Managing Partner, Oxford & Beaumont Solicitors, Accra, Ghana. Age: 37
Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia learned what it meant to be a trailblazer from his mother, Judge Akua Kuenyehia, Ghana’s first female professor of law. A native Ghanaian, he launched Oxford & Beaumont Solicitors, a law firm catering largely to international companies, in Accra in 2006, with one employee and a tiny office. Today, the firm also has an office in London and a staff of more than 30, including 17 lawyers.
Initially, the young lawyer had difficulty attracting clients. “The clients who ‘took the risk’ by going with a younger law firm noticed the Oxford & Beaumont difference. We poured our hearts and souls into their transactions to deliver beyond expectations,” says Kuenyehia. The firm is now one of Ghana’s leading corporate law firms. “The best way to predict your future is to invent it,” Kuenyehia says, quoting Alan Kay, who is credited with inventing the concept of the laptop.
Kuenyehia previously headed the Corporate Services and Legal division of United Bank for Africa (Ghana) Ltd., formerly Standard Trust Bank Ghana Ltd., where he was part of the team responsible for setting up the bank. He has a passion for fine cuisine and once enrolled at the Tante Marie School of Cookery in England. He hopes to build Oxford & Beaumont into the leading provider of advisory services in Ghana. “I also hope that I will still be teaching an entrepreneurship class and that my forthcoming textbook Kuenyehia on Entrepreneurship, coming in 2011, will be in its second or third edition,” he says.
Kuenyehia is an adjunct lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and the founder of the Akua Kuenyehia Foundation, which supports underprivileged girls through education in Ghana. He received his law degree from the University of Oxford and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University. In May, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader.
Favorite food: Fufu and goat light soup
What actor should play you in a movie: Taye Diggs
What artist/group would you go on tour with: Akon
Movie theater or home theater: Movie theater
Last movie: Julie & Julia
Favorite sports team: Ghana’s Black Stars
List the languages you speak: English, TWI, Kyerepon
Motivational quote: ”The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
— Alan Kay