Minister for Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, a lawyer, has said that lawyers are safe from becoming extinct at the hands of technology.
The minister made the declaration at the maiden edition of #TechLaw Series organised by Mobile Monday (MoMo) Nigeria, where he delivered the Keynote Address on the theme ‘Technology and the Law’.
Shittu also described the power of technology as one that makes everyone a deity saying, “…in the world of computing, we are deities, very small deities… but still deities”. Although the first in series, the event had in attendance representatives of relevant stakeholders comprising lawyers, technology enthusiasts, start-ups, innovators, government officials and policymakers.
Prior to this, there was a private session hosted by the minister, with select FinTech Start-Ups and the Y Combinator Alumni Network in Nigeria. During this closed-door meeting, robust discussions on industry challenges and peculiar issues were held in order to explore how government can add value and assist start-ups with the right policies to scale their businesses.
The event featured seasoned speakers such as: Academic Director, Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr. Yinka David-West; Courteville Business Solutions’ Dr. Adebola Akindele; Managing Associate, Jackson Etti & Edu, Abayomi Adebanjo; Seni Adio, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Co-founder & CEO, Flutterwave, Iyin Aboyeji.
Others present were: Ngozi Aderibigbe, Head, Technology, Media & Entertainment, Jackson, Etti & Edu; Akinkunmi Akinwunmi of Chris Ogunbanjo Legal Practice; Co-Founder, DIYlaw.ng, Odunoluwa Longe; Former Company Secretary, Old Mutual, Sola Mabadeje; Managing Partner, Team Apt, Tosin Eniolorunda and Bloomfield Law Practice’s Ebele Ikpeoyi.
Topics like ‘Technology and Our Legal future: Emerging Areas’, ‘Skills and Ecosystem’, ‘The Emerging Law & Technology Ecosystem in Nigeria’, ‘Digital Financial Services & Law: Stretching Boundaries to Add Value’ were exhaustively discussed.
Other topics explored were, ‘Technology: An Enabler or Competitive Edge?’ and ‘Technology & The Legal Dilemma: Is there a way forward?’
In his welcome remarks, the Mobile Monday Patron & Former Lagos State Commissioner for Science & Technology, Adebiyi Mabadeje, thanked participants noting that, ”…from my experience in business and public service, I can attest that technology as an application of scientific concepts, in spite of its limitations and challenges; is a proven and tested catalyst to human growth and development at all times”.
The event held on January 22, 2018 at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos and attracted well over 250 legal practitioners, start-ups and corporate organisations. With issues arising in cyber-crime, artificial intelligence, volume of data and protection, internet of things, FinTech among others, professionals in the legal sector took to note the impact of the technology revolution if not embraced by the sector urgently as well as how to leverage rather than overlook it. It was indeed an eye-opening gathering to those who still run the legal practice in the traditional way.
Some other participants and firms represented at the event include: Representatives of the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Representatives from Ministry of Communication Technology, Bloomfield Law Practice, EchoVC, Chris Ogunbanjo LP, Venture Garden Group, Riby, Lex Colony, Tech Advance Limited, Law Pavilion, Mavin Records, Itex Integrated Services Limited, Accendolaw, AEC Legal and the Lagos Business School.
The MOMO #TechLaw Series witnessed a joint consensus among FinTech start-ups, government officials and policymakers, investors and lawyers present on the need for legal practitioners to continuously incorporate the digital into their core operations, empower their workforce through training and providing adequate tools. This is in order to increase capacity and transform their products digitally, Early Introduction of technology to law students in all institutions in the country was also emphasised.
Mobile Monday is an open community platform of industry visionaries, developers and influential individuals fostering agnostic cooperation and cross-border business development through live networking events to demonstrate products, share ideas and discuss trends from local and global markets.
MoMo is organised by a group of dedicated volunteers from around the world.