Our Focus Areas
We live in an era where access to global information and technological advancement is increasingly the norm. These societal characteristics surround key areas of socio-economic activity: the extractive industries, renewables, construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, capital and labour markets etc. The continent of Africa is experiencing increased penetration of these global developments, which challenge the various legal systems and legal services across Africa in an equally profound way and thus demand bold responses. The ALN Academy has commenced its capacity building efforts focusing on areas that we believe are key to achieving sustainable socio-economic outcomes and development. Our approach is to be inclusive and to be responsive to the feedback we obtain in order to assist determining our ongoing focus.
Programmes & Updates
‘To drive a law firm you need a clear strategy and a strong partnership for clients to be confident in you’, says Karim Anjarwalla, A&K’s Managing Partner at the 10th session of the ALN Academy’s Legal Practice Management Series.
After 9 successful sessions in the 10 part Legal Practice Management Series in Nairobi, this was the final piece in the set on Organisation people and leadership. The session was facilitated by Karim Anjarwalla, who has headed A&K on its journey to becoming one of Africa's most successful law firms. This has been a dynamic exchange opportunity between fellow leaders within the legal services industry of all shapes and sizes. We fundamentally believe in the notion of the rising tide, where the sharing of knowledge and wisdom is for the greater benefit of us all.
ALN Academy launched its Thought Leader’s Lecture with Dr Edward Kwakwa, Senior Director - Department of Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges at WIPO, delivering his talk on Intellectual Property (IP) in Africa.
The lecture considered why IP is earmarked as a key enabler for the development of African states, and whether enough was being done to protect IP on the continent. He also elaborated on IP as it relates to global issues, public health, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions and the challenges surrounding protection of such IP and how IP rights belonging to Africans are being exploited without attribution or benefit to the owners. The lecture also covered the relevance of the amendment to Article 31 of TRIPS to Africa and WTO’s decision on Tobacco Plain Packaging.
The African Prisons Project is doing a sensational job in helping prisoners and dare I say it prison systems across Africa rebuild from the inside out. I missed the group visit last month organised for ALN lawyers and associated organisations to visit the Kamiti Maximum Security prison facility in Kenya, and specifically the law clinic and academy that has been set up there and which will gain A&K's CSR support. Quite frankly I was stunned by what I saw and felt compelled to say something.
ALN Academy in collaboration with CIArb Kenya received great feedback from those who attended the Expert Panel Series session on Handling Expert Witnesses in Arbitration.
Attendees said that discussions were informative, engaging, challenging with practical, diverse and insightful perspectives relating to the subject matter. We aimed to cover key areas such as the appointments of experts, from the view points of the practitioner and arbitrator; possible techniques and strategies to use when considering how to plan and use evidence effectively; factors considered by the Tribunal within its expert evidence reviewing function; and considerations relating to arbitration in Kenya and Africa moreover.
ALN Academy is pleased to be able to share Policy Guidelines and Action points arising from the Brave New Way Roundtable discussions held in May this year at Strathmore University Nairobi, in collaboration with Microsoft.
The focal areas of the discussions were Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Ledger Technologies and Data Privacy and Protection. We thank all our expert contributors and the student participants from Strathmore University for such erudite thinking and articulation regarding areas of concern, opportunities, possible solutions to identified problems and for highlighting areas requiring further development in respect of the subject matters and their relationship with existing legal and policy frameworks, globally and particularly within African states.
Facts win cases and yet how those facts are presented play a major role in whether your client’s account of events is accepted by the tribunal or not. In arbitration matters, significant reliance is placed on testimony given by expert witnesses to assist in establishing the key facts. Put simply, expert evidence can make or break a case.
With this reality in mind it is imperative that special care and attention is applied to how advocates handle expert witnesses from both sides of the fence, either as supporting evidence or evidence that needs to be challenged; Arbitrators also need to handle such evidence and the witnesses with the same level of care.
Government Contracting and Investment Disputes: Lessons for States and Investors
ALN Academy is proud to be a Strategic Partner at the 2019 Edition of the Annual East Africa International Arbitration Conference (EAIAC), taking place in Nairobi, Kenya on 29th and 30th August 2019.
Managing one of the largest and arguably most successful law firms in Kenya and East Africa is the story of an exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding journey. Karim will share from his journey so far; however, come prepared to be put through your paces. To what extent do you envisage your journey now? Are you prepared to set about living that journey day by day, challenge by challenge? This is not a lecture, this is a session to test your mettle and for you to ask whether you are ready and brave enough to succeed. Take the challenge!
This session shall provide an insight to managing the operations of a law firm and enable your firm to move from the ideas, to the framing of deliverables to implementation. In workshop and group formats, this session will provide you with best practices, practical steps and tangible tools that will enable you to design your firm’s road map to success, deploying methods that are relevant, flexible and that have a proven track record globally.
The sanctity of human existence and the belief of our innate value and goodness, to my mind necessitates that, in addition to what we do to command an income, we continue to gift society in service. The perpetuity and circularity of our offerings have the potential to ensure that no person's needs of the very basic requirements of life will be left unmet. Is this fanciful? I sincerely believe not; and yet for a moment, a seed of doubt began to raise its head at our afternoon Legal Practice Management Series session, that was bereft of most of those good souls who frequented the morning session, but were now part of that mass exodus. However, what transpired at session 8 titled, "The power of giving back", was breath taking.
Every now and again we are exposed to simple, straight forward insights that if acted upon would make a world of difference. In this case, those participating in session 7 of our Legal Practice Management Series (LPMS) were looking to better understand digital transformation in its most practical everyday sense. In other words, how can we use the digital apparatus that we already have access to in a much more effective way.
Who better to have this conversation with than representatives of two of the dominant players in the tech world, Google and Microsoft, who provide businesses, the world over, with many of the applications that are used to assist communication and productivity.
CSR continues to be a buzz word for many companies thinking about how to put back into society. However, current thinking sees CSR as far too periphery in terms of making a real impact to society at large and importantly, to the work place. The competition for talent is becoming the number one challenge in relation to recruitment. What sets your firm apart from all the others? Why should a talented highly motivated individual choose your firm over someone else’s? Increasingly the answer to these questions are linked to what else does a law firm do aside from its core business. The discerning employee is not the only one on the lookout for more socially responsible professional actors; clients/consumers very clearly fall into this bracket. So why is any of the above relevant to Pro Bono work in your firm? Join this exciting debate and see the holistic benefits this area can bring to your practice and to the environment in which your firms serve.
So, we have identified the many challenges that exist in relation to legal service delivery: timeliness, cost effectiveness, end user engagement and satisfaction, sustainable growth and development of your firm’s core business and forays into new areas. All these challenges and the many more that have been discussed during the series, ultimately affect access to justice and rule of law outcomes generally, which in turn affect law firm and jurisdictional profile. We take a focused look at industry solutions guided by an insider perspective, from one of the major global tech companies. We shall explore why cloud-based systems are believed to offer game changing solutions for law firms of all sizes; why the policy environment is critical to how things may pan out and why in the final analysis, regardless of the digital tools available, such tools must serve the people centric aims that are to be achieved.
This series is ideal for women involved in all forms of business, social enterprise, professional women of all age groups and women in full time home making. In essence, sisters you are all welcome!
Artificial Intelligence/machine-learning, blockchain/distributed ledger, smart contracts and other innovative technology arrangements have the potential to reshape the relationship between states, businesses and citizens. Within the African context, this may mean real game changing situations with the potential for accelerated solutions to address age long socio-economic cultural challenges.
The Africa on Trial Series - we set out to tell a story, our story, an authentic version, call it interpretation if you will, of the Rule of Law situation within the continent of Africa; and we began with a glimpse of the East African experience.
The human spirit that pervades African culture lays at the heart of the continent’s collective genius - beyond survival. Notwithstanding the madness that sometimes surrounds the modern awakening of what Africa’s survival actually means, I personally deem it essential to build narratives in ways that are reflective of the modes of communication that speak to who we are as peoples.
The Africa On Trial Series is an annual five-part exposition of Africa's rule of law record, taken regionally and brought to life by way of dramatisations, deep discussions, spearheaded by various representatives from within Africa's expert cultural, socio-legal communities. Some argue that the era at present represents the last stop for Africa to get on board the vehicle of progression and to journey toward its rightfuI place within the international community. Moreover, that the rule of law is the binding agent that will align and marry the social, economic, cultural and spiritual experiences required for the future successes on the continent. Putting it lightly, the post-independence rule of law record across Africa has left much to be desired. And yet this unsettling reality has its backdrop in the euphoria of nations gaining their independence, with the promise of a better and more prosperous tomorrow; with written constitutions, the continent over, securing rights and outlining responsibilities.
Design thinking is an ethos, a worldview and a way forward for incorporating technology and machine learning into the law office environment. Using a method of approaching problem-solving employed by Apple, Uber and AirBnB, let’s explore design thinking to law office processes and paper flow, and find out how to ‘go green’ while improving efficiency and increasing profitability in the law firm. Elaine Kehew is a lawyer and certified Knowledge Manager with 20 years of experience helping law firms improve processes and deliver superior legal services.
Afternoon session: Financial Management Part 2 as requested by participants
ICT and lawyers have not always gotten on. An understatement? It has often been for some other guy/girl in the building to be getting on with. However, we have quickly realised how short sighted such an approach has been and as a whole, the legal industry has made great strides playing catch up with other sectors in the effective deployment of ICT infrastructure, integration and application across our respective legal outfits.
The session brought into focus just how critical ICT is, playing an almost central nervous system function for organisations: receiving, processing, networking and communicating key information, internally and externally, enabling the business to plan, strategise and execute.
It looks like Kenya and the rest of the continent for that matter, are yet again at important cross roads, as we attempt to navigate the new and increasing waves of enthusiasm and interest in Africa. Do we wish for another scramble (as the Economist recently put it) or do we seek a well-planned, joint up approach to creating an enabling environment that caters for our respective investment and wider societal needs? How is arbitration relevant to any of these considerations? How can we better organise our legal practices to exploit the growing need for expert dispute resolution services and to what extent do those legal services filter into and support the national dispute resolution institutions?
Make no mistake, our 4th Legal Practice Management Series (LPMS) Session that covered human resource issues (people and culture), went down very well. This session was powerfully delivered by Raymond Muthama, head of People & Culture at Anjarwalla & Khanna, and at times was uncomfortably challenging, but with a real purpose and in good taste. In lots of ways the discussions centred around how does an organisation: 1) Provide value propositions to its employees that are authentic and compelling, that gain the trust and commitment from those who buy into the vision; 2) Systematise and implement value systems (culture) built on excellence and on the push and pull of the employee/employer relationship; and (3) Capitalise on its identity as peoples of an organisation, in order to attract and maintain a loyal customer base.
In a modern Law firm, technology is a key enabler to offering competitive services to your clients. The ICT session, will be a workshop format aiming for a highly interactive group to demonstrate and discuss how cut out to a scalable ICT solution for your law firm that is alive to the size of your law firm, area of operations etc. We shall also provide an overview of the various tools and solutions that give leverage and efficiency to your firm and the industry at large. These tools include Matter Collaboration, Practice Management Software as well as a host of other office productivity tools. Combined with innovative mind sets, processes and people, these solutions will aid your firm in making the best of available opportunities.
People will remain the most important asset in any organisation. The success of any firm lies partly on its people and culture, the two being the most hard to replicate and replace. We will be decoding what you need to do to attract and retain world class talent, how to establish formal people processes and create an enabling work environment for your people. By the very nature of the subject matter, be prepared for a dynamic exchange of views, experiences and support in plotting the way forward for your organisation’s development of its people and culture.
At ALN Academy we believe in sharing and contemplating the inner workings of systems and successes with peers and even competitors and encourage that we rise together. We resumed our Legal Practice Management Series this year with Session 3, on Business Development (BD) and Marketing, delivered by Luisa Cetina, Head of Business Development; Marketing and Communications, at A&K and ALN. She provided deep insights on the mechanics of building a focused business development and marketing team to assist the planning and execution for successful legal services outcomes; and thus, the doors were pretty much open in relation to the journey A&K and ALN have been on in developing its acumen in these areas.
You are a hot shot lawyer and have a firm that is going places. Or so you think. Who is aware of your talent and how will you maintain the effective favourable information flow that is the bedrock of your present and future success? This session will debunk the myth that talent alone is enough. Business Development and Marketing engineers the path for your firm to be able to deliver excellence. Gain important insights into how to business plan and execute effectively, with clear strategic goals that are aligned to your vision and plan for the short, medium and long term. This session will include case studies, group presentations and interactive presentations.
This Series provides a unique opportunity to gain insider knowledge from one of East Africa’s leading law firms. Anjarwalla & Khanna, in collaboration with LSK Nairobi, will be sharing its know-how on building and maintaining a successful legal practice fit for 21st Century challenges and opportunities.
The Series shall unpack key areas of legal practice management that together act as the vital engine central to delivering legal expertise as a service and a sustainable business. This shall include in depth and practical analysis of business innovation, financial systems and planning, business development and marketing, information technology, digital transformation, people & culture, responsible corporate citizenship, operations and implementation and leadership.
Don't take my word for it! See the feedback from yesterday's Legal Practice Management Series - Session 2 on Law Firm Financial Management - delivered by Lameck Muriithi CFO at Anjarwalla & Khanna | ALN. We are hopeful that the era of collective knowledge sharing is truly upon us. The flow and ready access of the creative commons is an essential source to nurture. We move onwards to this end.
A truly dynamic session on innovation, led by Sean Massingham, who did not mince his words regarding the note we as lawyers need to take in terms of remaining relevant in light of the seismic changes that are underway across industries. Our participants, a real cross section of different legal practices and sized firms, were fully engaged, clued in and clearly embracers of change, openness, leadership; and with a healthy pride in wanting to innovate to cater for home grown sensibilities. The challenge is before us.
The ALN Academy's Inaugural Arbitration Workshop 2018 - A note of thanks enthused with great encouragement!
Enormous thanks go out to our guest speakers and panellists and to our fully engaged audience, comprising senior representatives of established and emerging arbitral centres, senior judges, seasoned practitioners and academics from national, regional and international jurisdictions. This was ALN Academy's Inaugural Arbitration Workshop, in collaboration with ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna and JMiles & Co, and was sponsored by Microsoft. read more
If you are interested in tailor made training programmes for your organisation/institution, please click HERE to initiate an expression of interest, which can then be progressed to a more detailed exchange where we work with you, developing tailor made training solutions, targeting your goal of delivering legal services with a seal of excellence.