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Law is imperative in emerging economy, experts say


Scale of justice (Law)

Lawyers and other stakeholders at the 2019 annual Law week of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, last week unanimously agreed that the presence of law is very imperative in an emerging economy.  
With the theme: ‘Law and Development in an emerging economy”, the stakeholders also argued that law can either be a hindrance to development or a facilitator of development depending on its responsiveness to the constantly evolving social environment.
The event which featured engaging discourse and thought provoking technical sessions also stressed the need for lawyers to respond to advances in telecommunication and information technology, developments in financial transaction delivery and emergence of disruptive technology like artificial intelligence, robotics, renewable energy, blockchain technology and others.
Chairman 2019 NBA Lagos Law Week Planning Committee, Oyetola Oshobi (SAN) observed that developments in society outpaces that of the law and law is constantly playing a catch-up as it tries to respond and adapt to meet the changing needs of society.  
According to him, the conference is a continuation of the perennial conversation on the intersection between law and development, a conversation that must never cease if we desire sustainable development as a nation. 
“The conference also seeks to educate our colleagues on how to be most productive and effective as lawyers,” he said.

Similarly, Chairman NBA Lagos Branch, Chukwuma Ikwuazom said the unique relationship between law and development has been the subject of enormous discourse- a discourse that is at once, paradoxically dated and contemporary.

In the session on ‘Rain making and management of clients expectations” the panelists: Gbenga Oyebode (Chairman Aluko & Oyebode) said rainmakers must be the best at what they do. They must  have good knowledge of law and the necessary skills. They must also have empathy with clients. 
Segun Osuntokun, (Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner) said to be a rainmaker, there is the place of diligence while Tobe Okigbo, (Corporate Relations Executive of MTN) said what he looks out for in choosing law firm is a business lawyer that is a problem solver. 
Justina Akpoabugo Lewa (Company Secretary & Chief Legal Counsel of Sterling Bank PLC) said in choosing law firms for her bank, she is on the lookout for one with pedigree, reputation and speed for thorough work. She however cautioned external lawyers not to allow money rule them.    
The moderator of the panel, Asue Ighodalo however expressed concern on how clients offer lawyers low fee compared to the services they render.

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