FG Sets Up Committee to Review Remuneration of Lawyers


The Federal Government has constituted a committee to review and regulate the remuneration of legal practitioners in the country.

The Legal Practitioners Remuneration Committee, which will be headed by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, was inaugurated in Abuja on Monday by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.

In his remarks, Malami, SAN, said the committee, which by virtue of section 15 of the Legal Practitioners Act was made up of Attorneys-General of the Federation and the States, the NBA President and three other members of the umbrella body of lawyers, would among other things, standardise the remuneration of legal practitioners in the country.

He said: “You will agree with me that over the years finding a reasonable remuneration for legal services has been an issue of great controversy for legal professionals.

“It has and is still eliciting heated intellectual and non-intellectual debates by various countervailing interests.

“Despite the existence of a scale of charges for legal services in Nigeria, there have been repeated debates for, and against its existence.

“Some have argued that a lawyer’s fees cannot, and should not be pigeonholed to a scale of charges due to the unique nature of the legal profession, while others who canvass for its continued existence say it has created order and certainty in the expected remuneration for legal services.

“In view of current national and economic realities, it is clear that the scale of charges hitherto established are long overdue for review.

“A situation where legal practitioners are paid a pittance for the legal services they render must be thoroughly looked into and necessary steps are taken to not only safeguard the livelihood of lawyers but ensure that legal practitioners are treated with the dignity and prestige they deserve.

“The Committee, therefore, has the responsibility to critically review the scale of charges, taking into consideration prevailing challenges and experiences by legal practitioners as well as the nation’s current economic realities.

“In carrying out its functions, I want to admonish the Committee to be fair and to discharge its statutory responsibilities without fear or favour.

“Particular consideration should be given to the new wigs and young lawyers, as a way to encourage their dedication and commitment to justice deliver,” Malami stated.

Reacting to the development, the President of the NBA, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, while commending the initiative, stressed that over 30 years had elapsed since the issue of remuneration of legal practitioners in the country was last reviewed in 1991.

“It seeks to attain balance and fairness, both for the person providing the legal service and for the one paying for the service.

“With all the inflation and economic realities on the ground, the review of the scale of services and remuneration have since been overdue,” the NBA President added.



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