Mordecai Adejo holds an LL.B (Hons) degree from the Benue State University, Makurdi, North-Central Nigeria, and a Bachelor of Laws (BL) from the then he moved to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. The where he obtained a BL whichBachelor of Laws is the qualifying certificate issued to entrants of the Legal Professional in Nigeria For call to the Nigerian Bar.
Following his successful enrollment After being enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, he proceeded for the compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Programme and was was posted to Umuahia, Abia State in South East Nigeria where his served, for the compulsory National Youth Service Corp Programme. During this period he was posted to a private at a law firm as his Place of Primary Assignment. As part of the social responsibility on this assignment, he joined the Legal Aid Community Development Service Group. He later became President of the Group and led a team of other members to provide legal services to indigent members of the community and to other Corp members who required legal services.
Upon completing his NYSC programme, he moved to Lagos, in South-West Nigeria, and continued in private practice, working in several law firms before teaming up with like minds to set up a law firm to continue building his career. He worked at different law firms before joining to form Mishai & Mordecai.
Mordecai was also trained at the WIPO Academy, Geneva in Intellectual Property Law, Policy and Economics.
From the start of his career,Mordecai has throughout his career, shown a strong bias towards business law practice with special interests. He has always been biased towards business law with emphasis on Intellectual Property, Technology, and Finance Law.
Helping Clients While Keeping their Best Interests in Mind
Mishai & Mordecai was established in 2018. The inspiration behind the formation of the Firm Mishai and Mordecai is building a client-centric business law firm that is result focused, progressive, and innovative; and providing a work environment where lawyers can develop their potentials without the barriers peculiar found to traditional law firms.
Their goal is to help drive implementation of the AfCFTA and to help their clients, both local and foreign, take advantage of the new frontiers it provides. The Firm also strives to , and also to help foreigners who are seeking to invest in the Nigerian economy by providing bespoke advisory, transactional, and dispute resolution services to them.
Mordecai asserts “We are a Nigerian business law firm. We service individuals, corporate bodies, and government establishments throughout Nigeria, and around the world, on a broad range of legal issues. We take pride in our progressive and innovative approach to resolving legal issues, applying procedures, and delivering client service. Our lawyers deploy a proactive and commercial approach with relentless drive to deliver superior results.
We are built to take on tough matters, and we are poised to help our clients make the right decisions in the most effective way, by eliminating the doubts to recommend which move to make in a complex commercial environment – and why.”
Law Firm with Distinctive Services
Mishai & Mordecai provides services in three broad categories – advisory, dispute resolution, and transactional.
Advisory: They provide timely and strategic advice with a focus on achieving the best commercial outcomes for their clients. Their opinions flow from deep understanding of relevant legal frameworks, industry standards, and market conditions; and are tailored to achieve their specific objectives and advance the clients’ interests.
“Not only do we advise on what the best options are, we go with them all the way.”
Dispute Resolution: Their approach to litigation and dispute resolution is commercial and strategic. They align themselves with their clients’ objectives and work closely with their clients’ teams in executing an agreed strategy which delivers the best results. They focus on the issues which matter, not just the process. ADR, Court action, and office action are their forte.
Transactions: Their goal is always to help mitigate risks and maximize profits. They conduct in-depth due diligence to avoid every potential pitfall, review relevant documents, and draft watertight Agreements to ensure their clients’ interests are well protected. Then they take proactive steps towards fulfilling all legal and regulatory requirements while ensuring the transactions occur swiftly and smoothly.
Mordecai says, “One competitive advantage Mishai & Mordecai has is that we are sector focused. Our sector focus helps us keep track of the ever changing legal landscape, relevant legal frameworks, industry standards, and market conditions; thus helping us understand perfectly the terrain our clients operate, and we are able to help them navigate those terrains safely.
Another competitive advantage we have is that we have a team of internationally trained and multilingual lawyers who have studied across Africa, Europe, and North America; and understands the global business landscape with their multi-cultural dimensions.”
The coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement has opened up new frontiers of business opportunities and collaborations in Africa. Mishai & Mordecai is now well positioned to help businesses and governments looking to take advantage of these opportunities to carry out their businesses across borders within Africa.
Leader’s Way to Keep Employees Motivated and Clients Satisfied
Mordecai asserts that, “At Mishai & Mordecai, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented a remote work policy with flexible working hours. This helps us and my team in a number of ways; first, we are able to work at periods of each individual’s peak performance, and secondly, due to the geographical spread of our clientele, we are able to adjust our working hours to suit their different time zones.”
On how Mordecai keeps himself and his team members motivated, not only do they set internal goals, but in delivering client services, first, they ensure that they have clarity on the clients’ goals; and they from time to time, together with their clients’ teams, have appraisals of their efforts, and re-strategize on better ways to proceed. That way, they are always able to celebrate their small wins, and remind themselves of their goals, and this keeps them focused.
On disagreements, they are professional negotiators, mediators, and dispute resolution experts. They ; bring those skills and expertise to bear in their internal interactions and also interactions with third parties. That way, they are able to always de-escalate conflicts and find common grounds for resolutions quickly. On criticism, they consider criticisms as feedback, which they take very seriously. Every team member open mindedly appraises every feedback, and makes adjustments where they consider necessary.
Mordecai says, “Our firm’s biggest strength is our team which is made up of internationally trained multilingual lawyers who have studied across Africa, Europe, and North America; and having a good understanding of the global business landscape with their multi-cultural dimension.”
“One of the beliefs which guides our service delivery is that we can get whatever we want if we help enough other people get what they want. This makes us a result-oriented firm. Our clients know that when result matters, we are their best bet. In order to ascertain what the best result will be for each client, we first try to understand their objectives and goals, then develop strategies targeted at achieving those goals. From time to time, we appraise our efforts and results in line with their goals. This helps us and our clients to be able to celebrate small wins, while staying focused. Our entire strategy is centered around on client input and satisfaction.”
Challenges and Risks Faced
One of the biggest challenges the legal services industry faces is the fact that society is growing much faster than laws and regulations. As long as legal frameworks keep continue to play catchup with developments, lawyers will struggle to provide concrete advice to pace-setters.
Another challenge is that while technology and trade is blurring territorial borders, legal frameworks landscapes are still largely territorial. Most times, This challenge introduces complexities into cross-border transactions with questions arising around conflict of laws.
“On a personal note, I think my biggest risk so far was leaving Northern Nigeria and moving to Lagos in Southern Nigeria to ply my trade. At the time I made this decision, I had no network in Lagos and was literally launching into an unknown territory. In hindsight, I am grateful that I took that step. I have always wanted to be a business lawyer, and with Lagos being the biggest commercial city in West Africa, I wanted to be at the heart of the action; this was my motivation for taking this step.” he expresses
Piece of Advice
Being a lawyer, my advice will be to always find a result-oriented business law firm like Mishai & Mordecai, and work with them from the start and throughout your business journey.and also ensure you do not find yourself and your business on the wrong side of the law.