The Kenyan legal sector is described by The Legal 500 – a law firm ranking website – as having reached a stage of maturation. That is to say that, today, Kenya’s legal sector has moved on from its initialising stages.
The sector here in Kenya still attracts a variety of international players. Bowmans, Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, ENSafrica and CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates are a few such firms. But it also has a growing local presence. Kenyan firms include Anjarwalla & Khanna – founding member of the Africa Legal Network –, Asafo & Co., and ENSafrica’s Nairobi office.
These local legal professionals are more and more often trained in Kenya and, having left international practices, are setting up their own, uniquely Kenyan firms in this country.
Of course, as the country develops economically, greater will be the need for an established and capable legal sector.
And as that legal sector grows, so too does its paper trail.
Recent developments in the Kenyan legal sphere might bring about reform in the industry
As of May 21st, Kenya has a new Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court. This new appointment, the country’s 15th Chief Justice, along with several other appointees to the judiciary, is likely to spell changes for the legal practice in Kenya.
These new faces in the legal industry have promised major reforms. One notable change that is on the agenda is in the sector’s file management.
There is an ongoing challenge to sort through the backlogs amassed within courthouses. And, though a case tracking system has recently been introduced, this issue may take some time to resolve.
The future of document storage for the Kenyan legal sector is in digitisation
Here in Kenya, we still produce a huge amount of paper records. The bureaucratic tradition in this country is strong. Our government buildings, insurance and banking industries, our businesses, all produce a lot of paperwork.
It is a huge part of why this country is so commercially successful in comparison with many of our neighbours in East Africa. Kenya’s entrepreneurial spirit is coupled with an ability to correctly maintain the paperwork that makes its commerce tick.
However, the future of paperwork is that it will become digital. This is obvious to all of us.
Digitisation helps law firms hugely. It allows legal teams to collate and sort files that are linked. In doing so, those files are brought together quickly and in a cohesive manner which can be of huge importance to legal professionals.
By doing this, cogent pieces of information are sorted, saved and accessible 24 hours a day. Legal teams have also found that digitised text is easier to search through quickly. This can be essential in the building of specific legal arguments.
Litigation & liability: threats to the legal system’s paperwork
Digitisation is proving itself very useful for legal teams. It helps them build cases quickly, keep an eye on those cases and alter them as new developments arise.
It also very effectively combats one of the worst threats to the legal sector. Lost paperwork can bring cases down entirely.
Here in Kenya, we have witnessed a recent spate of arson attacks on law firms. This, compiled with recent high-profile cases falling down because of missing files, highlights the importance of effective file management.
Filing Room services, and how they are tailored to work with the legal sector of Kenya
Here at the Filing Room, we understand these factors influencing the legal sector. We know that digitisation is its future and we provide this as a service. If you want to learn more about how we digitise files, you can do so here.
If digitisation isn’t for you just yet, or, as is the case with certain files, you still need a safe space to store your records, our third-party management system is efficient, effective and, most importantly, it understands the sector.