Business Advisory – Derin Fagbure

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Derin Fagbure, Legal Practitioner

Derin specializes in business advisory and continuity. She advises on a wide range of corporate issues for private companies, financial institutions, institutional and individual investors, small businesses, board committees and directors.

She shares know-how regarding current developments in Corporate Governance, Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisition through her Column “In Black and White” which is published in Thisday Lawyer monthly. Derin has participated in a range of working groups, conferences and advisory bodies in relation to corporate governance issues. She recently completed a secondment programme with the London office of Stephenson Harwood LLP.

She is the Chairman of the Young Lawyers Forum, Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos Branch).

Please note that all opinions expressed in this interview are the opinions of the individual interviewed. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of their employer or of Legally Engaged.

Business Advisory involves the provision of legal services in relation to the formation of companies, partnerships and joint ventures, corporate finance and investment, labour law and immigration, company secretarial services, and corporate governance. It also encompasses advising on the compliance cum regulatory requirements of business concerns. Lawyers within this sector aim to ensure that companies are run in accordance with international best practice standards with emphasis being placed of business continuity and succession planning.

  • Registration of companies
  • Legal due diligence
  • Filling of returns to regulators
  • Corporate Governance Advisory
  • Organisation of board meetings and Annual General Meeting and Taking of minutes of meetings
  • Registration of patents and copy right
  • Reviewing and drafting of legal agreements- employee contracts, staff agreements
  • Packaging financing options for SMEs

My family background influenced my career choice. I developed interest in the workings of the corporate world at an early age.

Hardwork, tenacity, and the ability to pay attention to details

I mostly work with individual promoters and SMEs.

My workload is average as I have learnt to multitask and I try to draw up a schedule of activities daily.

It is difficult to convince small clients that compliance and business advisory are not just a waste of time. Lawyers within this field of specialization need to make a conscious effort to explain that apart from decreasing the risk of fines, penalties, work stoppages, lawsuits, compliance improve brand reputation as well as the bottom line of a business.

The most rewarding aspect of working in this sector, seeing your clients save cost by ensuring that they do not incur fines and penalties. It is also rewarding to see clients successfully being able to attract funding opportunities because with your help they have maintained high corporate governance standards.

I am of the view that law school is too theoretical. Greater emphasis should be placed on ethics and entrepreneurship because law is a business. I have come to understand that there is a nursery in the bar. This nursery must be well nurtured in order to preserve the ethics and principles of the legal profession. The importance of legal mentorship for students and young lawyers cannot be over-emphasized.

I believe in hard work and I know that with diligence, the sky is the limit for me. I believe in personal and career development and I plan to take courses that will provide me with greater expertise.

 

It must be mentioned that any professional working with regulators has to develop good inter-personal relations. It is also important for young lawyers to understand that many small business owners do not voluntarily want to pay for compliance services. It therefore behoves of the lawyer to emphasize the need for small businesses to be compliant.

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