Segun Osuntokun of law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has been named black British businessperson of the year at a digital ceremony on Friday.
Mr Osuntokun, managing partner for BCLP’s London office, the firm’s largest with more than 900 employees, said it was an “incredible honour” to be recognised.
“We all know there are hurdles that stand in the way of black people achieving success,” he said. “It’s extremely important for us to fight against those hurdles and address systemic issues head on to level the playing field.
“It is also vital to look through the other end of the telescope and celebrate those who achieve success.”
The Black British Business Awards, now in its seventh year, celebrates the “often unsung” contributions of black professionals and entrepreneurs across a range of industries including the arts, retail, financial and professional services, and STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths).
The event, for which The Telegraph is national media partner, also recognised up-and-comers and senior leaders.
Ninarita Williams, project manager at Transport for London, was named STEM rising star, while Trevor Robinson, founder of creative agency Quiet Storm, won the entrepreneur senior leader award. Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate, co-founders of afro hair care brand Afrocenchix, picked up the gong for consumer and luxury rising stars.
Sophie Chandauka, co-founder of the awards, said: “Each of our finalists and winners is a source of inspiration, highlighting the significant accomplishments and important contributions the black community is making in every sector of the business world.
“They all deserve recognition and congratulations for their accomplishments, and it was our pleasure to honour them.”
Judging the awards was a panel of business executives, including Karen Blackett, UK country manager of WPP UK, and Kenneth Tharp, director of The Africa Centre.
Black British Business Awards 2020 winners
Black British businessperson of the year
Segun Osuntokun, managing partner at BCLP, London office
Arts and media rising star
Nnena Nwakodo, producer, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Arts and media senior leader
Anthony Andrews, co-founder and creative director, We Are Parable
Consumer and luxury rising star
Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate, co-founders, Afrocenchix
Consumer and luxury senior leader
Sandra Murphy, founder, Equidiet UK Ltd
Entrepreneur rising star
Ayesha Ofori, founder and chief executive, Black Property Network
Entrepreneur senior leader
Trevor Robinson, founder and executive creative director, Quiet Storm
Financial services rising star
Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy, senior digital product manager, Barclays
Financial services senior leader
Gavin Lewis, managing director, head of UK LGPS, BlackRock
Professional services rising star
Natalie Carter, senior associate, Greenberg Traurig LLP
Professional services senior leader
Bennard Owusu, senior partner, BWF Solicitors
STEM rising star
Ninarita Williams, project manager, Transport for London
STEM senior leader
Dr Abdullahi Sheriff, executive, strategic partnerships and solutions, Europe, GE Healthcare