Mrs Beatrice Hamza Bassey
Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey, member of CANAN Board of Trustees is a Partner at Hughes, Hubbard Law Firm, New York where her practice focuses on ethics and compliance counseling and complex litigation. She advises both domestic and foreign corporations on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other international anti-bribery issues, and has represented a roster of US and international corporations. She has also litigated many newsworthy and notable cases on behalf of clients in state and federal courts.
She is currently representing the Trustee for the liquidation of Lehman Brothers Inc. in a multi-billion dollar litigation to secure the bankrupt broker-dealers’ estate for the benefit of customers.
She recently successfully represented the government of the Republic of Seychelles in a high-stakes litigation in US federal court, which received extensive international press coverage. Her pro bono work on behalf of low-income New Yorkers received wide press attention in the New York Times, Daily News and Crain’s New York, as well as on the radio and television for the unprecedented feat of jailing a derelict landlord for failure to make court-ordered repairs, and obtaining a positive outcome for tenants who were on the verge of being forced out of their apartments and into the homeless shelter system. As a direct result of this case, the New York public advocate created a website dedicated to “the worst landlords in New York City.”
In March 2012, Forbes Africa magazine profiled Hamza Bassey among the top ten Africans in New York City. She was also chosen for inclusion on the “2012 New York Super Lawyers – Metrolist,” an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. Ms. Hamza Bassey was profiled in the cover page story of The Network Journal magazine as one of the “Attorneys at the Top,” in the November 2011 issue. In 2011, she was also recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark: Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. In 2010, Ms. Hamza Bassey was honored by the Legal Aid Society with its Probono Publico Award for providing exceptional legal services to low-income New Yorkers. That same year, she was selected by Empowered Newswire as the Most Outstanding Nigerian Lawyer in the Diaspora. She was selected in 2003 by The Network Journal to receive its “Top 40 under 40” Award. In addition, Ms. Hamza Bassey has received recognition for her work as chair of Hughes Hubbard’s Associate Task Force on Diversity. Under her leadership, the firm was ranked #1 in diversity among the nation’s top 100 law firms by Multicultural Law magazine in 2006 and, in a Harvard Law study, rated higher than any other New York law firm in providing opportunities to women.
Mrs. Hamza Bassey is a Fellow of the prestigious David Rockefeller Fellows Program of the Partnership for the City of New York, a highly competitive program designed to cultivate a new generation of private sector leaders to enable them to take an active role in shaping New York City’s future. Hamza Bassey serves on the Anticorruption and Litigation Committees of the International Bar Association and is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council and the invitation-only International Association of Defense Lawyers. She is also a member of the Judiciary Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and has served in various other capacities in the City Bar, including as Secretary of the Litigation Committee; and as a member of the Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession which was instrumental in developing the City Bar’s Statement of Diversity Principles adopted by law firms and corporations in the US.
She sits on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Nigerian Higher Education Foundation, a not-for-profit established by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to promote excellence in higher education in Nigeria. She is also on the advisory board of the Ron Brown Center LSAT Prep Program at St John’s University, a pipeline program designed to prepare exceptional college students from historically underrepresented groups for success in law school and the legal profession; as well as Self Help Africa, an organization that works to empower women in Africa and help them achieve economic independence. Mrs. Hamza Bassey is a frequent speaker at bar, community and international programs.