Virtual LegalTech conference unveils new ecosystem for justice administration in post COVID-19 Nigeria

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

By Editor.

As COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage economies all over the world, there has been an increased pivot in the use and adoption of technology across several industries, where hitherto technology was a mere tool and not a driver of day to day operations. The world as we know it has changed forever and it is imperative that this paradigm shift is accentuated by current realities of how individuals, organisations, institutions and governments work and interact.

The realisation that the operation of businesses and delivery of services cannot go back to pre-COVID-19 ways of providing goods and services has motivated putting together the first Legal Technologies Virtual Conference, by Nigeria’s foremost LegalTech company, LawPavilion Business Solutions Limited, in conjunction with Telnet Group, Nigeria’s leading digital transformation company, to be held on August 13-14, 2020. The conference which will be available to participants from all across the world through Zoom video conferencing app features a line-up of erudite judges and legal practitioners in both public and private sectors. The keynote address will be delivered by His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Other dignitaries expected at the virtual conference include His Lordship, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR, Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council; the distinguished Senate President, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan; Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; the President of the Nigerian Bar Association and other captains of industry and legal luminaries.
Briefing the press in Lagos, the managing director of LawPavilion Business Solutions, Mr. Ope Olugasa remarked that for almost two decades, LawPavilion has been at the forefront of providing and improving access to digital tools for the legal service industry. It has become imperative to leverage technology to accelerate access to justice for Nigerians and organisations interested in doing business in Nigeria.
Speaking further, Olugasa stated that while the general public tends to think of the judiciary as the least visible or important arm of government, the role of the judiciary comprising of judges, lawyers, arbitrators, mediators and legal institutions in economic growth and development is so critical, that where the justice system is fraught with inefficiencies and inadequacies, economic growth is stunted. He pointed out that for example, in today’s global market, true wealth is no longer in only expansive real estate or tangible cash, but in holding intangible intellectual property. Thus, economies that

do not accord enough recognition and protection of law to intellectual property stand a genuine risk of not being at par with other economies. The conference, which will span over two days comprises of a keynote lecture and panel discussions on the role of an efficient justice system in driving the wheel of innovation and economic growth, with panelists such as Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola (JSC), Hon Justice Amina Augie (JSC), Dr Babatunde Ajibade SAN, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, AG Ekiti State, Mr. Folorunsho Aliu, Group MD of Telnet Nigeria Ltd and Mr. Gbenga Sesan, CEO Paradigm Initiatives. There will also be breakout sessions focusing on seamless court integration as well as tools and resources to run an efficient law firm post COVID-19 using technology.
Some of the discussants at the breakout sessions will include Hon. Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Borno State and Chairman of National Judicial ICT Committee, Hon. Justice Olutoyin Akeredolu, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Dr. Ayodele Akenroye, Judge of Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Mr. Dapo Akinosun of SimmonsCooper Partners, Mr. Sesan Sobowale, Head of Legal, Union Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Raymond Ugbokwere, Head of Legal, First Bank of Nigeria and Mr. Seun Abimbola, Former AG of Oyo State and Chairman of NBA Section on Legal Practice.
Commenting further, Olugasa pointed out that there has been a significant revolution of the banking industry through the introduction and adoption of FinTech in Nigeria, which has exponentially raised the profile of Nigeria’s banking industry. There has been significant collaboration between banking institutions, stakeholders and government agencies to consolidate and rapidly enhance banking operations, irrespective of location or time.
Accordingly, the legal service industry is also ripe and well primed for such technological transformation and the virtual Legal Technologies Conference being hosted by LawPavilion, in conjunction with Telnet Group, will showcase the unveiling of an enterprise solution for the judiciary,  LawRights App (for the general citizenry), Lagos State Laws in E-book version integrated into LawPavilion’s award-winning legal research software, all of which constitute parts of a new ecosystem, seeking to institutionalise legal-technology in Nigeria’s justice sector.