The Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK) Nigeria Branch has urged lawyers to take advantage of economic opportunities that arbitration provides.
The branch chairperson, Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, said lawyers could earn huge sums of money by serving as registrars to arbitration tribunals.
According to her, arbitration and mediation are effective means of resolving disputes, adding that quick determination of commercial disputes wouls help Nigeria out of recession.
Demonstrating how an arbitral tribunal functions, she said such a tribunal needed a secretary, a bursar and a registrar.
“Being a registrar can earn you good income,” she said. Mrs Rhodes-Vivour urged lawyers to focus on acquiring the skills at the initial stage and not on the money.
Arbitrators, she said, must ensure that they derive their powers from the terms of the contract and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
They must also discover from parties what would be required, such as expert evidence, time required to file statements of claim and response, further and better particulars, issues for determination, among others.
Arbitrators must confirm their availability and impartiality, and ensure there is no conflict of interest.
“If you don’t have the time, don’t accept the appointment. Set rules. For instance, all communications must be copied the other parties,” she said.
Third Vice Chairperson of the branch Mrs Sola Adegbonmire said there were many opportunities in arbitration.
“We cannot sit here while people come from abroad to take work from us,” she said.
She said the institute offered a two-day basic entry course, an accelerated membership programme and fellowship.
“Arbitration and mediation are being globally accepted as the best dispute resolution mechanisms.”