Young Nigerian lawyers will have an opportunity to build their arbitration skills through a new competition that will give them access to some of the top global minds in alternative dispute resolution.
The NBA-YLF Arbitration Challenge, the first of its kind, is being organised by the Young Lawyers’ Forum (YLF) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) with Africa Legal as the media partner.
The final will take place in Lagos in April 2021 and will be judged by some of the world’s leading arbitration experts. Four teams are to be chosen from virtual regional rounds and these will proceed to the final oral rounds. Registration opens this week and will continue until September 1. All branches of the NBA can register their teams through the link provided.
Tobi Adebowale, chair of the NBA-YLF, said the forum was committed to capacity building for young lawyers across Nigeria and considered the competition “a veritable opportunity to give more young lawyers a befitting exposure to the fundamentals of resolving business disputes as the legal industry continues to evolve”.
Rewards for participants will include access to a network of experienced arbitrators, cash gifts, internship and training opportunities and other prizes.
He added that the competition would provide Nigerian lawyers with an “incredible” training opportunity as some of the leading arbitrators would be involved in setting tasks.
“Arbitration is increasingly becoming the desirable means for the settlement of commercial disputes in Africa and offers an alternative to solving disputes in a more cost effective and productive way,” Adebesin said.
The challenge is aimed at stimulating the practise of international commercial dispute resolution mechanisms especially the roles of legal practitioners in foreign investments in Nigeria.
It also aims to deepen the interest and skill set of young lawyers in arbitration as a mechanism for investment and commercial dispute resolution.
“It provides an opportunity for young lawyers to learn, and apply, key principles in international commercial arbitration, interpret the various texts of international commercial law found in various foreign investment agreements, and consequently, hone written and oral advocacy skills,” Adebowale said.
In the course of participating in the Arbitration Challenge, participants will be tested on the application of their written and oral advocacy skills to a dispute scenario adjudged by leading arbitration experts.
Wendy Bampton, co-founder of Africa Legal, said the platform’s involvement in the event followed on from its support of the University of Cape Town’s Moot Court competition and was in line with its philosophy of enabling young lawyers across Africa to reach their full potential.
“We are delighted to be involved as the media partner in this event. Like a Moot Court competition, this is an opportunity for talented lawyers to show-off their skills on a global stage through Africa Legal. It is both exciting and inspiring.”
To ensure the success of the Arbitration Challenge, the Steering Committee on Arbitration is available to liaise with the participating teams and other stakeholders. Other members of the committee are Randolph Fiberesima, Temiloluwa Dosumu, Abisola Akinyemi, Jonathan Ezeumeh, Lolade Tijani and Elizabeth Whesu.
In addition to Africa Legal, the Arbitration challenge is supported by Hogan Lovells LLP, Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC), the African Arbitration Academy, Association of Young Arbitrators as well as other stakeholders in the arbitration community.
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