Barely a month after 40 year-old Oraro & Company Advocates was named as one of Kenya’s top-tier firms by Chambers Global, a well-respected leading legal directory, another international directory Legal 500 has recognised the firm for its strength in disputes and employment. Legal 500 in its 2017 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) report, cited the firm as a Tier 1 (the highest ranking) firm in both areas. In continued attestation of the firm’s highly regarded disputes practice, the guide especially extolled the firm’s reputation in disputes, saying, “Oraro & Company Advocates has an outstanding dispute resolution practice.”
Released on 12th April 2017, the annual report is based on an in-depth independent, free research conducted across the EMEA region covering 81 countries and over 2,700 ranked firms. Its objective is to point out leading firms and leading lawyers. The rankings are based on a combination of criteria including firm bench strength and consistency of quality of the individuals, the research also takes into account client feedback.
Four partners in the firm’s highly regarded disputes team (which has worked on some of Kenya’s biggest disputes) were also commended for their work. The four include George Oraro SC (Senior Partner) whom the guide lauded, “[As a] specialist litigator and reputed advocate who has seniority and presence.” Regarding the firm’s Managing Partner Chacha Odera (who has over 28 years of legal experience), the directory said, “Chacha Odera is also hugely experienced in litigation and ADR, especially in banking, employment, insolvency and asset tracing cases.” Walter Amoko, who heads the firm’s commercial litigation team, was noted for his procurement and projects work, with the guide, saying, “He has a fine record in procurement and projects cases.” Noella Lubano (Partner) who joined the firm in 2015 notably made her debut in the guide as one of Kenya’s top employment lawyers. Noella’s recognition is particularly good news for the firm, in light of the recent recognition of yet another young female employment lawyer in the firm’s disputes team – Georgina Ogalo-Omondi (Senior Associate) by Chambers Global.
Upon hearing the news, the firm’s Senior Partner George Oraro SC remarked, “We are both humbled and elated to hear the news. We are particularly delighted to hear of Noella’s recognition, which she does deserve. That is the real icing on the cake for us as she only joined us two years ago but has already proved to be a valuable addition to our disputes team, particularly in helping us solidify our international arbitration practice. I must thank everyone, especially our clients for this positive feedback on our work.”
Chacha Odera, the firm’s Managing Partner remarked, “I concur with our Senior Partner, the honour of being recognised has been well rounded out by first, the directory citing one of our youngest disputes partners Noella for her work. Secondly, by the recognition of our team’s expertise in employment law, an area we have always taken great pride in.”
Noella, an alumnus of the University of Cape Town (one of Africa’s highly ranked universities) and a regular speaker at local and international arbitration events was thrilled to hear of the rankings. She commented, “It is exciting news, particularly because I will be celebrating my 2 year anniversary at the firm in a month. We also recently beefed up our capacity in disputes with the recruitment of Gibran Khalid Darr (Senior Associate) and Sandra Kavagi (Associate), so this is further confirmation that we are indeed on the right path in solidifying our position as a leading dispute resolution practice.”
It is not the first time that Legal 500 has ranked the firm and its lawyers, in 2016 the directory recognised the firm as a top tier disputes firm and listed George Oraro SC as one of Kenya’ s elite “leading lawyers”.