Andi Daze, Partner at D & D Partners in Lagos, Nigeria – where he was also instrumental in organising the Lagos GPC event. Here, he discusses the importance of data gathering in dispute resolution, his motivations and his experience as an organiser.
Would you primarily describe yourself as an advisor, user or provider of dispute resolution?
As an attorney, I would categorise myself as an advisor under the GPC’s stakeholder groups. Having trained and qualified as a lawyer in Nigeria, New York, as well as in England and Wales, I have been involved in both contentious and non-contentious legal practice across all three jurisdictions.
Currently based in Lagos, Nigeria, I have developed a track record in both transactional and general legal advisory. I have anchored a wide range of transactions on behalf of local and multinational public and private organisations from legal audits and corporate restructuring to sports and entertainment transactions.
I have also advised various public sector bodies on a number of matters including mediation proceedings against a large multinational organisation and in defending several matters instituted in foreign jurisdictions.
Which GPC event were you involved in?
I was the Coordinator of the Lagos GPC event, covering West, East and Central Africa. Under the chairmanship of Justice Ayotunde Philips (rtd.), the former Chief Judge of Lagos State and current Chair of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, I led the Local Organising Committee (LOC) towards organising a highly successful conference, the second GPC event in the global series.
I decided to get involved due to my keen interest in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and as an advisor I was looking forward to playing a central role in shaping the future of dispute resolution. I was also aware of the global perspective that the GPC Series offers and due to my very international practice, it was pertinent for me to take an active role in the organisation of the foremost GPC event in Africa.
What did you learn from the experience?
On a personal note, organising the Lagos GPC gave me access to a diverse network of people and organisations, within the LOC as well as externally with sponsors, speakers and delegates at the conference. I have also been able to build key personal and professional relationships with the GPC’s global partners such as the International Mediation Institute (IMI), Herbert Smith Freehills, Kenes Group, GE, Shell and so on.
With regards to what I learnt from the experience, the data gathered from the delegates as well as the discussions by the panelists, in both the private breakout room and in the public hall, were highly enlightening. It became clear very quickly that the perceptions that one set of stakeholders have might not necessarily be true for the other sets of stakeholders.
Do you think there is a need for more data in dispute resolution?
There is an absolute need for more data in dispute resolution. As mentioned, it was very telling to see some major differences between responses from the different stakeholder groups during the Lagos GPC event. In addition, the current local dispute resolution space fails to take into account pertinent data and statistics in the resolution of disputes.
Rather than focus on any particular dispute resolution process over the others, dispute resolution as a whole needs to be focused more on the results it achieves for its users. Ultimately, I see a more fluid, result-oriented hybrid system of dispute resolution as opposed to the current, more conventional ‘one-size-fits-most’ approach.
What advice would you give to other GPC coordinators and organisers?
The IMI has provided a very robust framework and network to guide in the organisation of a successful event. In addition to the support provided, it is pertinent to put together a diverse and hands-on LOC.
The support of an involved and proactive LOC, which cuts across all the stakeholder groups, provides an effective platform to overcome the primary challenges in the organisation of the event such as funding, delegates (especially from the “users” stakeholder group), sponsors, and speakers.
Do you have any recommendations for people who considering attending a GPC event?
The GPC series provides delegates with an active say in shaping dispute resolution globally as well as policies locally that will directly affect them. In addition, and unlike most conferences, the diverse mix of stakeholders represented at each GPC event provides a great opportunity to network and potentially develop business. Lastly, the mobile application created specifically for the GPC Series is a great tool to try out!
Interviewed by Natasha Mellersh.
Andi Daze is a Partner at D & D Partners, a full service law firm based in Nigeria. He specializes in corporate and commercial legal advisory, foreign investments, intellectual property, technology and telecommunications as well as sports and entertainment practice. Andi is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor in Nigeria, an Attorney at Law in New York, USA, and a Solicitor in England and Wales.
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