Funke Abimbola

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Funke Abimbola became the first Managing Counsel for Roche UK and Ireland in January 2012. She heads up the legal team that supports Roche's pharmaceutical and commercial operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. She is also the Data Privacy Officer for the UK pharmaceutical business. Roche is a leading biotech company. 

Funke started her legal career within Wembley's in-house legal team following which she was an associate at the Central London commercial law firm, Memery Crystal and then worked for a couple of regional firms (Pictons Solicitors and IBB solicitors) as a corporate specialist before joining Roche. In her role at Roche, Funke advises the business on a broad range of issues including commercial law, competition law, intellectual property, employment, data protection and corporate compliance matters.  

 Funke is listed in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 Directories. She won the national  Association of Women Solicitors (now part of the Law Society Women's Division) In-house Lawyer Award for 2012 and was on the Legal Business’ GC Powerlist 2013 within the Healthcare and life Sciences sector. She was  short-listed for both Legal Businesswoman of the year at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2012 and Legal Counsel of the year at the British Legal Awards 2012. Her team were also finalists for "in-house team of the year" at both the Legal Business Awards and Halsburys' Legal Awards. In addition, both herself and her team were finalists at the 2014 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers awards. Also a champion for diversity within the legal profession, Funke's diversity efforts have also been recognised through award nominations. Amongst other things, she has established an international women's network that is committed to developing future female leaders working within life sciences law.

Funke read Law at the University of Newcastle, graduating in 1994. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1996 and practised in Nigeria for 2 years before returning to England. She qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2000. She is a regular conference speaker and commentator, particularly on diversity issues. The proud mother of a 12 year old boy, she is also a speaker for Speakers4Schools, a body providing free talks to state school students. 


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