The decade-old Nairobi-based law firm has made a name for itself by prizing innovation, especially in terms of client service delivery. The firm’s trusted network of professionals, from inside and outside the legal world, provides the backbone for its novel approach to finding the best outcomes for clients.
Nelson Ashitiva, Managing Partner, Ashitiva Advocates, says the client of the 21st century expects a one stop solution from lawyers which often transcends legal skills.
“As learned friends we must have the humility to accept that other professionals are also learned and are important allies in serving our clients. The nature of transactions, projects and disputes is evolving to the extent that the law firm which adopts a collaborative approach with other professionals will be most responsive and successful in serving the client of the 21st century.”
Effective strategic collaboration should be comprehensive and not piecemeal, he adds.
Aside from providing industry-leading legal services to clients, Ashitiva supplements its offerings with additional dynamic investments in partnerships that provide diverse skill sets. The result? The best client offerings possible and a collection of unique perspectives that are hard to find from another firm locally.
An example of this partnership is Ashitiva’s work with energy company First Africa Energy Technology (FAET). FAET was formed by Kenyan, Galib Virani, who, after 20 years of working in African oil and gas from the UK, returned to Kenya to help move the energy industry forward in East Africa. FAET’s relationship with Ashitiva began roughly four years ago when Virani was looking for a local partner, which had a local track record in the industry, to help the company hit the ground running.
Virani says, “In Kenya, Ashitiva is very well known within the Ministry of Energy and all the majority state-owned companies for their professionalism.
“They have very good experience in energy. We had a meeting of minds over a number of months and combined our skill sets, experience and track records on international energy, technical, commercial and investment banking expertise with local know-how.”
This partnership is now bearing fruit with many exciting projects and business development opportunities already under its belt. FAET, in turn, has evolved from being unknown to known by all the major operators in the regional energy space. Furthermore, the company is engaged and on the radar of global services companies and channel partners in the region.
In the near future, FAET expects to be a major participant in the regional energy industry with operations supporting the growth in both geothermal and upstream developments across sub-Saharan Africa, including operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Gabon.
“Having worked with a host of legal firms - Magic Circle and otherwise - in my professional career - I have found it’s rare to find professionalism, commercial acumen and an entrepreneurial mindset in one firm but Ashitiva Advocates has achieved this,” Virani said.
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