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|LEGAL PRACTITIONERS’ ETHICS INSTRUMENTS||STATUS|
|Rules of Professional Conduct, 1964||Repealed|
|Rules of Professional Conduct, 2007||Active/Amended|
|Rules of Professional Conduct (Amendment) 2020||Active|
|Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules, 2006||Repealed|
|Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules 2020||Active|
|Legal Practitioners (Remuneration for Legal Documentation and other land Matters) Order 1991|
|Legal Practitioners Act||Active|
RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS (AMENDMENT) RULES, 2020
PURSUANT TO THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ACT (CAP L11, LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004)
[COMMENCEMENT 3RD DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2020]
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This Rule amends The Rules of Professional Conduct 2007; which itself repealed the Rules of Professional Conduct, RPC, 1964.
In exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 12(4) of the Legal Practitioners Act, Cap L11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN (Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and President, General Council of the Bar make the following rules –
Amendment of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007
1. The Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007 is amended by deleting the following rules, namely: 9(2), 10, 11, 12 and 13*.
These Rules may be cited as the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Rules, 2020.
MADE at Abuja this 3rd Day of September, 2020
ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN
Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation
and Minister of Justice/President, General Bar Council
*[EDITOR’S NOTE: FIND BELOW THE CONTENTS OF THE SECTIONS OF THE RPC, 2007 DELETED BY THE 2020 AMENDMENT INSTRUMENT ABOVE]
9. Practicing Fees
(2). A lawyer shall not claim in any court or before a judicial tribunal that he has paid his Annual Practicing Fee when he is, in fact, in default.
10. Seal and Stamp
(1) A lawyer acting in his capacity as a legal practitioner, legal office or adviser of any Governmental department or Ministry of any corporation, shall not sign or file a legal document unless there is affixed on any such document a seal and stamp approved by the Nigerian Bar Association.
(2) For the purpose of this rule, “Legal documents” shall include pleadings, affidavits, depositions, applications, instruments, agreements, deed letters, memoranda, report, legal opinions or any similar documents.
(3) If without complying with the requirements of this rule, a lawyer signs or files any legal documents as defined in sub-rule (2) of this rule, and in any of the capacities mentioned in sub-rule(1), the document so signed or filed shall be deemed not to have been properly signed or filed.
ARTICLE: IS THE 2020 GAZETTE OF AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCTS VALID
11. Mandatory Continued Professional Development (CPD)
(1) A lawyer who wishes to carry on practice as a legal practitioner shall participate in and satisfy the requirements of the mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme operated by the Nigerian Bar Association.
(2) The activities in which a lawyer is required to participate for the purpose of the CPD Programme of the N.B.A. shall include-
(a) attendance and participation in accredited courses;
(b) lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences on law approved by the N.B.A.
(c) writing on the law and its practice in books or Journals and Newspapers approved by the Nigerian Bar Association.
(d) study towards professional qualifications approved by the Nigerian Bar Association; and
(e) other approved means of acquiring legal professional knowledge and experience.
(3) A lawyer shall be certified as having satisfied the requirement of the CPD Programme if, and only if, during the relevant year, he earns the number of credit hours of participation in the programme which is required under the rules made by the Nigerian Bar Association.
(4) Until rules are made and provide otherwise, the number of credit hours required for each year shall be as follows-
(a) For lawyers from Admission up to 5 years ………….. 24 hours
(b) for lawyers just five years up to ten years …………… 18 hours
(c) for lawyers above ten years ………………………….. 12hours
(5) The Nigerian Bar Association shall establish a Continuing Professional Development department in its office for the operation of the Programme.
(6) The Nigerian Bar Association shall make rules for regulating the operation of the CPD Programme and such rules may provide for the following matters-
(a) the number of credit hours of participation required of a legal practitioner;
(b) the types of activities and studies that are acceptable for earning the credit;
(c) persons that may be exempted from the requirements of the programme; and
(d) other matters which in its opinion are necessary for the operation of the Programme.
12. Annual Practicing Certificate
(1) Not later than a date in every year specified by it, the Nigerian Bar Association shall-
(a) publish a List of legal practitioners who have complied with the requirements of the CPD Programme and have paid their practicing fees and are, therefore entitled to practice as legal practitioners in that year (hereinafter referred to as the Annual Practicing List); and
(b) issue a Practicing Certificate to a legal practitioner whose name is on the said Annual Practicing List, certifying that the has paid his Practicing Fee for the programme for the year under the rules made for the purpose by the Nigerian Bar Association.
(2) A lawyer shall obtain an Annual Certificate issued under this rule by the Nigerian Bar Association certifying that he has fulfilled the approved CPD Programme under rules made for the purpose by the Nigerian Bar Association.
(3) A lawyer, unless he holds an Annual Practicing Certificate issued by the NBA under this rule, shall not, as a legal practitioner-
(a) conduct or take part in any proceedings in the court, judicial tribunal, panes or Enquiry: or
(b) sign any documents, pleadings, affidavits, depositions, application, instruments, agreements, deed, letters, memoranda, reports, legal opinions and similar documents and processes; or
(c) file any such documents as a legal practitioner, legal office, or adviser of any Government Department or Ministry or any company or corporation.
13. Notification of legal practice.
(1) Every person who set up private legal practice either alone or in association or partnership with another or others shall, not later than thirty days after commencement of such legal practice and if he continues to carry the practice, deliver a Notice in the prescribed form to the Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association within whose jurisdiction the law office is situated.
(2) The Notice referred to in sub-section (1) of this rule shall state-
(a) the name of the legal practitioner;
(b) the address where the legal practice is carried on;
(c) the date when the legal practitioner was called to the Bar in Nigeria; and
(d) the date when his name was entered in the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria.
(3) The Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association to which the Notice is delivered shall enter the particulars in the Notice in a Register or Database kept for that purpose.
(4) Every legal practitioner, who after having been registered under sub-rule (3), changes his name or address for legal practice, shall deliver to the Branch where he is so registered a notice in the prescribed form showing particulars of the changes made.
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