PARTNERS

CHIDI A. ONYEMELUKWE (NEE EKWUEME)

Chidi, a Partner in the Firm, specializes in Energy and Natural Resources, with an emphasis on Electricity Law & Regulation. She also possesses experience in major Real Estate purchase and sale transactions in Nigeria and internationally; as well as in public sector work, and she was recently the Chairman of the National Housing Authority (a non-executive position). Mrs. Onyemelukwe had lectured as an Adjunct Professor of Finance, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA before joining the Firm.

Her professional work has included advice on corporate business formations within and outside Nigeria, advising on tax laws and regulations, consulting on appropriate personnel placement and human resource development, advising on appropriate strategies for business establishments in Nigeria (from the SME genre to larger corporates), as well as advising local firms with respect to strategic positioning for reaping optimum benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Possessing several qualifications including an MBA from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an International Law and Diplomacy degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Mrs. Onyemelukwe’s work involves particularly advising on the legal aspects of transnational arrangements and transactions and general legal advisory work, representing international clients in cross border transactions.

She is a member of the New York Bar and was formerly Special Assistant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (2001 – 2003).  Her stint in the Presidency involved the following specific duties and accomplishment during the two years of service: liaising with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Nigeria Office and with the organized private sector (OPS) as a bridge and facilitator of private sector initiatives with government support; coordinating various governmental departments; writing position papers; conducting press briefings and interviews; producing public relations materials for public awareness and enlightenment programs for the government of Nigeria in the area of SME’s; organizing information sessions for various groups such as the legislature and the organized private sector. In her capacity as the Special Assistant to the President on SME’s, she represented Mr. President on various occasions at related conferences and seminars.

Mrs. Onyemelukwe’s legal career is replete with varied experiences and local and international exposure. For instance, her Real Estate Practice involved the representation of international clients in the procurement and sale of investment properties in North America, including consultancy services and provision of legal advice.  On secondment to Geometric Power Ltd – the first major indigenous IPP promoter with IFC backing – as General Counsel in 2007, she provided critical legal advice in the areas of administrative law, commercial law, and legislative and regulatory analysis. This also involved liaising with international counsel in negotiations with the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB). She also conducted negotiations with Shell Petroleum Development Company and Nigeria Gas Company in the course of the IPP business development, and acted as Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser to the company. While fulfilling these roles Mrs. Onyemelukwe was the first Secretary/Legal Adviser of the Association of Independent Power Producers in Nigeria.

         

EDUCATION

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15282, USA

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), 1994      

Concentration: International Business    

University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Master of International Law and Diplomacy (M.I.L.D.), 1992           

Nigerian Law School, Lagos, Nigeria

Barrister at Law (B.L.), 1990

University of Wales, College of Cardiff, United Kingdom

Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.),1989              

ICL Computers, Lagos

Diploma in Computer Programming, 1992                  

 

KEY ARTICLES / PUBLICATIONS

Enhancement and Protection of the Fundamental Rights of Women in Nigeria (International Law and Diplomacy masters thesis)

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Nigerian Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of Realtors, FloridaChapter, USA
  • Member Board of Directors, Anabel Communication Technologies
  • Member, Board of Trustees – Pink Well-Woman Foundation (Breast Cancer Awareness – NGO)
  • Member & Secretary, Board of Trustees – Alex Ekwueme Foundation for Peace and Good Governance

LANGUAGES

  • English
  • French
  • Igbo (Mother tongue)

                   

ADMITTED

Nigeria, 1990          (Barrister & Solicitor)

New York, 1997      (Attorney-at-Law)