Welcome Address By Efe Etomi Chairperson NBA Lagos 2021 Law Week Planning Committee


Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen

It is an honour and pleasure to give this year’s welcome address to mark the beginning of the 2021 LAW WEEK of our dear branch, THE PREMIER BRANCH.

The theme for this years event ; Disruption, Innovation and the bar speaks to the times that we live in.

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To begin with we all know the world as a whole has been literally disrupted and arguably more so than ever in the last decade .From a global pandemic, which is currently in its third wave in many nations, to changes in weather conditions causing flooding, tropical storms , raging fires, hurricanes etc , there is a renewed urgency around how the law can be used to address these changes. At local levels there are concerns about the response by some nations to the disruptions caused by technology. Some have opted for the outright ban on social media platforms such as the attempt at banning Twitter in Nigeria and the legal community going up in arms to protest it. This disconnect between innovation and governance will always create friction between government and its citizens that will keep lawyers busy.

At more personal levels, these events have changed our work life as we have always known them. We have learnt how to work and communicate remotely without regard to age. Young and old, rich and poor, schooled and unschooled
we have had to learn to adapt to working and communication remotely and for some of the older colleagues amongst us, learnt to navigate the various technology platforms that have been created for this very purpose. I’m sure we all know how to join a zoom or Microsoft team meeting now without having to call our children to inform them we have a meeting online and they need to come and set it up for us!

I firmly believe that adaption and Innovation go hand in hand because when our backs are pushed against the wall as a society, we truly come up with the most inspiring innovations and adaptation techniques. This has been evident across this profession as lawyers and law firms continue to adapt to these disruptions. Even the hybrid nature of many conferences, seminars etc including those for this law week point to the very proud response by lawyers and law firms in their quest to attain global standards in their operations.
Today, some law firms can compete globally with the way they use technology to deliver their professional services. We need more and more of these type of responses so that we can give hope to the thousands of lawyers that are produced annually from the law school. Talking about the law school, I believe improvements can be made in its curriculum so that it can produce new wigs that can fit into the innovation of law practice as brought about by technology.

I am particularly proud of what the premier branch under the able leadership of our able Chairman, Yemi Akangbe and his executive committee have done in the past two years to sustain the achievements of their predecessors in office. I have no doubt that the incoming executive committee will consolidate these gains. Our branch has been fortunate to be blessed with high quality leadership. We have shown how excellence can thrive if you have the right leadership.

I will like to end these remarks by thanking all our sponsors who have in spite of the very difficult times we live in donated generously towards the successful hosting of this year’s events .

Finally I want to thank my hard working and sacrificial planning committee members for their doggedness and resilience in ensuring that the lofty standards of our law week is maintained. I wish you all a successful and enjoyable week .
Thank you.

Efe Etomi (Mrs)


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