NJ Ayuk is a 38-year-old attorney who has earned an enviable reputation as one of Africa’s most successful law conglomerates. His company handles an array of business and litigation cases for multinationals. Jockeying for top billing among Africa’s leading legal consultants is a tricky task, but according to Mr. Ayuk, there’s no place like home. He believes African enterprising can take on the best from outside the continent by leveraging their country’s resources and using them in innovative ways. Chances are, the way Mr. Ayuk thinks about business, more and more global companies may want to tap into his network. “To be effective, we need to utilize local players and work with them,” he tells Forbes.

Mr. Ayuk learned the value of international exposure early in life when he got a job as a baggage handler at JFK international airport in New York City. The experience opened him to a world of opportunities he decided to pursue. He studied law, returned to Cote d’Ivoire, where his father was a businessman, and set up practice as a commercial lawyer. Mr. Ayuk had worked as an entrepreneur for some time before he felt the urge to start his own company. He registered his first law firm in Cote d’Ivoire under “Excel Legal Consult.” He later changed it to Excel Legal Consultants, a larger and more influential entity known by the acronym ELCON.

At first, he worked with three other colleagues. That number has swelled to lawyers in branches across West Africa, including in Ghana, Cameroon, and Niger. Mr. Ayuk says there are plans to set up offices in Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Morocco. With locations in four West African countries, his company handles complex maritime law and international oil and gas arbitration cases. He credits the company’s growth and success to a combination of good strategy, business sense, and management experience. “My colleagues are just as good at what they do. We do not differ much in terms of our level of experience or the quality of our work.”

Mr. Ayuk views his company as the leading one in Africa, with a unique vision to provide legal services that are particularly African. He points out that the continent has very few large firms specializing in commercial law when it comes to business. “I am proud of my colleagues, and I believe we have what it takes to compete with the best anywhere in the world.” Given the strong competition, Mr. Ayuk is not shy when discussing the business strategy behind his company. “Our strategy is to support entrepreneurs and create secure jobs for young lawyers. They have to work hard, but we provide top-quality services and pay them well for what they do.”

He also believes he has a unique approach to management, which he calls “organic.” Mr. Ayuk says his company is managed by its employees who, like their boss, want to contribute to the business’s success. “We do not have big management, but as I aged, I realized that age and experience are not important when doing business.” A key component of his strategy is to promote young lawyers and encourage them to set up their ventures. Mr. NJ Ayuk says he often calls young lawyers in Ivory Coast for advice and practical help. “We share our knowledge, and they do their best to make a name for themselves.”

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