Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia today announces he has ceased to be partner (and Chairman) of ENSafrica|Ghana (previously Oxford & Beaumont Solicitors).
He has also resigned as Director of ENSafrica |Ghana Limited and Executive of ENSafrica Inc.
The departure pauses a 21-year legal career from Linklaters’ associate to Band 1 Chambers lawyer recognised in Ghana and beyond as: ‘“one of the prominent players in the corporate sector,” possessing strong experience advising local and international clients on the full range of mandates.’
Kuenyehia is most noted for starting Oxford & Beaumont in 2006 with just US$5,000 seed capital.
In a local market with many established firms, Oxford & Beaumont quickly became an undisputed leading law firm in Africa based on international service standards, a disproportionate investment in training, a meritocratic culture and Kuenyehia’s charismatic leadership.
As managing partner, he grew Oxford & Beaumont as a full-service corporate and commercial offering for Ghanaian corporates and global clients like Coca Cola, Google Inc., Standard Chartered Bank and multilateral agencies, and as the first Ghanaian law firm to open in the City.
The Legal 500 has named him as one of only three law firm leaders, and the only one of his generation, clients consider to be a Hall of Famer “at the pinnacle of the legal profession in Ghana”.
In December 2015, Kuenyehia initiated and jointly implemented the first fully integrated pan-African law firm merger. Unlike the Swiss verein structure that typically characterises African law firm mergers, Oxford & Beaumont fully integrated into ENSAfrica.
Kuenyehia is on the Governing Board of State Interest and Governance Authority) as representative of the President of Ghana. He has been a non-executive director at Google Ghana Limited, Chase Petroleum and Hollard (formerly Metropolitan Insurance).
He read law at Oxford and has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He trained at Travers Smith, joined Linklaters’ banking team as an associate in 1999 and after his MBA worked briefly for Diageo North America as associate brand manager for Captain Morgan Rums.
Prior to Oxford & Beaumont, he was part of the team, at United Bank of Africa, which under the leadership of Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, set out to “democratise” banking in Africa.
Reflecting on his legal career: “My proudest achievement has been able to lead and inspire a team of truly outstanding individuals to disrupt a market while assisting our clients to meet their business objectives” ”
Kuenyehia is excited to start a sabbatical from the law of undefined duration.
An upcoming book: ‘Champagne Dreams, Beer Budget: Insights from bootstrapping and scaling an awesome African Institution’ will tell the untold story of a start-up law firm from idea to the eve of a continent-changing merger.