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Kamau Karori

Kamau Karori

Senior Partner, IKM Advocates

Kamau Karori MBS, SC is the Partner in charge of the Dispute Resolution practice at IKM. He has been involved in the resolution of many groundbreaking and high-profile commercial disputes in the high court, court of appeal and supreme court. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (Kenya branch), with extensive experience in commercial arbitration for which he is often retained by several multinationals and institutions to act in high-profile arbitration matters either as counsel or as an arbitrator.

Kamau has received accolades both from clients, peers and leading international directories including Chambers Global, where he has been consistently ranked in tier one in arbitration and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in Kenya.

He was appointed as cocounsel to defend the Kenya government in a multibillion dollar investment arbitration claim which was determined in favour of Kenya in a momentous award delivered in October 2018 under the auspices of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). 

In recognition of his status and distinguished service to the nation, Kamau was recently granted the award of Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS).

Experience has included advising:

  • The Republic of Kenya in a multibillion investment arbitration proceedings filed by Cortec Mining Kenya Limited at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • The office of the attorney general of the Republic of Kenya in relation to a constitutional petition challenging presidential and ministerial appointments of chairpersons and members to various parastatal boards
  • A leading betting company in relation to a petition and applications challenging agency notices issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority to the company’s bankers and a telecommunication company demanding payment of more than KES8 billion (more than USD80 million) being purported withholding tax on winnings of punters (players) for the years of income 2015 and 2016
  • A leading beverage manufacturer at the Supreme Court of Kenya in a dispute over distribution of beverages by Kenya’s leading beer manufacturer. The indicated value of the business under controversy is about USD30 million
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairman before the Supreme Court of Kenya in the petitions that resulted from the March 2013, August, 2017 and October 2017 presidential elections where various petitioners had sought to challenge the presidential election results as announced by the IEBC
  • A leading bank in a dispute over the realization of assets. The lawsuit has made its way to the supreme court. The amount in dispute is in excess of USD14 million
  • A company in a judicial review application seeking to stop the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from using the criminal process against its directors on account of a tax dispute which is yet to be determined in accordance with the Tax Procedures Act
  • A leading hotel in arbitration proceedings filed by a contractor in which the contractor is alleging breach the terms of the construction agreement and the hotel has mounted a counterclaim. The sums in dispute exceed USD10 million
  • A consultancy company in an application for judicial review orders seeking to quash assessment and agency notices issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority against the company for sums in excess of USD1 million
  • Trustees and executors of a high-net-worth estate in relation to litigation arising from the management and administration of the estate and assets in terms of the instrument establishing the trust
  • A client in an appeal pending before the court of appeal which seeks to resolve the issue of the scope of intervention by the high court when determining an application for setting aside an arbitral award

Professional Qualifications

  • Advocate admitted to the High Court of Kenya (1996)


  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Fellow (2013)
  • Kenya School of Law, Diploma in Law (1995)
  • University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Law LL.B. (1993)


  • Ranked as leading lawyer in Chambers & Partners Global
  • Ranked as leading lawyer by Legal 500
  • Awarded Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS)

Prior Experience

  • 2002 to date, Partner, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
  • 1996 to 2002, Partner, Nairobi-based law firm


  • Law Society of Kenya
  • Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Kigali International Arbitration Centre
  • African Arbitration Association

International arbitration publication

IKM is pleased to announce that Kamau Karori and Ken Melly have authored one of the chapters, titled ‘The Attitude of Kenyan Courts towards Arbitration’ in a  newly published book titled ‘Rethinking the Role of African National Courts in Arbitration’.