Strategies adopted by law firms in Kenya in response to changes in the external environment
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The dynamic nature of life and changes in the environment that mankind exists in have necessitated that law and the legal profession constantly evolve to be strategically relevant to the population and excel in business. Legal firms face competition as they strive to excel and must conquer/adapt to the changes they face in the turbulent business environment. This purpose of the study was to determine the changes arising from the external environment that legal firms/ the legal profession are faced with and to ascertain the strategies adopted to overcome the changes. The study covered 100 law firms conducting business in Kenya and out of the target respondents, 60 law firms responded to the questionnaire. This represented a response rate of 60%. Data was collected using a questionnaire which were administered through the drop and pick later method or dispatched by email and postal mail. The data was summarized in an excel spreadsheet and analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Findings were presented in charts, tables and graphs for discussion and interpretation. The study established that law firms were affected by Political, Environmental, Socio Cultural, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors and these factors influenced the law firms choices in relation to the strategies adopted. Strategies such as diversification (seen in opening of branches), specialization, development of core competencies, uniqueness of the law firm had been adopted and these provided direction for the law firms strategic actions. Law firms had redefined market clientele and practice areas and engaged in strategic positioning to serve client needs. Law firms had embraced and invested in technology and were sensitive to the socio cultural needs of clients. They had attuned their firms to the existing social climate. Law firms remained compliant with law and had realized the importance of keeping abreast of legal changes. Market penetration strategies were deduced from the number of law firms that had opened branches in addition to having their principal offices. The study draws conclusions that short term, long term, grand and generic strategies are employed by the law firms.The researcher recommends that the law firms endeavour to continuously identify changes in the environment and develop strategies which will assist them in excelling in business. The limitations of the study were that the researcher experienced difficulties in getting responses from all the respondents with some indicating that the information requested for was confidential and other respondents failing to provide information.
University of Nairobi