Stanbic Bank Engages Law School On I.T And Contracts Law

The Legal wing of Stanbic Bank has advised Lawyers to start getting comfortable with Information Technology instead of relying fully on IT personnel because today Technology is part and parcel of their day to day business as Lawyers. 

This was said at the School of Law today, 21st March 2019, during a ceremony where the legal wing of Stanbic Bank had an interface with law academics and students on the subject of ‘Bringing attention to the changes in Contracts law and practice’.

At the event, Stanbic Bank staff also donated Books Entitled ‘The Tech Contracts Handbook, by David W.Tollen, a world renowned  technology law expert , practitioner and author. 

The hand book that was described as very useful by practitioners was well received by both students and faculty given its easy to use nature and simple style.

While welcoming the team to the School of Law, The Principal Dr. Christopher Mbazira commended the team from Stanbic Bank for the partnership and proposed that it gets widened to cover the entire University.  ‘The partnership is timely as a form of knowledge transfer where we in the humanities can benefit from the industries that help us understand the challenges therein but also give us an opportunity to share our experiences’ he said.

He noted that there were a number of new developments on board citing the examples of Agent banking, Mobile money transactions and others that had moved ahead of the Law, and without ensuring that the institutions teaching the law are kept abreast of these dynamics. He said the partnership with Stanbic Bank was an opportunity that would help close the gap especially through the Commercial Law department which had been trying out a number of innovations. He proposed that the donated books be put in the main library instead of the Book bank at the School of law to allow access for others in the wider university community.

The University Librarian Dr. Hellen Byamugisha commended the School of Law for the gesture of ensuring that the donated books are put in the Law Cage in the Main Library where they can access by scholars from other disciplines.  She said contrary to the usual perception of books as hard copies, there has been a transformation in the various forms of books from the physical to electronic and that this has made such materials very expensive. She said the University cannot afford funding the present need for books adding that the budges keep reducing amidst the scramble for the limited resources amidst the needs at hand. She said many of the library resources were donor funded citing the example of SIDA since the year 2000, which unfortunately was  soon coming to an end.

Dr. Byamugisha commended Stanbic bank for the continued support to Makerere University and proposed a memorandum of understanding at a higher level for further collaboration.
Stanbic Bank’s Candy Wekesa Okoboi while presenting the books noted that there were subjects that were relevant to a wide scope of professionals that included lawyers, accountants, IT professionals as well as bank staff.  She said the subject of contracts law was relevant to many sectors given that the current trend of events was affecting all aspects of life citing examples of the internet of Things, and the Bio data cards and that as a Bank, they were inclined to address the prevailing need and hence the discussion on the subject of contracts.

Wekesa noted that fields like Human resource, insurance, and many other things have been automated and therefore there was need to procure the needed technology to meet the needs of the clients.  She said emphasis was on contracts because of the need to keep in good relations. She cited examples of types of contracts in Information Technology that included the IT professionals themselves, the software license agreements and software as a service contract like cloud services.

She said the lawyers were central in all these transactions because they give technical specifications, timelines and deliverables.  She mentioned the standard or boiler plate clauses such as deliveries, acceptance of the IT services emphasizing that one needed to provide for an opportunity to test the software to be sure that it actually worked according to the technical specifications.

While commenting about data as the new asset being handled by big global organizations, Ms Wekesa said Contracts law as a subject was even more useful in the big data concepts where because of too much information in agencies like NITA, and the Banks, there was need to take extra care in the way data was handled or else the organization would face significant financial losses. 

In the discussions that ensured, participants commended the bank for taking the initiative to appraise the law school on such a pertinent subject and promised to address the issues in the teaching and learning.