Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tonye Oki, LLM Graduate, Now Teaching in the Graduate Program at the Sturm College of Law

Often I am reminded of the very great successes of our graduates. One who comes to mind because of his recent contributions to the graduate program is Tonye Oki.

Adjunct Prof. Oki is a licensed Nigerian attorney as well as a Chartered Arbitrator. In 2006 he earned his LLM at the Sturm College of Law, and was recognized with the Scholastic Excellence Award. I had him as a student in my course "Comparative Environmental Law" in 2004, and I knew from his performance in that course that he was going to be a high achiever.

Currently Prof. Oki teams with James King, a partner at Baker & Hostetler in Denver and former president of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, to teach a popular course called "Negotiating Natural Resources Agreements." Profs. Oki and King approach their subject in an engaging and informative manner that is marked by years of experience in the fundamental aspects of negotiating resources agreements. We could not have two more qualified and personable adjuncts.

In particular Prof. Oki concentrates on teaching about negotiating skills. Moreover, over the last few weeks he has substituted for me in this semester's "Comparative Environmental Law" course while I have been traveling and working in Europe. His lectures have been about Nigeria in particular and Africa more broadly, and the environmental and resources challenges and opportunities the African continent faces.

Outside of his teaching responsibilities, Prof. Oki is the chief legal officer for Tyche Corporation's Africa and Asia affairs. The Tyche Corporation is a multi-national resources transactions corporation. More specifically, Prof. Oki handles the following:
  • Responsible for all legal matters arising from Tyche's transactions, manages day to day corporate issues, oversees risk management, legal cost containment, contracts, leases, and import/export issues
  • Negotiates and drafts a full suite of upstream exploration contracts including host government agreements, joint bidding agreements, joint operating agreements, farm in/our agreements, and provides legal advice and guidance on all legal issues relating to exploration and new venture activities internationally
  • Negotiates with relevant regulatory authorities to obtain permits to operate, exploration licenses, and any other licenses to operate
  • Communicates and coordinates activities on both domestic and international operations
The graduate program and our community of friends is enriched by the involvement of impressive individuals like Tonye Oki. We at DU are extremely proud to call "the Professor" (as we now refer to him!) a member of our body of alumni, and we expect he will continue to achieve great things well into the future.

--Don Smith

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