Regional News of 2014-02-02

Chief Justice urges lawyers to adapt to change

Mrs Georgina Theodora Woode, Chief Justice, has urged legal practitioners to adapt to changes in the legal fraternity, and be able to respond to the needs of their clients both local and international.

She said the practice of law has moved beyond the court room and the filling of writs of summons, and the changing times demand the introduction of a special practice of law.

Mrs Justice Wood said this when she commissioned the new ultra-modern West Africa Head Office of AB and David, a business legal firm in Accra.

She said clients are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and now demand value for money, and are therefore looking for lawyers who understand business.

“Clients not only expect their legal advisors to have an in-depth knowledge of their industry and business, but require services that are provided efficiently and utmost regard for client care,” she said.

She noted that the role of a lawyer has transitioned from the provider of core legal services to that of a trusted specialist advisor.

She, however, bemoaned the resistance of some lawyers to adapt to the fast changing legal environment.

“The days of one man practitioner appear to be numbered and local firms must look at building modern legal practice that respond to the needs of modern clients and the reliance on oratory and advocacy skills must be accompanied by deeper understanding of the problems of clients and the rules of the modern justice system,” she advised.

Mrs Justice Wood said the increasing importance of arbitration and dispute resolution in the African context is a reflection of the global growth in international business.

She, therefore, wondered why some lawyers cannot co-operate to help clients resolve non-contentious issues, instead of running to the court room with every little issue which leads to the case backlog at the court.

Mrs Jusitice Wood commended AB and David for setting the pace as one of the very few Ghanaian law firms which operates at such high international standards, and urged other law firms to aspire to such standards, and raise the image of the legal profession and practice in Ghana.

Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, said the legal environment demands quality service, and urged practitioners to adapt to the changes and respond to the needs of their clients.

Nana Afari, the immediate past President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) who represented the private sector, disclosed that the quality service being rendered by AB and David earned it the AGI’s accolade as the Best Business Promotion Firm in Ghana both in 2011 and 2012.

He urged them to continue to aspire to greater heights and be that shining example for others to follow.

Mr David Ofosu-Dorte, Executive Chairman of AB and David, promised to continue to provide quality service to the legal firm's clients across the sub region.

Source: GNA
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