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Chief Gbola Akinola, SAN, C.Arb

Chairman  CIArb, Nigeria Branch


Gbola Akinola graduated Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with honours from the University of Lagos in 1986 after obtaining a B.Sc. with honours in Political Science from the University of Ibadan in 1982. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987 and admitted to practice as a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2021.

He was a State Counsel in the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice, that is, in the Attorney general’s Chambers and later became the Special Assistant to the Solicitor General of the Federation of Nigeria between 1987 and 1988.

He joined the Corporate and Commercial law practice of George Etomi & Partners in January 1989 and became the Head, Litigation Department of the firm (1989-1992), where after he established his private practice Gbola Akinola & Co, in 1992. Prior to Gbola Akinola & Go’s merger with four other practices forming THE LAW UNION in May 1998, he developed a specialty in Corporate and Commercial law litigation, Arbitration, Oil and Gas Law, general Maritime and Aviation practice and Environmental issues.

He is a Legal Practitioner with cognate experience in Corporate and Commercial Law practice and a highly skilled advocate with extensive commercial legal advisory experience. He has acted on several occasions for Oil and Gas Companies, ship owners, charterers, shippers and marine insurers including P&I Clubs. Provided advice on several aspects of shipping law including ship arrests cargo loss and damage,’ ship sale and purchase, disputes arising out of bills of lading, charter parties, collisions, insurance and other marine related matters.

He has also focused on Oil and Gas, Energy Law, Aviation, Environmental Law, Civil and Commercial Litigation and Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). He has acquired considerable experience in negotiation and concluding commercial contracts bordering on acquisition and disposition of Aviation and Shipping equipment. His contacts are extensive in the Aviation, Shipping, Oil and Gas Industry, operational, regulatory, support service and corporate finance business within Nigeria and abroad

He has experience of and continues to seek new challenges in the growing field of Environmental law and practice, waste management, industrial and marine pollution, green issues both within and outside Nigeria. He has advised clients across the full range of environmental issues, from industrial and marine pollution through waste management and product liability to development control

J. Akingbola Akinola was appointed a Notary Public in May 1998, admitted as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in November 1999, elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in February 2001 and became listed as a member of the Institute’s Panel of Chartered Arbitrators in August 2006

He has served as an Arbitrator in many instances, represented clients in Commercial Arbitration and have also been involved in International Commercial Arbitration. He has been an Approved Tutor and a Resource person of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since January 2003 and lectures in Arbitration both in Nigeria and other parts of Africa

Member, International Bar Association Section on Business Law, Committee A (Maritime and Transport Law) and Section on General Practice, Committees 5 (Individual Tax and Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts and Succession) and 12 (Civil Litigation), Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Association of Business Law Firms and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He was appointed as a Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Information and later Honourable Minister of Cooperation and Integration in Africa in June 1999.

In June 2000, he was appointed a Special Assistant to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice a position he occupied until 23rd December 2001.

Member of the Nigerian Legal Team to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands representing Nigeria in the Bakassi case, March, 2002.

Member of the National Committee on the Reform and Harmonisation of Nigeria’s Arbitration and ADR Laws.

President of the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN), November 2010 till November 2013.

Member of the Board of Directors of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce international Arbitration Centre (LACIAC)

Currently the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch.


Plot 35 Block 93 Awkuzu Street, Off Providence Road, Lekki Phase I, Victoria Island, Lagos


Sessions by Wilfred

DAY 01.
July 13, 2023 9.00 - 9.10

Opening remarks | YMG Conference

DAY 02.
July 14, 2023 10.00-11.30

A myriad of Arbitral Institutions in Africa, Finding Common Ground and Embracing Diversity for the growing ADR market in Africa.