Section 3(1) of the LPA establishes the Body of Benchers, which is a body of legal practitioners of the highest distinction in the legal profession in Nigeria. 

         By virtue of Section 3(2), it is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal.

         Under the LPA, its functions are:
1.   Formal call to Bar of aspirants.
2.   The issuance of Call to Bar Certificate.  Section 4(3). 

Following the promulgation of (Legal Practitioners Amendment) Decree No. 21 of 1994, the functions of the body of Benchers were expanded with the following additions:

3.   Prescription of Call Fees.  See Section 5(d) of the Decree.
4.   The exercise of disciplinary jurisdiction over Members of the profession and students seeking to become legal practitioners.  See Section 8 of the Decree.
5.   Prescription of Practising Fees in consultation with the Nigerian Bar Association.  See Section 8 of the Decree.
6.   They take measures which appear necessary or expedient for maintaining the traditional values of the legal profession and in line with this, they have made regulations prescribing the following:

a.    The keeping of three dinning terms by aspirants.
b.    Unblemished conduct as pre-requisite for call to Bar, and
c.    Sponsorship of aspirants in writing by two Members of the Body of Benchers.

7.   The Body of Benchers has also been given the responsibility of the general management of the affairs of the NBA.  See Section 2 of the Decree.

1.      Chief Justice of Nigeria (Life Bencher) and all the    Justices of the Supreme Court.
2.      The President of the Court of Appeal.
3.      The Attorney General of the Federation.
4.      Presiding Justices of the Court of Appeal divisions.
5.      The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
6.      Two Chief Judge of the FCT.
7.      The Chief Judges of all the States.
8.      Attorneys General of all the States.
9.      The Chairman of the Council of Legal Education.
10.    30 legal practitioners nominated by the NBA.
11.    Not more than 10 legal practitioners who appear to the Body of Benchers to be eminent legal practitioners of not less than 15 years post call.

1.   Exclusive right to sit at the first row.
The right to mention any cause or matter, which is on the list for, mention and not otherwise listed for hearing out of turn.  See Sections 6(3) and 56(1) of the LPA.  Also see Section 1 of the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Decree No. 2 of 14th September 1992

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