DR. OLUWAKEMI PINHEIRO
OFR, SAN, FCIArb. FIoD
His educational career began in 1969 when he enrolled at the Adrao International School, Victoria Island, Lagos for his primary education. He concluded this successfully and graduated in 1976 with a firm foundation. Thereafter, in September, 1976, he proceeded to the prestigious Baptist Academy, Shepherdhill, Ikorodu Road, Lagos for his secondary education and graduated in July, 1981. During this period, he obtained the WASC 'O' Levels Certificate with distinctions. Between September, 1981 and July 1983 he was a student at the Federal School of Arts & Science, Victoria Island, Lagos for his GCE 'A' Levels, he passed excellently.
In October 1983, he proceeded to the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, to study law. He graduated from this prestigious university in July 1986 as easily one of the best students in his set. Immediately after this, he enrolled at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in September, 1986. Upon his completion of the Bachelor of Law programme at the Law School, he was called to the Nigerian Bar in October, 1987.
His professional background commenced in 1987 in Rivers State, Southern Nigeria. During his compulsory one year National Service, he was a state counsel in the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and also the office of Director, Civil Litigation. During this period, he developed a great passion for advocacy and he successfully secured the conviction of some felons. Having an exhaustive thirst for work he would aside from assignments from his primary posting at the DPP office request for more work from both the civil department and, even as far as the Legal Drafting and Legislative Department. Between October, 1988 and December 1988, he was a counsel in the firm of Rhodes & Rhodes, Lagos, not satisfied with his work load and willing to take a salary reduction, he thereafter in January, 1989 joined the firm of Abiola Oshodi & Company, Lagos State as a senior counsel.
In March 1996, he founded Pinheiro & Company, later metamorphosed into Pinheiro & Oguntade where he was a partner till he established his full fledged practice of Pinheiro & Company in 2001. He has been in active legal practice ever since and his practice cuts across a wide horizon, covering legal consultancy, advocacy, commercial and corporate practice, maritime, arbitration, insolvency, election petitions, matrimonial causes, industrial and labour disputes, intellectual property, real estate, banking and finance, probate and administration of estates, environmental law and land use and finally his passion, criminal prosecution.
Of utmost interest to Dr. Oluwakemi Pinheiro's (SAN LLD FCIArb FloD) professional career is the eradication of, and fight against corruption. He is passionately committed to the eradication of corruption in Nigeria in all its facets and he is vigorously campaigning and championing the cause to rid Nigeria of this ill and instill discipline into the polity. To this end, he partnered with the anti-graft agency, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prosecute high level corruption cases involving both high profile government officials and captains of industry. He is currently leading the prosecution teams against some ministers, senators, Banks' Managing Directors, permanent secretaries, legislators including permanent secretaries and other high ranking government officials for different infractions of law committed while holding various offices. He holds the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation in this regard, what is more as an attestation to his unassailable integrity and respect to which he is held, he has also acted as sole arbitrator in various disputes.
Professional Qualifications and Appointments-
He distinguished himself as an astute and disciplined advocate with high level of integrity and uprightness. In view of this, he was made a Notary Public within 11 years of his practice in 1998. Equally, between 1997 and 1998, he was appointed the Special Assistant to the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Lagos. In 2002, he became a member of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators of Nigeria and thereafter in 2011 he was elevated to a Fellow of the Institute. He was a Director of National Bank of Nigeria Plc (now Wema Bank) and also the Chairman of Nigerian Wire and Cable, a public company quoted on The Nigerian Stock Exchange. He is also on the Board of many companies in Nigeria. To cap it all, in recognition of his distinction in legal practice and the Nigerian Bar, he was elevated to the status of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2006.
In January 2019, He was appointed a member of a three-man Arbitral Tribunal by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in relation to an Oil and Gas dispute involving over $350M. He has also acted as Sole Arbitrator and Lead Counsel in and to various panels.
He is a consummate advocate in all areas of litigation. He has a vast experience in commercial matters, insolvency practice and practically represents almost all the Banks in Nigeria on different matters. He holds the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation and is currently involved in the prosecution of former Governors, former Bank Executives and sitting legislators on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In the year 2020, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Lagos State Law Reform by the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a position he still holds till date. Additionally, the year 2021 was a notable one for Dr. Pinheiro, SAN as he was recognized by his alma mater; University of Benin where he was conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (LLD).
In further recognition of his outstanding contributions to legal practice in Nigeria and to humanity generally, Dr. Pinheiro, SAN was in 2023 conferred with the prestigious national honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR).