Saturday, June 20 , 2020 09:10
AM / by NASD Plc/ Header Image Credit: NASD
The Legal Profession During the Global Pandemic
The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has affected lawyers all around the world in their daily professional activities, which in turn has brought about a great impact on the legal profession. The pandemic has affected legal professionals in various ways.
The most obvious impact the pandemic has had on the legal profession, apart from the reduction in the demand of legal services, is how it has forced lawyers to work remotely. The issue of "working from home" is completely alien to many Nigerian Lawyers. Nigeria has a legal system where even the filing of court processes must be done in person and where court proceedings have always been done in person. For such a system to observe a total lockdown makes the work of lawyers very difficult. Other problems that come with the remote working of lawyers include potential Data Breaches and weakening of confidentiality; Clients demanding more-in-person Facetime from their lawyers to ensure accountability and Productivity, amongst others.
Instead of having a limitation to the values they can contribute during this period, the legal teams can use this period as an opportunity to give the best values to their organizations. What then can the lawyers do?
This is the best time for lawyers to focus on clients, to be there for their clients. Legal professionals should connect with and really listen to clients and their needs. A two-line personalized message can deliver the right message. As the priorities and agendas of client shifts, lawyers should be ready to pivot their client-service agenda to match them.
Lawyers should review all advisory circulars, most organisations have to connect with their stakeholders to assure them their business continuity strategies are robust, and all is under control. Someone on the legal team should be reviewing every piece of substantive communication that the company intends to send out.
Lawyers should communicate expressly to all those to whom the company owes contractual obligations and not assume that they are all in this together. Even if they are.
For Board or Committee meetings, this is the best time to go virtual. All important issues on their agenda should be addressed and decisions should be reached on critical matters.
Lawyers should start reviewing employment contracts and labour law and advise HR/Management accordingly. Anticipate what happens if remote working goes on longer than expected. If their companies are not generating income, should employers continue to remunerate? Should Management provide data/electricity allowance to staff? Should staff utilize their unutilised transport allowances instead? Can management devise an arrangement that works for everyone?
This might be the best time for legal professionals to carefully comb through their company's insurance contracts and confirm its coverage. Given the potential severity of the economic impact of the virus, this could be a mitigant. it's also time for legal professionals to start reviewing their contracts to understand their company's obligations.
Finally, Lawyers should advise their organisations about convening an Annual General Meeting this period. If a company has not chosen an Annual General Meeting date, Nigerian law allows a 15-month period from one Annual General Meeting to the next.
The spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic has affected the way businesses work and has undoubtedly changed the way the legal teams function. However, it is up to the lawyers to embrace this change and use it as an opportunity to demonstrate their values to their organizations.
NASD OTC Securities Exchange Market closed on a positive note YTD as the market recorded an increase in performance. NASD Security Index Year to date return rose by 1.03%. Total volume traded Year-to-Date stands at 7,791,380,930 units in 667 deals and total Value traded is N10,090,260,705.93.
Week 25 Overview
NASD OTC Securities Exchange closed the week with a positive return in NSI. The NSI return rose by 3.26% to close the week at 704.76 points against 682.49 points in the preceding Thursday, June 11 2020.
In addition, Week 25 saw NASD Investors gain N16.35 Billion in value. NASD OTC Market capitalization closed at N517.69 Billion compared to N501.34 Billion in the preceding Thursday, resulting from a positive movement of prices.
There was a -51.13% decrease in the total value traded during the week as week 25 saw NASD Investors trade a total of N31,886,332.50 in value compared to N65,251,685.00 in the previous week. Total trade activity for the year is valued at N10,090,260,705.93.
In the same pattern, volume traded during the week was 281,856.00 units compared to 398,800.00 units in the previous week leading to a -29.32% decrease in trade volume compared to week 24. Total volume traded for the year is 7,791,380,930 units.
Top Traded Securities by Volume
The week closed with Central Securities Clearing System Plc Ranking top among four most traded securities by volume and Food Concepts Plc as the least traded among the three most traded in week 25.
Top Traded Securities by Values
The week closed with Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc ranking top among top four most traded securities by value and Afriland Properties Plc as the least traded among the three most traded securities by value in week 25.
Advancers for the week
Three of NASD OTC big stocks closed the week with a positive movement in price. Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, which currently holds a Market Capitalization of N57.86 Billion closes the week at N318.95 representing a 17.11 percent increase from the previous close of N272.35.
FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, which currently holds a Market Capitalization of N117.04 Billion closes the week at N119.88 representing a 5.91 percent increase from the previous close of N113.19.
Central Securities Clearing System Plc, which currently holds a Market Capitalization of N67.75 Billion closes the week at N13.55 representing a 3.83 percent increase from the previous close of N13.05.
Decliners for the Week
One of NASD OTC big stocks close the week with a negative movement in price. UBN Properties Plc which currently holds a Market Capitalization of N8.10 Billion closes the week at N1.44 representing a -3.36 percent decrease from the previous close of N1.49.
The Price of UBN Properties Plc was marked down to reflect a dividend payment of N0.05