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Conflict of Interests in Professional Practice.

Conflict of Interests in Professional Practice: Are Lawyers Officers of the Courts or Defendants of their clients. Inspiring Insights from Former NBA Lagos Chairman, Mr. Martin Ogunleye.


During a recent monthly meeting of the Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum (ELF), Mr. Martin Ogunleye, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, emphasized the crucial role of lawyers in upholding the cause of justice. He cautioned against neglecting their duty to both the courts and the pursuit of justice.

According to Mr Ogunleye, while lawyers have a responsibility to their clients, it is essential to recognize that they have a higher duty to the cause of justice. He stressed that distorting or manipulating facts to win a case may bring short-term success for a client but ultimately undermines the principles of justice.

As officers of the court, lawyers owe a duty not only to their clients but also to the court itself. Mr Ogunleye highlighted potential conflicts that may arise when these duties come into play. For instance, lawyers must balance their obligation to diligently advocate for their clients’ interests with the obligation to inform clients if their case is deemed hopeless. Navigating these conflicts is essential to maintaining professional integrity and ensuring the smooth administration of justice.

 Mr Ogunleye concluded by emphasizing that lawyers, even when representing their clients, remain officers of the court. They must never shirk their duty to the court and the pursuit of justice.

Before concluding, Mr Ogunleye expressed his appreciation to the leadership of the Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum for their commendable efforts in promoting professional development within the legal community. He also expressed his hope that the forum would soon attain full branch status within the Nigerian Bar Association, given their fulfillment of all the necessary requirements.

The Chairman of the Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum, Mr. Adewale Sanni, lauded Mr Ogunleye for his insightful lecture and encouraged him to continue fostering mentorship within the legal profession.

With thought-provoking discussions and engaging lectures like these, the Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum provides a platform for lawyers to stay abreast of legal developments, uphold the principles of justice, and foster professional growth.

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