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How to become a SAN

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"SAN" represents a senior advocate in Nigeria. This is the grade that Nigerian lawyers use as a professional distinguishing mark in legal practice. This is the highest peak that any practicing lawyer can achieve in Nigeria. The award began in 1975. But before that, Nigeria has adopted the British equivalent of the Queen's legal counsel. In 1958, Chief Executive FRA Williams and Chief Justice HO Davis were the first two queens of Nigerians. They were cancelled in Nigeria in 1964 and were not cancelled until 1975.

So there is no ranking system for Nigerian lawyers between 1964-1975. In fact, all lawyers are equal. But on April 3, 1975, FRA Williams CEO and Nabo Graham Douglas became the first people to be appointed. This marks the beginning of a new phase in the country’s legal professional history. Nigeria now has more than 60,000 lawyers, but so far only 349 lawyers have become Nigeria's senior spokespersons.

How to become a senior advocate in Nigeria is constrained by a series of guidelines. This is the guideline for who will become the SAN. What are these guidelines?

Guidelines for being designated as a SAN

There is a committee formed by law to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines. The Legal Practitioner's Privilege Committee is the relevant committee. The SANship Award is an annual event. Any interested lawyer has the responsibility to apply to the committee. The criteria considered by the committee to determine who will describe the award are as follows:

1. The applicant must be a Nigerian citizen.

2. He must practice in Nigeria for 10 years before applying.

3. He must fully comply with the law.

4. He must be proud of the advocates.

5. He must be a good character.

6. He must have made a significant contribution to the development of the legal community in Nigeria.

7. In obtaining the application form, he must pay N200,000 which is non-refundable. The committee can review this amount at any time.

8. He must submit a list of at least 10 high-level court judges to the committee. Before that, he had appeared in disputed important cases. The committee can choose any of these 3 items to provide detailed and confidential information.

9. He must also submit his list of legal practitioners who handle the case. Three of them can be selected by the committee to provide applicable confidential information.


  • Eight decisions of the High Court
  • Six decisions of the Court of Appeal
  • Three decisions of the Supreme Court

11. Since the local branch of the Nigerian Lawyers Association had applied for the most recent 10 years prior to the application, he had to pay his practicing fees and membership fees.

12. He must submit a 3-year income tax certificate before applying.

13. The committee is obliged to carry out a physical inspection of the applicant's chamber to assess the following:

  • Library size and quality,
  • Space and other available facilities
  • Quantity and quality support staff,
  • Correctly maintained The account book,
  • The number of junior lawyers should not be less than five.

If the applicant is a scholar, in addition to some of the above related considerations, he must also provide the Commission with 20 copies of his published works.

Nigeria's senior advocates awards are mainly for advocates. The award extends to non-legal practicing legal practitioners, with the only exception being the college.

as a SAN feature and advantage

as a SAN brings the following love benefits:

1. Priorities – Senior Nigerian advocates occupy a place in the internal bar by occupying the front row of seats available for legal practitioners in the court. This also extends to SAN's right to mention his case before other lawyers regardless of the age of his professional qualifications.

2. Appear in court – A SAN must always appear in court with a junior attorney. However, problems that appear in junior lawyers may be abandoned if things are criminal.

3. Appeal – SAN dress differs from other lawyers' dress code. He wore a more fashionable gown, made of silk material, to make the appearance more elegant. SAN is also called "silk" due to the material used.

4. Professional fees – SAN also has the right to charge more than other lawyers.

Beyond all the benefits of being a SAN, reaching a person's professional peak of psychological satisfaction is unmatched. This explains why ranking competition is always fierce and acute. Year after year, thousands of legal practitioners apply but there is only one useful option.

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