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Litigation, Arbitration and Regulatory

Our litigation lawyers in Kenya are skilled in litigation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation. 

We give careful consideration to the commercial objectives of clients by carrying out an evaluation of both the legal and reputational risks of each case and seeking the best dispute resolution strategy and approach for the transaction. 

In an environment where regulation and its enforcement will only increase, we recognize that effective compliance and avoidance of regulatory intervention are critical for our clients’ businesses.

We have the local knowledge to advise on a wide range of regulatory issues and develop case strategies, including technically challenging or complex multi-jurisdictional matters. 

Our partners are routinely appointed as arbitrators and, supported by the firm’s associates, are retained in high-profile cases by both multinational and local blue-chip companies as well as the Kenyan government and various state entities. 

Our capabilities include:

  • Administrative law
  • Antitrust and competition
  • Aviation litigation and regulation
  • Banking and finance litigation
  •  Construction and infrastructure disputes
  • Corporate and securities litigation
  • Cross-border dispute resolution
  • Financial services regulatory
  • Governance and compliance
  • Insurance and reinsurance disputes
  • International arbitration
  • IT and telecoms disputes

Experience has included advising:

  • The Republic of Kenya in multibillion investment arbitration proceedings filed by Cortec Mining Kenya Limited at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
  • 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 a colossal sum of KES8 billion (approximately USD84 million). This was being purported to withhold 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 the 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 suit has made its way to the Supreme Court of Kenya. The amount in dispute is in excess of USD14 million.
  • 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 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 alleging breach of the terms of the construction agreement and where 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 leading bank in relation to a claim by a state corporation arising from an advance payment guarantee issued by the bank in respect of an energy sector project. The value of the subject matter is in excess of USD14 million.
  • Leading Case Counsel Team of the Year (Africa Arbitration Awards 2022)
  • Ranked in Dispute Resolution & Arbitration (Chambers & Partners 2017 - 2022)
  • Ranked in Dispute Resolution (The Legal 500 2017 - 2022)

The Supreme Court tightens the requirements and the obligations placed on the purchaser of land during the process of acquisition

Barely five months since the landmark decision of the Supreme Court in Dina Management Limited v County Government of Mombasa & 5 others (Petition No. 8 (E010) of 2021), the apex Court on 22 September 2023 delivered another judgment which has the potential to further shake up the process of purchase of land by property investors in Kenya. In a judgment delivered in the case of Petition No. 5 (E006) of 2022; Torino Enterprises Limited v Hon Attorney General (“Torino Enterprise Limited’s case”), the Supreme Court held among other things that a letter of allotment, even if perfected, cannot by and in itself confer transferable title to the Allottee, until the purchasers are registered as proprietors of the land upon perfecting the letter of allotment. The Supreme Court further placed a burden to land purchasers to do a physical site visit for verification of land which the purchasers intend to buy.

DLA Piper Africa, Kenya wins at the African Arbitration Awards 2022

We are pleased that our disputes resolution team has won two of the three prestigious awards it had been nominated for at the 2022 edition of the African Arbitration Awards held in Kigali, Rwanda; the Leading Case Counsel Team 2022 award and, through our associate James Kariuki, the Young Arbitration Practitioner of the Year 2022 Award.

How timelines hurt access to justice in public tender cases

In any country's legal system, the ability to access justice is an important part of the social contract. Public procurement law, just like any other field of law, should promote socio-economic development through the fair allocation of resources (including government purchasing). In this article, we will be looking at some of the laws regulating public procurement disputes in Kenya and explaining how some of them might be impeding the goals mentioned above.

Detention of patients over unpaid hospital bills: a constitutional perspective.

Detention of patients by hospitals over unpaid hospital bills has become a very common phenomenon. Hospitals justify this practice on the basis that once they release patients it is impossible to follow up the unpaid bills. This phenomenon is a true depiction of the sad effects of ever-escalating cost of medical services combined with the dwindling financial fortunes of the average Kenyan. Lack of a national medical health insurance scheme has ensured that the situation remains unchanged.