Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kill the Lawyers?

In Nigeria, briefing a lawyer in a dispute usually signifies war or at least the recognition of armed conflict and burning of any hint of a white flag. Yet, lawyers make a lot of money causing trouble and pretending to fix it. Whoever decided on the smart idea of arbitration as a substitute to litigation, clearly failed to carry out research in the Nigerian legal sector. Ghandi has been working on some arbitral matter. From the case file, arbitration was initiated three years ago when the other party failed to meet its obligations to pay for the maintenance of a ship due to cash flow problems. To my ordinary pedestrian mind, the problems could have been sorted out with staggered payments, and the debt would have been amortised over time. The lawyers did not think so – why allow peace and joy when we can make cause a little more trouble?

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