I ponder on and think about things deeply, and I am an anthropologist at heart. I come from a very close and committed family and everything that I am is a direct result of their love, support and friendship throughout the years. Raised by incredibly selfless parents and rooted in faith, my siblings and I were always encouraged to be kind and generous to each other, to extend that kindness and generosity to other people and to work hard. Not working hard was never an option - my mum was a criminal law barrister and my dad is a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon and their work ethic was ingrained in my siblings and I. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my dad at the hospital he worked at, and got to see at first-hand, what it means to endure – both from the perspective of the patients and their families and from the staff working in extremely physically and emotionally challenging circumstances often with little support. Sitting and talking with people who were being confronted with their mortality, and being in the privileged position to be able to gain wisdom from their experiences, really birthed in me the principles and values that anchor me today, and the idea that, in life, you have to pursue goodness and do good with whatever resources you're blessed with.
After a brief flirtation with the idea of going into politics, I settled on law at a fairly young age. I come from an extended family of lawyers, including my mum and sister. My grandfather was a judge and used to hear cases involving allegations of war crimes against various heads of state and founded a law library. His brother sat on the Supreme Court of Nigeria. I was determined that I would try and carve out as varied a legal career as possible – combining both commercial law and seeking to provide assistance to vulnerable people. After obtaining a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Birmingham and completing the LPC on the inaugural Clifford Chance specific LPC at the then College of Law in London, I joined Clifford Chance as a Trainee Solicitor and have been fortunate to make some deep and enduring friendships. In keeping the promise to myself, I have been able to combine life as a regulatory lawyer with other pursuits, including representing children with special educational needs at Special Educational Needs tribunals, advising litigants in person and managing a food bank once a month.
Of course, there have been challenges along the way, but that’s life. I always have this picture in my mind of my 80-year-old self, looking back, and wondering what she would think. People often talk to their younger self, but my older self is always talking to me now – this helps me to take a long view on situations and, hopefully, make decisions that I won't regret.