16 May 2017

Nigeria: 'Lawyers Need Business Skills to Run Successful Companies'

A legal expert, Omoefe Siakppere, has said that lawyers need to acquire business skills to be able to run profitable law firms.

According to her, a lawyer must know the law, create a viable business plan, develop a niche, build relationships and invest in the firm.

Siakppere, who holds a master's degree in corporate and commercial law from the University of London, spoke at the 2017 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin Branch.

She served as the Corporation Secretary for several years with Gitto Constuzioni Generali, an Italian Multinational Company with operations across Africa, Europe and America before branching out to start up Klass & Korporate Consultants.

She has worked on projects supported by Delta State Government focusing on Entrepreneurial Development; Job Creation and Business Sustainability and currently seats on the board of Flobal Trust and Maropuzo Services as well as several nonprofit organizations.

The theme of her paper was: 'Investment Options and Wealth Creation through Corporate Practice.' Siakpere, said lawyers can succeed by first repositioning themselves.

"You position yourself first in your own mind. The way you see yourself will shape the way others see you. The way you think about yourself determines how you do everything. It affects the way you prospect, the way you interview, the way you present, the way you close, the way you manage your time - it shapes everything you do. As a result, people will see you the way you perceive yourself - see yourself as a specialized Corporate Lawyer.

"Create a viable business plan, highlighting your practice areas and the pricing of services. Identify your cash cows in Corporate Practice, Competition, Competitive advantage, SWOT analysis and know your break-even point. Please note that law practices are a form of business,"she advised.

She further advised lawyers to: "Know as much as possible about Corporate Law Regulatory Bodies in Nigeria - Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) as well as laws that govern Corporate Law Practice in Nigeria."

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