Congratulations on the passage of the Legal Practitioners Remuneration Order, 2023 and the Rules of Professional Conduct, 2023!
It is with immense joy and pride that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the legal community in Nigeria on the historic passage of the Legal Practitioners Remuneration Order, 2023, and the Rules of Professional Conduct. These long-awaited reforms, both of which have been long in the making, mark a monumental moment in the legal profession in our country.
I would like to commend and congratulate the President of the NBA – YC Maikyau, SAN and his exco, for their unwavering dedication and perseverance in pushing through these crucial reforms. Their remarkable efforts demonstrate that the pursuit of progress and development transcends individual administrations, proving that government is truly a continuum. In that respect, I also extend my appreciation to the immediate past president of the NBA, Olumide Akpata, whom I had the privilege of serving as the head of his policy formulation and strategy implementation team, for his pivotal role in establishing the remuneration committee and subsequently securing the passage of the Remuneration White Paper by the NEC.
A special tribute is also due to my esteemed partner, friend and brother, Anthony Nwaochei, who, as chairman of the Remuneration Committee from 2020 to 2022, alongside the members of his committee, exhibited exceptional diligence in producing a comprehensive report. In the same light, I recognise the contributions of Seun Abimbola, SAN, and Abdullahi Yahya, SAN-led White Paper Committee, and Remuneration Order Drafting Committee, for their diligent work in formulating a pragmatic document to address the pressing issue of lawyers’ remuneration.
The passage of this remuneration order and the Rules of Professional Conduct are undoubtedly epochal, affirming the NBA’s commitment to prioritising the empowerment of its members, affirming its position as a self-regulating association, and making sure its members operate within the confines of the Rule of Law. This significant achievement showcases that our Association can effectively work for the betterment of all legal practitioners.
As Chairman of the NBA-ICLE, I firmly believe that the NBA-ICLE’s relentless focus on upskilling and capacity building for legal practitioners, coupled with the implementation of the new Legal Practitioners Remuneration Order, 2023, and the Rules of Professional Conduct, will significantly enhance the professional and economic prosperity of lawyers in Nigeria. Moreover, it will lead to substantial improvements in service delivery to clients, solidifying our commitment to excellence in the legal profession.
Having addressed the Legal Practitioners Remuneration Order, it is equally essential to remember the second significant aspect of the Remuneration Report, which emphasises the importance of guaranteeing fair wages and a conducive work environment for our colleagues. I remain optimistic that, as we progress, prioritising the implementation of a living wage for lawyers will be given due attention.
I am incredibly proud to have witnessed this remarkable accomplishment. Congratulations again to all of us as members of the legal profession in Nigeria. Together, we will continue to advance the profession and uphold the principles of justice, fairness, and equality.
Partner, The LawCrest LLP
Chairman, Governing Board of the NBA-ICLE