‘You’ll find us where the internet meets the law,’ is the tagline of Nzili Sumbi Advocates, the law firm where Mercy is a partner. The 33-year-old advocate loves technology and everything digital.
When she graduated from law school, she wanted two things: to be a litigator and run her own law practice.
“I did not know how I would achieve either of those things or what area I would end up specialising in.”
"It was a very eye-opening experience for me. I was on the other side of strategic litigation and could see clearly that litigation could be used as a tool to bring about positive change, to fight for better policies, and to hold the government accountable."
Out of curiosity, she took a course in the law and economics of social media platforms and her interest was piqued.
“I was very sure that I wanted to pursue a specialisation that would help me make sense of our digital future and shape it,” she says.
Mercy went back to school for her Master’s degree in Internet Governance from the University of Malta. It shifted her focus to digital rights, artificial intelligence, internet governance, and cybersecurity.
Last year, she was named the Tech Lawyer of the Year 2022 by the Africa Legal Tech and Innovation Awards by Lawyers Hub, which recognises top African innovators, lawyers, policymakers, and institutions.
Mercy did her pupillage at Parliament.
“It was a very eye-opening experience for me. I was on the other side of strategic litigation and could see clearly that litigation could be used as a tool to bring about positive change, to fight for better policies, to hold the government accountable.”
She is on the case against Facebook’s parent company, Meta, over alleged poor working conditions at its Nairobi office and another seeking compensation on behalf of victims of hate and violence allegedly fuelled by the social media giant.
“It is a labour of love as Kenya is going through its growing pains in internet law and policy.”