Imani, Africa’s first full-scale lawyers on demand service, has launched operations, based out of Johannesburg. Imani will offer tailored legal solutions across the African continent and across economic sectors on a demand basis, tapping into a large pool of skilled and qualified lawyers with experience at big firms. Imani is the first of its kind for Africa in that it combines the flexibility of an in-house resource with the guaranteed support and quality of a major law firm.
African legal clients are demanding a practice model that is cost-effective and transparent. With a cost model that is scaled to the client’s needs and a service model that is tailored to the job, Imani can extend support for any scenario, whether it’s providing experienced contract lawyers, reviewing documents for litigation or due diligence, offering specialized in-country representation or outsourced general counsel.
According to it’s website, here’s the Imani model works: the client email sends a brief description of the skills needed and work to be done; the Imani team hold a brief discussion clarifying the client’s specific requirements and ancillary factors to make sure they find a candidate that will suit his / her needs; Imani identifies lawyers from its talent pool with the right experience and expertise to meet the client’s specific needs then the client reviews the list of candidates provided and selects the preferred lawyer(s). Finally, a roundtable is conducted between the client, the candidate, and Imani before final appointment and agreement on the best working model can be reached.
“Working as a legal advisor across Africa, I have witnessed first hand the need for an agile and flexible offering that is specifically designed for clients and their needs,” said Tiyani Majoko, Executive Director of Imani. “We continue to see a lot of potential and investment in legal representation in Africa. Imani’s outside of the box thinking can seize those opportunities in a way that a one size fits all traditional legal approach cannot.”
Majoko said Imani would first focus on developing relationships with major South African companies and then expand throughout the sub-Saharan region. It will target quickly developing economies such as Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Kenya. After that it will enter markets with near-term potential like Mozambique, Congo, Botswana, Cameroon, Gabon and Tanzania within the next 12 months.
“The vision of Imani is to transform the African legal landscape the same way that firms like Lawyers on Demand and Axiom pioneered the model in Europe and North America,” Majoko said.
Imani is recruiting 60 lawyers initially and is projecting a talent pool of 400 lawyers within 16 months. Its lawyers have global experience at big law firms and education from top African, European and North American universities.
Imani is a direct response to the changing legal landscape and the tremendous economic growth opportunities present on the African continent. Corporations in Africa face considerable cost pressures and are seeking affordable representation that does not compromise on the quality of legal counsel. Imani provides a flexible set of solutions that respond quickly and cost effectively to mounting workloads and budgetary constraints. Imani’s lawyers can work with clients on site or remotely, on various flexible models such as secondments, special projects, rotational work or flexible support. It’s expertise without the overheads.
“It was time for a firm like Imani to enter the African marketplace and challenge conventional legal methods,” said Gontse Moseneke, Group Executive of Encha Group, an Africa-focused investment house with interests in real estate, oil & gas and technology, of which some are listed on the JSE, Namibian Stock Exchange and London AIM. “When a service combines the highest standards of a major law firm with the flexibility and cost offering of remote representation, that presents a unique value proposition where all sides prevail.”
Imani’s skilled team of specialists will extend support in the following practice areas: Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Governance and Compliance, Banking and Finance, Energy, Oil and Gas, Mining, Labour Law, Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory, Contracts and General Commercial Services.