Name: FLF Abiola & Co.
Age: They’ve not been around long, but they’re already shaking things up.
Appearance: From the look of the website, a thrusting and dynamic law firm.
What kind of work does it do? It specialises in Nigerian film-financing law.
Any good? Award-winning good.
And what is the most-coveted award in its particular field? Film-financing law firm of the year in Nigeria.
That category certainly plays to its strengths. Indeed – so much so that it won two such awards, from Corporate INTL and Finance Monthly.
What a year it’s having! Sadly, it ended on a slightly sour note.
How come? Because FLF Abiola & Co doesn’t actually exist. It was invented by the legal gossip website Roll On Friday (ROF) to highlight a want of rigour among the glut of legal-awards companies out there.
Were there any tell-tale signs that the law firm might be less than genuine? A few: the FLF in the name stands for “fake law firm”; the photo of founder Dennis Abiola on the company website was actually a picture of actor Danny Glover; its logo bears more than a passing resemblance to an ejaculating penis.
Why would a company hand out an award to just anyone? Winners are encouraged to buy space in awards publications. Dennis Abiola – AKA ROF writer Jamie Hamilton – managed to bargain Corporate INTL down from £300 to £100 for the privilege of appearing in a featured profile.
Well haggled. Unfortunately, FLF Abiola’s “backers” smelled a rat and forbade the firm from paying “for fears of illegitimacy”.
Illegitimacy? “Sadly, the UK has a reputation here in Nigeria,” wrote Abiola, “for perpetrating sophisticated frauds on our citizens. Yours in Christ.”
A lovely touch. Doesn’t Jamie Hamilton have a bit of form in this area? He does.Just last year he persuaded Finance Monthly to issue him with a “game changers” award while posing as a Cypriot water-taxi entrepreneur.
What do these two companies have to say about getting caught out? Director of Finance Monthly Andrew Palmer says: “We have not met our usual high standards and have taken immediate necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.”
Do say: “We’re flattered, but no thanks – yours in Christ.”
Don’t say: “You know what? This is a really good idea for a film!”