At eight, all I wanted was to be a lawyer — Adeyemi
As a kid, Charles Adeyemi said he was often seen in his mother’s chambers. Not long, he developed a keen interest in reading some of her books stacked on the shelves.
He said his mother, who was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990, began telling him stories about several cases, providing further insights into the legal profession. Soon enough, the managing partner of Chancery, Strand and Lyon Associates caught the bug. As of then, he had only one dream – to become a lawyer!
“By the time I was eight years old, all I wanted to be was a lawyer. I wasn’t only responsible for myself,’” he said
Adeyemi has been practising law for 10 years. He has worked in a law firm after being called to the Bar.
He said the inspiration to own one pushed him to establish Chancery, Strand, and Lyon Associates in 2011, where he is the managing partner of the law firm poised to “providing effective solutions to a wide array of legal issues”.
“The title came from the old English name Inns of Chancery. Strands Inn and Lyons Inn were two of the most popular Inns of Chancery in the 18th Century,” he said while giving more insights about the organisation.
“Strands Inn was known for Business Law and Lyon’s Inn was known for having the most dynamic lawyers. Somehow, I see my personality in these different names.”
The full-service law firm based on Victoria Island in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos, is known for its professionalism, transparency, reliability, and diligence in delivering top-grade legal services.
He said: “Our advantage is attention to detail. As a law firm, we make sure that we look at things from the client’s point of view. I learnt a long time ago that every client is most worried about the result of their matter. We, therefore, ensure that we put the client first in everything that we do as a law firm.
“Secondly, we believe staff welfare is an important ingredient to maintaining the perfect workplace. We, therefore, focus on ensuring that our staff are always well taken care of.
“Finally, we ensure that the law firm has the best facilities available for the lawyers. We invest in staff training; with these measures in place, we remain competitive.”
Having managed the firm for close to 10 years, Charles admits that – like many ventures – running a law firm has its challenges coupled with the change of perspective that comes with leading others.
“Paying salaries and trying to make money were the hardest parts,” he conceded. “But then, I started to understand that I had to make the firm succeed because I wasn’t only responsible for myself. I was responsible for many people, so I just kept a positive spirit and continued to work hard.”
The lawyer explained that in difficult times, he takes a step back and keeps calm. Afterwards, he says, he then assesses the problem objectively.
“Usually at this stage, I am already proffering solutions to the problem,” Charles asserted.
Aside from these, getting clients is a major issue Adeyemi has had to deal with on a regular basis. To ensure this challenge is surmounted, he had to take the unconventional route. Stepping out of his comfort zone, socialise, attend events, and most importantly maintaining a very good reputation has helped him stand out.
“I have come to understand that respecting people, managing and nurturing relationships are critical to business success because people deal with people who they are comfortable with,” he stated
Understanding the mentality of prospective customers and planning one’s idea or vision around that is another recipe for success, the lawyer maintained.
According to him, succeeding in Nigeria requires determination as the country is different from others.
Like the Biblical good tree planted by the riverside, Adeyemi draws inspiration from reading books on self-development and following in the footsteps of his role models and mentors.
“Two of them are Chief Rotimi Williams (SAN) because he was the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and he was just brilliant at what he did and Charles Adeyemi Candide Johnson (SAN) for his dynamism and charisma,” he said.
Managing a law firm can be hectic. In a never-sleeping city like Lagos, it is on another level.
But in spite of this, he says he finds time to relax and be with loved ones.
“I also swim and take long walks with my family,” Adeyemi explained. “To unwind, I go out with my fiancé and friends at the weekends; I also enjoy visiting other countries and discovering new places.”