committee, a team of lawyers were assembled with experience in both jurisdictions to assist with the drafting of a response against specific terms of reference.

He is an accredited advocacy trainer for the Inner Temple training of newly qualified and junior barristers in advocacy, conference and negotiator skills on a residential course and at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Babatunde Akinyanju

(2009 - 2015)

Babatunde Akinyanju (Babs) is a legal adviser at the East London Family Court. He advises lay justices on all aspects of Public and Private Law including Child Arrangements Orders, Adoption and Family Law Act matters (Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders) He read law at the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in March 1988.

He requalified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in June 1995. Over the past 28 years, Babs has specialized in criminal litigation, family proceedings, licensing and civil litigation. In the course of his career, he has trained Magistrates, Metropolitan Police Officers, Women’s Refuge Groups and members of the Nigerian Judiciary. In 2014 he took a career break and worked as an independent consultant in the law and education sectors in Nigeria. Babs is the longest serving executive member of BNLF: he was elected Vice Chairman from 2007-2009; Chairman from 2009-2015 and is currently its Treasurer.

Other professional memberships include the Justices Clerks’ Society; Law Society of England and Wales, Nigerian Bar Association and the Black Solicitors Network. He is an active supporter of various charities including Lupus UK, Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria and Adopt-A- Camp He also serves as a churchwarden at his local parish church.

Prof. Oba Nsugbe QC, SAN

A Founding member (2005-09)

Oba Nsugbe QC, SAN is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s and Nigeria’s leading barristers. He has a broad international practice with a particular interest in Africa. He provides high-level advice and representation for individuals, corporate clients and other organisations, (including NGOs), in matters ranging from business crime and corrupt practices, commercial litigation and dispute resolution.

He took silk in 2002, and since 2004 has acted as Grade A Advocacy Trainer at Gray’s Inn, where he became a Bencher in 2005. The following year, in 2006, he was appointed Joint Head of Chambers, elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and became the Legal Advisor to the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK. He also acts as a Legal Assessor for the General Medical Council .

He was chair of the British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF) from 2005 until 2009. He continues to be active in the BNLF and has been appointed to a number of important Bar Council committees over the years. He has also been involved in the training of judges and the reform of civil procedure law in Nigeria.

In November 2008 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award to the profession from the Black Solicitors’ Network and the year before that, the Minority Lawyers' Conference Award for his work for, and with, BME practitioners. In 2009, he was appointed an Honorary Professor of Law by City University. He has appeared in ChambersUK's Leading Lawyers for the past seven years. In addition to becoming a SAN in Nigeria, his overseas appointments have included being a member of the Body of Benchers in Nigeria, Chair of the G50 business group (“investing in Nigeria”) and a Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative