INTERVIEW WITH LAWYER NYAMPONG, ESQ.
(LAWYER | BUSINESSMAN | SOFTWARE DEVELOPER | PHILANTROPIST | LIFE COACH
Kwame has extensive experience in corporate transactions, including restructurings, reorganizations, and demergers, as well as advising on various schemes such as capital reductions, share buy-backs, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. He is also knowledgeable in commercial contracts and corporate governance.
Aside from his expertise in corporate transactions, Kwame is also well-versed in handling corporate disputes, particularly in shareholder disagreements, breach of warranty claims, insurance disputes, professional negligence claims, partnership disputes, planning disputes, and compulsory purchases.
As a lawyer, Kwame is highly enthusiastic, personable, and professional, with great leadership skills and a positive attitude towards challenging tasks. He is goal-oriented, creative, and resourceful, with exceptional problem-solving abilities. He also specializes in debt recovery, having previously served as the Managing Director of Direct Debt Recovery Consult Limited and as a Recovery Consultant for over 15 commercial banks.
In addition to his legal practice, Kwame serves on several boards in different industries, including oil and gas, real estate, manufacturing, and banking and finance.
Kwame is currently the Managing Partner of FRANKLYN & PARTNERS; a full-service law firm situate at the heart of Accra, Ghana, with clients across the globe.
Kwame currently serves as the Vice President of the Association of European Lawyers. Under his leadership, the firm was adjudged as the Global Award Winner for the Full-Service Law Firm, 2022 by the Leaders in Law. He also has to his credit the winner of the 2023 Best Law Firm In Corporate Law And Mergers And Acquisition by the GLOBAL 100.
INTERVIEWER: Can you tell us about your background and education?
I am not married. I have kids.
I grew up in Osu, in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana. I started pre-school at Osu Salem Five and Six (5 & 6) which a shifting system school at the time. We use to run a bi-weekly; morning and afternoon shifts. I furthered my education at Osu Presby Boys; a very popular day school, where I completed my basic secondary education. I then continued at Aquinas Secondary School for my second level education. After completing Aquinas, I had to work for about a year to save up for the university. I majored in economics at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Growing up was not easy, especially living in the slums of Osu and constantly seeing the nice things in life on Oxford Street. It was a challenging time, but I persevered.
INTERVIEWER: Would you say your background influenced your decision to become whatever you are now or it was a gradual process to bring you here?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: My background has been characterized by a free and unplanned lifestyle. Becoming a lawyer was never something I foresaw or planned for, but rather it happened naturally. I started my career as a Financial Consultant and was involved in various other ventures, including event organization and a real estate agency. I also had my focus on debt recovery. Prior to pursuing law, I worked for about sixteen (16) commercial banks and held seats at tables that were purely due to the benevolence of others. I recall carrying three handkerchiefs with me all the time (one for our face, one for our shoes, and a clean one just in case we needed it at a meeting). I used to walk a lot due to my circumstance at the time. Although life was tough, I am grateful for how far I have come.
INTERVIEWER: So, when did you realize you wanted to pursue a career as a lawyer, when was the realization?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: The realization did not come in a deliberate manner; it was a bizarre circumstance or, for want of better word, coincidence that led me to me becoming a lawyer. Let me explain. While consulting on a recovery for a Chinese client, I received a response to my demand notice from a lawyer representing the debtor owing my client. We thereafter agreed to meet at my office to negotiate. To my surprise, the lawyer turned out to be someone I had known for years from my time at Legon and a good friend to my business associate that I had at the time fallen out with.
When the lawyer arrived for the meeting and realized I was the one he was coming to meet he decided rather be antagonistic by first challenging the Power of Attorney attached to the demand notice with snide comments like “I have been to Law School, do you know what it takes to go to Law School…” long story short, I recovered the debt in full but was I also struck by his comment about the rigors of law school. I applied to law school, not long after the said meeting, despite having never considered that before.
When the lawyer saw me at the bar, he was surprised to learn that I had become a lawyer, and I have not forgotten that he inadvertently led me to this career. My career path as a lawyer was not planned, but it has been a rewarding journey so far.
INTERVIEWER: Was it not difficult with the academics, I’m sure, you were doing business and running other things on the side. Is it a difficult thing to do?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: Combining work and schooling was challenging for me, as I pursued my LLB through the regular module. Our classes were only in the evenings, after work, starting from 5:00 p.m. Unfortunately, there were times when my work obligations extended into that period. Consequently, there were instances when I arrived late to class or couldn’t attend at all. Despite these challenges, we persevered by planning our schedules carefully and relying on our prayers.
INTERVIEWER: How long have you practised as a lawyer?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: I will be seven years at the Bar on September 30th this year.
INTERVIEWER: So, as a lawyer, what kind of cases do you generally handle
LAWYER NYAMPONG: I am not particularly fond of litigation, despite my proficiency in it. I find it very boring and time-consuming. Instead, I focus on discovering ways to resolve matters out of court. We consider myself more of a corporate practitioner; mergers and acquisitions, joint venture arrangements and negotiations, demergers, immigration and other related matters.
INTERVIEWER: How do you manage confidential information?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: Managing confidential information as a lawyer is relatively easy if you have a natural inclination towards discretion. Additionally, lawyers are trained in advocacy and confidentiality during their time at Law School. There are tales about lawyers being banned from public transportation, street-side eateries, and bars to remind them to avoid situations that may lead to inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information. These stories may not be entirely true, but the message is clear – steer clear of situations where you may be tempted to reveal confidential information to the wrong person.
We are able to protect our clients’ confidential issues through our online application (CLIQLAW) which is well protected with very restricted access; as a firm. CLIQLAW is currently the most sort after law firm management software.
I am personally guided by the good old adage of “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil”. Know these and know peace.
INTERVIEWER: Is there anything like a hard case, like this is a very difficult case I have faced as a lawyer? Is there anything like that?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: Yes, as a lawyer, I have encountered a lot of challenging cases. There has been time that I have had seek assistance from very good friends at the Bar. Seeking the opinions of your colleagues or running ideas by them. It’s actually a very common thing at the Bar. In Ghana, most lawyers are general practitioners even though it’s impossible to know everything. It is, therefore, always wise to seek guidance from someone who has walked that path before you, especially when faced with a difficult challenge. While it is possible to handle challenging cases as you gain more experiences, there is no shame in seeking guidance or bouncing ideas off off others. It is a normal and healthy practice for lawyers.
I have personally faced many difficult cases; but I have always been able to resolve them. Persistence and diligence have always been the hallmarks.
INTERVIEWER: Thank you so much. What are some of the philosophies you ascribe to as a lawyer?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: There are values that I consider as the hallmarks that define my character. These include integrity, which I believe is absolutely essential, as well as persistence, persuasiveness, and professionalism. As for my personal philosophy, I identify with the school of thought that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. I believe that every action we take should be considered not only from our own perspective, but also with regard to its potential impact on those around us. If our actions do not harm others, then we should strive to live our lives to the fullest. That’s basically me in a nutshell.
I discovered at an early stage in my life that about 80% of our problems are self-inflicted. Tell me your problem and I might be able to tell you, with utmost accuracy, how you brought that on yourself.
INTERVIEWER: Who is your typical client?
LAWYER NYAMPONG: I am inclined to say that the client with deep pockets is the most desirable. As a lawyer, I always advise my clients to be upfront with me and provide me with the detailed facts always. I find this as the first step in getting the best out of your lawyer. If you choose to be dishonest with me, stick to your story throughout the legal proceedings. I have had to withdraw from representing clients, on few occasions, when their stories turned out to be untrue. As a lawyer, I always strive to be competent, and it is unfair to me if my clients’ misrepresentation of facts makes me unable to perform.
My typical corporate clients are those with significant financial resources, and therefore always happy to pay for our services. These clients are essential to sustaining our practice and the firm.
INTERVIEWER: Finally, you know most young entrepreneurs do not consider having a lawyer even when they begin a business, what’s your advice to such people? Do you think it is very essential that every young entrepreneur must consider having, maybe, a lawyer friend or seek the consent of lawyers before they enter into any business even if they are running a business as a start-up, they still need lawyers to be part of their decision making, what advice do you have for such people
LAWYER NYAMPONG: I strongly believe that having a lawyer as part of your team is crucial, as a business person. Whether you are aware of it or not, there are transactions and agreements that one may enter into without knowing the legal implications. Many individuals, especially the youth, tend to blindly append their signatures to documents without reading them, solely focused on the immediate benefits. However, over the years, I have witnessed many young businesses and individuals fall into legal trouble and suffered significant losses as a result of such decisions.
While some people perceive lawyers to be expensive, it is not always the case. As human beings, most of us have a good heart and are willing to assist up-and-coming businesses. I personally dedicate some of my time to guide young entrepreneurs and offer legal advice at no cost. As someone who has benefited from the kindness of others, I make it a point to extend the same kindness when I have the opportunity.
I strongly advise individuals to seek legal advice when they feel it is necessary, and to properly organize their affairs as business persons, starting with the preparation stages. It is also important to find a lawyer who has a genuine interest in what you are doing and is happy to advise you in that regard.
INTERVIEWER: It’s a pleasure. Thank you so much lawyer for having us. We are very grateful.