Akpata Receives Committee’s Report on Standardization of Fees and Lawyers Remuneration

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The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata has received the report of the NBA Remuneration Committee.

The Committee  headed by Mr. Tony Nwaochei was given the mandate to devise feasible ways to improve the poor remuneration of legal practitioners, and design a workable and enforceable framework (i) under which lawyers will charge the right fees for their legal services using acceptable and realistic metrics; and (ii) that would ensure that those fees, when earned, will trickle down, in terms of reasonable living wages and emoluments, to those who work with, or for, the lawyers.

Mr. Nwaochei said that members of the Committee worked for a continuous period of about 10 months during which time the Committee held town hall meetings and consultations with lawyers; received and considered several memoranda on its terms of reference; reviewed answers submitted by lawyers to questionnaires; and engaged a consultant to carry out a country wide survey on relevant aspects of its mandate and obtain data from thousands of responders across branches of the NBA in all the geo-political zones.

“Mr. President, the report that we are submitting to you today reflects not just the views of the 15 members of our committee, but those of Nigerian lawyers who actively participated and offered their wise counsel at different stages of an extensive and transparent consultation process”, Mr. Nwaochei said.

At last night’s meeting in Ikoyi Lagos, the Committee submitted a 126-page report to the NBA President with various recommendations on (i) fees that lawyers should charge for different categories of legal services; (ii) a proposed new scale of charges for the legal profession in Nigeria; (iii) how law firms lawyers should remunerate or pay their colleagues in different parts of the country; (iv) alternative engagement models that law firms can adopt or agree with their employees to ease the challenges around poor remuneration; (v) the manner in which the recommendations proposed in the report should be enforced; and (v) other related issues.

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Speaking, Mr. Akpata said “I am grateful to the Co-Chairmen of the Remuneration Committee and all the other members for the hard work that they put into producing this comprehensive report.

Standardisation of fees and poor remuneration of legal practitioners in Nigeria, are probably two of the most controversial issues that successive administrations of the NBA have faced, but not necessarily addressed holistically.

It is therefore heart-warming that we are making progress on them now. I recognise that our members have been waiting for the NBA to act on these issues, but as you all know, they are complex matters that require thorough consideration, and I am happy that the Committee has painstakingly done so. Knowing how important this is to us as a profession, I will be presenting the report to the NBA National Executive Committee at the next meeting scheduled to hold in about two weeks.

NEC will deliberate on it and give us directions on how to proceed with the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report”.

Report Culled – Newswire

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