Smart Suits, Fine Legal Brain
By Anny OSABUTEY
Kow Essuman loves to dress smart for work, and he has an excellent work ethic to reflect that. On the day we met for a chat, he talked passionately about Ghana and the forces that got him out of a rather comfortable life in England and the United States of America, where he was practicing law.
“I believe this country (Ghana) has enormous potential and especially as a young person, there is so much I can do here, and that is why I came back,” he said.
Though he had a return ticket to go back to England, he decided to stay on. The West, especially England and the United States, was going through difficult economic times while “Ghana was picking up”, and he embraced the idea of “homecoming” without looking over his shoulders.
He came despite the inherent difficulties most returnees often dread. Kow said his idea was to stay for a few months, look around and if he was able to convince himself about the chances here, he will stay, and if he is unable to see his way clear, he will jump onto the next available flight back to England.
But after some months he knew Ghana was the right place for him to practise law, and he tuned his mind to that. He started honing his skills at the feet of astute lawyer, Fui Tsikata, whose chambers provided a safe haven for him to improve his skills, and also get an insight into how things operate in the country’s law space. It was a leap of faith which, he explained, has paid off. And though things have not been easy, he is happy he made the right decision to remain here.
“There are cases I work on that I doubt I would have come close to working on if I was still in England or the US,” he said with a broad smile. Kow is very much skilled in his profession, and always ready to put his expertise at the disposal of the less fortunate in society.
His experience has been recognized by the founders of the World Economic Forum, who selected him to be part of 80 young professionals from across the world currently meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, to examine ways their own ideas can shape the gains Africa is steadily making in the areas of technology, politics and economics.
Kow belongs to the Global Shapers Community, a community with the World Economic Forum made up of professionals under the age of 30, who are impacting lives and changing their world.
Fortunately, he is no stranger to being there for persons who desperately need his skills. Back in the United States and London, he took up the cases of immigrants having difficulty with the system, and won their cases for them. Even during his second semester at Cornell, he worked as a law intern representing indigent clients, successfully, before the Social Security Administration, the Family Court and the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, and won their cases.
He said the call to serve society has always been a desire, and he is confident that the meeting in Cape Town will help him achieve that. Responding to a question about his advice to young aspiring Ghanaians in a recent article, He said “everything is possible with determination, commitment and a lot of hard work.”
For a man still in his late 20s, Kow’s CV is very impressive. He set up the K.A. Essuman Consultancy when he first moved to Ghana. “I needed something to keep me busy whilst I figured out whether or not to practice law in Ghana, and which firm to join. The consultancy was a vehicle to continue what I was doing back in London, which was representing Ghanaian nationals living in the UK with immigration and other related problems.”
According to him, the focus “was on the application process because that was where many of the problems arose. I therefore assisted persons who wished to apply for entry clearance visas to prepare a strong application and include strong supporting documents. I also assisted those who had been refused visas to appeal the Entry Clearance Officer’s decision.”
Kow has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Westminster and Master of Laws degree from Cornell University Law School, New York. He specialises in resolving commercial and cross-border disputes. He is eligible to practice in Ghana, England and Wales, and New York.
Despite his brilliant laurels in the legal profession, the strange thing is law was never on his mind at all. He wanted to do something different with his life. But looking back, Kow will be the first to admit that fate has been good to him, and by extension the many who have benefitted from his legal services.
He works with the law firm Bentsi-Enchill Letsa and Ankomah, a leading corporate and commercial law firm in the country, in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group headed by Ace Ankomah.