NBA NEWS 27/06/2022
Fixing The Lawyer’s Scale Of Charges, Remuneration And Working Conditions — NBA’s Efforts So Far
In a statement by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association sighted by The Lawyer, he acknowledged receipt of the report from the White paper Committee Chaired by Oluseun Abimbola SAN mapping out modalities for the implementation of recommendations made by Renumeration Committee set up last year.
He promised that work will be commenced immediately on the legal and administrative workstreams needed to give full effect to the recommendations of the report.
Sometime last year, I reported to you that as part of our commitment towards improving the earning capacity of lawyers in Nigeria, I set up, with the approval of the NBA National Executive Council (NBA-NEC), a Remuneration Committee for the NBA (the “Committee”). The focus of the Committee was to, broadly speaking, design a workable and enforceable framework under which lawyers will (i) charge the right fees for their legal services using acceptable and realistic metrics; and (ii) ensure that those fees, when earned, trickle down, in terms of reasonable living wages and emoluments, to those who work with, or for, the lawyers.
I am pleased to report that the Committee led by Mr. Anthony Nwaochei and Mr. Seyi Olawunmi has concluded its assignment. They, and each of the other 13 members of the Committee have our profound gratitude for their hard work and commitment to the project.
The Committee worked for a continuous period of about 10 months during which it held town hall meetings and consultations with lawyers, received several memoranda, reviewed completed questionnaires on its mandate and engaged a consultant to carry out a country-wide survey on relevant aspects of its assignment and obtain data from over 6,000 respondents across branches of the NBA in all the geo-political zones. At the end of its engagement, the Committee issued a 126-page report (the “Report”). The Report is attached for your information and records. I have also attached an executive summary of the Report that I prepared for the NBA-NEC. A number of the issues and concerns raised in the Executive Summary regarding the Report have been addressed by the White Paper referred to in the next paragraph.
The Report was presented to, and considered at, the NBA-NEC meeting on 17th March 2022. After extensive deliberations, the NBA-NEC directed that a White Paper Committee be set up to look into the recommendations in the Report, reconcile divergent views, and map out modalities for implementation. This White Paper Committee, chaired by Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, SAN, submitted its Report (the “White Paper“) to the NBA-NEC on 9th June, 2022. The White Paper (a copy of which is attached) sets out the resolutions and implementation recommendations of the White Paper Committee and was approved by NBA-NEC at the said meeting.
With this phase of the assignment now completed, we will commence work on the legal and administrative workstreams required to give full effect to the recommendations in the Report (as accepted by the White Paper). As you might have imagined, the task of standardising fees and regulating remuneration in the profession requires extensive engagements, and is as challenging/complicated, as it is important. But we, at the NBA, remain committed to achieving this goal. I will keep you posted on developments in this respect.
I thank you for attention and wish you a great week ahead.
Nigerian Bar Association