Walter Amoko

 

Position: Partner

Email: wamoko@oraro.co.ke

Telephone: 020 – 271 3 636/271 1 480

 

Background

Walter specialises within the fields of litigation, arbitration, communications, construction, constitutional and administrative law/judicial review, employment, environmental/land, financial services, public procurement, PPP’s, tax and heads the firm’s commercial litigation team. Both Legal 500 and Chambers Global recognize Walter as a leading lawyer in the area of dispute resolution. Case in point, Chambers Global 2017, lauds him saying, “He is brilliant at understanding the client’s problem and resolving it. He has sound legal arguments and is a brilliant lawyer ”. Plus, Walter has a great deal of experience in ICT briefs and judicial review applications; one of his highlights is that he successfully represented the Communications Commissions of Kenya(CCK(the regulatory body for the communications sector in Kenya, now the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK))), in several suits arising from the grant of a license to the third GSM mobile operator in Kenya. In addition, Walter has acted for Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd in several construction-related disputes involving (among many others) claims against employers, claims by sub-contractors, enforcement of performance bonds and advance payment bonds.

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Economic Association
  • East Africa Law Society
  • International Commission for Jurists
  • Law Society of Kenya

Professional Qualifications

  • Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
  • LLB, London School of Economics and Political Science

Employment

  • Inamdar & Inamdar Advocates
  • Oraro & Co. Advocates

Accolades/Accomplishments

Top matters

  • Acting in an anti-suit injunction application involving EACP (a technology, media and telecommunications sector-focused venture capital fund manager, investing in the greater Eastern Africa region) where parties not party to a shareholder agreement and management agreement between certain entities and a fund manager threatened to institute suit against the fund manager despite provisions for arbitration
  • Acting in a constitutional petition against the County Government of Mombasa (one of Kenya’s largest urban counties) to compel the latter to stamp building plans and issue certificates of approval, where the County had already granted all approvals but declined to stamp building plans
  • Currently advising the preferred bidder on a 2000 km Kenyan road PPP project in negotiations with the Kenyan Government
  • Currently advising a lender in regard to an annuity term loan facility to facilitate the 75% direct cost of road construction of the Ngong-Kiserian-Isinya Road and Kajiado-Imaroro Road. These are the first road construction projects that are to be undertaken under the new Road Annuity Regulations
  • Giving Kenyan law advice and representing a Canadian energy company as co-counsel in the ICSID proceedings brought against the Kenyan Government in respect of the unlawful revocation of the company’s geothermal licence
  • Advised Laxmanbhai Construction Company Limited in relation to several disputes (or potential disputes), with respect to various projects
  • Representing the client (one of Nairobi’s top five star luxury hotels) in two employment claims revolving around claims of unfair termination and fraud allegations against the employees. We also advised the hotel on its internal HR policies and contracts
  • Successfully represented Sanghani Builders Limited in a claim against Kenya Agricultural Research Institute for the balance of payment in respect of the construction of its headquarters
  • Advised Communications Authority of Kenya and negotiated a settlement with its main contractor and sub-contractors in respect of a claim relating to the construction of its headquarters
  • Advising the successful bidder with respect to one of the lots for the County Government of Nairobi Urban Renewal/Regeneration program. It is a low cost housing project with PPP aspects that involves the re-development of an old housing estate belonging to the NCC
  • Acting for the Central Bank Kenya (CBK) in respect of a claim by the contractor in relation to the refurbishment of Marshalls House
  • Acting for a plaintiff in a KES 500 million (USD 5 million) claim for constructive trust arising from a joint venture, to develop and operate high-value holiday camps
  • Represented Nairobi Business Park Limited against trespass and prevention of ongoing construction on Phase II of the business park by Kenya Forest Services (the property in dispute was thousands of acres)
  • Acted in a consortium for Hyundai and Toyota in relation to winning a KenGen tender for the construction and generation of a geothermal power plant at Olkaria that is off the Naivasha-Nakuru highway. This matter was conducted in a tribunal and it was successful
  • Acted for Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) (the regulatory body for the communications sector in Kenya) in a claim for KES 150 million (USD 1.5 million), by a contractor which was reduced to KES 60 million (USD 600, 000)
  • Successfully represented the Grove Limited before the National Environmental Tribunal and the Environmental and Land Court in an appeal challenging the EIA licence granted to them by the National Environmental Tribunal for a KES 987 million (USD 9.9 million) mixed-use development
  • Representing Cytonn Investments Management Ltd (Cytonn) in an appeal challenging the EIA licence granted to them by the National Environmental Tribunal for a KES 3 billion (USD 30 million) integrated mixed use development
  • Part of the successful team representing the preferred bidder for a coal-fired power generator before the public-private partnership (PPP) Petition Committee (the first matter before the then newly established tribunal)
  • Successfully acted for one of the bidders with respect to Lot 6, of the 10,000 km Kenyan annuity road project, before the PPP Petition Committee (the second matter before the newly formed tribunal)
  • Advising a leading manufacturer on assessments by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) of KES 24 billion (USD 240 million) in respect of excise duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), penalties and interest
  • Successfully represented KEC International Limited (an Indian Company) challenging claims for customs duty and VAT
  • Representing a Kenyan mining company in a matter that involved an assessment raised against the company in respect of VAT, Withholding Tax and Corporation Tax (resulting from an intercompany transaction)
  • 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
  • Advising a real estate company on a Withholding tax in commercial properties claim
  • Advised a leading Kenyan investment and real estate company on a corporate and transactional restructuring
  • Representing a group of related real estate companies on a claim for demand interest and Corporate Income tax
  • Advising a real estate company on capital deductions
  • 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 Appeals Tribunal, on accounting for life business for purposes of computing income
  • Successfully represented a 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
  • Currently representing Moi University (the second University to be established in Kenya), in an appeal challenging the decision by the CLE to close its School of Law
  • Successfully represented Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi (AKUH,N ) against attempts by the Medical Practitioners and Licensing Board to extend its disciplinary mechanisms to hospitals
  • Currently acting for various principals of Cytonn in an appeal for unsuccessful challenge to their intended prosecution
  • Acted for the developer of a multibillion claim for compensation over a repudiated contract for the purchase of one (1) of six (6) blocks. The award in favour of the developer was subsequently set aside on appeal
  • Acting for Kenya Ports Authority in claims brought against Kobil Company, arising out of alleged wrongful payment of shore handling services (claim value: KES 300 million (USD 3 million))
  • Acting for the CBK in a claim for damages in the sum of KES 2 billion (USD 20 million) being alleged losses arising from the shutdown of Kenya Akiba Micro-finance Company Limited
  • Representing one of Kenya’s leading banks in several different lawsuits revolving around alleged wrongful disbursements of agreed credit facilities. Two have already been dismissed
  • Successfully represented a leading bank in a claim for damages for alleged wrongful reporting of one of their customers to a Credit Reference Bureau
  • Leading a team reviewing/auditing the loan agreements and securities held, by one of the leading local banks
  • Advised the CA (formerly known Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK)) on various aspects relating to the Kenya Information and Communications Act,1998, the drafting and promulgation of subsidiary legislation made thereunder as well as the policy guidelines
  • Successfully represented CCK before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, in challenges against the legal propriety of some of the regulations
  • Acted for East African Breweries Limited before the High Court in constitutional petitions challenging the provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010
  • Successfully acted for the CA resisting challenges by the media houses to the constitutionality of some of the amendments introduced by the Media Act, 2013 and the Kenya Information Amendment Act, 2013
  • Acted for the British American Tobacco Kenya Ltd before the High Court and the Court of Appeal in challenges to constitutionality of the Tobacco Control Act as well as the Tobacco Control Regulations
  • Successfully represented Friends of Lake Turkana in a suit against the Kenyan Government , seeking information in regard to the Gilgel Gibe III dam. This was in regard to potential adverse effects on Lake Turkana (one of Kenya’s largest lakes and the world’s largest desert lake)
  • Acted for Kenya Airways Limited before the Industrial Court, (as it was then known), Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in a challenge by a Union against redundancy of over six hundred (600) employees
  • Acting for AKUH,N before the Employment and Labour Relations Court in a challenge against proposed potential redundancies of up to five hundred (500) staff
  • Representing Stanchart in a case involving alleged wrongful dismissal and malicious prosecution (claim value: KES 6 million, excluding the interest)
  • Successfully represented several companies on Mombasa road whose title had been quashed by a gazette notice
  • Acted for BIVAC International SA (BUREAU VERITAS) in two challenges in regard to Kenya Bureau of Standards’ tenders for the pre-shipment of goods in High Court (one was successful)
  • Successfully acted for the CCK, in respect to a tender for provision of broadcasting transmission services
  • Successfully acted for the CCK in the High Court, in respect to a tender for interoperability service between mobile service providers

Insights

  • Arbitration: A Time to Rethink?
  • Walking a Tight Rope: Thin Line between Tax Planning and Tax Abuse
  • Redundancy process: Getting it right
  • The Excise Duty Act, 2015
  • Further a field: Proposed changes in Kenya’s natural resource laws
  • On matters, technology: some recent regulatory updates
  • Building a strong “national” foundation: Local content in Kenya’s construction industry
  • “Bidding” system changes ahead – the new Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2015
  • Got power?: Salient aspects of Kenya’s new Energy Bill, 2015
  • On matters energy: A review of some key developments in Kenya’s Energy Sector (Q2-2016)
  • “May as well”: Additional renewable sector updates for May 2016
  • “More power” to investors: Kenya’s promising renewable energy market
  • A matter of “competing” principles: Confidentiality and disclosure in PPP procurement
  • “Capped”: Game changing interest rate legislation passed by Parliament
  • Kenya’s Government-led banking shake-up: the Banking (Amendment) Act, 2016.
  • A matter of “interest”: more updates on the new Banking (Amendment) Act, 2016
  • On the way: A look at Kenya’s new Road Annuity Programme
  • On taxation: The Common Reporting Standards and Automatic Exchange of Information
  • A “right” to light: a look at the key provisions in Kenya’s proposed Energy Bill, 2015
  • Tax reprieve: Kenya’s new Tax Amnesty Guidelines released
  • PRAYING AND LEARNING:SOME CONSTITUTIONAL DIMENSIONS ON THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION

  • Practice Areas


    Sectors