Legal fees, qualitative services dominate discourse at law seminar
The need to strike a balance between cost cutting measures to make profit in business and quality legal services is the nucleus of the seminar held last week by legal practitioners in Lagos. The event, organised by Legal Practice Solutions had the theme:
“How To Pay Your Law Firm Without Robbing A Bank: (External Counsel Budget Management: Insisting On The Best Service Quality At A Budget-friendly Fee).
In his presentation, group company general counsel of Zenith bank, Michael Osilama Otu, said in-house counsels should understand the need to recognize that legal department is a cost centre and not immuned to cost cutting imperatives. According to him, there is need to balance costs against quality legal services.
“It is a famous management theory that appropriate reward system, not only in legal service sector induces high performance. Obviously, money plays a vital role in motivating man to work.
It is a malaise with pricing legal services in Nigeria”, he stated. Another facilitator of the programme and Head, Legal Services, Etisalat Nigeria, Vicent Eronmosele, spoke on the relationship between the in-house counsel and the external cousel, which he said requires trust and mutual respect to be effective.
According to him, the objective of any legal cost control programme should therefore be cost-effectiveness and not just achieving the lowest legal fees, as cheap fees do not necessarily translate into reduced cost.
His paper centred on external counsel budget managment. Also speaking on the role of in-house counsel, the General Manager, MTN, Oghenerume Rotimi said businesses necessarily require cost cutting measures to achieve their profit.
He stated that quality legal services comes at a premium, but warned that balance can still be achieved by the in-house counsel for hte business by collaborating with external counsel to achieve business objective.
The organiser, Godwin Amadi, the Principal Attorney, Semper Fidelis Attorneys and Solicitors said the seminar is the organisations way of deepening scholarship in the field of law.