Sandra Oyewole

Years in Tech


Current Role

Head of the Intellectual Property and Technology Practice and Co-Head of the Employment and Global Mobility Practice at Olajide Oyewole LLP

Core Skills

After nearly 3 decades in active legal practice, I have a deep understanding of the laws applicable to my core industries and sectors of my practice. I provide a thorough, analytical and practical approach to all matters. My knowledge of the environment has allowed for solution oriented services allowing clients to achieve their objectives. My approach enables protection of intellectual property, the implementation of business strategies and access to finance.

Interview Date

14th December 2018

I studied law at the University of Ife/Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife and after I finished at the Nigerian Law School qualified as a lawyer in 1993. My first job was at Chief Rotimi Williams SAN Chambers and I absolutely loved it. It was here that I began developing my analytical, research, drafting and courtroom skills. Then in 2001 I joined the Olajide Oyewole and Co as a partner. I helped develop the employment, IPT, media sports and entertainment practices. I have a passion for these areas of practice and this has really helped in my growth over the years.

The situation of widows and orphans is a key concern to me and I support a number of charities devoted to their well being and upkeep. I conceived and coordinated the publication of a book called Through the Fire which is a tool guide for bereavement addressing a number of issues including the legal, financial and psychological issues that have to be contended with. Other charities that I support are related to breast cancer, assault and abuse of women, child abuse and drug use.

I am married with children. I enjoy reading, swimming and relaxing with family and friends.

What experiences led you to technology and how did you develop the skills to compete in the industry?

From time immemorial, technology has disrupted business practices. The crash of the CD and the rise of digital distribution of music was a trigger for me in terms of the technology. The evolution of the mobile phone and the availability of agreements online were also critical points for me. 15/16 years ago, overseas publishers would courier tapes/cassettes to us in Nigeria seeking the requisite permission for use of music. Fast forward some 5/6 years later, rather than tapes, we were being sent links. Cheaper, faster and infinitely more efficient. It was clear that digital technology was going to have a major impact on all industries and sectors. Consider Kira the artificial intelligence which handles a key aspect of mergers and acquisitions i.e. due diligence, faster than any associate can. What happened in the music industry made it clear that I needed to focus on digital technology. Since then, the focus of our legal and business advice to clients in the creative and innovative takes digital technology into consideration. This has since extended to finance, health, education, agriculture, banking etc.

How has your background helped/differentiated you in the tech industry?

I have led the intellectual property practice of OOLLP for nearly 2 decades now. As these laws are key to the tech industry my experience and knowledge have ensured that my team and I are able to provide value added services to our clients. So whether its ownership issues, exploitation and or finance related I am able to work with the entrepreneur/founder and the financiers (angel, venture capitalist, private equity) enabling the ecosystem to continue to be built on. A working knowledge of Nigeria’s corporate, communication and banking and finance laws and regulations has also been key in ensuring that the team and I are able to provide the much needed legal and business support services. As a lawyer with the knowledge and experience means that I am integral part of the growth and development of businesses in the tech industry.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in technology? What do you wish you had known?

Work hard, learn your trade and work with partners/employers that will train and and guide you. Listen and learn. Never stop learning. Being hesitant is par for the course but do not let that stop you from doing what needs to be done. Growth remains organic for most of us. Working with a team and or partners is key. Follow your passion, have fun and be prepared to work hard. Rome was not built in a day and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step are two of my favourite quotes because both are so true.