27 January 2010

DLA Piper signs exclusive alliance with Kenyan firm Iseme Kamau & Maema Advocates

Kenyan law firm becomes sixth African law firm to join DLA Piper Group

International legal practice, DLA Piper, has further strengthened its African capabilities by establishing an exclusive alliance with Nairobi-based law firm, Iseme Kamau & Maema Advocates ("IKM Advocates"). The seventeen-lawyer firm is the sixth African law firm to join DLA Piper Group, DLA Piper's exclusive alliance. It is also the first, publicised, Kenyan law firm to have an exclusive alliance with an international legal practice.

Nairobi-based IKM Advocates, established in 1987, has five partners and twelve associate lawyers. The firm advises on all areas of commercial law and is particularly strong in the areas of commercial/corporate, litigation, conveyancing/bank securities, intellectual property and tax. It serves a wide range of both domestic and international clients including multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Barclays Bank, Hewlett Packard, Nation Media Group, among others.

DLA Piper, which is one of the world's largest legal practices in the world with over 3,500 lawyers practising in 67 offices, extends its already substantial geographic presence through its exclusive alliances with independent law firms based in countries where it does not currently have a presence. These alliances stretch across Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Australasia, enabling DLA Piper to provide international legal solutions for clients, wherever they choose to do business.

DLA Piper will work closely with IKM Advocates to share know-how and best practice, particularly in the areas of corporate finance, tax, ICT, telecommunications, public private partnerships, infrastructure, energy and aviation. This alliance will enable DLA Piper to enhance its existing capabilities across Africa, where it already has an exclusive relationship with law firms in Egypt, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana, and works closely with law firms in other countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Portuguese speaking Africa to offer a range of international legal services to clients.

Sir Nigel Knowles, joint CEO at DLA Piper, said: "As part of our commitment to serve the needs of our clients, wherever they do business, we are delighted to establish a relationship with a law firm which shares our vision and commitment to client care. There are significant investment and development opportunities in Kenya and by working closely with the IKM Advocates team we will be able to provide our respective clients with support and advice that is enriched by our ability to draw on the international and local expertise of our respective lawyers."

Grant Henderson, Africa Director at DLA Piper, said: "With the globalisation of trade and ongoing economic integration in the region, Nairobi is expected to continue being the financial hub of East and Central Africa. We are delighted to welcome IKM Advocates as a member of DLA Piper Group. Our alliance confirms our commitment to Kenya and the delivery of quality legal services around the world. We believe that IKM Advocates is a firm to watch."

"This is a significant milestone for IKM Advocates in its quest to join the ranks of the best law firms, not only in Africa but in the world at large, by broadening its range of practice areas. With access to DLA Piper's wide pool of experience, systems and knowledge transfer, our clients will receive additional value and the sustainable, innovative and high quality legal services they have come to expect from IKM Advocates over the years." said James Kamau, Managing Partner at Iseme Kamau & Maema Advocates.

In addition to working with the African law firms within DLA Piper Group, DLA Piper has its own strong team of Africa specialist lawyers with direct transactional experience gained in the financial, telecoms, energy, infrastructure, mining and hotels & leisure sectors. Existing clients on Africa-related work include Standard Chartered Bank, Trafigura, Calyon, Standard Bank, Nedbank and FBN Bank (UK) Limited.

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