Lawyers Charge LCA On Global Relevance | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lawyers Charge LCA On Global Relevance

Posted: Jul 16, 2015 at 12:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Adam Adedimeji,  LAGOS 


The Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) could gain global traction and relevance on dispute resolution by sustaining its international best practice model, top lawyers have noted.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual “LCA Day” held at the LCA’s ultra-modern International Centre for Arbitration & ADR (ICAA), Lekki recently unveiled by former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the Senior Counsel at GE Oil & Gas Sub-Saharan Africa, Ms. Ozim Ifeoma Obasi said:

“The LCA can quickly transition from a Nigerian to a global ADR institution by projecting Lagos as a safe destination and focusing on speed, early decisions, quality appointing procedures and a diverse panel of neutrals (arbitrators or mediators)”. She spoke on “How the LCA can become attractive to industry users”.

Adding his voice to the call, Mr. Sadiq Adamu, Assistant General Counsel & Company Secretary at Exxon Mobil Nigeria who spoke on “ADR in the Nigerian Hydrocarbon Development,” noted that the LCA has a unique role to play in raising the bar of ADR practice. His words: “It is the perfect time for an institutional framework for ADR like the LCA. The ICAA should become the standard venue for dispute resolution and growing local capacity in Nigeria.”

In his address, LCA President and former Lagos State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN described the ICAA as the “home for arbitration,” noting that other arbitral organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigerian Branch; Chartered Arbitrators Nigeria; Maritime Arbitrators Association Nigeria and Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC) would be located within the building.

Mr. Shasore who also chaired the LCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) further noted that “The LCA is an ADR facilitating entity focused to create value for the entire commercial private sector”.

Ms. Megha Joshi, LCA Executive Secretary/CEO, in her opening remarks announced plans for the development of “industry-based user groups” within the LCA. She urged members to participate in committees towards developing schemes and focused ADR knowledge workshops for businesses and lawyers.

According to her, the LCA DAY was aimed to fulfil statutory requirements to members in accordance with the Lagos Court of Arbitration Law 2009, while providing an interactive platform for the members to be part of the ADR dialogue in Nigeria.

She noted that “Arbitral centres are built over a long period of time, and the story of the LCA thus far shows increasing and ongoing awareness in the very relevant areas of judicial support, private sector awareness and a slowly changing litigation orientated legal community towards the merits of using ADR.  We are very confident of the LCA ICAA’s bright future”.

The event which was sponsored by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) also witnessed the ratification by the general meeting of newly appointed members to the LCA Board of Directors, including Mrs. May Mbu, Mr. Sadiq Adamu, Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu (SAN), Mr. Ucheora Onwuamaegbu and the Honourable (Mrs.) Ayo Phillips, a retired judge. Also re-appointed to the board are Mr. Adeyemi Charles Candide-Johnson (SAN), Mr. Babajide Ogundipe, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN), Mrs. Doyin Rhodes-Vivour, Mrs. Funmi Roberts, Mrs. Bimpe Elebute Nkontchou and Mr. Abiodun Oluwa.

The LCA is a non-governmental, non-profit, private sector driven institution. It is independent of regulation, direction or control by any branch of government. This unique model allows the LCA to be a viable hub for arbitration and mediation services, and vanguard for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for the region. It currently has nearly 200 members comprising lawyers, arbitrators, mediators, experts, academics, entrepreneurs, law firms, and commercial and trading organisations. On the other hand, the “LCA Day” is a forum for members to network, share knowledge and experiences, and gain ADR-relevant information.