Lawyers who wish to apply for the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN) may have to think twice and count the costs before making the move as the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) has released new guidelines for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on legal practitioners.

According to the new guidelines, applicants are expected to pay some amount ranging from N400,000 per person. This amount is said to even be below the N500,000 recommended by the committee put in place to review the guidelines which they claimed is necessitated by the high cost of conducting chambers’ inspection across the country.

The LPPC has also been empowered by the new guidelines to suspend a legal practitioner from the use of the rank of SAN pending the determination of any disciplinary action, complaint or prosecution against such a legal practitioner. The committee has also been authorised to punish an alleged erring legal practitioner even when his guilt is yet to be established.

For academics who want to apply, they must now show that their published works are published by reputable publishers “whose reputation shall be assessed and determined by the Academic sub-committee.”

Other criteria to be met by candidates for the conferment of the rank have been retained without any modifications. They are: integrity 25 per cent, judges’ opinion 15 per cent, knowledge of law 15 per cent, contribution to the development of the law 10 per cent, leadership qualities 10 per cent, strength and quality of reference 15 per cent and quality of law office 10 per cent.

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