Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Meet Barr. Jeffrey Chidiebere Ikwunze, In An Exclusive Interview With Flies magazine

QUOTE: “For upcoming lawyers, I think dedication and hard work is the answer to success

Barr.Jeffrey Chidiebere Ikwunze, is the head of Chambers Litmus law Office situated at no 20, Iyalla street, Alausa Ikeja Lagos. He hails from Abia State, South East Nigeria. In this exclusive interview with Flies magazine, he talks on the importance of law to our life

Who is a lawyer?
A lawyer is somebody that gained admission to study law in the University and has graduated with a law degree (bachelor of laws). In another perspective, a barrister and solicitor of the supreme court of Nigeria is a trained lawyer that has attended successfully a vocational training by the Nigerian Law School and eventually called to the Nigerian Bar.

Do we really practice law in Nigeria when compared to what is obtainable In other countries?
We do just like other countries. I think the practice of law in Nigeria is one that is going just like other countries, but when you talk about the practice of law in Africa, I think Nigeria seems to be on the right part. Looking at the level of growth, the legal thinking, the attitude of lawyers, the legal participation, I think we are on the right part in terms of growth and development of law.
What is your take in favoritism of law practice in Nigeria?
I do not totally agree with that when you talk about favoritism, nepotism or “man-know-man” those phenomenon are common anywhere in the world not just in Nigeria but I want to say that there could be little practice of favoritism no doubt, it does appear in our system but not in totality. What I am saying you can equally have justice without knowing anybody.
As a lawyer, what are your contributions to the development of our society?
First, I have participated in several law conferences and symposium both local and international geared towards the development of our laws.I have equally written several articles published in our Dailies and Law journals. A part time teacher of law of evidence at a time. Right now I am working on a book to be published soon which centers on law reference .It is a practice book for lawyers, jurists and all other legal minds to enhance a quick search on any relevant area of law.
What do we mean by legal companion?
Legal companion is an abstract that assist lawyers, jurist students to have a quick search of any area of law that is of interest at any particular time.
We understand that you are also into real estate practice as a lawyer, how is the area fairing?
Certainly we are engaged in conveyance law and real estate law practice in Lagos in particular and elsewhere in Nigeria. In the past it has been so good but following the economic meltdown I think there has been a whole lot of challenges in that area.
First and foremost, the consolidation of banks has not been helpful, they are not quick at granting loan to property developers and that has actually slowed down the excitement and the growth of the industry. All the same, the real estate sector is a vibrant area of our practice as well, and we cannot under-estimate the benefits, though things are quite slow at the moment given the political environment and I believe once the election is over I am sure and certain the real estate sector/ industry will pick up again.
What are some of the challenges in law practice?
Talking about law practice and management, there are a whole lot of challenges for beginners in the practice of Law; one is in terms of remuneration which in most cases is poor compared to the cost and standard of living in Nigeria. There is problem of inability to grant loans from Banks or financial institutions for a starter to be able to set up a law firm, because to run a law firm one needs a location, an office, you need equipment, library, furniture and all other things and then the banks most times are not helpful because they asks for all manner of collaterals which might not really be available for a beginner.
Where do lawyers get money from?
The law profession like many other profession is quite lucrative. The lawyers of course derive income by taking up cases in court be it civil matters, criminal matters, corporate affairs, real estate the list is endless.
What is your advice to those who may want to go into law practice?
For up coming lawyers, I think dedication and hard work is the answer to success. A lawyer needs to be quite committed, dedicated to his duties as a lawyer.

Word of note for Flies Magazine
Looking at your magazine I think I must give kudos to the publishing team, the management, the editor because it looks more of what we see when we travel overseas; I am not sure of so many magazine of that nature here in Nigeria. For me I believe the sky is not even the limit for this kind of establishment. I give thanks to the managers, the coordinator and publisher. I think it is a beautiful print from my personal perspective
and have I gone through the magazine inside and out, and I think it is worthwhile.

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