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Kenyan law firm signs global link

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Leading Kenyan commercial law firm, Iseme, Kamau and Maema Advocates (IKM advocates) has sealed an exclusive global partnership with top ranked international legal practice, DLA Piper with over 3,500 lawyers operating in more than 65 offices in 27 countries.

Whilst the alliance is exclusive, other international firms will remain free to refer work in Kenya to IKM Advocates.

The strategic alliance is thought to be a monumental achievement for the relatively young Kenyan law firm which was highly ranked by the respected Chambers Global Guide 2009 edition as an “extremely efficient and thorough firm” with “fantastically fast turnaround times and straight forward advice”. 

Speaking when he confirmed the affiliation, IKM Advocates Managing Partner James Kamau said the partnership with one of the world’s foremost legal practices had been reached following an extensive evaluation process by both firms.

“With a mutual interest to enrich our joint service delivery capacity, I am convinced that IKM could not have found a better affiliate than DLA Piper which shares our core values for the provision of top notch legal services to our existing and potential clients,” Mr Kamau explained.

And he added: “besides the invaluable skills transfer, both IKM Advocates and DLA Piper will undoubtedly benefit from cross referral of work, the ability to offer an expanded service offering to clients, additional resource or expertise and contacts in the jurisdiction that the other firm operates in.”

Billed as a trendsetting milestone for the local legal practice, the affiliation now formally sees IKM joining an alliance of nine other independent law firms with exclusive operating agreements with DLA Piper.

Chairman of the Law Society of Kenya, Okong’o Omogeni stated “the alliance is a very positive development in the legal practice in Kenya and will serve as a beacon of hope to other upcoming law firms who may benefit from similar approaches by other international law firms.  The anticipated transfer of knowledge and skills will serve Kenya and indeed the larger East Africa well.”

DLA Piper Group is an exclusive alliance of independent law firms. The nine existing group members are: Chibesakunda & Co in Zambia, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc with two offices in South Africa, DLA Matouk Bassiouny in Egypt, IMMMA in Tanzania and Reindorf Chambers in Ghana.  Within Europe the Group members are: DLA Nordic in Sweden, Law Firm Glinska & Miskovic Ltd in Croatia and Femil Curt in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Australasia the Group member is DLA Phillips Fox in Australia and New Zealand.

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Ranked by the authoritative international monthly magazine Legal Business as the world’s number one law firm by revenues, DLA Piper’s affiliation with IKM Advocates in Kenya is expected to facilitate mutual benefits for the respective firms’ local and international clients.

DLA Piper has previously successfully worked on an exclusive basis with a number of law firms in Africa alongside its own core team of lawyers with direct Africa transactional experience, gained in the financial, telecoms, energy, infrastructure, mining and hotels and leisure sectors.

While welcoming IKM Advocates to the DLA Piper Group fold, DLA Piper’s joint Chief Executive Officer, Sir Nigel Knowles noted that the use of exclusive alliances is a model which is continuously gaining ground amongst many international law firms.

“In order to extend our service offering to clients in other markets, we have previously used exclusive alliances to expand our geographical reach and give our clients and alliance members access to a wider network of experienced lawyers. At DLA Piper, we are excited and pleased to welcome IKM Advocates to DLA Piper Group,” he said.

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