Dispute Resolution

We have a formidable reputation in dispute resolution and have acted in most of Kenya’s largest cases. Our highly regarded litigation practice is known for its experience over a wide range of sectors including education, financial services, information communications and technology, infrastructure, international trade and natural resources. Our experience also extends to Alternative Dispute Resolution: we draw on our firm’s dispute resolution experience to help clients resolve disputes efficiently and expeditiously through arbitration, mediation and settlement negotiations.

Our dispute team consists of some of Kenya’s seasoned leading litigators including George Oraro SC, Chacha Odera and Walter Amoko (all ranked as leading dispute resolution lawyers by legal directories):  Chambers Global ranks us as a top-tier (Band 1) dispute resolution firm.

Our wealth of expertise in this area combined with our practical and commercial approach to litigation has earned us work from several high-profile international and local clients, non-governmental organisations and government bodies. We also conduct litigation audits and provide strategic litigation advice on how clients can mitigate risks. In addition, we handle complimentary “legacy” case management services for large corporate clients, with the objective of minimizing legal exposure and legal costs.

Our expertise covers:

  • Banking disputes
  • Capital markets disputes
  • Class actions
  • Commercial disputes
  • Constitutional petitions
  • Construction disputes
  • Employment disputes
  • Environmental & Land disputes
  • Insurance disputes
  • International disputes
  • Investment disputes
  • IP disputes
  • Judicial review matters
  • Recovery matters
  • Tax disputes
  • Telecommunications

 

 

Experience

Arbitration

  • Counsel in a commercial arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Represented Kenindia Assurance in an Appeal where the Court of Appeal set aside the ruling and orders of the High Court which upheld an arbitral award of approximately KES 47 million against our client
  • Successfully represented a large private tea management agency in an arbitration, where an arbitration award of KES 1.6 billion, was set aside
  • Represented a construction company in arbitration proceedings arising out of a breach a building contract. The claim was for VAT on the contract works and the cost of additional works and variations(the approximate claim value was USD 6.5 million)

Litigation

Banking disputes

  • Acting in a claim seeking the tracing and recovery of approximately USD 340 million which was fraudulently siphoned from a Kenyan bank (It is one of the largest banking fraud disputes in Kenya). We successfully defended the client against claim by the shareholders seeking to be enjoined in this suit, against stiff competition
  • Part of a team that provided the Strategic Investors of a bank (the Bank) with an opinion on the legal options or recourse that they may have under contract or in tort against various third parties that were involved in the unlawful and fraudulent actions that lead to a run on the Bank which caused it to be placed under receivership by the Central Bank of Kenya
  • Represented the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in a case in which the petitioner sought to stop the transfer of money services provided by the mobile telephone companies including Safaricom’s “M-Pesa” and “Airtel Money”
  • Successfully represented the CBK in a dispute with Kenya Kiba Microfinance Ltd
  • Successfully represented Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited in a dispute with Intercom(a landmark case in banking law and illegality)
  • Acting for the CBK in the recovery of all amounts in the “Goldenberg” related cases, in excess of USD 1 billion
  • Acted in a suit against ABN AMRO Bank and its officers, in a matter involving  fraudulent claims and liability by officers of the Bank, in making advances to the Bank
  • Successfully defended the CBK in a multimillion shilling claim(against the Bank) for payment of convertible foreign exchange bearer certificates
  • Acted for CBK in respect to consultant claims regarding the Times Tower
  • Represented a multinational bank in a representative action challenging the levying of increased bank charges
  • Representing the CBK in a case in which the represented petitioner sought to challenge the legality of contracts for the printing of currency, which had been awarded to De La Rue(Kenya) Ltd
  • Represented a multinational bank in a representative action challenging the levying of increased bank charges

Capital markets disputes

  • Represented the Capital Markets Authority(CMA) on appeals against its statutory enforcements

Class actions

  • Represented National Bank of Kenya in a class action, involving termination of employment on the basis of performance appraisal

Commercial disputes

  • Assisting counsel to an international commodity company in a dispute with Kenya Pipeline Company worth USD 52.5 million
  • Counsel in an Application for Immunity before the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Court of Justice in Zambia
  • Counsel for the companies in winding-up petitions for Tatu City Limited and Kofinaf Company Limited.  The companies were engaged in development of a modern city in the outskirts of Nairobi
  • Counsel in the winding up Petition for Rai Plywoods (Kenya)
  • Successfully represented a client in the logistics industry, in a contractual dispute; the client was subsequently awarded KES 85 million for a breach of contract
  • Represented East African Breweries Limited (EABL) in regard to disputes arising from transportation and distribution agreements
  • Advised Sangani Builders in a claim against Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
  • Represented Dufry International AG, in a dispute relating to licensing of additional duty free facilities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya)
  • Acted for KPA in claims brought against Kobil Company, arising out of alleged wrongful payment of shore handling services (the claim value was USD 2.6 million)
  • Represented a foreign multinational company in an appeal (before the Court of Appeal) arising from a High Court judgment in a claim for over  USD 40.3 million (approximately KES 3 billion) in damages for breach of duty as  bailee by attornment
  • Represented the Standard Group Ltd, in a commercial dispute against the Kisumu Municipal(now know as the County Government of Kisumu), relating to Standard’s advertising rights within the county
  • Represented an international shipping company on a salvage and towage claim

Constitutional petitions

  • Representing Moi University(the second University to be established in Kenya), in a suit challenging the decision by the Council of Legal Education to close its School of Law
  • Representing Kenya’s Deputy CJ in a novel constitutional petition where the court needs to decide on the issue of security of tenure of judges
  • Represented four Kenyan Court of Appeal and High Court judges, in the constitutional process of vetting of judges who were serving as at 27th August 2010
  • Represented a healthcare client, in a dispute concerning an infringement of privacy
  • Represented Shree Visa Oshwal Community Registered Trustees in a constitutional petition that sought relief for violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms over land situated within Nairobi Municipality
  • Successfully defended a party in an election petition challenging the election of a Senator
  • Represented EABL in challenging the constitutionality of various provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks and Control Act, on aspects relating to the infringement of the right to property
  • Represented KenGen in a constitutional case involving the competing fundamental rights and freedoms under the Bill of Rights. Particularly, the freedom of expression, the right to access to information, the freedom of the media and the right to privacy
  • Defending the Kenya National Union of Teachers(KNUT) in a constitutional challenge where claimants alleged discrimination on the basis of age, with respect to the prescribed retirement of national officials

Construction disputes

  • Acted for the Kenya Medical Association Housing Co-operative society in construction-related dispute
  • Represented China Huashi Corporation in a construction-related dispute
    Acted for the Kenya Re-insurance Corporation in a construction-related dispute
  • Represented the National Housing Corporation in a construction-related dispute
  • Representing the developer of Nyali Centre where the contractor alleged that the employer underpaid, with a threat to sue. Our client(the employer) is charging damages for shoddy work
  • Appeared before the newly formed Petitions’ Committee(established under the PPP Act 2013). We successfully represented a party challenging a tender award for one of the lots in a 10,000 km Kenyan annuity road program
  • Represented a  party in a construction arbitration(estimated matter value: USD 6.5 million)

Employment disputes

  • Representing the KNUT in a historic 2015 pay rise dispute against the teachers’ employer, the Teachers Services Commission(TSC)
  • Represented Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi in a suit filed by Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied workers
  • Represented the Secretary General of the UN in proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal
  • Representing Standard Chartered Bank in a case, involving alleged wrongful dismissal and malicious prosecution(claim value KES 6 million, excluding the interest)
  • Successfully represented Kenya Airways Limited in regards to their 2012 “contested” redundancy exercise(a landmark employment law case)
  • Represented KNUT in litigation arising out of their 1997 pay deal agreement with the TSC

Environmental & Land disputes

  • Represented the Canadian Foodgrain Bank in an environmental litigation
  • Representing an international NGO in a land rates’ dispute (the estimated demand value is USD 46 million)
  • Successfully represented several companies on Mombasa road whose title had been quashed by a gazette notice
  • Successfully represented a group of companies in challenging the revocation of title on several properties in Nairobi’s industrial area
  • Represented Nairobi Business Park Limited against trespass and prevention of ongoing construction on Phase II of Nairobi Business Park by the Kenya Forest Services(the property in dispute was thousands of acres)
  • Represented foreign beneficiaries in a local probate and administration matter involving a large estate and protection of the assets in the estate pending hearing and determination of the matter
  • Represented the Kenya Medical Association Housing Co-operative Sacco Ltd (KMAHS) in a case in which KMAHS had purchased land to put up a mega housing project. The case pitted the original owners of the land against KMAHS and various government departments including the Lands Office and the Company Registry
  • Acted for Kenya Commercial Bank Pension Fund, in respect to development of a residential estate
  • Representing third party purchasers in a class action, involving a multimillion shilling prime property transmitted and transferred inter-vivos to for value under a grant of representation that was subsequently revoked
  • Providing legal advice to a large international construction company on construction law and employment law in Kenya in respect of an upcoming project being undertaken by the said company
  • Representing the Grove Ltd, a real estate company, in a dispute with environmental and land law aspects
  • Representing the developer of Nyali Centre where the contractor alleged that the employer underpaid, with a threat to sue. Our client (the employer) is charging damages for shoddy work
  • Represented Brookside Court Limited, in a case which involved a challenge to the manner by which the Senior Registrar of Titles purported to revoke Titles to land in excess of the powers provided under the law
  • Represented a construction company in arbitration proceedings arising out of a breach of a building contract
  • Advised on the setting up of a settlement scheme for a company desirous of subdividing land and settling members of a particular community who were squatting on the company’s property at the Coast, in the most cost-efficient way

Investment disputes

  • Represented a leading local investment public company in various litigation proceedings relating to a multibillion takeover offer/bid of Rea Vipingo Plantations Limited at the Court of Appeal, High Court and the Capital Markets Tribunal

Insurance disputes

  • Representing Keninidia in a claim by an importer, for alleged theft of goods in transit(approximately worth KES 100 million (the dispute had three related suits))
  • Acting in a claim brought against Intra Africa Assurance  on losses arising out of fire and robbery
  • Defended an insurer against a claim arising from the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya. The dispute concerned a claim for damages within an exclusion clause under the policy, against liability for civil commotion and riot
  • Represented Kenindia Assurance in an appeal where the Court of Appeal set aside the ruling and orders of the High Court, which upheld an arbitral award of approximately KES 47 million against our client
  • Represented a local Insurance company on a KES 100 million claim

International disputes

  • Legal counsel at the International Criminal Court in a case arising out of the 2007 post election violence in Kenya
  • Represented Kenya Ports Authority in regards to a dispute regarding COMESA’s preferential sugar quota
  • Successfully obtained orders and enforcement for the return to Kenya, of minors illegally removed from the court’s jurisdiction, during the pendency of children’s custody proceedings

IP disputes

  • Acted for the international news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP), against The Star Newspaper in a dispute regarding an infrigenment of AFP’s copyright
  • Acting for a software developer at the High Court of Kenya in a copyright infringement claim

Judicial review matters

  • Representing the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) in a judicial review application, involving a challenge of the Kenya Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations 2010
  • Acting for the CCK in judicial review proceedings, involving an interconnection determination challenge by Essar Telecom

Procurement

  • Acted for BIVAC international SA (BUREAU VERITAS) in two challenges in regard to Kenya Bureau Standards tenders for the pre-shipment of goods in High Court, where one was successful.
  • Successfully acted for the Communications Commission of Kenya (as then known) in the High Court, in respect to a tender for interoperability service
  • Successfully acted for the Communications Commission of Kenya (as then Known), in respect to a tender for provision for broadcasting transmission services in both the High Court and the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.
  • Acted in a consortium for Hyundai and Toyota winning a Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited tender for the construction and generation of a geo-thermal power plant at Olkaria that is off the Naivasha-Nakuru highway. This was conducted in a tribunal and was successful.
  • Acted for CBK in respect to consultant claims regarding the Times Tower
  • Acted for Toyota in a challenge for their successful bid by the treasury for the KES 3 billion provision to the issue the National police service ith motor vehicles
  • Acted for the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (corporate entity created to inter-alia build capacity in response to the Kenyan bank failiures in the 1980s/1990s) in a procurement matter

Recovery matters

  • Acting for Ciba Geigy and Norvatis (now Syngenta) in a recovery of company property in a suit

Tax disputes

  • Representing a regional international school in an appeal at the High Court on an income tax dispute
  • Representing a leading Kenyan supermarket chain in a tax appeal before the High Court in regards to which the taxman raised a withholding tax claim in regards to a loyalty card claim
  • Representing a gaming and lottery company in a tax dispute at the Tax Appeal Tribunal
  • Successfully represented Vivo Energy and its related companies in an income tax appeal at the High Court
  • Acting for a mining company before the Tax Appeals Tribunal in relation to claims for corporate tax, VAT and withholding tax
  • Acting for an insurance company in relation to an appeal before the Tax Appeal Tribunal on accounting for life business for purposes of computing income
  • Successfully represented an herbal medicine importer in a challenge against the KRA in respect to the classification of the products for purposes of zero-rating
  • Acted for Toyota in a challenge for their successful bid from the National Treasury for the KES 3 billion provision, to issue the National Police Service with motor vehicles
  • Successfully represented KEC International in a tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)
  • Represented a construction company in arbitration proceedings arising out of a breach of a building contract The claim was for VAT on the contract works and the cost of additional works and variations
  • Represented an international NGO in a tax-related dispute (the estimated tax demand is USD 47.3 million)
  • Represented a regional international school, in an income tax dispute at the Kenyan Tax Appeals Tribunal
  • Representing Madison Insurance in a tax dispute (with constitutional aspects) before the Kenyan High Court
  • Represented Bidco Oil refineries in a tax dispute before the Kenyan High Court
  • Representing a Kenyan FMCG company in a tax dispute, which also involved some constitutional aspects
  • Successfully defended the CBK in a multimillion shilling claim against the Bank for payment of convertible foreign exchange bearer certificates
    Represented foreign beneficiaries in a local probate and administration matter involving a large estate and protecting the assets in the estate pending hearing and determination of the matter

Telecommunications

  • Successfully represented the CCK in several suits arising from the grant of a license to the third Kenyan GSM mobile operator

Insights

PERMISSION TO ENTER AND WORK:WHAT FOREIGNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORKING IN KENYA

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: THE WAY FORWARD IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

PRAYING AND LEARNING:SOME CONSTITUTIONAL DIMENSIONS ON THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION

GREASE-PROOFING:HIGHLIGHTS OF KENYA’S ANTI-BRIBERY LEGISLATION

Doing justice: The new statutes changing Kenya’s dispute resolution system

Obligated: Examining the Duty of Care in Banking

Is Collective Bargaining Dead in the Public Sector?

At the very least: Basic minimum conditions of employment

Medicare in the employment context

“Money” matters: Award of instruction fees to in-house counsel


Key Contacts

George Oraro SC

goraro@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Chacha Odera

chacha@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Walter Amoko

wamoko@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

John Mbaluto

john@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Noella Lubano

Noella C. Lubano

noella@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Geoffrey Muchiri

geoffrey@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Georgina Ogalo-Omondi

georgina@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Gibran Darr

gibran@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Daniel Ouma

daniel@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Jill Obuchunju Barasa

jill@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Beryl Rachier

Brachier@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Sandra Kavagi

sandra@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Anne Kadima

anne@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

Erastus Rabut

erastus@oraro.co.ke

020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480