REFLECTIONS- JULY 5-9, 2021

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A WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF LEGAL & TECH EVENTS GLOBALLY | July 5-9, 2021

THIS IS REFLECTIONS, our weekly roundup of events in the legal and technology sector, covering various topics and interesting learning points for today’s professionals. If you couldn’t make an event, don’t worry, we probably made it and have all the juicy scoop for your reading pleasure and learning.

Do you have an upcoming event you would like us to know about or attend? OR do you know of one you would like to read about? Send an email to us HERE.

EVENT ONE

AELEX TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA & TELECOMMUNICATIONS WEBINAR 2021

INTRODUCTION

The webinar started at about 11:00 am on Friday, July, 2nd 2021.

The first session was moderated by Tiwalola Osazuwa who is a senior associate at Aelex. Tiwalola started by introducing the set of panelists which includes:

  1. David Oluranti – (Head legal, Flutterwave);
  2. Adedoyin Adesina and;
  3. Jeffery Alberts

After the introduction of the panelists, the moderator went straight into the topic for discussion which is Legal consideration for Fintech start-ups while leveraging on digital tools and invited the 1st panelist for his discussion.

MAIN DISCUSSION

David Oluranti kick-started the discussion. Firstly, he gave a brief description of what Flutterwave is about. He stated that Flutterwave is a licensed Payment Technology Company that provides payment infrastructure for merchants, customers, and payment service providers all across the world. He further emphasized that the objective of Flutterwave is to simplify payment across Africa.

He then proceeded to define what a Fintech company is. He stated that a Fintech company is a financial technology company. That such companies use technology to make financial services more efficient. David then highlighted some digital tools for Fintechs. He stated as follows:

  1. Team and Project Management. Under this, he cited some examples which includes Google sheets, Google Calendar, Calendarly, Kissflow etc.
  2. Communications and Collaborators. He cited the example of Slack and Zoom under this heading.
  3. He then made mention of Website Creation and Management, E-commerce and Blogging tools which includes Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress etc.
  4. Another example of digital tools David mentioned is what is called API testing tools. He explained that API means Application Program Interface which is a unique registered link. He stated that it is not available for free. For API testing tools, David gave examples which includes SoapUI, Katalon Studio, Post Man, Apigee.
  5. Document creation, storage, access and sharing tools and examples are Microsoft Office, Google suite.
  6. AI tools. Here he gave examples of Digital Financial Advisor like Ella, Client Risk Profilers like XGBoost, Transaction Search and Visualisation tools like Erica.
  7. Marketing tools which includes Mail Chimp, HubSpot, Twitter, Instagram.
  8. Accounting and Antifraud software which includes Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks Proprietary, FRISS, NameScan. He mentioned that Microsoft Excel is good for accounting exercise.
  9. Identification Verification tools which includes IDNow, VIX Verify, Acuant.
  10. Web Browsing engines which includes Safari, Google Chrome and a couple of others.
  11. IT Security Management tools which includes Argus, Splok, Kali Linux. Very importantly, David pointed out that these IT security is paramount to have as a technology company in order to secure or protect its systems from hackers and that this is done using Security Management tools as cited.
  12. E-signature applications which includes DocuSign, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Doc Sketch.
  13. Cybersecurity tools which includes MetaSploit, Wireshark, john the Rapper. Here he also mentioned that Cybersecurity tools are almost similar to IT Security Management tools but are however more advanced.
  14. Finally, Payment Gateway tools which includes Flutterwave, Paypal, Stripe, Skrill.

He moved on to discuss the Legal Considerations for the Use of Digital Tools. He started by stating some of the regulators that regulate the use of these digital tools. He mentioned that these regulators give approval for the use of these digital tools.

He explained that there are both International and Local Regulators. For the International Regulators, he mentioned some as follows:

  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the United States of America;
  2. The Information Commissioners Office;
  3. Zambia Information and Communications Authority;
  4. Basel Committee on Banking Supervision;
  5. International Financial Consumer Protection Organization (FincoNet);
  6. The Financial Conduct Authority for the United Kingdom;
  7. Financial Action Task (FAT). He pointed out that Financial Action Task is a combination of various individual organizations who come together to ensure financial proprietary.

For Local Regulators, he as well mentioned some of the following:

  1. The Central Bank of Nigeria;
  2. Corporate Affairs Commission;
  3. National Information Technology Development Agency;
  4. Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria;
  5. Securities Exchange Commission.

David also made mention of some of the regulations that guide the use of these digital tools. He again stated that there are local as well as international regulations. Under the international regulations, he stated some of them which include:

  1. European Union, Directive 2014/65/EU. May 2014;
  2. European Union, Directive 2000/46/EC. September 2000;
  3. The General Data Protection Regulation 2016;
  4. California Consumer Privacy Act.

For the local regulations; he stated some of them which is as follows:

  1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended);
  2. Central Bank of Nigeria Act;
  3. Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020;
  4. Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act;
  5. Nigerian Data Protection Regulation, 2019;
  6. The Finance Act, 2020.

David explained that for Fintech startups who are leveraging on digital tools, some of which are website management and creation, e-commerce and blogging tools; domain name, trademarks registration and licensing, awareness of prohibited websites, applications, symbols, words in certain jurisdictions, data privacy and applicable principles (cookies) should be considered. He stated that for documents creation, access tools; the privacy and security of documents should be exchanged and submitted in electronic form. For e-signature applications; the validity of documents signed using digital tools should equally be considered. For AI tools, he emphasized that data privacy, ethnical concerns, possible bias, and discrimination of the AI tool being used should be considered. He stated all these as some of the legal considerations for Fintech startups leveraging digital tools.

He again mentioned that non-disclosure agreements, partnership agreements, joint venture agreements are some of the contracts that can be used when determining these legal considerations. He stated that in breach of these e-contracts, certain remedies are available and some of which are:

  1. Typical pre-digitalization and globalization remedies which includes specific performance, termination, right to rescind the contract, litigation etc.
  2. That where consumer’s statutory rights are breached including in relation to goods, a right to reject the goods, to have them repaired or replace or to receive a price reduction, there is also a specific compensation mechanism if digital content has caused damage to a device or other digital content owned by a consumer.

The moderator posed the question: why there is a need for regulators? If there are benefits for the existence of these many regulators?

Adedoyin Adesina answered the question by saying that due to the fact that money is involved, then there is a need for the regulators to provide guidelines and a safe space for investors.  That there is a need for trust to be provided.

Jeffrey Alberts also stated that the presence of regulators plays an important role in protecting investors or consumers. That the presence of many regulators is to prevent money laundering and fraud. That the regulators help Fintech companies know how to interpret the regulations.

The moderator again asked if there are too many regulations/regulators or conflicting regulations in the Fintech space?

According to Adedoyin, she was of the opinion that there are indeed a lot of regulators but that they are all in order to ensure proper regulation. That they do not necessarily conflict with each other.

To David Oluranti, who is in the Fintech company, he pointed out that the presence of many regulators is to ensure proper watch. While Jeffrey Alberts opined that the presence of too many regulators in the United State of America can be frustrating. He mentioned that there are both Federal and State Regulators in the United States which according to him is unnecessary. David also aligned with the opinion of Jeffrey Alberts that there are too many regulators in the United States of America and that this in turn makes it uneasy for Fintech companies.

Adedoyin also stated that having so many regulators can impact the ease of entry. That it can be an expensive endeavor especially for a small setup. According to Jeffrey, in the United States of America, the presence of many regulators creates a barrier to the ease of entry even though it is worthwhile. He cited an example of a small setup in the U.S having to apply to 46 or 50 states including the Federal Government. That this in a way will create a barrier for entry.

The Panelists all agreed that yes the presence of so many regulators are a barrier but also a necessary part of the regulatory scheme.

The moderator asked the final question which is: How to marry the interests of the regulators with innovations?

Adedoyin stated that there should be a frequent dialogue between the regulators and Fintech operators. That there should be a better understanding from both ends that is the regulators and fintech operators.

The panelists emphasized that there is a need for cooperation between the regulators and Fintech operators, a need to ensure that there is synergy between the regulators and operators, and a need for communication between both parties.  They pointed out that communication and dialogue help with the synergy between the regulators and operators.

The moderation in the person Tiwalola Osazuwa thanked all the panelists for an insightful discussion and the attendees for attending. The session came to an end at about 12:34 pm.

The second session started at exactly 12:35 pm which was moderated by Kehinde Ojadamola Takuro also a senior associate at Aelex. Each of the panelists were introduced and a brief biography was given on each of them. The panelists include:

  1. Nkechukwu Otike-Odibi who is a senior legal executive at Ebony Life Media
  2. Angela Anukam who is a legal manager at ROK Studios which is a Canal Plus Subsidiary; and
  3. Onyinye Ukegbu who is a legal business associate at Business Day.

The first question that was posed to Nkechukwu is as follows: what are the legal considerations for broadcasting and filmmaking in Nigeria?

Nkechukwu explained that there should be a scriptwriter agreement executed by a person who wants to venture into filmmaking. That this agreement is properly documented and that the agreement has to be signed by the director, producer as well as crew involved in the filmmaking. Secondly, she stated that the type of broadcasting platform should be considered. She mentioned that copyright is huge for filmmaking. That there is a need for copyright protection. She equally made mention of trademarks in filmmaking. That there is a need for a person to know how to leverage the use of trademarks in filmmaking. She mentioned that when a movie is being shot, there is a need to be careful about content.

The moderator posed the question: in terms of post-production in film making, whether there are peculiar legal considerations to Angela Anukam:

Angela answered in the affirmative and explained that there are legal considerations in post-production. She mentioned that in some instances the consent of the author of the work is needed. She then defined an author of a work as a person who puts out an idea or translates an idea into material print. She stated some of the applicable laws governing the entertainment sector which includes:

  1. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
  2. The Copyright Act; and
  3. Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation Commission act and Code.

She further mentioned that the regulatory body is the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation Commission.

Angela was then asked to explain what Programme License Agreement is. She defined Programme License Agreement as a document between a licensor and licensee. She stated that the licensee needs to identify the kind of right he/she is granting to the licensor. That is to establish the perimeter of the license he is granting. The licensee should equally define the period of time the right will be grant because it cannot be granted in perpetuity. She made mention of consideration. She explained that consideration is important because it is one of the important elements in a contract and so therefore the licensee should let the licensor know the amount of consideration that will be given as a result of the license given.

The moderator then called on Onyinye and asked whether there are certain legal considerations that surround publishing content online?

Onyinye answered in the affirmative and stated defamation and privacy; she defined defamation as a statement that injuries the reputation of a person. That it comes in two forms which is libel (more permanent which is in print or online) and slander. She mentioned that a person must be accurate about what he/she is sharing and not to run afoul of the law. She stated that privacy is different from defamation. That the fact a person publishes his personal information online doesn’t give another a right to copy the personal information and make use of it.

Secondly, she mentioned Plagiarism; here she defined what Plagiarism is. She stated that a writer should be aware of his or her original work and know when he or she gets inspiration from another person’s work.  Onyinye explained how to prevent plagiarism. She stated that consent from the owner of the work should be acquired, the principle of fair use that is shared each other’s work, it allows one to use or copy some percepts of a person work and lastly know when a person has published its own original work. She stated that the concept of fair use doesn’t mean that the person is typically altering another person’s work.

CONCLUSION

As closing remarks, Nkechukwu mentioned that every creator should have a lawyer because all legal considerations cannot be known by the creator. She advised creators to get better at what they do and not to stop raising questions as well as challenging unfavorable regulations or laws.

Angela also advised creators to avoid liabilities. That both viewers and content creators should be knowledgeable about regulations that govern them. Onyinye also aligned with the opinions of Nkechukwu and Angela and emphasized that content creators should know and understand their rights.

The moderator thanked all the panelists for the enlightened discussions as well as the attendees.

The session came to an end at exactly 2:17 pm.

EVENT TWO

A REPORT ON WEBINAR ORGANISED BY LAWSIKHO HELD ON 3RD OF JULY, 2021

TOPIC: IMPORTANCE OF LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING

LAWSIKHO – HOST AND MODERATOR

DIPSHI – PANELIST

KALYAN JHABAKH – PANELIST

INTRODUCTION

At 12:32pm. the host, LawSikho began the webinar by introducing the panelist DipShi and Kalyan Jhabakh. She stated that Kalyan Jhabakh is a Lawyer from Surana and Surana International Attorneys International Law Centre and DipShi is a Legal Editor and Coach at LawSikho, a lawyer by profession and an enthusiastic social worker and passionate about teaching. She further read the profile of Kalyan Jhabakh.

KALYAN JHABAKH ON LEGAL RESEARCH

Kalyan Jhabakh introduced himself and the law firm he works for. According to him, legal research is the activity aimed at analyzing and collection of information for solidifying the base of a legal document, notice, contract, etc. For proper legal research, the following steps are followed:

  • Proper Analysis of the given situation/case. 
  • Analyzing the facts associated with the given situation/case.
  • Validation of the collected facts/information.

According to him, legal research is the activity that identifies and gathers information to strengthen legally any brief, document or contract. The whole process begins with extracting facts from a wide range of sources pertinent to the case in hand, analyzing and interpreting the facts and finally applying the results of the investigation that started the whole cycle. Hence, the foundation of a strong, watertight case depends largely on this exercise, making it so important for lawyers in general.

It also requires special skills to maintain high standards of research. Thus, it is rightly said that the strength of lawyers does not lie in their knowledge of the law, but in their ability to find the relevant sections through research and bring it in tune with their requirements through optimized interpretation of the findings.

He stated that the advantages of legal research are the lawyer’s understanding and analysis of a case often begin in the research stage when he identifies the relevant facts and determines the legal issues that must be researched. Another advantage of legal research in this analysis continues and is refined as they decide where, how, and what to search. As they find seemingly relevant legal materials, they must understand them and how they apply to the facts of their case. This research provides a crucial analytical foundation that will inform their decisions for the remainder of the case.

Research is considered to be the more objective, methodical, well-determined scientific process of investigation. Through research, a decision-maker can quickly get a summary of the current scenario, which improves his/her information base for making sound decisions affecting future operations of organizations. It is useful to accelerate the decision-making power and it alone can make possible the identification of the determinants.  

According to him, the key to success in researching legal issues is realizing that research is a process. You cannot memorize a million cases, and you are not looking for a needle in a haystack. But you can master the overall process of research. As a lawyer, you need to base your analysis on the law: judicial opinions, statutes and constitutions, and administrative law.

Legal research will be unlike any research you have previously done because legal research requires you to use legal analysis. This analysis will tell you which issues to research and how to use the sources you find to solve the client’s problem. Without understanding legal analysis, you may be able to perform the mechanical functions of research, but you will not be able to understand the results of the research. Another unique aspect of legal research is that often there will be no clear answer to the question you are researching. Instead, you will find pieces to a puzzle, and you will have to use legal analysis to fit the pieces together.

KALYAN JHABAKH ON LEGAL WRITING

According to him, legal writing is extremely crucial for the legal sector. It is a form of technical writing specifically practiced by lawyers, judges, and those in the paralegal profession to resolve clients’ matters.

Legal writing is the central medium with which a lawyer communicates his or her work. The most brilliant legal mind will have a difficult time in the legal profession, if their writing skills are not on par with their ability to effectively read, research, analyze, and reason about the law and the facts of the case.

Every sentence, every statement and every point made has to be backed by assertions and citations to authority. This is therefore distinct from other types of research writing. Legal writing is a backbone of well-researched legal document services and both legal research and writing greatly complement each other.

The importance of this function is further reinforced by the fact that spinning of this activity to experts in the legal profession gives much-needed relief to lawyers hard-pressed in fighting court cases and without the time to do justice to this vital element. While it is possible for top-end large legal firms to pull lawyers off existing tasks for research and writing, the small and mid-level firms cannot afford that luxury.

CONCLUSION

To understand the true logic and use of a particular statute, proper legal research and writing are essential. Just like in our daily studies practice makes perfect, legal research and writing help in strengthening the problem analyzing and solving skills of a lawyer or any other fellow of law.

AELEXINNOVATIONPLAGIARISMreflectionsTECHNOLOGYTELECOMMUNICATIONS

lawpavilion • July 12, 2021


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