Home Latest Insights | News Regulations On Advertising, Remuneration & Fees For Lawyers In Nigeria Under The New Rules Of Professional Conduct

Regulations On Advertising, Remuneration & Fees For Lawyers In Nigeria Under The New Rules Of Professional Conduct

Regulations On Advertising, Remuneration & Fees For Lawyers In Nigeria Under The New Rules Of Professional Conduct

Legal Practice :- Regulations On Advertising For Legal Practitioners In Nigeria Under The New Rules Of Professional Conduct (RPC) 2024

Advertising is one of the most important aspects of legal practice as it is the source through which business in the form of paying clients come to a law firm. However, this practice is prone to abuse, which is why it is also regulated by the rules of professional conduct 2007. 

This article will be looking at what the new RPC slated to come into effect in 2024 says about advertising, especially in terms of what is permissible and what isn’t for legal practitioners in Nigeria.

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What are the provisions of the new RPC on advertising and soliciting for legal practitioners?

– Advertising is allowed when :-

a). It is fair and proper.

b). Complies with the RPC.

– Advertising is not allowed if –

a). It is inaccurate or likely to mislead.

b). Is likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession, or the administration of justice or otherwise bring the legal profession into disrepute.

c). Makes comparisons with other lawyers, law firms, other professions, and other professionals.

d). Includes statements about the quality of the lawyer’s work, the size or success rate of his practice . 

e). Is so frequent or obstructive that it is deemed annoying.

– Lawyers are also not allowed to solicit employment through :

a). Circulars, handbills, advertisements through touts or influencers (different from referrals) or by personal communications or interviews.

b). Furnishing, permitting, inspiring, newspapers, radio or television comments in relation to his practice of the law.

c). Procuring his photographs to be published in connection with matters in which he has been or is engaged or concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of interest involved or importance of the lawyer’s position.

d). Permitting or inspiring sound recordings in relation to his practice of law.

What type of advertisements are actually allowed for lawyers under the new RPC?

– Lawyers are allowed to :

a). Publish informative data in any reputable law list or law directory, the following information :-

  1. Their names.
  1. Their professional memberships.
  1. Any national honours.
  1. Any law teaching position.

– Lawyers are allowed to notify their NBA branches through dignified notices when they are available to act as associates of other lawyers or when they want to advertise their expertise in niche areas of practice. 

Section II

This second article instalment will be looking at the ethical requirements for advertising imposed by the new rules of professional conduct (RPC).

What are the provisions of the RPC on the wearing of wig and gowns as possible advertisements by lawyers?

– Except where permitted to do otherwise, legal practitioners are always required to appear in court fully robed and in wigs.

– Robes are not to be worn by lawyers outside a courtroom except as may be directed or permitted by the Bar Council.

– Lawyers are not to wear wigs and gowns when conducting their personal suits in court or when giving evidence in a courtroom proceeding.

What does the RPC say on press, radio and television advertisements by lawyers?

– Lawyers are allowed to write and publish articles as well as participating in and giving information on the law as long as it is not in the capacity of an employee.

– Lawyers are not allowed to put out advertisements in publications to undertake confidential enquiries.

– Lawyers are not allowed by the RPC to write for publication, except in a legal periodical, particulars of their law firms, practice areas, or earning in the courts or cases when the time for appeal has not expired on any matter in which he has been engaged as a lawyer.

– Where a lawyer published an informative article he can add his qualifications after his name.

– Lawyers are not allowed to take steps to procure the publication of his photograph as a lawyer to the press or any periodical. 

What does the RPC say on the instigation by lawyers of controversy or litigation?

– A lawyer shall not forment strife or instigate litigation and except in the case of close relations or of trust, he shall not, without being consulted, proffer advise to bring a lawsuit.

– A lawyer shall not :

a). Search land registries or other registers for defects with a view to employment or litigation.

b). Seek out claimants in respect of personal injury or any other cause of action with a view to being employed.

c). Offer rewards/kickbacks to people who by their employment can influence legal work in favour of the lawyer.

Remuneration & Fees of Legal Practitioners Under the New Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) in Nigeria

This article will be looking at the remuneration of lawyers in private legal practice and its regulation under the new rules of professional conduct (RPC). 

Fees For Legal Services

– Lawyers are entitled to adequate compensation for services rendered.

– Lawyers shall not enter into fee arrangements made in violation of the remuneration of legal practitioner orders made pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Act.

Retainers

– Lawyers can accept general or special retainers.

– In litigation, a lawyer shall be separately instructed & separated remunerated by fees for each piece of work , provided that he shall not :

a). Accept lump sum fee payments for litigation over a period of time.

b). Accept client instructions for a particular set of litigation suits to be handled for fixed fees each.

– For general retainers, lawyers are not permitted to give legal advice detrimental to the interests of their clients. This would also apply to special retainers.

What are the provisions of the RPC on contingent fee arrangements?

– Contingent fee arrangements are allowed where reasonable.

– They are not allowed in criminal cases.

– In contingent fee arrangements, liens are allowed for legal practitioners to secure legal fees.

What are the provisions of  the RPC on lawyers making payments for litigation expenses on behalf of clients? 

– Such arrangements are allowed based on :

a). Convenience.

b). On good faith.

c). Subject to reimbursement. 

What are the provisions of the RPC on the division of legal fees ?

– This is not allowed except with another lawyer based on the division of service or responsibility, insofar as the other lawyer is not an in-house counsel. 

Does the RPC allow for lawyers accepting monetary compensation offered as a gift by an opposing party in a suit?

– This is not allowed except with the consent of the receiving lawyer’s client after full disclosure.

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