Diane G. Okoko
Diane has over 19 years in legal & regulatory compliance, mergers & acquisition, and corporate & commercial law practice. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2001 as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and started her career at Wali-Uwais & Co and later moved to Legacy Pension Fund Administrators (now FCMB Pensions) where she doubled as the Head of Compliance as well as Ag. Head, Risk Management Departments. Her role as Ag. Head, Risk Management Department saw her lower the risk rating of the Organisation significantly.
In a corporate legal landscape bogged by bureaucracy and conformity, Diane is exceptional; pushing the frontiers of the legal space and has exemplified her commitment to the profession to inspire emerging generation of young lawyers. She brings with her a passion and creativity that permeates each member of her team, empowering them to approach and appreciate each case and transaction being worked on uniquely. In addition to her being called to the bar, she holds a Masters’ Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos and is an alumna of the Wharton Executive Education Program of the University of Pennsylvania, in Strategy and Management for Competitive Advantage.
Her main areas of practice are Arbitration, Corporate Commercial law, Legal and Regulatory Compliance mergers and Acquisitions and Capital Markets. She has advised corporations severally and so possesses significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, public offers, private placements and rights issues. She consults on corporate governance, managing board performance and expectations for a number of Microfinance and multinational Institutions across West and East Africa as well as Europe and America. She serves as Company Secretary/Legal Adviser to several Boards and Governing Councils and Multinational Companies.
She is a Fellow and an approved Faculty member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Nigeria Branch, as well as a Fellow of the Society of Construction Arbitration, a Corporate Governance Practitioner and facilitator and has vast expertise in Corporate and Company law and practice, a member of the Governing Council of Janada International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (JICAM), a member of the Executive Committee of the Abuja Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Nigeria Branch. She is also on the Panel of Neutrals of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Dispute Resolution Centre of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI DRC), the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), the Lagos Court of Arbitration as well as the Abuja Multi-Door Courthouse (AMDC). As a member of the Nigerian Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), she has volunteered in different capacities to serve on various committees, some of which include: member, 2017 Annual Conference Planning Committee, Vice Chairman, 2018 Annual Conference Planning Committee which attracted delegates and speakers from several countries, current member, Branch Fundraising Committee.
She has significant experience in Mergers and Acquisitions and Managing Board Performance and Expectations. She has worked on several transactions in a number of countries across West and East Africa as well as Europe and America. She consults on corporate governance for a number of
Microfinance and multinational Institutions. She serves as Company Secretary/Legal Adviser to several Boards and Governing Councils, Multinational Companies, Government Agencies and State Governments. She has advised corporations severally and so possesses significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, public offers, private placements and rights issues. She consults on corporate governance, managing board performance and expectations for a number of Microfinance and multinational Institutions across West, South and East Africa as well as Europe and America.
Diane has received varied training in arbitration and specifically in the Construction Arbitration (FIDIC), Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration and has participated in arbitrations under the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). She is severally appointed either as Sole Arbitrator or on a Tribunal in ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Rules and has served in such capacities as Tribunal Secretary/Registrar.She is also a registered Capital Market Solicitor, a member of the National Prosecution Coordination Committee (NPCC), a member of the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Experts Committee, a Zonal Coordinating Consultant to NIRSAL. Her experience has enabled her to serve on the National Prosecutions Coordination Committee amongst others.
In 2013, she founded Marcus-Okoko & Co., a full services law firm in Abuja with expertise in varied fields of law. Her professional pursuits extend beyond her work in the corporate legal landscape, as she avidly participates in a number of professional development initiatives that span several fields, one such is her contribution to women entrepreneurial empowerment through her commitment as a mentor to several young professionals via Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WimBiz); a nonprofit organization founded in Lagos, Nigeria that advocates for and implements programs to further the representation of women in leadership roles in the public and private sectors. She also serves as President of the A10 Stream of the CEM program, an initiative of the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, where she mentors young professionals as well.
She has been recognised and awarded several awards including the following:
- Young Professional of the Year by the Woman on Fire Foundation
- Award of Excellence, Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), University of Abuja
- Award of Excellence for contributions to development of the Youth by Government Secondary School, Karshi, Abuja, Old Students Association
- Global Group Media, CNBC/NBC sponsored feature on Africa Women Rising Series, “31 Women Creating a Positive Impact in Africa”.
Through her law firm, Marcus-Okoko & Co., she has set up an Associate Development Program, a workforce and leadership development program to train, mentor and create job opportunities for emerging leaders within the legal profession. The aim of the program is to create opportunities for new wigs to learn from astute professionals across different sectors, who can offer career guidance.
Outside of work, Diane enjoys travelling – learning about culture, people and places. Through her travels, she actively collects unique fridge magnets from all around the world countries. She is married with children.