, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The law Society of Kenya has lauded an exclusive global affiliation by a local firm with one of the world’s top ranked legal practices.
LSK Chairman Okong’o Omogeni noted that the affiliation between Iseme, Kamau and Maema Advocates and international legal practice house, DLA Piper will serve as a beacon of inspiration to other indigenous law firms.
The LSK boss said such an alliance will serve to raise the volume of business flowing from international clients with a positive domino effect on job creation for local legal practitioners.
Speaking during a dinner hosted to celebrate the pact, Mr Omogeni explained that the LSK would continue supporting such alliances as part of the society’s overall programmes to facilitate skills transfer amongst local lawyers from their peers abroad.
“LSK acknowledges that this is the first Kenyan law firm to have a formal alliance with an international legal practice and congratulates IKM and DLA Piper. LSK acknowledges that as a result of increased business, there will be increased employment opportunities for Kenyans,” Mr Omogeni said.
“LSK encourages IKM to tap into the pool of knowledge in the alliance and propose novel practices that can be adopted by lawyers and the LSK. In particular, LSK would like to understand how corporate/commercial legal practice can be more widely practiced.”
While welcoming IKM Advocates to the DLA Piper fold, DLA Piper’s International Development Partner, David Church 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” Mr Church explained.
He added: “All indicators point to the fact that investment in Africa is predicted to grow following the global recession and this will undoubtedly uncover a latent need for sophisticated, international legal advice to support projects and ongoing developments.”
The alliance between DLA Piper and IKM Advocates is billed as 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 at the function, IKM Advocates Managing Partner, James Kamau acknowledged that recent developments such as the globalisation of trade and liberalisation of the economy had made it imperative for the re-engineering of legal practice to meet the dynamic needs of the firm’s clients.
“IKM Advocates alliance with DLA Piper opens a new phase in the growth of IKM as a provider of “first world” legal services,” Mr Kamau said.
“With our enhanced capability, we hope to be able to expand our practice areas to fields such as corporate finance, private public partnerships, infrastructure, energy, environment and international arbitration.”
IKM Advocates provides specialist legal services in the traditional commercial law fields and is also actively involved in emerging areas of law and practice.
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.