Nigeria: Young Lawyers Tasked Over International Mediation

The Managing Solicitor, Trizon Law Chambers, Mrs. Foluke Akinmoladun, has advised young lawyers to get trained to become both domestic and international mediators.

According to Akinmoladun, there is the need for more international mediators that are either of African origin or are Africa based to mediate in disputes involving Africa issues.

She said most international mediators were foreigners who were not rooted in African culture but handle disputes originating from Africa.

Akinmoladun, who is also a trained arbitrator and mediator said this while delivering a paper at a seminar titled: "The Science and Art of Mediation, looking at the specifics."

The seminar was co-organised by the International Chamber of Commerce and the Young Arbitrators Forum at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki.

Akinmoladun, who dealt specifically on the topic: "A brief introduction to mediation - commercial and international practice" said there is more development in the mediation space following the recent 'Singapore Mediation Convention' which will enable mediation agreements to be enforeceable as a court judgment once registered by the signatory states.

"The convention if adopted will promote the use of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism for cross border transactions. Mediators will even earn internationally but spend locally," Akinmoladun said.

She however advised mediators to be professional while carrying out their duties because "as a mediator you are not immune to professional negligence suit particularly if it is a private mediation practice".

She urged young professionals to join Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Institutions, attend trainings and be listed amongst these institutions panel of neutrals to enable them get recognised and earn more income as mediators.

Another speaker, Mrs Yemi Adeyinka, Chief Counsel, Eagle Crest, Legal Consult, while delivering her paper titled: "The science and art of banking mediation", said mediation required patience by the mediators to understand the root of every dispute.

Adeyinka who noted that banking mediation is scientific, however, urged mediators to get trained in skills of resolving disputes emanating from loan recovery.

Mr Kenneth Onyema, a lawyer with Uptown Solicitors, advised young mediators to use social media space effectively to promote mediation.

Onyema while delivering a paper titled: "The Mechanics of Construction Mediation", said mediation should be geared towards preventing disputes from escalating to project threatening levels.

Joseph Onyekwere

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