Lawyer withdraws support for Akpata over proposal to license Law Firm

A Lawyer Edoabasi Udo has publicly withdrawn his support for Olumide Akpata over his proposal to licence law firms before they are able to practice Law.
According to a post he put up on social media, Akpata’s proposal will limit the prospects of smaller firms in the industry.
His full statement is as follows:

Olumide Akpata has proposed that law firms in Nigeria must be regulated and licensed before they can operate. That will never be good!
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If such regulation comes into force, it will limit the number of law firms in the country. Post COVID, emphasis will still be placed on running brick and mortar firms, rather than running digital law firms.
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Many brick and mortar firms will be asked to shut down or be delicensed. The effect will be that many fee earners will be sacked from their places of work and new wigs will hardly find a law office for employment.
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A president of the Nigerian Bar Association should be more concerned about how to create jobs for his colleagues, and how to ensure that the regulations pertaining to the scale of charges for legal services in this country are duly enforced. That will greatly boost the income of lawyers in Nigeria, and not talking points around the licensing of law firms, or empty rhetorics on improving the welfare of lawyers.
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Olumide Akpata proposed regulation will kill the dreams of many lawyers in starting-up their own law firms after spending several years labouring for others. The requirements for licensing will be so stringent, rigorous and will restrict many, especially the young lawyers from growing in their career.


Akpata’s proposal will limit the prospects of smaller firms in the industry, and will ensure that smaller firms do not have the ability to compete with the likes of Templars wherein he is working as a partner.
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Lawyers in Nigeria are already fully licensed and regulated. The current regulations on legal practice should simply be enforced. There is no need for new legislation to limit the space so that others don’t participate.
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In an industry where over 7000 new-wigs come in each year, they is going to be no office for them to work and to learn on the job if the space is limited.
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Where a person is called-to-Bar after years of reading law, they must not be any other hurdle for him/her to cross before having the license to earn an income.
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Many persons who started their law firms immediately after call-to-Bar are doing well for themselves without any support from the NBA. Some of such lawyers are young and very successfully in their career. There is no need to ask them to get a new license to practise law.
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For this reason, Our Olumide Akpata has lost my support and would not have my vote in the upcoming NBA election.
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It does not matter anymore that he is my fellow non-SAN. This election campaign must be based on issues and not sentiments.

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