Stakeholders advocate paradigm shifts in legal practice
Stakeholders in the nation’s judicial circle have advocated a paradigm shift in redefining legal practice to meet the demands and challenges of the society. Speaking at a Colloquium to mark the 25th anniversary of Kenna Partners, a Lagos-based multi-service law firm, they noted the slide in the legal practice and called for a swift shift to allow for innovations that would guarantee the development of the nation’s business and political space.
Leading discussions on the theme: ‘Footprints in Law and Society –Towards a Paradigm Shift’, the guest speaker and Justice of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, Justice Amina Adamu Augie, called for open mindedness, especially in the deployment of technology in legal processes and the various new areas of practice being opened up by the expanding technologies of the 21st century. The jurist, who dwelt on the supremacy of the rule of law in the good ordering of society called for conceited efforts by stakeholders to preserve the sanctity of the rule of law. According to her, no entity can survive, let alone succeed in view of the importance and dynamism of the very concept of the rule of law.She also warned politicians against weakening public institutions for selfish reasons, saying it will haunt them.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), stressed the importance of law in the society. Ajumogobia, who noted government’s engagement with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) with regards to the fight against corruption and other vices, however, expressed displeasure with the government’s tendency to define the law according to its own whims and caprices – as evidenced in the President’s recent comments about rule of law, individual rights and national interest.
Also, the Chairman of National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN) debunked the notion that lawyers were major financial beneficiaries of Nigeria’s electoral challenges. He called for an end to undue delays in the resolution of cases.
US-trained financial strategist, Mr. Chukwuka Chukwuma said a fundamental paradigm in the country’s socio-economic profile is the spring forth of a number of infrastructural projects and other important landmarks through efforts by law firms.
In her opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief (Mrs.) Folake Solanke (SAN), called for a fundamental paradigm shift away from the currently unsatisfactory state of legal practice and legal education, describing the latter as a ‘lowering of the bar of proficiency to accommodate the indolent’. “A situation where a score of below 50 per cent in a law examination or test is considered a pass”, Chief Solanke said, was a scandal. Earlier, the Principal Partners, Kenna Partners, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) recounted the humble beginnings of Kenna Partners back in May of 1993 when it first opened its doors for business.
He linked the survival of the law firm for 25 years and its prosperity to the partners’ “dedication, expertise and commitment to excellence. Legal luminaries and dignitaries as well as top business leaders such as boardroom guru, Mr. Pascal Dozie and the founding chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia graced the event.
SOURCE: The Guardian, 4 December, 2018.