Out of the four Kenyan law firms shortlisted for the 2022 African Legal Awards, ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna, Bowmans, TripleOKLaw and IKM Advocates (DLA Piper Africa) all managed to scoop awards in the just concluded Africa Legal Awards held in South Africa early this month.
IKM Advocates (DLA Piper Africa took home the African Network/Alliance of the Year, while Bowmans walked away with the Banking & Finance Team of the Year – Small-Mid Practice, as well as the Capital Markets Team of the Year. At the same time, ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna won the Best Use of Technology award and Partner of the Year: Mid-Large Sized Practice which went to Managing Partner Karim S. Anjarwalla.
IKM Advocates (DLA Piper Africa also scooped the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Team of the Year – Small Practice as well as the Restructuring Team of the Year. Bowmans is also the proud winner of the Transportation and Infrastructure Team of the Year award.
At the same time TripleOKLaw Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year – Small Practice.
Meanwhile, diversity data analyzed as part of the Africa Top 50 ranking process indicates that African law firms show a surprisingly high percentage of female partners. Data from the 32 Top 50 firms which voluntarily supplied their gender diversity stats, shows that the average is a comparatively positive 35%. Just five firms in the Africa Top 50 report a lower diversity level than the “benchmark” of 27% set by UK firms.
Although the African firms must be acknowledged for the way in which they are outpacing other international markets in this respect, this is not a time for back-slapping or complacency. There are a myriad of reasons why gender imbalance at the top end of the profession remains so skewed, none of them justifiable or insurmountable.
Just two of the Africa Top-50 firms have attained gender parity within their partnerships. South Africa-based Fairbridges Wertheim & Becker’s partnership ratio sits at 50% female, and FBL Advogados in Angola stands as the only firm with more female partners than male – 63% of their partners are women.
Returning to an in-person event for their ninth year, the African Legal Awards recognize exceptional achievement from Africa’s legal elite.
Hosted by Law.com International in partnership with Africa Legal, the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa and the global charity Save the Children, these awards continue to showcase incredible talent, recognizing more of a pan-African audience each year.
Africa Legal’s Chief Operating Officer, Wendy Bampton, said, “We are delighted to see Africa lead the globe, with both smaller and larger firms recognizing the importance of gender parity at the partner level to enable greater success in the law and in business.”
There were 40 categories in total up for grabs.