“It is my belief that the practice of law becomes unfruitful if it places technical justice above substantial justice; if it only seeks to explore the shortcomings of legal provisions in order to defeat the ends of justice”- Okechukwu Orisakwe
Okechukwu is an Associate in the London offices of PGMBM, an international group litigation law firm. He is currently involved in pursuing justice for thousands of claimants in multi-million-pound litigation against certain car manufacturers who sold cars fitted with defeat devices to cheat prior regulatory emissions checks whereas those cars would emit higher levels of harmful Nitrogen Oxides in real-world driving.
Before joining PGMBM, Okechukwu had previously worked in two leading law firms in Lagos, Nigeria, where he advised blue-chip companies in several big-ticket commercial transactions and represented many clients in contentious disputes in superior courts.
Okechukwu graduated with a First-Class LL. B from Enugu State University of Science and Technology where he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s scholarship for three consecutive years due to his outstanding academic performance. He also holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge and is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
1. What makes legal practice exciting for Okechukwu?
He finds legal practice exciting for two principal reasons. First and foremost, the satisfaction that his clients enjoy from the services he renders to them is enough to leave him excited. Secondly, for Okechukwu, the seesawing nature of the law makes the practice more interesting than anyone would imagine. For him, it keeps him learning new things and new approaches to legal problems while jettisoning old methods which are no longer compatible with current realities within the practice.
2. What is his philosophy of impacting the nation through the practice of the law?
Okechukwu believes that the law itself is one of the foremost tools for national development as well as for social changes. However, he still understands that the positive effect of the law in these respects will largely depend on the felicitous interpretation and application of the law to achieve its good objectives- this is where he thinks the key players in the legal profession- lawyers and judges alike, have a great responsibility.
Okechukwu notes, “It is my belief that the practice of law becomes unfruitful if it places technical justice above substantial justice; if it only seeks to explore the shortcomings of legal provisions in order to defeat the ends of justice.”
He is of the considered view that the practice of law must be fashioned in a manner that will ultimately result in the positive advancement of the law itself and social cohesion within the populace.
3. What is the next big thing Okechukwu is working on?
He is currently working on getting qualified for admission as a Solicitor of England and Wales to enable him to deepen his experience in the practice of law in the English Jurisdiction, as well as the Nigerian legal sector, where possessing a dual qualification would be of immense benefit when the need arises.
4. What does he consider the millennials’ greatest strength?
Okechukwu believes, “globalization” is the millennials’ greatest strength. He also thinks that the saying that “the world is a global village” is now a catechism. For him, technological disruptions over the past years and the consequences of the recent Coronavirus pandemic have made global interactions very seamless. Thus, the movements of goods and services are experiencing more ease than in the past. He further notes that in today’s dispensation,
“We find people being able to work remotely from any part of the world. Transportation for goods is seeing many options. The labour market is becoming globalised as countries cross their borders to hunt talents. Big businesses in the global north are racing to expand into Africa. A lot is really happening now. Forward-thinking millennials will attempt to equip themselves with the necessary tools to seize the unlimited opportunities accompanying these occurrences”.
5. Who, in the profession does Okechukwu look up to, and what is he currently reading?
He really does not look up to one person. He has rather been inspired (and continues to be inspired) by many lawyers, especially those who have achieved the greatest ranks and honours in their jurisdiction as well as their areas of practice. The list of such lawyers is too long and restating will do substantial injustice to his intentions and considerations.
He is currently reading “Long Walk to Freedom”, the autobiography of the legendary former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
The PALM considers Okechukwu Orisakwe a legal millennial who has shown exceptional radiance in the field of legal practice.
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