Regulation barring lawyers from advertising is retrogressive – Law Lecturer

Regulation barring lawyers from advertising is retrogressive – Law Lecturer

A Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration Justice Srem-Sai says the regulation barring legal practitioners in the country from advertising their services, is archaic and counterproductive.

The General Legal Council on June 1, 2017, banned human rights lawyer, Mr. Franci-Xavier Sosu from practising as a Lawyer for four (4) years after he was convicted on four counts, to which he pleaded guilty.

The charges are excessive legal fees and an over- estimation of the services rendered a client, Francis Agyare, when he (Sosu) had made representations that he was offering pro bono legal services, and also failing to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council on June 9, 2016.

The other charge is taking to Facebook with pictures of the parties in a case and making comments on the case to the public with the primary motive of personal advertisement and touting which is against the Professional Conduct and Etiquette Rules, 1969 (LI 613).

Mr. Franci-Xavier Sosu

Rule 2(4) states: “While a lawyer is entitled to such personal advertisement as is a necessary consequence of the proper exercise of his profession, or of any act otherwise properly done by him, it is contrary to professional etiquette for a lawyer to do or cause or allow to be done anything with the primary motive of personal advertisement or anything calculated to suggest that it is so motivated.”

However, commenting on the decision by the GLC, Justice Srem-Sai said the prohibition “is greatly inimical to the development of this country”.

“Running a business should include advertisement [and] making your services known, to attract more business”.

He said the rule “is not in line with progressive practice in other jurisdictions”.

“This prohibition is greatly inimical to the development of this country,” he emphasised on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM.

 Justice Srem-Sai teaches Law at GIMPA

Overestimation

The Law lecturer said the General Legal Council has not drafted or published any guidelines for the setting of legal fees by lawyers except the remuneration for legal services instituted by the Ghana Bar Association in 2015.

In determining the new charges, the GBA took into consideration the value of the time spent or value created as determined by the economic environment in which the service is provided.

“The regular (General Legal Council) itself could have put out something to guide how these things are charged…what it means it that technically it becomes a free for all arrangements,” Justice Srem-Sai remarked.

 

Source: myjoyonline

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