Joseph Ng’ang’ira Mwagiru, 39


Kaplan & Stratton Advocates

To get ahead in his career, Joseph Ng’ang’ira made what appeared to be a crazy decision to many.

After working hard, he had just become a partner at his previous law firm, where he started as a pupil. He had an office with a secretary and all the privileges that come with the enviable position.

Then, the prestigious law firm of Kaplan & Stratton came calling, only that instead of offering him the same position, he had to climb down from a partner to a senior associate.

He rejected the offer, but when the law firm approached him again later, he had had time to mull over the decision and took the job to the shock of most of his peers.

"It's not just about securing deals but making a meaningful impact on my clients' business and the legal landscape."

Looking back now, he says he does not regret it. That leap of faith has put his career on the fast lane, rising to a partner within a few years. He handles corporate and commercial matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions, competition and antitrust, internal reorganisations, share and asset sales, joint venture arrangements, capital markets and due diligence assignments.

Joseph advises local and international investors and listed companies in the insurance, telecommunication, energy, and private equity investment sectors.

When the country’s biggest telco, Safaricom, was installing ICT infrastructure at Two Rivers Development, Kenya’s largest multi-purpose development, Joseph was picked to come up with a Network Infrastructure Agreement. That agreement is hailed as one of their kind in Kenya.

“I have worked on various landmark transactions, including IPOs for some of the largest telecommunication and financial services companies in Kenya and contributed to the development of competition law, which is still in its nascent stages,” he says.

But his impact is more expansive than Kenya. After joining the current law firm, he was seconded at the prestigious Growlings WLG LLP in the UK through the International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA) and worked at Standard Chartered Bank in the UK.

Joseph says nothing gives him satisfaction like witnessing the joy on his client’s faces when they achieve their goals.

“It’s not just about securing deals but making a meaningful impact on my clients’ business and the legal landscape,” he says.

His typical day starts early with a prayer, “for I can do nothing without Christ who strengthens me,” he says, quoting Philippians 4:13.

He draws inspiration from his senior, Fred Ojiambo SC, who is an excellent advocate and is not afraid to talk about his faith.

Following his mentors’ footsteps, Joseph says he has chosen to be a ‘doorman’, opening doors for younger lawyers and guiding them towards a world of endless opportunities.

Sam Kiplagat