Mrs Funmilayo Ajike Roberts was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in June 1982 after obtaining her Bachelor of Laws Degree in the Second Class Upper Division from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Osun State of Nigeria.
After a three-month stint as State Counsel in the Ministry of Justice of Oyo State of Nigeria, Funmi Roberts lectured at the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan until she left to obtain her Master of Laws Degree from the University of Ife.
In 1989, she established Funmi Roberts & Co., a firm of Solicitors & Advocates engaged primarily in Commercial Law practice with special bias for ADR as a tool for dispute resolution. Funmi Roberts & Co. today has grown to be one of the foremost female-owned law firms in Nigeria with offices in Ibadan and Lagos offering its legal and ADR services to several corporate organisations and individuals, both locally and internationally.
Funmi Roberts is a member of several professional organizations including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) where she is a Member of the National Executive Committee. She is Member, NBA Women’s Forum Council; Member, NBA Arbitration Committee and was Executive member, Arbitration and ADR Committee of the Business Section of NBA till 2010. ADR-related organizations to which Funmi Roberts belongs include Maritime Arbitrators of Nigeria; Arbitral Women (an international organization made up of women involved in arbitration all over the world) and the African Development Bank’s List of Mediators. She has made several presentations and published several articles on dispute resolution, the latest being “Cultural Nuances to Mediating Commercial Disputes in Nigeria” published in August 2010 in the Journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK).
In 2004, Funmi Roberts undertook Mediation Skills Training and became an Accredited Mediator with U.K-based Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). She undertook CEDR’S Advanced Training Course in 2006. She is one of the Mediators being trained by CEDR as Lead Trainer for the NCMG-CEDR Training Faculty. She has successfully mediated several commercial and family disputes and recently participated in the mediation of a commercial dispute in England. She participated in one of the largest mediations that ever took place in Nigeria which involved a Federal Government Agency and numerous ex-workers. Mrs. Roberts is a member of the Steering Committee for the establishment of a Multi-Door Courthouse for Oyo State Judiciary to supplement the available resources for justice by providing enhanced, timely, cost effective and user friendly access to justice.
The Arbitrator News Journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch published an article written by Funmi Roberts titled ‘Tool for Evolving Commercial Solutions to Commercial Disputes in Nigeria’ (Vol. 3 No2 April-June 2006). After a presentation titled ‘Drafting the Dispute Resolution Clause’ delivered and organized by Committee on Arbitration/ADR of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association in collaboration with The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch of 4th & 5th July 2006, she distilled the presentation into a paper which will soon be published in the same news journal.
Apart from being a Mediator, Funmi Roberts is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of the United Kingdom, member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) as well as member of Maritime Arbitrators of Nigeria. She also belongs to the Association of CEDR-accredited Mediators in Nigeria, International Bar Association, Business Recovery Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Federacion International de Abogadas (FIDA: International Federation of Women Lawyers), Society for Corporate Governance and the Institute of Directors, Nigeria. She has completed a Master’s Class for International Arbitrators (by International Chamber of Commerce, Paris). She is a member of the Board of Directors of Eco Bank, Liberia and the Lagos Court of Arbitration. She also sits on the boards of several corporate organisations.
Mrs. Roberts is happily married to Dr Adebola Roberts and blessed with four wonderful sons and a daughter – in – law. She has been honoured with the PSR Woman of Merit Gold Award in recognition of her contribution to the development of Nigeria in the field of law and legal services.