A legal practitioner who claims to have spent some substantial part of any gratification collected from clients for the perfection of documents, for example, ‘public relations’ which is named as “acceleration charge” whatsoever, has violated the Rules of professional conduct.
In a particular dispute where the legal practitioner’s client is the defendant in a case, the adverse party paid the legal practitioner a commission to obtain a prompt, adequate, and satisfactory settlement. This was described by the judge to be a bribe.
A fiduciary is prohibited from accepting secret commissions. It is preposterous and invidious for a legal practitioner to indulge himself in the despicable act, and such an act is highly condemnable.
In Nigeria, Part F of the RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS, 2007 regulates remuneration, and fees.
Rule 54 states as follows:
- A lawyer shall not accept any compensation, rebate, commission, gift or other advantages from or on behalf of the opposing party except with the full knowledge and consent of his client after full disclosure.
It, therefore, behoves the legal practitioner to emphatically disclose Offers of compensation or gift by the other party to clients.
LEGALTIPS is anchored by Ms CIA Ofoegbunam, an Abuja-based lawyer who is passionate about legal practice.
LEGALTIPS offers quick hints on substantive law, as well as rules of practice and procedure, and serves as a handy reference guide to lawyers, especially in court.
Published on a weekly basis, the LEGALTIPS Series is CIA’s modest contribution to legal development in Nigeria.