Lawyers and other leading personalities from different sectors of the economy will be gathering at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Victoria Island Lagos, on, Sunday, November 12, for the 2017 edition of the prestigious Nigeria Legal Awards.
The organizer and Chief Executive Officer of ESQ Legal Blitz, Lere Fashola, said that there had been a lot of improvement and innovations after the successful host of the last edition. He stated that one of such innovations was the corporate counsel category, which looked at the role of lawyers who were working internally in companies or organisations.
According to him, the legal departments of organisations are imperative because they don’t just assist to comply with the law, but also help in mitigating risks.
His words: “Traditionally, lawyers in legal department have been seen as deals’ killers, but they are now a very strategic and important aspect of every organisation. In recent times, some organisations promoted corporate counsels to the position of business counsels and that also explains why more general counsels have attained the position of executive directors. Some companies even feel more comfortable to appoint them as CEOs and Chairmen. We are looking at the role of these in-house lawyers in strengthening and promoting corporate governance and business development of organisations.”
Lere explained that the Legal Awards was living up to its expectation, insisting that the objective with which it was established was to celebrate the key contributions of Nigerian lawyers to the development of businesses in the country.
He emphasised: “Despite the general economic challenges in the country today, you still find out that Nigerian lawyers are doing a lot in strengthening Nigerian businesses. The role of lawyers in supporting businesses is expanding by the day and Nigerian lawyers are already taking charge one way or the other. Gone were the days when they would go bring a London firm to come handle most of these sophisticated transactions. We did our research and saw that that the growth of Nigerian law firm is phenomena. Today, we find many partnerships that are structured along the line of multinationals with corporate governance frameworks and all you can find in a growing business.
Among Organisations that make finalists at this year’s Award are Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), MTN, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Aluko and Oyebode, Olaniwun Ajayi LP, Bloomfield LP, Templars, EcoBank, Eko Electricity Distribution Company.