Janet Othero: Tech lawyer who’s not afraid of challenging status quo

The legal career is quite vast. When I was young, I thought that being a lawyer was all about going to court and arguing out your cases and that was all. I loved arguing and debating so everybody thought that I was going to be a lawyer. But it wasn’t for me.

However, I have been interacting with many lawyers and I’ve realized that there are different sub-fields that many people might not know about.

One of the fields that I was curious about was technology.

We are living in a season and age where technology and the internet are the order of the day. Technology has completely taken up root in all aspects and crevices of our lives. Just think about your smart phone. Can you survive a day without it? How would we survive without M-Pesa?

Does technology have any relationship with the law? Can a lawyer pursue a career in tech and become successful?

I had a conversation with Janet Othero, an advocate and partner at Triple OK Law LLP Advocates, where she co-heads the TMT practice area.

She has been in the legal-tech field for more than five years and she shared with me how her journey has been.


Janet got admitted to the bar in 2011 and got retained in 2012. She started at Triple OK under senior counsel Jinaro Kibet who was then setting up the commercial and corporate department at the firm.

Under his tutelage, she worked on transactions within the  commercial, real estate and banking department. This was in addition to undertaking litigation matters during the transition.

While she was working with her clients in the banking, financial services and mobile network provision sector she realized a unique niche that existed particularly between her technology clients.

“When it came to bank transactions, contracts and agreements, I noticed that techies always preferred easier English that they can understand,”says Janet.

“On the other hand, the legal teams  wanted the existing legal risks minimized. In that scenario our team then became the bridge between these two departments seeking to achieve their business strategies. Additionally, we felt that the tech-savvy innovation teams preferred working with younger advocates who would appreciate their needs and  keep up with the lingua and trends,” she adds.

One of the other factors that further drove the need for specialized services in the ICT sector  was the assenting of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act in 2018. Janet, her partner Catherine Kariuki  Mulika and two of their then colleagues  decided to focus on this emerging trend.

This was later followed by the EUGDPR and other national legislation. Since through and through they were first  commercial and corporate advocates, they still had to perform their normally assigned briefs in addition to nurturing and catering to clients in the financial and ICT sectors.

At the Technology, Media and Technology (TMT) department in Triple Ok Law they specialize in Financial Technology (Fintech), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy, Cybersecurity, Intellectual Property (IP), Commercial and Corporate Support  as well as  Data Protection. The firm has been around for 21 years now. They have 11 partners, four of whom are founding partners, 30 associates and four major practice teams.

These include the Litigation and Dispute Resolution teams, Real Estate and Banking team and finally Commercial and Corporate Support team.

There are three departments within the Commercial team that include the larger commercial practice department, the Energy, Climate Change and Sustainability department and Technology Media & Telecommunication (TMT). Janet works at the TMT department.

Why did she choose tech and what fascinates her about it?

“Tech is ever changing and ever moving. I enjoy the dynamism that this industry embodies.”

“Additionally, with technology and new innovations/products I learn a lot. Working in this industry comes with a lot of learning and I love that,” said Janet.

What services do they offer?

When you call Janet and Triple OK and you’d like to procure their services this is what it entails. They initially seek to understand your business, then they identify the gaps that exist. Their aim is to ensure that their clients comply with the existing laws and statutes. Therefore, they come up with a legal strategy that seeks to ensure your risks are mitigated. . The next step is to customize the legal strategy with the business strategy for that client so that the implementation plan formulated yields positive results

Any challenges along the way?

Throughout her journey, Janet still experiences a myriad of challenges. She said that the lack of specialized training in this particular field forces someone to learn on the job. Ms Othero urges the owners of law firms to give lawyers sabbaticals and allow them to seek opportunities that can upskill them for this and the global market. It will also help them improve and sharpen their networking and business development skills.

She says that law firms should be flexible enough to take risks and wade into different waters in addition to the traditional business models. This will help them remain competitive in light of changing business and economic needs.

Advise to young lawyers

“I advise younger lawyers to be patient. Don’t be in a hurry to specialize. First of all, survey the market and ensure that you know what you want,” she shares. In case you already have identified a niche then pursue it vigorously up to the highest level that you can achieve.

What does a typical day at work look like?

Janet’s day involves arriving at the office, responding to emails and attending meetings either for clients or departmental meetings. Her day also involves a lot of desk work on client deliverables.

Triple OK Law also organizes and participates in a lot of thought leadership conferences where they get to showcase their offerings.

She’s in charge of the pupilage program at her firm. Therefore, she loves mentoring young lawyers and her dream is that her apprentices will grow and do better things than her.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. She is listed in the Legal 500, 2020 edition, as a rising star lawyer in the Banking, Finance and Capital Markets. She is also listed in the 2023 Chambers Global Fintech Category as an advocate of repute.


Generally, in my admission as I spoke to Janet I could literally tell that she enjoys what she does. The smile and chuckles as she talked about her work were unforced. It inspired me to find what I love doing and stick to it.




[Photos: Courtesy of Janet Othero)





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Nasra Nanda

Nasra Nanda

Nasra Nanda is a Senior Associate in Dentons Hamilton Harrison and Matthews, a leading law firm in Kenya.

Gregor Pannike

Gregor Pannike

Gregor Pannike is the founder and managing director of Agema Analysts.

Liz Lenjo

Liz Lenjo

Liz Lenjo is the Founder and Managing Consultant of MyIP Legal Studio.

Angela Kioi

Angela Kioi

Angela Kioi is a legal compliance expert, negotiator and ADR practitioner.



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