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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Ms Assunta Ndami (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM, 2019)

 Ms Assunta Ndami (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM, 2019)

Partner and Team Lead, Full Circle Centre LLP

Country: Kenya

Assunta is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a Certified Chartered Mediator, Mentor, ODR Practitioner and Trainer. Having studied and worked in Kenya, the UK and France, she has carved a niche in the practice of commercial law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She has worked at the International Chamber of Commerce (France) and the Full Circle Centre (Kenya). She has also undertaken volunteer work at qLegal (UK/Paris) and Federation of Women Lawyers-FIDA (Kenya).

Since graduating from qLegal and Queen Mary in 2018, Assunta has distinguished herself by her determination, excellence and dependability. She has been especially key in helping qLegal bid for funding in the Strathmore Entrepreneurship Law clinic project. Assunta is passionate about developing legal support for start-ups, and is a proud CCLS alumna, keen to promote CCLS’ work in her home country. Her forward-thinking nature and keen interest in IP and commercial law, and how it can be leveraged to support start-up growth distinguishes her from her peers. She was key in helping qLegal recognise the profound impact of access to legal support on the local economy (to support sufficient job opportunities and access to justice).

In 2019, the qLegal team was exploring the possibility of helping set up an entrepreneurship law clinic in partnership with Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya. We reached out to Assunta hoping to get some ideas about the state of entrepreneurship and legal support for start-up in Kenya. Assunta went above and beyond providing the qLegal team with all the information we needed, including:

Putting together an exhaustive powerpoint presentation on her research into legal aid services in Kenya and regulations of legal aid in Kenya, existing initiatives, how the Kenyan education system works, statistics on entrepreneurs' legal needs per area of law.

  • Introducing us to local contacts in the start-up ecosystem.
  • Joined calls with new contacts to introduce us and answer our questions.
  • Made herself available when a qLegal member of staff travelled to Nairobi in March 2020 and attended our first Kenyan Chapter Alumni meeting.

As a direct result of the level of support CCLS received from Assunta, we were able to make a persuasive application for funding. She provided in person support when the qLegal staff member visited Nairobi, and her insights facilitated the design of the clinic to meet the needs of students and new partners and gauge the right tone when meeting key stakeholders. The information detailed in Assunta’s presentation on the Kenyan start-up ecosystem formed the basis for our successful bid for funding. From an initial piece of research, the impact has been wide ranging. We eventually completed the project, and the Strathmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic is now a thriving commercial law clinic in Nairobi. Kenya. The clinic provides free support to local entrepreneurs and plays a part in shifting attitude towards accessing legal support, training future lawyers, and further developing an ethos of giving back. This project has further helped promote the work of qLegal and CCLS both within Queen Mary and among the international community. Strathmore University has also reported being able to leverage the Queen Mary partnership in reaching out to stakeholders and new students.

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