Funke heads the dispute resolution practice group at AELEX. AELEX is a full-service law firm with offices in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Abuja and also in Accra, Ghana.
After graduating top of her class from the University of Ife in 1974, Funke proceeded to the Harvard Law School where she obtained her LLM in 1977.
With nearly 40 years' experience in commercial litigation and corporate dispute resolution, she leads a team that advises clients extensively in the area of commercial and corporate litigation as well as business insolvency and reorganisation. Funke also appears regularly before the High Courts, tax appeal tribunals and the appellate courts in which capacity she represents both Nigerian-based and offshore clients.
She also assists and advises offshore counsel on issues of Nigerian law and has appeared as an expert witness or provided expert legal opinions on Nigerian substantive and procedural law matters before courts in England, the United States and Turkey.
She leads the teams which support clients requiring local law advice in relation to offshore arbitrations, in addition to providing legal representation as counsel in arbitration related litigation before the Nigerian courts. In this capacity, Funke has most recently been involved in acting as co-counsel with London based firms to represent international oil companies in an arbitration dispute in the upstream energy sector. The arbitration resulted in a partial award in their favour of over US$1 billion, which is currently being contested in the Nigerian courts on the basis of arbitrability. The resulting litigation (in which she is appearing) will determine for the first time, the extent to which a dispute that impacts upon tax computations is considered arbitrable by the Nigerian courts.
In her personal capacity, Funke is frequently appointed to arbitration tribunals, either as sole or party appointed arbitrator. In addition to currently acting as the sole arbitrator in an ICC dispute arising in Kenya, a party appointed arbitrator in a dispute between a UK based pre-shipment inspection provider and the Nigerian government alleging wrongful termination of a port inspection contract and a party appointed arbitrator in a dispute over terms in a warehousing contract, Funke is currently advising offshore companies regarding litigation seeking to restrain offshore arbitration, as well as representing clients in domestic litigation seeking injunctions in aid of offshore arbitration.
Within the International Bar Association (IBA), Funke belongs to the legal practice division (arbitration committee and section on energy and natural resources law), the public and professional interest division (law firm management committee) and is also an advisory board member of the IBA's African regional forum as well as an officer of its bar issues commission. Funke is a life member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers.
WWL says: Funke Adekoya SAN is known as “a most reliable and impressive counsel”, representing both local and transnational clients in domestic and international proceedings.
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.