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Lawyers tasked on entertainment law

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Stakeholders have harped on the need for constant learning especially from industry players for lawyers to thrive in the entertainment industry.

Lawyers in entertainment industry were called to not only have substantial knowledge of contract negotiation and execution, but also understand what is obtainable in the industry and all the major sectors within.

Speaking at the Legal Business Conference, titled, ‘Entertainment Law and Business: Issues and Opportunities’, former chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, (NBA-SBL) Yahaya Maikori, noted that the role of lawyers in the entertainment industry includes, but not limited to general counsel of the client, education, advocacy, advisory services, brand protection and management services.

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He identified some of the issues confronting the smooth relationship of entertainment law and business as lack of sanctity of contract, slow court processes, the effect of technology on law, subsistence nature of the industry, suspicious relationship between the Solicitors and Creatives, lack of industry knowledge and expertise, and others.

Founder, Legal Business Network, Ifeoma Ben said as the entertainment industry is growing rapidly, there are a number of legal issues to be addressed, from intellectual property issues, negotiating and execution of contracts and others.

“Both players in the industry need to understand their roles and how to run their business legally in the midst of challenges that spring up daily,” she added.

On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), she said government is at the helm of affairs by engaging citizens in conversations and enlightenment on the opportunities available in AfCFTA for the country and SMEs.

She, however, called on government to look into how to enhance the implementation so that Nigerians can maximise the opportunities provided.

Speaking on AfCFTA and the Nigerian Creative Industries: Potential Impacts and opportunities, Partner, Tsedaqah Attorneys, Ikechukwu Uwanna, explained that AfCFTA in article 20, provides for the establishment of a dispute resolution body that can seek remedial action.

He said: “It sets out a number of protocols and provides that in the event of a dispute between party States, they would have to ask for a consultation after seven days that would set up a committee. After this, there would be a mediation process and if the mediation fails, they would escalate it to dispute resolution body or a panel.”

Uwanna however, expressed dissatisfaction in the provisions of AfCFTA in terms of dispute resolution, as there is no guide on how individuals can play in the system.

“We need to have a seat for arbitration or even mitigation especially for the entertainment sector because issues in entertainment are on intangible assets,” he stated.

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