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Law Pavilion Partners IBA On Investment Opportunities

Posted: Jul 16, 2015 at 12:37 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Adam Adedimeji,  LAGOS


A Nigerian leading legal technologies firm, the Law Pavilion, last week in New York, USA partnered the International Bar Association (IBA) to boost investment opportunities in Africa.

The LT firm sponsored a segment of the just-concluded regional (IBA) conference on “Investing in Africa: Opportunities for Businesses and the Lawyers Who Counsel Them.”



The conference focused primarily on areas of investment in Africa, current businesses/industries enjoying patronage of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the challenges that investors encounter when trying to invest in a new clime in Africa, as well as the risks and benefits of investing in Africa.

Topics discussed at the Conference include: Africa’s investment trends and how they affect commercial enterprises and their lawyers, recent deals in sectors of rapid growth, including agribusiness, finance, IT, media and entertainment and consumer products/retail recent deals in nature sectors, including oil and gas, mining, telecommunications and power-related infrastructure. Other topics are: “Who is funding Africa’s growth? – funding sources, including private equity, capital markets, foreign and African banks, and multilateral institutions (e.g., African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation), risk mitigation, how law firms can augment their presence in Africa.

Nigeria was very well represented with nearly all panels having at least one Nigerian legal practitioner to elucidate on their experiences or know how, thus expounding Nigerian perspectives.

The Conference offered participants a unique opportunity to network and meet with legal practitioners from other countries who represent clients with interests or prospects in Africa. Of course, a lot of attention was paid to Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa. The smooth electoral transition was commended and expectations are high that with the advent of the new Government, there are enhanced prospects of foreign direct investments flowing in Nigeria.

Furthermore, there was a special session on how law firms can augment their presence in Africa. The session revealed a shocking fact that about 80 per cent of the legal services consumed by businesses operating in Africa is carried out by Law Firms in New York, London and other climes.

Only 20 per cent of the demand is supplied by African law firms. It is apparent that lawyers and Law firms operating in Africa need to quickly amplify the level and sophistication of their practice by leveraging on technology and advanced knowledge. A vast awareness of the regulatory framework within local economies is also a great gain for the African legal practitioner.

The conference explored and identified challenges associated with tapping into Africa’s growth, including availability of information and tools to unlock Africa’s regulatory doors, and also have a firm grasp of the risks associated with investing and operating in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ope Olugasa, Managing Director, Grace Info Tech Limited, said the company’s decision to be Headline Sponsor of the IBA Investing in Africa Conference is  predicated on the fact that  lawyers and the legal community should not be absent at a forum where the profitability of Africa is going to be discussed.

“It is high time we joined the conversation and let our voices be heard. Investments must not be only for the benefit of the investor, local communities are entitled to enjoy the benefit of such investments. The best way to do that is to have legal practitioners who understand the intricacies and mind-sets of investors to be able to correctly advise them whilst ensuring maximum benefits to our country,” Olugasa said.

One of the products showcased at the Conference was the LawPavilion Solicitors Toolkit (STK). The STK is software targeted significantly at Legal Practitioners who work in commercial/ corporate circles and is a first of its kind product from the stables of the LawPavilion brand.