Funke Busari, Victoria Island – Lagos
As the 15th Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, NBA-SBL Conference closes on Thursday, three young innovators carted away prizes from the event organised by the commercial lawyers.
The lawyers’ gestures to the innovators are meant to support and develop a pipeline of Nigerian techpreneurs and accelerate sustainable economic and social growth in emerging digital economy.
For their innovations in the App Challenge, young individuals showcased their talents of providing technological solutions through various products and services.
Aider App emerged the prize winner of 5,000 US dollars including a one-year free legal support for the innovation of providing call-up ambulance solution in emergency situations using the app.
The innovator of the app explained he was inspired to use tech in solving health emergencies after a friend’s demise in 2016 due to inability to get quick access to an ambulance.
A prize money of 2,500 US dollars went to the 1st runner up, who created Sealed App for providing specialised links to solve clients challenges.
While UM Scope won the 500 dollars prize money, including a one-year free legal support for creating an app that serves as a market place and vending goods and services for the university community.
From the “Retooling Business for Change: Leveraging the Tech Explosion,” lawyers and law firms would not forget in a hurry the interventions global tech trends in law practice management is offering them to add Midas touch to their professional calling.
A landmark the specialised section appears to have achieved in tandem with its set objectives of the Article 1 of the section’s Bye Law which is but not limited to promoting the exchanges of views and information among section and other like-minded bodies as to the laws, practices and procedures affecting the Section, locally and internationally.
“For Africa, lawyer of the future is going to be one who is tech-savvy,” Christine Kamunchulu, Senior Manager, International Development (Africa) – DLA Piper said.
She noted, law practice is fast becoming a profession for those who are already being used to technology devices and doing things with Advance Intelligence, AI, solutions.
She expressed that advance legal technology solutions are available globally, and advised legal practitioners to embrace them for faster and more efficient deliverables.
Panel discussions around billing, virtual work, AI, Templates, Block and Client management were had.
Moray McLaren, Co-Founder, Lexington Consulting who moderated one of the second day break-out sessions of the conference said that law practice needs to be looked into from the global tech trends perspective.
He urged lawyers to ensure that they secure their documents in cloud for safety purposes even as Ope Olusaga, Managing Director, Law Pavilion aligned with Christine on the tips about how law practice is changing for lawyers and their firms.
He amplified the need to have an internal structure as he explained, “it is thus required to drive digital operations by law firm.”
He urged practitioners to always back up their documents in external hard disk drive, on-site and offline.
The conference harped on the fact that there is no better time than now for lawyers and their firms to embrace technology for easier and valuable delivery as the world continues to see the dynamics of law practice management and how firms in other climes are leveraging on technology to deliver value.
Speaking with CASEFILE, Stella Duru, Vice Chair, Conference Planning Committee, CPC, noted, “There’s no better time than now that legal practitioners, lawyers, business owners to embrace technology in the real sense, giving how the business community was grounded by the pandemic last year and the fact that we are still dealing with it, we necessarily have to find way of doing businesses differently.”
She said this informed the decision to choose the topic on how the future is going to be, “to move from where we are and where we ought to be,”she hinted.
She observed that the country reeled under the pandemic and thinking outside the box and doing things differently is something that needs to be addressed.
She urged more traditional lawyers that are used to doing things in a particular way to change how they used to do businesses and how they can run their firms.
She also said in-house lawyers should learn how to provide legal support to the business leaders within their organisation.
Chukwudi Ofili, Associate Partner, DETAIL Commercial Solicitors, during an interview called on all participants to embrace technology.
“Technology has come to stay. Everybody should try as much as possible to embrace technology. They should learn skills that will enhance the goods and services they are providing and to keep up with others in different parts of the world.”
The event also had some young lawyers who had veered into creative/entertainment industry and impacting lives in their new found profession.
While Emem Ema, Founder, One Management, passionate about managing music talents and doing the business of shows, advised lawyers who wants to switch into the entertainment industry to do the needful.
She told Shola Soyele, Channels TV Law Weekly Host while moderating one of the sessions, ‘Outliers – From Law To There’ that they should understand the industry being ventured into.
She said, “I would say to any lawyer that need to come into the industry, you need to know where you can help.”
Continuing, “Involved a lawyer who can advise whether to proceed or not in the creative project you want to embark on.
“…in all, learn how to be dynamic. We owe a lot to technology and advancement in our business today.”
The curtains have now drawn on this year’s edition of the conference held physically and virtually, with lawyers, business-oriented sponsors and participants going away with memories of doing greater things with technology.
NBA-SBL Conference Opens, Panelists Speak On Leveraging Technology To Drive Business Growth