The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) has released new guidelines for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).
A copy of the new guidelines obtained by our reporter shows that applicants for the highest rank in the legal profession will now cough out a whopping N300,000 as application fee as against N250,000 paid last year.
A committee, which was set up to review the guidelines had recommended N500,000 application fee and justified the recommendation on the high cost of conducting chambers inspection across the country.
But the Chairman of the LPPC and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar rejected the recommendation arguing that it was too high.
The documents have also empowered the committee to suspend a legal practitioner from the use of the rank of SAN pending the determination of any disciplinary action, complaint or prosecution against such a legal practitioner.
This new guidlines also empower the committee to punish an alleged erring legal practitioner even when his guilt has yet to be established.
Other changes in the new guidelines include earlier opening of the application process. Call for applications will now be made not later than January 7, each year as against not later than January 31 under the former arrangement.
Applicants are also now required to provide certified true copies of complete record of trial proceedings in at least five cases he or she handled at the high court from filing stage to judgment to show that he or she conducted the trial throughout.