WHO WE ARE
International lawyers for Africa (ILFA ) was created in 2006 by partners from leading London law firms with an interest in Africa, who wanted to use their positions and contacts to assist in “top-down” African development. ILFA is an Africa-focused capacity building organisation whose mission is to build legal excellence in Africa by providing access to advanced legal training, networking opportunities and education for African lawyers and senior professionals engaged in the negotiation of complex transactions in Africa. ILFA’s goal is to enhance the quality and delivery of legal services to clients across Africa and to strengthen the rule of law in Africa.
To do this, ILFA established the Flagship Programme, which provided an opportunity to support the growth and development of African lawyers through the practice of secondment schemes. The idea was simple; top international law firms based in Europe would sponsor promising young African lawyers for three months in their offices with a curriculum of technical legal training relevant to the African market.
In the last decade, ILFA has successfully seconded and trained 200+ African lawyers from 20 jurisdictions through its flagship programme hosted in London, France, Dubai and Hong Kong, and in 2016, the programme was further extended through the introduction of an intra-Africa secondment programme which was launched in Lagos, Nigeria. Over a decade later, ILFA has evolved into a successful organisation that offers so much more. ILFA now offers 3 core programmes with plans for many more. ILFA believes that there is a need for strong legal support to the African community and desire to support African lawyers to obtain the required commercial and professional expertise that will: promote and support an effective legal framework within each country of Africa, which builds political and economic stability at national and international levels within the continent; ensures the retention of legal work for large corporate transactions and litigation, and therefore retains legal fees within their country, assisting with their country’s continued top down economic development; assist in protecting against the exploitation of natural resources and extractives of African countries;
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FUNKE ADEKOYA, SAN
Funke is a founding Partner at the firm AELEX and heads the Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Appointed Notary Public in 1986 and elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2001, ‘Funke has over 45 years of experience in Litigation and Arbitration. As a Litigator, she represents clients regularly before the Nigerian courts at all levels. She also provides expert opinions and has appeared as an expert witness on Nigerian law issues before the courts of England, the United States and Turkey.
Amongst her many other accolades, Funke is one of just eight of Who’s Who Legal’s recently released Global Elite Thought Leaders in the Dispute Resolution Arena and the sole nominee from Africa. As President of ILFA Funke plans to reinforce the core connections at the heart of ILFA whilst adapting and broadening its mission in ways that speak to the next generation of young lawyers.
Tim is a solicitor advocate who was appointed Queens Counsel in 2011. He specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration as well as complex multi-jurisdictional litigation, cross-border insolvencies, regulatory investigations, civil fraud, and asset tracing. He has gained experience in proceedings in over forty jurisdictions globally. He has a leading reputation highlighted by the major directories for several years as being a creative litigation strategist as well as an experienced advocate.
Tim is the founding director ofILFA and believes that the social capital of this network is ILFA’s great fortune and that our shared belief in the rule of law as a bedrock for both national development and tackling global challenges is a vital resource to be harnessed in a conversation and work to address issues from social justice, equity, and inclusion to the protection of our resources, human rights, and freedoms.
Danny Mutisya is a corporate lawyer based in London. He is a solicitor of England & Wales and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Danny specialises in Africa-related private M&A transactions and spends most of his time advising financial sponsors including private equity houses and development finance institutions on acquisitions and disposals in Africa. Danny started his legal career practising law in Kenya and is currently a senior lawyer at Clifford Chance. Danny was named as one of Kenya's Top 40 under 40 Men in the 2018 edition of the Annual Listing by the Business Daily, Kenya's leading business newspaper, largely in recognition of his work in Africa.
Howard is the senior partner at the London office of Olaniwun Ajayi.
He has advised national governments, multilateral and national development finance institutions, project developers and commercial banks on a wide range of projects including power projects, renewables, biofuels, PPPs, real estate, petrochemical plants, mine development finance, process plants, social and transport infrastructure. Africa has been a particular focus and he has worked on transactions in over 16 African countries.
He has also advised mainly commercial banks on developing structures and documenting structured and commodity finance transactions in many geographies.
“David Ziyambi is a partner in Latham & Watkins' London office and member of the firm’s Finance Department and Africa Practice. David’s practice focuses primarily on global financings in the energy and infrastructure sectors within both mature and developing markets, particularly throughout Africa. He represents sponsors, lenders, and governments on a range of matters, from project development and project finance deals to structured financing, prepayments, and reserve-based lending. David was recently named as one of 2021’s Rising Stars by Law360, as one of 40 “attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age”.
His various initiatives to improve diversity in the legal profession, mentorship of young black and minority ethnic lawyers and students and pro bono efforts to support minority communities, promote equality and access, and combat poverty culminated in his selection as a 2020 EMPower Ethnic Minority Executive Role Model, together with other senior people of colour across sectors who are leading by example and removing barriers to success. David was also recently nominated by Power in the City 2021 as one of London’s 30 top Senior Executive-level Black influencers in finance, law and technology.”
Susan Craughan is Vice President & Company Secretary at AerCap, the World’s largest aircraft leasing company, after its acquisition of GECAS from GE in November 2021. AerCap is positioned as the worldwide industry leader across all areas of aviation leasing: aircraft, engines and helicopters. She has vast legal and corporate governance experience working on the legal team of a leading multinational and acting as company secretary for over 100 entities around the World, advising on complex issues and ensuring adherence with local and international law requirements.
Prior to joining GECAS, Susan worked for several years as an Associate in Arthur Cox, one of Ireland’s leading law firms, specialising in education, transport and infrastructure PPP (Public- Private Partnership) projects. Susan completed her undergraduate degree at The George Washington University in Washington, DC (USA) and was admitted on the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland, as well as the Roll of Solicitors in England & Wales in 2010.
Susan was also the European Lead of the GECAS Inclusion & Diversity Council, driving various initiatives on the importance of inclusion, equality and diversity within the business. She is honoured at the opportunity to join the ILFA Board, emphasising the ethos and values of ILFA in striving to garner experience and opportunities for lawyers in Africa, and in continuing to promote access and equality.
Fateema is a young professional from South Africa with a degree in International Relations from Stellenbosch University that is now based in Dubai, UAE. Her strengths lie with her strong customer relationship management skills, an ability to understand clients' business needs and a genuine desire to achieve results. She has consistently delivered quality support, guidance and value to clients and