The Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA), Nigeria’s premier private sector driven alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services provider, recently received the Chief Judge of the Lagos State High Court, Honourable Justice Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, Honourable Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson, Honourable Justice O. H. Oshodi, Honourable Justice I. O. Harrison , and some Senior Members of the Lagos State Judiciary on a day work visit to its International Centre for Arbitration and ADR (ICAA) in Lekki, Lagos.
In demonstration of the support of the Lagos State Judiciary for ADR, the Honourable Justice Atilade reiterated the symbiotic relationship that has always existed between ADR institutions and the Lagos State Judiciary, as well as the direct impact of such relationships on the economic advancement of the State. The Chief Judge further reiterated the need for additional collaborations between the LCA and the Lagos Judiciary in the areas of ADR promotion necessary for improving the business climate in Lagos, reducing the backlog of commercial cases in the Court’s docket, and supporting the efforts of the Government in attracting investments. In this regard, the Chief Judge suggested the need for a monthly stakeholder forum where members of the bar, bench and ADR practitioners can exchange knowledge and information about the rules, laws and mechanisms in place for effective ADR practice.
Receiving the delegates to the LCA weres the pioneer President of the LCA, Mr Babajide Ogundipe; Mrs Funke Adekoya SAN, Director, LCA; and Mr Yemi Candide-Johnson SAN, President, LCA. In his welcome remarks, Mr Candide-Johnson SAN expressed his appreciation to the Lagos State High Court for being proactive in operating an efficient system and promoting international best judicial practices in Nigeria. He stated, “We are proud that the Lagos State Judiciary, under your leadership, has remained a beacon of judicial excellence in Nigeria. As a stakeholder in the dispute resolution sector of the State, the LCA will continue to engage and collaborate with the Lagos State Judiciary in order to position Lagos as the dispute resolution hub in Africa”.
Mr Candide-Johnson emphasised various initiatives of the LCA including schemes and industry-and specific ADR Roundtables for lawyers, students, entrepreneurs and business managers aimed at providing a guide to applying ADR mechanisms to their business advantage through expeditious and efficient dispute resolution services. He also suggested a recommendation by the LCA on an introduction of Optional Fast-Track ADR Services for cases that qualify for fast track under the High Court of Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules.
As part of the visit, the delegates were ushered on a tour of the ICAA, Africa’s first purpose built ADR Centre equipped to meet users demand in line with international standards. Commending the LCA on the maintenance of the Centre and its facilities, Honourable Justice Atilade praised the Centre, calling it a national pride on equal standing with other renowned ADR centres in developed countries.
Registering her view on the performance of the LCA on the visitors’ feedback board, Honourable Justice Mrs. Atilade made a “Well done rating” of the LCA.