Dr. Solomon Osagie is a corporate lawyer with substantial in-house and private practice background. Solomon Osagie has legal experience and qualifications in Business and Law. He has a high premium on providing strategic and operational legal support in an international and multi-jurisdictional environment at senior/board level across a range of areas.
Solomon who was born in Sheffield in July 1967, relocated to Nigeria at the age of 7 because his father took up a post as a regional manager of Philip Morris. He remained in Nigeria until 1990, during this period he read Law at the University of Benin between 1985 and 1988 and attended the Nigerian Law School between 1988 and 1989. He also did the Nigerian National Youth Service between 1989 and 1990.
Solomon returned to England in 1990. Initially unsure what to do, he started working at the Lord Chancellor’s Department, becoming an executive officer only two months into his appointment. Allegedly the first black male appointed by the South Eastern Circuit Office, Solomon describes this period as: “Very interesting times as it was very novel for them to have a black male at the Lord Chancellor’s south eastern circuit office!” While there, he was encouraged by his manager, a Mr. Cook, to qualify as a solicitor in England.
He soon left the Lord Chancellor’s Office for the London Borough of Newham and at the same time started his Common Professional Examination (CPE) at the Guildhall University, which he completed in 1991. He then did his Solicitor’s Finals at the College of Law, Store Street between 1992 and 1993.
No sooner had he finished his Solicitor’s Finals, Solomon started his MBA at Greenwich University on a part-time basis in 1993, becoming one of the first Lawyer MBAs in 1996. On a roll in 1993, he also joined Hirschfield Solicitors, a medium-sized law firm in East London (which has now merged with Bowling & Co), where he was an Articled Clerk (Trainee Solicitor) between 1993 and 1995. He had obtained a six-month reduction from the two-year training period from the Law Society because of his previous work experience. This was the last post he held which he applied for, as he has been head-hunted for all subsequent posts held since qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales.
Upon qualification, Solomon joined Jay Vadher, a former partner at Hirschfield Solicitors who had set up his own practice, as the firm’s practice manager, doing a substantial amount of publicly-funded work initially in family and crime, then later on crime, welfare and housing law. But by the time he left the firm he was doing predominately housing and consumer credit law and some substantial commercial work.
He was responsible for the Quality Mark (Legal Aid Franchise) in crime, family, personal injury, and welfare benefits and housing. He became the firm’s managing partner in 1999/2000 and also had a stint as a part-time guest lecturer at the London School of Economics in the late 1990s. Solomon left Jay Vadher to join one of his former commercial clients in an in-house General Counsel and Head of Legal role as he had “had enough of the regulatory regime of Legal Aid which made the practice of law not as enjoyable as it used to be”.
He took up his second in-house role on a consultancy basis when he joined AGILISYS, which was working on a huge IT project for the Department of Health and the Treasury. Solomon was appointed to manage that project, combining his legal skills as a lawyer and his business skills as an MBA holder. In his third in-house role Solomon joined Interroute Telecommunications, one of Europe’s largest independent telecommunications companies, where he remained until 2006.
He was at Interroute when he was head-hunted in 2006 by Global Switch, where he was leading provider of data centres (for IT and telecommunications) with offices all over Europe and in Sydney, Australia and Singapore. He was appointed the Group Head of Legal, the company secretary and corporate global affairs counsel at Global Switch. This job, which he described as “exciting and very much loved” involved a lot of travelling and he had the opportunity to influence organizational effectiveness and growth at group level.
Solomon, who was appointed in 2007, officially took over the role of Corporate Legal Counsel with Total Systems Services (TSYS) UK-based legal team in London, which oversees TSYS’s global operations. His work includes commercial and contractual issues, Intellectual Property, Financial Services and Banking, some company secretarial and data protection. TSYS is one of the world’s largest companies for outsourced payment processing services.
Ever eager for a challenge and the never-ending need to have that “extra factor”, including being one of the first solicitors in England to do an MBA, Solomon started his doctorate in Business Law at Anglia University, finishing his PhD in a record three years part-time between 2002 and 2005.
Solomon obtained his Diploma in Notarial Practice from Cambridge University in 2005 and in the same year completed his doctorate in Business and Law from Anglia University, qualified as a Notary Public whilst holding down a full-time job.
With a number of citations including lawyer of the year, General Counsel of the Year and Innovative GC, he is acknowledged as an expert in consumer finance, banking and regulatory services. Solomon was a partner in private practice and then held senior roles in Industry. Before his appointment at TSYS International, he was Global Switch Group General Counsel until 2007. Solomon was appointed to the Law Society’s Company Law Committee in 2011 and sits on several advisory boards including Acritas, GOAL, The Lawyer Financial Services Forum and the Brussels GC Advisory Board. In 2014, he was invited to join the Westminster Policy Forum on Legal Education and Training in the UK.
Solomon speaks and writes regularly about regulatory matters in the financial services sector (FS), and has been influential in the commentary on data protection, privacy issues and strategic management in Europe.
Solomon has a relaxed approach to life and positively refuses to worry about things, as such, at the time Solomon was in his 30s he had already made his retirement plans. He likes to have activity in his life so during his spare time, Solomon is a part-time guest lecturer at the Holborn Business School since 2006 but he has reduced it over the years. Apart from giving lectures on financial services sector, he also writes articles in Business journals in the areas of culture strategy and business growth.