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Senior Lawyer Sharma Agrees With A-G, Time For Lawyers To Change

Senior Lawyer Sharma Agrees With A-G, Time For Lawyers To Change
Devanesh Sharma with brother and fellow lawyer Pravesh Sharma at the convention. Photo: Jyoti Pratibha
September 02
13:28 2017

A senior Suva lawyer and former President of Fiji Law Society Devanesh Sharma on Friday welcomed the series of remarks made by the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

This was during the Fiji Law Society’s annual convention on Yanuca Island.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum touched on issues ranging from the need for lawyers to strike a balance between looking at law as their business and profession.

And also about the need for lawyers to give back to the community by doing pro bono work and the real need to specialise in various fields such as infrastructure law.

His remarks were well received by lawyers who were present on Day One of the two-day convention currently underway at Yanuca Island along Coral Coast.

Mr Sharma said: “Firstly I think the Attorney-General spoke very well. I think he covered some of the most crucial areas facing the profession today.

“About pro bono work- I think he has made a very good point. We have a very large legal profession now and I think the lawyers, especially the senior lawyers need to do a lot more work to assist the community. Part of our ethics is to actually offer services to the community,” he said.

“I loved the way he made the point about the profession and business. I think it was right on point when he talked about that. He also made some very good points like the move towards specialisation. Surely it is about time the local lawyers get up to speed and start to build up expertise on things like competition law, infrastructure law and that was also very thought provoking.”

Mr Sharma agreed with Mr Sayed-Khaiyum that for a long time only one or two law firms were getting the cream of the work and attributed this to the marketing strategies of these law firms.

“The profession now is big enough for many of the lawyers to specialise in areas. The cake is bigger, as he mentioned the economy has grown over the last eight years and legal work has grown larger.”

He further agreed that somewhere along the line the Fiji Law Society had let down people by not acting on complaints against lawyers in a timely manner. As a former Society President he reasoned that the Society did not have the resources available but they welcomed the formation of Independent Legal Services Commission which now deals with complaints against lawyers.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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