The words Bitcoin or Ethereum may not fall within our everyday lingo but most of us know they are digital currencies or “cryptocurrencies” that are not controlled by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and can be sent to anyone without the need of an intermediary.
Amrit Soar is a Partner in the Real Estate and Finance Department of IKM Advocates with 35 years' post-admission experience in real estate and banking transactions. She has handled numerous multimillion dollar real estate projects, including the acquisition of embassies and consulates by key diplomatic missions.
Amrit has also handled complex corporate finance and security documentation for both local and international banks. Her expertise also covers probate and estate planning. She is a respected and trusted legal advisor to many local and international clients and banks in her core areas of practice. She has been recognized by Chambers Global as “an outstanding conveyancer.” She also handles the training, knowledge management and risk management initiatives for the firm.
Experience has included advising:
- A developer in the acquisition and sale of 28 warehouses in a business park
- A women’s hospital in the purchase of a hospital / medical complex
- Developers in end-to-end purchase and sale of plots and houses in several gated communities
- Several banks, both local and international, in the preparation of security documentation for advances particularly to businesses in the flower, horticultural and manufacturing industries
- Banks on realization and restructuring of securities
- On due diligences for purposes of acquisition of land for renewable energy projects
- On land issues relating to special economic zones (SEZ)
- Advocate admitted to the High Court of Kenya (1983)
- Kenya School of Law, Diploma in Law (1982)
- University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Laws LL.B. (1979)
- Ranked as leading lawyer in Chambers & Partners Global
- Ranked as leading lawyer in IFLR1000
- 2013 to date, Partner, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
- 2011 to 2012, Consultant, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
- Law Society of Kenya
- Law Society of Kenya (currently serving as member, LSK Continuing Professional Education Committee)
- Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya
- Former member of the working group, Internationally Trained Lawyers Programme (ITLP), Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Canada
The recently published Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (the “Bill”) is the latest attempt by parliament to regulate the previously unregulated digital lenders. In 2020, there were two different attempts to amend the law to give the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) power to regulate digital lenders. The Bill defines "digital credit" as a credit facility or arrangement where money is lent or borrowed through a digital channel, that is, the internet, mobile devices, computer devices, applications and any other digital systems as may be prescribed by CBK.
Open banking is a system where banks allow or authorize third parties, such as financial technology or fintech companies, to access their clients’ financial data to build applications or services. Anchored on providing better customer experiences, open banking has stirred a lot of interest in Africa, including banking apps with detailed analytics of finances, the ability to send money from one bank to another using mobile phones, or the ability to transfer money from one telecoms network to another.
The Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning recently published the Stamp Duty (Valuation of Immovable Property) Regulations, 2020 and the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 with the objective of simplifying land transactions in Kenya as part of the “ease of doing business” initiative. The key highlights of these regulations are set out below.
In this time of growing uncertainty, we recognize that many of our clients are experiencing significant business disruption and facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. We are carefully monitoring global developments, and adhering to recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Government of Kenya. In response to this, we have put in place business continuity plans to ensure that we can continue to seamlessly provide our services remotely should the need arise.