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Meet Professor Olawuyi, SAN the Youngest Academic To Become A Senior Advocate Of Nigeria

Professor Damilola Sunday Olawuyi, SAN, FCIArb, is an international jurist, professor of law, arbitrator, author and policy consultant, with expertise in petroleum, mining, energy and environmental law. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Professor Damilola Sunday Olawuyi is among the 72 lawyers conferred with the coveted senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) title by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) on November 13.

Professor Olawuyi became a Full Professor of Law at the age of 32 years, becoming one of the youngest full professors of law in Nigerian history. He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (Queen’s Counsel eqv.) in 2020, aged thirty-seven, becoming the youngest academic ever elevated to the rank of a senior advocate of Nigeria.

The LPPC, in a statement made available to newsmen took the decision at the end of its 143rd plenary session. A graduate of Igbinedion University, Okada, the 37-year-old is the youngest academic to become a SAN and the very first from a private University.

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His law career began at 21 when he was awarded overall best graduating student at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo state, in 2005.

Olawuyi earlier made national news in 2006 when he became the first graduate of a private university to achieve a First Class degree at the highly competitive Nigerian Law School. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor of Law at the age of 32 years, making him one of the youngest full professors of law in Nigeria.

In 2019, he was appointed as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of ABUAD at the age of 36 years, and has now completed an impressive roster of honors with his elevation to the highly coveted rank of SAN at 37 years of age.

In 2006, he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School where he obtained first-class honours after which he obtained two masters degrees from Calgary and Harvard. He bagged a Doctor of Philosophy in Law degree at Keble College, University of Oxford, the UK, in 2013. The jurist has published two books; Extractives Industry Law in Africa (2018) and The Human Rights-Based Approach to Carbon Finance (2016).

Olawuyi has practiced and taught law in more than 50 countries across five continents – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

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Meet The Youngest Academic To Become A Senior Advocate Of NigeriaHe has served as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School, New York, US and senior visiting research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, UK. The jurist was also a visiting professor to the China University of Political Science and Law.

A prolific and highly regarded scholar with expertise in petroleum, mining, energy, environment, and agricultural law, Professor Olawuyi has published over hundred articles, book chapters and books on all aspects of sustainable development in African extractive industries. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations, World Bank, and the UK’s Department for International Department amongst others. He is global Vice Chair of the International Law Association (ILA), Vice President of the Nigerian Branch of the ILA and member of the International Bar Association’s academic advisory group on energy, environment and natural resources. Professor Olawuyi has delivered lectures on energy law in over 40 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In 2019, he received the Herbert Smith Freehills Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. In 2020, he was appointed by the African Union as a member of its Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa.

In October, Olawuyi called for a “coherent” national policy on arbitration.

“When you look at the sheer volume of arbitration that could have been conducted in Nigeria but are still being conducted in London, New York and Geneva by Nigerian disputants and by Nigerian arbitrators, then you realize the urgent need for a coherent national policy that will create the right environment and incentives for us to achieve more Nigerian content in the practice of arbitration,” The Sun quoted him as saying during a teleconference.

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Olawuyi born on August 28, 1983, is from Osun state.

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