Lawyers Deserve Their Wages-Afam Osigwe, SAN

“As lawyers, we deserve our wages, and the Remuneration Committee is committed to this.”—- Afam Osigwe declares at the Surulere Lawyers Forum March meeting.

At the March monthly meeting of the Surulere Lawyers Forum, hosted by the Friends of Afam Osigwe, SAN, Afam Osigwe, SAN, delivered a compelling keynote speech addressing the pressing issue of enhancing lawyers’ remuneration. He commenced his address by highlighting a pivotal development in the legal profession—the enactment of the Remuneration Order of 2023. This legislative milestone signifies a crucial stride towards standardizing remuneration practices for legal practitioners nationwide. The Remuneration Order establishes clear guidelines and standards for fee structures, aiming to foster fairness and transparency in the compensation of legal services.Osigwe acknowledged the significance of the Remuneration Order but emphasized that it does not signify an immediate solution to the challenges surrounding remuneration. Instead, it provides a solid foundation upon which the legal community can address persistent obstacles to achieving fair and adequate compensation. He stressed that while the challenges are significant, they are not insurmountable.

Drawing from his expertise, Osigwe outlined several strategies to navigate these challenges effectively. He advocated for the enforcement of the Remuneration Order of 2023, stating that legal professional bodies and associations must align their advocacy efforts with the objectives outlined in the Order. As mandated by the Nigerian Bar Association, the Remuneration Committee has been established, with him at its helm, tasked with ensuring the enforcement of the Order. Our role as legal practitioners extends beyond mere compliance; we are stewards of justice and guardians of professional integrity. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to actively partner with the Remuneration Committee to uphold the standards outlined in the Order. This partnership entails not only adhering to the prescribed fee structures but also reporting any instances of undercharging to the Committee.”

Under the Remuneration Order, undercharging is deemed professional misconduct, highlighting the seriousness with which adherence to the prescribed standards is regarded. By collaborating with the Remuneration Committee and reporting cases of undercharging, we not only safeguard the integrity of our profession but also ensure that all practitioners receive fair and equitable compensation for their services.Expressing gratitude to the forum for the platform and their contributions to the advancement of the legal profession, Osigwe emphasized the importance of collaboration with the remuneration committee, which he chairs. He affirmed his commitment to ensuring the effective implementation of the Remuneration Order of 2023 through collaborative efforts.In conclusion, Afam Osigwe, SAN’s keynote speech served as a clarion call to legal practitioners to actively engage in advocating for fair remuneration practices, leveraging technology, and embracing value addition to overcome the challenges they face. His remarks highlighted the importance of collective action and collaboration in advancing the interests of legal professionals and upholding the integrity of the legal profession.

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