Dame Linda Dobbs DBE, President
Dame Linda Dobbs, DBE was called to the bar in 1981, and worked as a barrister specialising in criminal law, She became a QC in 1998, and was appointed as a deputy High Court judge in February 2003, without having previously held appointment as a Recorder.
She became chairman of the Criminal Bar Association in September 2003, but stood down when she was appointed a High Court judge in September 2004, without having sat as a deputy High Court judge, despite having been so appointed. She received the customary DBE, and was assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division, occasionally sitting in the Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division, the Administrative Court, and the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. She has subsequently been appointed as chairman of the Magisterial Committee of the Judicial Studies Board.
John Ludden, Vice Chair
John Ludden is EVP and GC of General Electric Capital Aviation Services. John joined GECAS’ legal staff in Shannon, Ireland in 1996 after working in private practice in London, the U.S. and Bermuda, focused primarily on aircraft leasing and financing. He has worked on numerous aircraft transactions, managed several acquisitions, including GECAS’ acquisition of PK AirFinance in 2000, and led legal aspects of GECAS’ aircraft sales. John graduated from the University of Liverpool with a bachelor of laws degree (LLB) and is qualified as a solicitor in both England and Ireland. He received his MSc in air transport management from Cranfield University and graduated with a master’s in law (LLM) from the London School of Economics.
Cynthia Lareine, Executive Director
With almost 20 years working experience as both a legal practitioner (UK qualified solicitor) and business development professional, Cynthia has an established reputation as an experienced business developer and relationship manager who is ‘proactive, pragmatic and passionate’ about legal services marketing and business development. Cynthia’s transactional and business development experience includes working with and advising African companies seeking to secure international investment and with international companies seeking to invest and/or establish a presence in Africa. Having lived and worked in Africa, Cynthia understands the cultural nuances of operating within an African context and has extensive experience of partnering with and advising African businesses across multiple sectors.
Prior to joining ILFA Cynthia worked extensively within leading global law firms including Norton Rose Fulbright, Allen & Overy, Linklaters and Hogan Lovells. In 2017, Cynthia founded Lareine Gold Consulting (LGC) an Africa focussed marketing and business development consultancy with a particular focus on advising African law firms engaged in developing and improving their legal services marketing strategy.
Cynthia has an established track record in converting strategies into measurable business and revenue objectives through marketing and business development– skills that will be critical in strengthening and securing ILFA future vision.
Mr. Ihenacho is an M&A lawyer with more than 15 years of experience, focusing on UK and international private equity, infrastructure and M&A transactions. He is recognized as a leader in his field by numerous publications. Prior to joining Latham & Watkins he was a partner in the private equity group and co-head of the Africa Practice at Clifford Chance. Mr. Ihenacho has sat on the legal advisory boards of various private equity industry bodies.
Tinashe Makoni is a senior banking and finance lawyer based in London.
Tinashe focuses on cross-border finance in Africa. He advises local and international banks, development finance institutions and private equity funds in relation to their pan-African transactions. He has acted for Absa/Barclays, PIC, RMB, Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Bank. He has also acted for various development finance institutions including IFC, AfDB, DBSA and IDC.
Tinashe has previously worked for leading legal practices at Allen & Overy, Norton Rose Fulbright and Trinity International LLP, where he advised clients on a range of financings, including project financing, trade and commodities financing and most recently off-grid power development.
Tinashe obtained an LLB from the University of Cape Town in 2003 and is admitted as an attorney in the State of New York.
Musonda Kapotwe is European Counsel for Resolution and Recover at Citigroup Limited. She trained at Clifford Chance LLP where she spent 6 years before moving to Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. Musonda joined Citigroup in 2007 as EMEA counsel for project finance.
Since 2008, she has also held a unique role as global counsel for Citigroup’s US$300 million microfinance program with a US government agency, which to date has facilitated the financing of over 900,000 entrepreneurs in developing countries, 92% of whom are women.
In 2014, her article entitled “Alternatives to Project Finance in Africa” was the lead editorial column in the Davos edition of The Banker. In 2015, she was named as a Rising Star by European Financial News (40 under 40 in Legal Services) in recognition of her achievements as a transactional and regulatory lawyer in European financial markets.
Musonda read Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science as a Sweet and Maxwell Prize Scholar.
Howard Barrie is a project finance lawyer focusing mainly on PPP infrastructure and energy projects in Africa. With more than 30 years’ experience, he has advised on transactions in more than 16 African countries. He has chaired the Dentons’ Africa Committee and been part of the strategy group leading the Eversheds (Sutherland) Africa practice. Market recognition includes being shortlisted by the Financial Times for Legal Innovator of the Year and being one of The Lawyer’s “Hot 100”, as well as being ranked by various legal directories. He has spoken widely on legal topics, provided legal training in Africa and his publications include “Public Private Partnerships BOT techniques and Project Finance” (editor and contributor) and “Electrifying Africa – the hunt for an off-grid solution”.
Geeta Khehar is an international finance lawyer who focuses on the Developing Markets. She spent twenty-seven years at Clifford Chance including eighteen years as a partner in the Global Finance Practice, and was co-head of the firm’s East Africa Practice. She recently retired from private practice to pursue a portfolio of interests, and was appointed as a Senior Fellow at the Faculty of Law, SOAS, University of London in July 2016.
Melissa is a partner in the Firm’s Capital Markets group in London. She has experience representing public and private issuers and underwriters in offerings in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A, outside of the United States pursuant to Regulation S and SEC-registered equity offerings. Melissa has advised on some of the ground-breaking and market-changing transactions in Africa and is recognised as a leader in her field by numerous publications. Melissa is also Chair of White & Case’s Africa Interest Group.
Simukai is an experienced corporate lawyer and business executive, with a career that spans over 17 years in a FTSE 10 company operating in multiple jurisdictions in regulated and controversial industry. He is currently Area Head of Legal & External Affairs, with senior business leadership responsibilities for managing the development and execution of Legal, Regulatory, Corporate Affairs and Security strategies for 15 East & Central Africa markets, including DR Congo, Kenya, Mauritius, Reunion, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda. He has in the past held various other roles in British American Tobacco, across different locations, including the Group’s UK Head Office and in its Southern Africa operations.
Simukai is committed to the development of Africa and currently represents the Kenya Private Sector, on the East African Business Council (EABC) Executive Committee and Board of Directors. He has previously served as a Board Director in a number of companies, including Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (CBZ Bank), Tobacco Processors Zimbabwe and The International Tobacco Documentation Centre.
Mark is a retired partner from the London office of Lovells.
Born and educated in southern Africa, Mark has extensive experience in international litigation and arbitration and has authored books and articles on both. For two and a half years, he was a resident partner in the Lovells Paris office, where he was admitted to practice as an avocat. He was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
A founding Director, Mark served nine years on the ILFA Board of Directors before stepping down in 2015 to join the ILFA Advisory Board. He joined the Board of ILFA Learning & Development Ltd in 2016.
Vivian Osayande is a lawyer with over 15 years’ experience. She is currently, Head of Legal for Asia-Pacific Middle East &Africa (APMA) operations at Novartis, and responsible for providing support to significant litigations, arbitrations and investigations as well as strategic legal support. She also sits on the company’s Go Africa Board and its global Diversity & Inclusion Council. Prior to Novartis, Vivian was a commercial/transactional lawyer at Templars where she led several innovative and disruptive transactions. Her career started in dispute resolution at the law Firm, Chief Afe Babalola SAN & Co. Vivian is a recognized leader in the legal profession with several awards and mentions in ranking publications. She continues to actively speak for the International Bar and other associations on issues that affect cross-border businesses.
Ms. Lambie has a 20 year track record across 4 continents spanning private equity, Family Office investments, investment banking, venture capital, operations, and successful entrepreneurship – including executing US$5.0 billion in investments in the Emerging Markets. Deal experience over past 12 years in 22 African countries includes Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt; including living and working in Mozambique and South Africa. Board/Advisory Board positions have also included AfrAsia Bank, Mecene Investments, Canadian Council on Africa, Ethiopian Childrens Fund, and The Wharton Club of Africa (Co-Founder).
Currently, Co-Founder & Shareholder of SHIL, an Africa-focused private investment office and advisory firm, and Global Co-Chair of the WCA Family Office Network. Prior experience includes as MD of a US$212mm+ Africa Private Equity Fund (16 portfolio companies); Director for Emerging Markets Structuring and Head of SSA Distribution at Barclays Capital; at JP Morgan and BOA Securities – arranged, structured and executed acquisition-related investments for bank and leading global private equity firms with primary EMEA responsibility for The Blackstone Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice; and launched investment banking operations for one of the largest financial institutions in the Caribbean.
Ms. Lambie has a MBA in Finance from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), and a BSE in Civil Engineering & Operations Research from Princeton University.