BY PRAVIN BOWRY
The above is the likely legal situation and advertisement of times to come!
Strange as it may appear, supermarkets and traders are likely, at least in the UK, to offer legal services under new laws.
And unheard and unprecedented, non-lawyers will be able to invest in and own legal firms practicing law as partners or as shareholders in limited liability companies.
All these developments are taking place in far off England, Wales and Scotland. Admit it or not – Kenyan lawyers and lawmakers are slaves of the English legal developments and a lot of what goes on in England in legal circles filters into Kenya, sometimes through legal precedents or by legislation, though we are sometimes a decade or so behind them.
Take the matter of advertising by lawyers. For centuries it was a taboo to advertise. Then in 1986 solicitors and barristers were allowed to advertise by the Law society of England and Wales.
And in 2011 our own courts through a decision of Justice D.S. Majanja allowed advertisements in the ground breaking precedent in the case of Okenyo Omwanja George vs. The Attorney General and two others.
Now back to the English Legal Services Act of 2007 which is commonly referred as “Tesco law”- named after the English supermarket.
The association with this multinational chain of supermarkets is ironically not because it intends to offer legal services but because law firms will undergo a revolutionary change in how they are owned and invested in later this year.
At the core of this statutory revolution in legal practice is an aspiration to improve competition for legal services and to give the consumers more choice at a competitive price. How better to do so than by bringing in external investment, lower the prices and increase accessibility of legal services?