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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Alumni Awards - Thursday 24 March

Our Alumni Awards was an exciting new opportunity to showcase the achievements and impact of our alumni who studied at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies. 

A trophy in the shape of a star

The Alumni Awards Ceremony

This was a hybrid event, mainly to ensure we reached all our community from around the world. There was a number of guests in person at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies including the judging panel, nominees who were able to make it in person, staff and guests. Other members of the community watched the event online. During the event the winners were revealed. 

Read our re-cap of the ceremony.

See the winners and shortlisted nominees for the alumni awards

We are pleased to share the winner and shortlisted nominees of each award category and for the CCLS Alumni Awards 2022:

Community impact

This award will recognise an alum who has demonstrated an outstanding achievement in making a positive impact on the community.

Winner

Geronimo Frigerio in a suit and open collar

Mr Geronimo Frigerio (Banking and Finance Law LLM, 2001)

Geronimo Frigerio has been actively involved in law and policy reform in Latin America and the Caribbean for many years, having made a considerable impact in several countries, particularly Haiti, Bahamas, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Belize, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama and Paraguay.

Read more about Geronimo's achievements.

Nominees

Dr Amir Nabil Ibrahim in a suit, in front of a book shelf

Dr Amir Ibrahim (Competition Law PhD, 2015)

Former chairman of the Egyptian Competition Authority, Egyptian Competition Authority

In 2018, Amir was appointed as the Chairman of the Egyptian Competition Authority three years after he finished his PhD at CCLS, making him the youngest head of a government entity in the history of Egypt. He led significant investigations in the digital economy; his work was praised by the European Commission and the CMA in several events. He was selected by the OECD to chair and moderate several discussions at the OECD Competition Forum. He cooperated with international institutions such as the  IMF in designing and implementing the structural reform program in Egypt.  

Read more about Dr Ibrahim's achievements.

Maritza Adonis smiling and wearing a suit

Dr Maritza T. Adonis (Arbitration summer school programme 2014)

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MTA Visions Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Government Relations

Maritza T. Adonis, J.D., MCIArb, 2021 U.S. National Security and Foreign Affairs Leader, Global Advocate, U.S. Lobbyist, CEO of MTA Visions Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Government Relations firm based in Washington D.C., is a Diplomacy, Diversity, and Political thought leader that has demonstrated outstanding achievements in making a positive impact on the community through professional practice, leadership, and grassroots volunteer service.

Read more about Dr Adonis' achievements.

Mary Rizk wearing a t-shirt with the Team DIMA Global logo on it

Mary Rizk (Laws LLM, 2018)

Co-Founder, Team DIMA Global

Mary is the co-founder of Team DIMA Global, a community organisation that helps build schools, homes and toilets for underprivileged children around the world as well as run health and educational programmes. Throughout the pandemic Mary helped to accelerate the feeding program in Kenya by making sure that over 520 students in the partner schools were fed every month. She also made sure that the most underprivileged families received food boxes throughout lockdown. Mary is currently working on a project - ‘It’s Normal’ - a period poverty campaign to help provide 365 days of sanitary pads to girls in Kenya.

Read more about Mary's achievements.

Siddharth Chandrashekhar wearing a suit in a green room

Siddharth Chandrashekhar (Commercial and Corporate Law LLM, 2012)

Advocate, Bombay High Court, Chandrashekhar & Associates

Amidst the massive human losses suffered due to Covid-19 there were also some unscrupulous people trying to cash-in on the fear. One such incident was that of several fake vaccination drives conducted in Mumbai, India. Due to the failure of the state government to prevent fake or unauthorised vaccination camps, about 2500 individuals were administered fake vaccines and the organisers charged their victims fees for the shots, earning up to $28,000 in total. However, no action was taken to find the perpetrators or provide relief to those affected by the scam until this was brought to light before the Hon’ble Bombay High Court.

Read more about Siddharth's achievements.

Commitment to CCLS, Queen Mary

This award will recognise an alum who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London through sharing their time, expertise and networks or supporting CCLS with financial and other resources.

Winner

Assunta Ndami in glasses and wearing a striped top

Assunta Ndami (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM, 2019)

Board member Manchester India Partnership and Special Economic Advisor to Magdeburg, Germany 

Assunta is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a Certified Chartered Mediator, Mentor, ODR Practitioner and Trainer. Having studied and worked in Kenya, the UK and France, she has carved a niche in the practice of commercial law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She has worked at the International Chamber of Commerce (France) and the Full Circle Centre (Kenya). She has also undertaken volunteer work at qLegal (UK/Paris) and Federation of Women Lawyers-FIDA (Kenya).

Learn more about Assunta's work with CCLS.

Nominees

Ajit Mishra wearing a suit and red tie

Ajit Mishra (Intellectual Property Law LLM, 2005)

Partner, Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Special Economic Advisor to Magdeburg, Germany 

Ajit Michra is Chair of the CCLS India Chapter. He has welcomed the Indian students from the batch of 2022 and has taken the initiative to form a community within the present batch of Indian students prior to them becoming alumni. He has taken the initiative to get to know the students personally and extend a helping hand to them with respect to approaching their academic courses well. He has also been very active with arranging networking events for the CCLS India chapter.

Find out more about Ajit's work with CCLS.

Julia Bonder-Le Berre wearing a black top

Julia Bonder-Le Berre (Intellectual Property Law LLM, 2007)

Global Privacy Counsel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HPE

Julia has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to CCLS by dedicating her time and sharing her expertise with postgraduate students, participating in qLegal and qMentoring programs since 2018.

Learn more about Julia's work with CCLS.

Kuseme Iseh in a white suit

Kuseme Iseh (International Dispute Resolution LLM, 2021)

Legal Officer, Nigeria Governor’s Forum

Kuseme is a resilient, hardworking, and selfless individual who dedicates most of her time and resources in helping a community of young individuals who are keen to commence or make progress with their academic pursuits. Her dedication over the past year and the effort and time she put into providing helpful content is most significant as she combined this with completing an intensive LLM at CCLS in the middle of a pandemic alongside the attendant, physical and mental pressures that came with it.

Learn more about Kuseme's work with CCLS.

Germán Darío Florez Acero in a suit, smiling

Dr Germán Darío Florez Acero (Intellectual Property Law LLM, 2011

Director Master in innovation and digital Law and Legal Tech Universidad Sergio Arboleda and Arbitrator Chamber of Commerce of Bogota and President of the Colombian Legal Tech Asssociation

Germán  has a high sense of belonging to CCLS and to Queen Mary. He has been an Alumni Ambassador since 2011 and a significant number of Colombian students have studied at Queen Mary, particularly on the master's degrees that CCLS offers, as a result of his promotion. Additionally, Germán has always cited CCLS and Queen Mary in his extensive academic career that includes the publication of six books and a significant number of academic articles. In this sense, Germán published an article in 2012 in the nascent QM IP Journal and they have accepted an article again in 2022.

Learn more about Dr Germán Darío Florez Acero's work with CCLS.

Alum of the year achievement

Winner

Francis Ben Kaifala in a blue suit and striped tie

Francis Ben Kaifala (Law and Economics LLM, 2014)

The Commissioner, Anti-Corruption Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone

Country: Sierra Leone

Francis Ben Kaifala is the current Commissioner (Head) of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of the Republic of Sierra Leone. He is the President of the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA) and an elected Board Member of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC). He lectures part-time Commercial Law at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.

Read more about Francis Ben Kaifala's achievements.

Nominees

Antonius Tigor in a black suit and blue tie

Mr Antonius Alexander Tigor (Computer and Communications Law LLM, 2017)

Head of Legal Business Partner & Compliance - Digital, Telkomsel

Head of Legal Business Partner and Compliance - Digital, with extensive legal and regulatory experience gained with a leading digital telecom company. Speaker at domestic and international forums. Policy adviser to stakeholders and a doctoral candidate in Barcelona. In March 2021, Antonius was chosen as the Indonesia Rising Star. In September 2020, he was nominated as an In-house Lawyer of the Year in the Southeast Asia Region by Asian Legal Business Thomson Reuters.

Learn more about Antonius Alexander Tigor's achievements.

Bijetri Roy in glasses and a scarf

Ms Bijetri Roy (Public International Law LLM, 2014)

Managing Director & Chief Strategy Officer, Institute for Pioneering Insightful Research & Edutech Pvt Ltd (InsPIRE)

Country: India

Bijetri Roy did her LLM Public International Law from the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London in 2013-14. After her return to India, she started as a banking and project finance advisory and transaction lawyer at a boutique law firm, Orbit Law Services, Mumbai. She has donned various hats since 2015 and has excelled as a banker, a law lecturer and as a law edutech professional. Around 2020, she started her entrepreneurial journey, and is now the Managing Director & Chief Strategy Officer of her startup, Institute for Pioneering Insightful Research & Edutech Pvt Ltd (InsPIRE), a research, policy, edutech and skill development company exploring economics, climate change, agricultural exports, international trade, to name a few.

Learn more about Bijetri Roy's achievements.

Muge Bulat Cetinkaya

Müge Bulat Çetinkaya (Commercial and Corporate Law LLM, 2010)

Head of Legal, Domino's Turkey

After starting at Domino's as head of legal, Müge realised that the daily workload may prevent a compliance leader to spot important risk items and compliance requires an active outlook that requires more management time from the legal leader. Consequently, she organised her supporting team to allow her to take a more proactive approach. In her opinion, supporting the business with compliance and risk management is a key element, very much like radar systems in a ship that prevents a catastrophe.

Learn more about Müge Bulat Çetinkaya's achievments.

Meenakshi Slathia standing in front of legal books

Meenakshi Salathia

Lawyer, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court Jammu

Meenakshi Salathia is practising law at the High Court and District courts of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, where she has been working closely with matters related to constitutional law, criminal law and Family law. Recently she has earned a landmark judgement in a criminal case, which was reported widely in the State. For the first time in the history of the State, she has filed a domestic violence case on behalf of a male against his wife.

Read more about Meenakshi Salathia's achievements.

Chapter of the year

This award will recognise a CCLS Chapter who has demonstrated an outstanding achievement since its conception.

Winner

A zoom panel of the CCLS India Chapter launch

CCLS India Chapter

The India Chapter has emerged as one the fastest growing Chapters in its inaugural year. The challenging Covid times did not impact the vision of its committee members. The committee has invited numerous well-renowned lawyers, Queen’s Counsels, academics, and dignitaries for its events and had some engaging sessions on meaningful topics. Webinars included “Medication and Art of War”, ‘'The Law of Sedition: Time to Oust an Outdated Law' and 'Working in law: private practice vs in-house'.

Find out more about the CCLS India Chapter.

Nominees

A zoom screen at a CCLS China Chapter event on 'Energy Security'

CCLS China Chapter

The CCLS China Chapter currently has about 200 alumni on the WeChat group and they often celebrate festivals together and help each other professionally. It has held several successful events since its establishment at the launch event with Professor Ian Walden and Dr Bernard Schneider. It has also planned to hold events in Beijing and/or Shanghai to facilitate communication among alumni.

Find out more about the CCLS China Chapter.

Banner for 50th anniversary of the Colombian Code of Commerce event

CCLS Colombia Chapter

The CCLS Colombia Chapter is a group of alumni in roles with a very important leadership in Colombia. Among its graduates are currently partners from major law firms, senior government officials, Vice Minister of Commerce, renowned academics, and a good number of arbitrators and secretaries of arbitral tribunals. This group of alumni has been working in Colombia even before the CCLS Colombia Chapter became official.

Find out more about the CCLS Colombia Chapter.

Indonesia Chapter event talking about the PPP Process

CCLS Indonesia Chapter

Throughout 2021 the CCLS Indonesia Chapter successfully managed to organise a number of important events. In organising these events, the committee successfully invited important figures in their field to be the speaker and attracted a significant number of audiences. Of note, the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) event was the event with the highest number of attendees with 197 members of the community registered for the event, out of which, 118 attended.

Find out more about the CCLS Indonesia Chapter.

Attendees at the CCLS Nigeria 1st Alumni Reunion Dinner

CCLS Nigeria Chapter

The CCLS Nigeria Chapter is an active alumni network with over 180 members on its LinkedIn group. The Chapter has organised several events, including three online events and a physical event. The CCLS Nigeria Chapter has been able to recognise and encourage participation from distinguished CCLS alumni such as general counsels, law firm partners, an Attorney General, and a law professor.

Find out more about the CCLS Nigeria Chapter.

The Alumni Awards Ceremony

This will be a hybrid event, mainly to ensure we reach all our community from around the world. There will be a small number of guests in person at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies. This will likely include the judging panel, any nominees who can make it in person and some staff. It will be during this event that the winners will be revealed.

The Judging Panel 

As well as celebrating our talented and high-achieving alumni, the Alumni Awards showcased our alumni community's dedication to the public good and engagement to create a better world. The networking and re-connecting opportunities were an added bonus.
— Professor Ian Walden, Director of CCLS

The Judging Panel

Professor Colin Bailey CBE

Professor Colin Bailey CBE

President and Principal, Queen Mary University of London

It is an honour to be part of the judging panel. It is so important to celebrate the achievements of our community of staff, students and alumni. Our alumni are a vital part of what makes Queen Mary so special, and I’m looking forward to hearing some of their stories, which are so inspiring for our current generation of students.

Read about Professor Colin Bailey.

Professor Ian Walden

Professor Ian Walden, Head of CCLS

Director of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London

I am thrilled to be one of the Judges for the CCLS Alumni Awards, particularly as it is the inaugural event. I am hoping for a really interesting mix of nominations showcasing the wonderful and inspiring examples of how our alumni have made an impact on the law and their communities. I will look forward to celebrating the achievements of our alumni on Thursday 24 March!

Read about Professor Walden.

Professor Julian Lew QC

 

Lew

Professor of International Arbitration Law and Head of the School of International Arbitration

Through their endeavours as students while studying at CCLS and their activities since then, the alumnae have contributed to the reputation of CCLS internationally.  Their successes have been significant generally and many individuals from outside the United Kingdom have returned to their countries of origins and made major contributions academically, in the professions, in business and in Government service.  It has been a privilege to have worked with and taught them while they were at Queen Mary and we value their continued loyalty and affection for CCLS and retain good memories of their times at CCLS.

I am very much looking forward to judging the CCLS Alumni Awards in its first year.

Read about Professor Lew.

Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer

Profile image of academic Franziska Arnold-Dwyer. She has dark brown shoulder-length hair worn in a side parting and fair skin.

Senior Lecturer in Insurance Law, Specialism Director for Insurance Law and Commercial Law PhD Alum 2017

As the Academic Deputy Director of Alumni Relations and an Alumna of CCLS (PhD in Law, 2018), I am delighted to be on the panel of judges for the Alumni Awards. I consider it paramount to the continuing success of CCLS that alumni remain a key part of the CCLS community as an inspiration to our current and future students, as well as CCLS ambassadors of commercial law across the globe.

Read about Dr Arnold-Dwyer.

 

Why are we holding an Alumni Awards event?

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, is one of the largest postgraduate law centres in the world, offering research-led teaching on a wide variety of commercial law topics.

More than 16,500 students from over 90 countries have studied and researched at CCLS deepening their knowledge of specialist areas of commercial law.

CCLS has created a global family of alumni, including senior lawyers, barristers, judges, legislators, policy makers, academics, patent and trade mark attorneys and business people.

Together, our faculty, students and alumni are shaping the future of commercial law and helping to achieve the previously unthinkable. Because of this, we would like to bring the global community together to highlight and celebrate achievements of our alumni and recognise some of their great impact on the law and their communities. Our outstanding alumni from all over the world are inspiring examples to our current students.

Future Awards

  • We will share future dates when we know when CCLS will hold the next Alumni Awards event.
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