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Lawyers charged to realign business strategies to boost growth

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Legal practitioners in Nigeria have been charged to realign business strategies practiced in law firms to grow and compete favourably with foreign lawyers.

The charge was made during workshop training organized by Nigerian Bar Association-Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) and Association of Law Firm Administrators Nigeria (ALAN) with the theme “realigning business strategies for law firms”.Speaking at the training, the chairman of NBA-SBL, Mr. Seni Adio (SAN), said lawyers need to learn how to create businesses from the profession.

Adio said the education received during degree study in the university’s has limited lawyers from maximizing business opportunities, adding that the syllabus needs to be revised to fit modern times.

“We need to engage ourselves in courses such as MBA, that would sharpen our business instincts,” he said.Also speaking, Chairman of NBA-SBL Law Practice Committee, Anire Kanyi said business law competence framework will be created in January to help train lawyers to compete with foreign lawyers.

Meanwhile, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) urged the public to consult Nigerian lawyers rather than foreign lawyers.

Usoro lamented that most of the foreign lawyers consulted are not as experienced as Nigerian’s, yet they demand outrageous fees.He decried what he called inferiority complex being exhibited by Nigerians, saying “when they see a coloured skin lawyer, they immediately believe he is better than the indigenous.”

“We need to make clients have confidence in us by showing efficiency and demonstrating good values. We also need to market ourselves properly and internationally by not just possessing foreign practice licenses but establishing firms in foreign countries,” he stated.Also, the founder of Coronation Capital Limited, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said the competition between foreign and indigenous lawyers isn’t new as it also occurred in other developed countries, urging Nigerian lawyers to find ways in seizing control.

Imoukhuede charged NBA to act as a pressure group to make the market favorable for Nigerian lawyers. “In that way, foreign competitors would have to rival the body rather than individuals,” he stated.Speaking on firm’s continuous development and expansion in decades to come, a Partner, Aelex firm, Soji Awogbade said succession plan should be deliberate practice.

Awogbade said fundamental policies need to be setup in firms to encourage longevity especially after the founders are gone.“Most times, when the founders are dead, the firm collapses especially when there is no family member to continue in their footsteps.“The challenge of lawyers is also the general issue affecting Nigerians, which is myopic in nature. They are more concerned about the present than the future,” he decried.He urged his colleagues to start thinking beyond themselves and be willing to sacrifice for the future of the profession and country.


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