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Dennis Gathara advises on diverse commercial matters including intellectual property, employment and immigration, information communication technology and corporate law.

Dennis’ clients range from local institutions such as banks, insurance companies, wholesalers and retailers to multinational corporations operating in Kenya and beyond.

Dennis has been involved in the registration of trademarks, industrial designs and patents. He has also been involved in prosecuting and defending opposition and expungement proceedings on behalf of clients at the Kenya Industrial Property Institute.

Dennis routinely advises clients on employment-related matters including advice on employment and termination as well as being a part of the team issuing expert opinions to international tribunals. Dennis regularly assists in drafting and reviewing employment contracts and human resource manuals. Dennis is also involved in the procuring of work permits and other passes for expatriates and their dependents.

Dennis has also been involved in advising on telecommunication, cyber security, data protection, fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency and the legal position on each under Kenyan law.

He has assisted clients, both profit and non-profit, to register as companies in Kenya and advised on compliance requirements.

Experience has included advising:

  • A local client on the legal position on the use of plastics or plastic components in finished single-use packaging
  • Part of the team which acted for a US-based client involved in the manufacture of products that increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables through the use of food additives, in the advice and following application to the Ministry of Health for approval of the client’s product as a food additive in Kenya
  • Assisted as part of the legal team which acted for a multinational web services provider in its due diligence in the proposed set up of web computing services in Kenya
  • Advised a local top-tier bank on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its impact on the client’s business
  • Assisted a multinational web service provider on its establishment in Kenya as well as the shareholding and licensing requirements to own and operate data centres, set up cloud computing and web hosting services, install fibre connections, and the applicable fines for non-compliance with the statutory requirements
  • Part of the team advising the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on employment-related questions. The tribunal requires an independent expert opinion and Dennis is currently involved in the preparation of expert and supplementary reports on the legal position in Kenya
  • Assisted a local client by providing advice on the computation of daily rates and working hours for employees. The advice also included informing the client on the legal position on housing allowance and the applicable rate under the employment act
  • Dennis was also engaged in advising a multinational corporation in the carrying out of a redundancy exercise
  • Involved in the advice and subsequent settlement to a multinational corporation on alleged breach of copyright
  • Dennis is currently part of the legal team advising a local entity on its trademark infringement and passing off action against another local company

Professional Qualifications

  • Advocate admitted to the High Court of Kenya (2017)

Education

  • Kenya School of Law, Diploma in Law (2016)
  • Kenyatta University, Bachelor of Laws LL.B. (2014)

Prior Experience

  • 2017 to date, Associate, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
  • 2016 to 2017, Pupil, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
  • 2013 to 2016, Legal Assistant, Kenyan-based bank

Memberships

  • Member of the Law Society of Kenya

Big data protection considerations as work-places reopen

As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in Kenya continue to rise at a rate that can only be described as alarming, the delicate balance between saving lives and safeguarding livelihoods has become the waking nightmare for the Government and its advisers.

Annulment of the Retirement Benefits (Occupational Retirement Benefits Schemes) (Amendment) Regulations, 2019

The Government, through the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning published Legal Notice Number 88 of 2019 dated 13th June, 2019 which amended the Retirement Benefits (Occupational Retirement Benefits Schemes) Regulations, 2000 (the “Regulations”). Regulation 19 (5) (a) (ii) was amended to read as follows: “the scheme rules shall provide that: where a member leaves employment after vesting of his benefits but before attaining the specified early retirement age, he may opt for payment of his own contribution where he is a member of a defined contribution scheme.