GLEE Africa

Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies:
The African Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization

The Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession and Strathmore University Law School will host a series of thought-provoking events on the afternoon/evening of Monday9 December and all-day Tuesday, 10 December on the Campus of Strathmore University Law School in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference, entitled The African Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization, will bring together leaders from the legal profession, the private sector, government, and academia to discuss globalization’s impact on the growth and development of the corporate legal sector in Kenya and across Africa. You can view the in-progress agenda below.

As background for this event, for the past 10 years, the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession has been conducting the project on Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies (GLEE). GLEE is a multinational, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional collaboration of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers committed to conducting original empirical research on how globalization is reshaping the legal services market in important emerging economies around the world. To date, the GLEE project has produced major books on India, Brazil, and China (forthcoming), all published by Cambridge University Press. To learn more about our Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies (GLEE) project, click here. This event will mark the official launch the GLEE project in Africa.

Questions? – Email Bryon Fong at bfong@law.harvard.edu

Showcase Agenda (9 December)

Please note, confirmed speakers will be updated on an ongoing basis

Showcase – Monday, 9 December 2019 4:30PM – 8:00PM

Campus of Strathmore University Law School – Microsoft Theater

4:00-4:30 PM – Registration

4:30-4:45 PM – Welcome Remarks

  • Professor Borja Lopez-Jurado, Dean, Strathmore Law School

4:45-5:30 PM – Keynote Address: Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies: The Case of Africa

  • David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean, Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Faculty Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School

5:30-6:45 PM – Panel Discussion       

  • Luis G. Franceschi, Dean Emeritus, Strathmore Law School
  • Githu Muigai, S.C. , Immediate former Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya
  • Rosa Nduati-Mutero Senior Partner, A&K
  • Janet Kabiru, General Counsel, Stanbic
  • Chair: David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean, Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Faculty Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School

6:45-7:00 PM – Closing Remarks

7:00-8:00 PM – Reception

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Symposium Agenda (10 December)

Please note, confirmed speakers will be updated on an ongoing basis

Symposium – Tuesday, 10 December November, 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Campus of Strathmore University Law School – Microsoft Theater

9:00 – 9:15 AM – Opening Remarks/Plan for the Day

  • David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean, Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Faculty Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School

9:15 – 10:45 AM – The Emergence of the Corporate Legal Core

This panel will examine the rise of the corporate legal sector in Kenya and East African countries in response to globalization and the economic development of the past decade. For instance, has globalization impacted the growth and development of “new” corporate law firms and sophisticated in-house legal departments in companies? What are the key characteristics of these law firms and in-house legal departments? How have these institutions changed over the last 5, 10, 15, 20+ years? How do these new corporate players differ across jurisdictions, and from similar institutions in the United States and other developed legal markets? What is the role of “foreign” lawyers? What are the major challenges—and opportunities—for law firms and in-house departments in the years ahead? Are Kenya’s experiences similar or different to wider East African and African developments?

  • Richard Harney, Managing Partner, Coulson Harney LLP
  • Apollo Makubuyaa, Managing Partner, MMAK 
  • Nadida Rowlands, Legal Director, Kenya,  Diageo
  • Antoinette Absaloms, Legal Director, West Africa, Coca-Cola Co.
  • Chair: David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean, Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Faculty Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School

10:45 – 11:00 AM – Break

11:00 – 12:30 PM – Training and Regulating Kenyan and East African lawyers

As East Africa’s economies open up to foreign investment, multinational corporations and the continent’s powerhouse economies expand their influence beyond their borders this will require lawyers with new skills and competences to provide high quality legal services to meet the demand. This will in turn require law schools to adopt new curricula and pedagogical methodologies to equip graduates with the necessary skills. This panel will examine questions about the education and entry of lawyers into the Kenyan and East African legal profession. It will discuss how legal education has changed with growth of Kenyan Law schools and the removal of barriers to entry for students pursuing legal education. The panel will also consider how the Bar both in Kenya and East Africa regulate the provision of legal services. Potential questions include but are not limited to:  On the training side, How has—or hasn’t—legal education responded to market demands for lawyers with new types of skills? Has Kenya and other East African countries have seen an increased demand for legal education, as has been the case in other emerging economies? Has there been growth in private legal education? What is the bar’s role in legal education? On the regulatory side, the panel will address questions such as: How has the bar responded to new domestic actors and increasing foreign competition and influence? What regulations have been passed affecting new kinds of law offices and the role of foreign lawyers? How are East African lawyers regulated within East African?

  • Anthony Kakooza, Dean Emeritus, Uganda Christian University
  • Charles Kanjama, Founding Partner, Muma & Kanjama Advocates; immediate Chairperson, Nairobi Branch, Law Society of Kenya
  • Annah Konuche, Deputy Director, Kenya School of Law
  • Mary Mugure, Quality Director, Council on Legal Education
  • Chair: Winifred Kamau, Professor, University of

12:30 – 1:30 PM – Lunch (provided)

1:30 – 3:00 PM – Innovation in a Globalizing Legal Profession

This panel will focus on how technology and innovation are reshaping the legal profession, and why the Kenya and the wider African region will play a unique role in this process. Questions include: How is innovation and technology impacting the growth and development of the legal sector in Kenya and throughout East Africa? What is technology’s role in expanding legal education and access to justice? How are innovations, such as m-pesa, intersecting with regulation? How has the emergence of so-called “alternative service providers” (e.g. the Big Four, platform and managed providers) impacted the market for legal services? How are law firms, in-house legal departments, law schools, and the courts engaging with new technologies and innovations?

  • Stephen Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom Limited
  • Gerald Abila, Executive Director, Barefoot Law
  • Linda Bonyo, Founder, The Lawyers Hub
  • Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru, Doctoral Research Fellow, Technical University of Munich School of Governance
  • Chair: Luis G. Franceschi, Dean Emeritus, Strathmore Law School

3:00 – 3:15PM – Break

3:15 – 4:45 PM – Regional & South-South Relationships: Kenya, East Africa, Africa & the World

This panel will focus on East African, broader African, and wider South-South connections. The focus will be on understanding the positing of the legal profession and the role of lawyers as these changes take place. For example, how are developments in the Kenyan legal profession impacting wider East African networks? What about wider African developing countries? How are Kenya, other East African, and African countries interfacing with wider South-South relationships? How are African law firms and lawyers organizing around these issues? What are the professions’ approaches to cross-border regulatory frameworks? While the historical ties between the African continent and the global north will certainly be a focus of any studies on globalization, Africa is increasingly connected to emerging economies in the global south. This ‘south-south’ connection is evident in increased investment in Africa by China, India, Brazil and other actors from the global south. This is undoubtedly reshaping the corporate landscape, but what impact does this emerging axis of globalization have on the legal profession? Through initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement states on the African continent are moving towards economic integration which will see an increase in cross-border international economic activities. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement will see the development of new transnational laws related to trade, competition and arbitration for the African region. What impact will these developments have on the legal profession? How are existing legal service providers preparing and reasoning to these changes?

  • Willy Rubeya, President, East Africa Law Society
  • Leyou Tameru, Founder, I-Arb Africa 
  • Esther Omulele, Partner, MMC ASAFO
  • Paras Shah, Partner Coulson Harney LLP
  • Chair: Jonathan Klaaren, Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

4:45 – 5:00 PM  – Wrap-up

5:00 – 6:30 PM – Operationalizing GLEE Africa

We invite academics and other participants who are committed to becoming a core part of the GLEE Africa research team to join us to discuss next steps for the project. We will go on to discuss the practical issues associated with the project (e.g. paper proposals, methods, collaborations, etc.)

  • Jill Ghai, Professor
  • Yash Ghai, Professor Emeritus, University of Hong Kong; former chair of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission
  • Mukami Wangai, Professor, Strathmore University Law School
  • Chair: David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean, Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Faculty Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School
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Photos

View photos from the event here.

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