Slaughter and May announces African Essay Prize winner

Slaughter and May is delighted to announce the winners of its inaugural Africa Essay Prize, a competition launched in November 2016 which gave students the opportunity to write about topics relating to African commerce and law. The competition invited students to submit an essay of no more than 1,000 words on one of two questions: What challenges does the end of the commodities boom pose for Africa? or What can customary law teach the "modern" world?  In an excellent response to a new initiative, the competition received in excess of 100 entries.

The winner, who will receive both £2,000 in prize money and a work placement at the Firm, is Oluwadamilola Odetola, who is in the second year of a PhD at the University of Kent. Oluwadamilola, who answered ‘What can customary law teach the "modern" world?’ explored the “profound and timely lessons” offered by customary law, including its flexible application to commercial contexts, and was unanimously awarded the top prize with judges citing her stimulating and well-researched work.

The second and third prizes were awarded to Harry Balfour-Lynn and Andrew Wilkins. Both students are studying at BPP University and will receive £1,000 and £500 respectively. Three further entrants were highly commended: Samuel Dayan, from the University of Oxford; Noelle Huang from the University of Cambridge; and Tanisha Onyenaoha from BPP University.

Damian Taylor, partner at Slaughter and May, said: “We were delighted to receive such a large number of essays in the competition’s first year. I would like to thank each entrant for their efforts and the high standard achieved.  The essays were well informed and highlighted the diverse legal and business practices across the continent.”