ACAS - Law
Donna Obaseki-Ogunnaike possesses over 16 years’ legal practice experience in the Nigerian oil & gas industry and is a Partner in the Law Firm Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun (ACAS-Law).
After completing her University Education in the year 2000 from the University of Ilorin in Kwara State (Nigeria), she was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 2002, following which Donna’s illustrious and enviable career started in 2002 as an Associate at the Law Firm Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor and Segun where, through loyalty and her commitment and focus on quality deliverance and exemplary legal solutions, she rose through the ranks to become a Partner in the Firm at the age of 37.
Her areas of core competence are Oil and Gas Practice, Government Relations and Compliance, Company Secretarial Services, Corporate Law, Property Law and Environmental Law.
Donna has been described as having a distinct legal mind, consulting extensively on a wide range of investment issues for international exploration, oil service and multinational trading companies. She also advises on strategy, planning and development solutions to project specific ventures within the oil and gas industry.
She was described by the IFLR 1000, Energy and Infrastructure, 2014 as possessing “an excellent level of competence in oil and gas commercial law….top class”. In further recognition of her excellent contributions to the energy sector over the years, Donna was recognised as a “Rising Star” by the IFLR 1000, Energy and Infrastructure in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She was also awarded “Leading Lawyer in Banking, Energy, Oil & Gas, Project Finance, 2017” by IFLR 1000 and the Women in Law Awards 2016 and 2017 as the “Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year, Nigeria” by Lawyer Monthly and ACQ Global Awards, (2016) (both global internationally recognized magazines and ranking agency respectively. She is currently the youngest recipient of the Yitzhak Rabin International Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2014.
She was awarded as an “Outstanding Professional of the Year” of the “40 Leading Lawyers Under 40” Awards from ESQ Legal Awards, 2016 and ranked a Leading Lawyer in Oil & Gas, Energy (2017) by the IFLR 1000.” She has also been ranked as the “Most Influential Woman In Energy Law, 2018 - Nigeria” by Acquisition International.
Apart from law practice, Donna is a seasoned poet and has been ranked as the “queen of spoken word poetry in Nigeria” consistently through the years 2012 to 2015. In 2014 Donna was the only Nigerian and one of 11 women selected by ONE.ORG for the National Month of Poetry, on its “National Poetry Month: Uplifting Verses from 11 Strong Female Poets” alongside greats like Maya Angelou (of blessed memory) and Naomi Shihab. Donna was also among only 18 women selected (out of over 30 women interviewed) to feature in, and the only Nigerian selected to speak on, Google International’s doodle in celebration of the International Women’s Day, 2016.
Areas of Expertise
Among other law practices, Donna’s areas of core competence are as follows:
- Oil and Gas Practice;
- Government Relations and Compliance;
- Company Secretarial Services;
- Corporate Law;
- Property Law; and
- Environmental Law.
Donna has gone on to excel tremendously in her field and has advised an enviable list of Nigerian and multi-national clients on investment laws and practice, acquisitions, management and divestments of oil and gas interests, corporate governance and general business concerns.
Donna’s expertise includes expert due diligence investigations, analysis of applicable local legislations to transactions, leading negotiations for multi-million dollar transactions, advising on divestment and acquisitions within the oil and gas industry, providing structures for joint venture and other petroleum arrangements, property searches and advice, environmental law review and advise, establishment compliance, legal and regulatory compliance advise and acting as an interface between clients and requisite Government and other regulatory agencies.
Over the years Donna has participated, spoken at, lectured and moderated at numerous international and Nigerian seminars, conferences and lectures.
A full list of Donna’s speaking/teaching and production events as well as her awards and rankings have been provided below for ease of reference:
Notable Activities (2011 - 2017)
- Wrote, produced and directed second personal theatrical production called “Strelitzia …An Experiential Journey to Self”; 10 shows between 2nd and 5th March, 2017. The event was an experiment on human vulnerabilities premised on nostalgia and seeking each attendee to unburden. Worked in partnership with the British Council, Lagos;
- Article published in Business Day on 13th July, 2016: Understanding the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, 13th July, 2016;
- Speaker at the Cape VI Africa Conference, Abuja on 16th March, 2016 (with the Vice President of Nigeria, as well as the Minister of Petroleum Resources (Nigeria) in attendance).
- First Personal Theatrical Production 'Love Like Slave' on 27th and 28th February, 2016 hosted by Lagos Theatre Festival / British Council. Performances in Poetry, Music, Dance and Painting. Another personal theatrical production called “Strelitzia …An Experiential Journey to Self” was put and had 10 shows between 2nd and 5th March, 2017. The event was an experiment on human vulnerabilities premised on nostalgia and seeking each attendee to unburden;
- 2 (two) Television interviews with CNBC News (Africa) on oil and gas industry issues, March/May, 2016;
- Joint Article with Sola Adepetun for publication in the African Oil Week Showguide (May, 2016);
- Facilitator/Teacher at the Centre For Petroleum Information Event of 20th May, 2016 on: Renegotiation Of Oil And Gas Contracts In Light Of Currency Fluctuations: Legal Limits And Enforceable Rights.
- Facilitator/Teacher at the Lonadek Event: “Local Content, Entrepreneurship & Vendor Development” on 28th April, 2016;
- Featured in the Monthly Bulletin of the International Alliance of Law Firms; I was asked to write about balancing my performance poetry passion with oil and gas practice (April, 2016);
- Featured in Google Doodle celebrating the International Women's Day. Portions were aired on CNN Cable News and my scene was featured prominently. 8th March, 2016.
- Facilitator/Teacher at the Training Event by the Section of Business Law on 11th February, 2016: Simplifying the Nigerian Content Laws;
- Featured in the Monthly Bulletin of the International Alliance of Law Firms (April, 2016);
- Founded and held ´Perfecting The Mould´, a seminar for poets and creative artists on 16th December, 2016, teaching attendees personal finance management, diction, observation and performance poetry.
- Nominated as Spoken Word Artist of the Year, 2016 - Nigerian Writers Award;
- Had a playground named in her honour in Port Harcourt. On 19th November, 2015 I went to officially launch the 'Donna Obaseki-Ogunnaike Children Playground ' at Yitzhak Rabin International School.
- Nominated for the “Seasoned Professional Award” by Access Bank Plc’s “W Awards”- an initiative for Women, 2015.
- 9th Annual Nigeria Bar Association Conference, 2015 - Panelist on the Counsel-to-Counsel Roundtable;
- Speaker at the SBL/Nigerian Bar Association Training Program on 11th February, 2015 where I taught participants on Local Content Laws In Nigeria;
- Facilitator/Teacher at the ESQ Oil and Gas Training School, on “Oil and Gas Agreements: Drafting and Negotiations”. Event was held on 20th May 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria and Organized By ESQ, Nigeria;
- Speaker at the FPSO Africa Conference, 2014 in Lagos Nigeria on 10th June, 2014. Event organized by Informa (Dubai);
- Moderator at the 21st Africa Oil Week, Cape Town, South Africa, (Dec. 2014) (organized by Global Pacific & Partners);
- Facilitator/Teacher at the ESQ Oil and Gas Training School, on “Oil and Gas Agreements: Structure”. Event was held on 12th November 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria and Organized By ESQ, Nigeria (ESQ is the only ranking agency for Law Firms and Lawyers in Nigeria);
- Speaker at SMi’s First Project Finance in Oil and Gas Conference, London (United Kingdom) on 25th November, 2014 (organized by SMi);
- Speaker at the Offshore Support Vessels Conference Summit on “Understanding the Mechanics and Importance of Local Content in Africa for your Business Moving Forward” in Victoria Island, Lagos (organized by IQPC) (12th November, 2013);
- Moderator at the 18th Africa Oil Week, Cape Town, South Africa, (Nov./Dec. 2013) (organized by Global Pacific & Partners);
- Participated in TedEx Women, Onikan on 6th December, 2013;
- Representative of the Firm for the Interactive Sessions organized by the Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCDMB), where only a select number of law firms were invited by the Executive Secretary to the NCDMB (1st Quarter 2011);
- Initiated and completed the ESQ Legal Practice Magazine’s Special Edition on the “ACA&S’ @20 – Reaching Beyond The Barriers” which showcased the Firm, its areas of expertise, Partners and Senior Associates to a wide international readership (April, 2011);
- Speaker at the “Legal Issues in Oil & Gas Conference”, London, (March 2011), organized by the SMi Group. Paper Presented: “Local Content: Influencing Investment Decisions and Contracts in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry”;
- Moderator at the 18th Africa Oil Week, Cape Town, South Africa, (Oct. /Nov. 2011) (organized by Global Pacific & Partners).
Awards/Rankings received: (General)
- Awarded “Leading Lawyer in Banking, Energy, Oil & Gas, Project Finance, 2017” by IFLR 1000 (a global internationally recognized ranking agency);
- Awarded the Women in Law Awards 2016 as the “Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year, Nigeria” by Lawyer Monthly (a global internationally recognized online legal magazine);
- Awarded “Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year, Nigeria” by ACQ Global Awards, 2016 (a global internationally recognized ranking agency);
- Awarded 'Outstanding 7 of the 40 Under 40 of Nigeria's Leading Lawyers' by ESQ Legal Awards on 7th October, 2016 (an internationally recognized Nigerian ranking agency);
- Nominated as Spoken Word Artist of the Year, 2016 - Nigerian Writers Award;
- Ranked as a Rising Star by the IFLR 1000, Energy and Infrastructure (2015);
- Ranked as a Rising Star by the IFLR 1000, Banking, Mergers/Acquisitions and Project Finance (2015)
- Ranked as a Rising Star by the IFLR 1000, Energy and Infrastructure (2014);
- Described as possessing “an excellent level of competence in oil and gas commercial law… top class”, IFLR 1000, Energy and Infrastructure (2014);
- Currently the youngest recipient of the Yitzhak Rabin International Award for Excellence in Leadership, 2014.
- Best female spoken word artiste (Nigeria), 2012, 2013 and 2014.
- Recognized as one of 11 strong female poets by ONE.ORG in celebration of the National Poetry Month, April, 2014 amongst greats like Maya Angelou.
Awards received: (ACAS-LAW Firm)
- Most creative – Year 2004;
- Assistant of the Year – Year 2006; and
- Events & Creativity Award – Year 2009.
My Statement of Personal Motivation
I believe in “Purpose” and “Excellence”.
I have a strong desire to ensure that my purpose is lived out to the fullest and commit myself to assisting others to achieve their destiny.
I have a hashtag I created #BeAboutYourDestiny and #RunningAroundOnDestinysErrands which accompany many of the videos, spoken word pieces and pictures that I share on social media. These are the mantra upon which many of the things I have been able to achieve are based and many people have started using variants of these themes on social media as well.
It is the pursuit of purpose and destiny that compels me when I am at work and even when I perform poetry. My ultimate goal is to leave this known world for an everlasting one – and to leave very old and completely empty: having given the world all of my talents (of which I believe Oil and Gas Practice is one), my voice and my heart.
Above all, I intend to replicate myself as much as I can. I intend to "Change lives one thought at a time through words, leaving a legacy for generations to come".
My Statement of Personal Aspiration
My vision is to deploy all aspect of myself, through my work with Firm, my work with poetry and re-create my passion for purpose into the conscious self of as many people as I can; cause them to pause, reflect and adjust the decisions they make which impact on their lives and on the lives of the people around them.
I aim to become one of the most internationally recognized lawyers in Nigeria in the next 3 years. I also intend to get more teaching appointments through my work and also outside of the work environment which will position me to influence the next generation and impact upon them the knowledge, skill and principles of purpose and destiny.
I believe that change comes within the individual and that if thoughts and decisions are deployed effectively, then the resultant actions would eventually permeate the moral and social fibre of a community and the world at large – one individual, one thought, one decision at a time.
This is my firm commitment to myself and to society.