Ashitey Ollennu

The nickname “Judge” inspired this son of a Supreme Court Judge in Ghana to pursue a career in Law and become a barrister. He was to find himself being led by David Neuberger later to become Lord Neuberger and president of the Supreme Court and now is Head of Redemption Chambers, London.

Call 1981, Lincoln's Inn

Ashitey was born on 3 June 1950 in Keta, Ghana, West Africa. A place by the sea in the Volta region, not far from Togo. He was born to The Honourable Mr Justice Nii-Amaa Ollenu, who later became a Supreme Court Judge of Ghana, then Speaker of the National Assembly of Ghana and then Acting President of Ghana and his mother Emily Jiagge.

Ashitey’s father was a Judge and the wife of his mother’s younger brother was also a lawyer and she became the first female high court Judge in Africa and eventually went on to become a Supreme Court Judge. This led to Ashitey being given the nickname at school of 'Judge' which remains up until today. He was destined to follow his father to become a barrister.     

Ashitey came to England in June 1957 at the age of seven. He was sent to Holmewood House School in Langton Green near Tunbridge Wells, Kent. When he arrived he could only say Yes and No in English. He spoke the Ghanaian language called Ewe. He found the sudden transition to England difficult and he had to learn English in record time. Ashitey was able to draw from the experience of his Headmaster at Holmewood school called Robert Bairamian that all are equal, and people ought to be recognised for their achievements and not judged by their ethnicity.

One constant feature in his life has been the game of cricket. He was first introduced to it in 1957 and played until the age of 50, having the privilege of playing at Lords for MCC Schools against Indian Schools in 1967.

He attended Ealing College for two years where he obtained a law degree having completed the first year external London LLB. In 1979/80 he went to the Council of Legal Education to do his Bar Finals. In July 1981 he was called to the Bar by Lord Denning at Lincoln’s Inn and he later joined Middle Temple as an Ad Eundeum member because his father had been called to the Bar by the Middle Temple.

Ashitey completed his 1st six month pupillage with Jonathan Caplan QC at Crown Office Row at the chambers of Arthur Milson QC. In these chambers were the late Rodger Toulson later Lord Toulson, and Rupert Jackson later Lord Justice Jackson. He then obtained a 2nd 6 month pupillage in the chambers of Donald Gordon on the Ground Floor of QEB. It is to be remembered that at this time there were less than 10 to 15 black people in white chambers. There was a dispute at the Chambers of Donald Gordon which led to Ashitey being instructed as David Neuberger’s (later Lord Neuberger’s) junior. He then became a tenant at Donald Gordon’s chambers in QEB which later moved to 3 Temple Gardens on the 3rd Floor. Ashitey practised in a number of areas: contract and commercial, Chancery work, probate, solicitors disciplinary tribunal, nursing and midwifery disciplinary tribunal, employment, immigration, family, coroner’s inquest, landlord and tenant, and court of protection. He has appeared in all the courts up to the Privy Council. He has also practised in criminal law representing both the defence and the prosecution.

  • In 2011 Ashitey started his own chambers called Redemption Chambers.
  • He has been married since 1976 and has three children, two girls a boy. On 4 June 2021 he became a grandfather.
  • At the time of writing he is now aged 71 years.


Taken from answers provided by Ashitey Ollennu.

Dominic Carrington LLB FHEA, Barrister

Senior law lecturer, Faculty of Business and Law