Tobenna Erojikwe, The Law Crest LLP, and Lawyers Welfare: My Personal Experience 

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    By Gaby Ikeji, ESQ

     

    I started my career as a legal practitioner at The Law Crest LLP and after almost two decades in the business of law, I remain grateful to the Almighty for the grace that led me into that firm. I dare say that my decision to remain and be dedicated to law practice was chiefly influenced by the right foundation at The Law Crest LLP (TLC), for which welfare is at the centre.

     

    I should mention that as beautiful as this story is, it is not another election story because all you will read are verifiable with receipts and many of our colleagues can confirm most of the accounts.

     

     

    Remuneration:

     

    We started work in a modest but very decent, structured and functional work environment. Despite its size in those years, the firm was anchored on top quality in every fragment, especially in the area of salary and welfare.

     

    Even in those days, the salary package was comparable to those of the big circle law firms in Nigeria and we enjoyed additional benefits that you hardly find in most law firms. The welfare and work environment were great and enviable. Little wonder TLC has since grown into an enviable brand.

     

    Aside our salaries, we received yearly bonuses and periodic extras. On two occasions (at the boom of the stock market), company shares were purchased in our names and I still hold some bank shares 15 years after – thanks to TLC.

     

    I remember when the Lekki-Epe Expressway was under construction and the traffic was hellish. Colleagues on that side of Lagos received extras and when Third Mainland Bridge was partially closed for construction in 2008, a special unsolicited package was given to staff to compensate for the “hardship”.

     

    Official Cars:

    Barely eight months after I started working, I was given a Honda Civic as an official car by TLC. Precisely, one year after my dear Honda Civic, we were asked to report to Stallion Motors at Adeola Odeku and each of us drove out with a “tear rubber” Skoda Fabia. I was asked to pay a paltry N100,000, to keep my dear Honda. Of course, I jumped at it.

    I will never forget that feeling of driving a brand new car in Lagos as a young lawyer.

     

    It is instructive to mention that TLC had a tradition of making sure EVERY single lawyer who had worked for one year was given a decent official car which became yours after a few years of work.

     

    Wardrobe:

    As expected of firms that understand the value of appearance of a lawyer, TLC was big on your looks. We were required to have that look comparable to the high networth individuals and clients that we advise. For this, the firm had a guaranteed credit line with a corporate outfit company, David Wej (DW). You walk in, take any suit, shoes and other accessories and pay over time. I also recall that certain official trips qualified you for fresh suit and shirt, at no cost to you. To this day, I and a few other TLC Alumni still enjoy the same relationship DW.

     

    Health Care and Medical Insurance:

    We were all plugged under Hygeia HMO for free medicals and when I got married, my wife was added. Even the dispatch riders and cleaners in TLC used the same hospitals as lawyers, the famous Lagoon Hospitals. All free.

     

    Trainings:

    Aside the compulsory training that you must attend based on your practice team, TLC has a special system they called Personal Development Plan or PDP. Your PDP was your personal growth plans and outline of trainings that can help you achieve your potential.

     

    Aside from professional guidance that you will receive for free from one of TLC’s partners (who is a British trained top class HR specialist), the firm would financially support or bankroll some of your trainings and avail you the free time you needed to attend trainings needed to further your PDP.

     

    You cannot put a price to such personalized privileges and I am eternally grateful for those HR sessions.

     

    Pension and Civic Duties:

    Unlike many law firms, TLC plugged us into the pension scheme and dutifully made our statutory contributions. They equally cultured staff on the importance of payment of taxes and will show how much in taxes you have paid in the year. It was indeed a mindset culturing work environment.

     

    Lastly:

    In all of these, TOBENNA was at the forefront always encouraging us to succeed and persuading his partners to do more for the lawyers since according to him “we were the backbone and the future of TLC”.

     

    I can write a whole book on welfare for lawyers using the TLC template but let me stop here by urging us to keep sentiments aside and go for the very BEST!. A choice for Tobenna as NBA President is a demonstration of your appreciation of excellence. Let’s do it TOGETHER.

     

    Tobenna knows the issues!!

    Tobenna understands the issues!!!

    Tobenna has the solutions!!!

    Tobenna is a practical demonstration of what he preaches

     

    Gaby Ikeji, ESQ

    LL.B (Ife), LL.M (Holborn)

    Managing Partner

    Brockwell Practice

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