Born in the UK, Claudius Sokenu was sent to boarding school in Nigeria, which shaped him in innumerable ways and prepared him to venture to the U.S. alone to practice law. In this episode of B.S.: Beyond Stereotypes, Claudius and Merle Vaughn discuss why he chose to leave his big firm equity partnership to go in-house.
Claudius Sokenu is general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief administrative officer at Unisys. In his role, Claudius is responsible for the company’s legal affairs, corporate secretarial and governance functions, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions, ethics, and compliance, and Environmental, Social and Governance. He also oversees business-critical functions such as the corporate real estate worldwide, global procurement, and crisis management.
Prior to joining Unisys, Claudius served as senior vice president and global deputy general counsel at Cognizant, bringing significant in-house, private practice and government legal experience. Over the course of his career, he has also served in various leadership roles, including deputy general counsel, global head of ethics and compliance and global head of litigation and investigations at Andeavor. Previously, he was an equity partner with two Am Law 100 law firms, Shearman & Sterling and Arnold & Porter, and an associate and partner at Mayer Brown. Prior to his 17 years in private practice, Claudius served in the Honors Program at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, first as a staff attorney before concluding his government service as senior counsel. He is a fellow with the American College of Governance Counsel.
Claudius earned an LL.M in securities and financial regulation from Georgetown University Law Center, where he has also taught classes as an adjunct professor; an LL.M in corporate and commercial law from the University of London’s King’s College London and London School of Economics; and an LL.B with Upper Class Honors from London South Bank University. Claudius is widely recognized as a leading practitioner and has been ranked by Chambers USA and Chambers Global, named a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, named a Latin Lawyer 250 for White-Collar Crime and Compliance, named a rising star by Ethisphere in annual rankings of “Attorneys Who Matter” and recognized by Securities Law 360 as one of its 10 under 40.
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