Employment in Kenya

Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna has one of the leading employment teams in Kenya, which acts on advisory and transactional matters, as well as disputes. The firm regularly advises on data protection and drafts employment policies such as disciplinary and grievance procedures, handbooks and consultancy agreements. The team is also proficient in advising on employment issues arising from corporate transactions and reorganisations. Sonal Sejpal co-heads the employment department with Rosa Nduati-Mutero . Aisha Abdallah  takes the lead on disputes, while Faith Macharia has an impressive record in corporate fraud and insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Sonal Sejpal; Rosa Nduati-Mutero

Other key lawyers:

Aisha Abdallah; Faith Macharia

Testimonials

‘A&K has expansive knowledge and experience in employment law which is the area l seek legal advice. A&K has a dedicated team handling our company.’

‘They have well trained staff who are able to handle different aspects of the business.’

‘They have staff who are diverse and efficient. They have ensured we have a continuous collaboration. They handle different aspect of legal so they are a one stop shop for the client.’

Key clients

Lufthansa Cargo AG

Schneider Electric (Kenya)

Ola Energy Kenya

Facebook

Absa

BAT

Work highlights

  • Acting for Lufthansa Cargo, a worldwide airfreight and logistics company, in connection with a suit before the Employment & Labour Relations Court where employees of an independent contractor have filed a Petition seeking among other Orders for a declaration that they remain and continue to serve their alleged employment at Lufthansa Cargo.
  • Acting for OLA Energy, an affiliate owned by Libya Oil Holdings, a Libyan state-owned company with over 3000 branches in 21 countries across Africa.
  • Acting for Schneider Electric in connection with a claim wrongfully filed at the Chief Magistrates Court for unfair termination of employment filed by one of its former employees.

Bowmans

Bowmans is one of the leading firms in East Africa for employment matters, as is reflected by the fact that it advises several multinational clients. It handles M&A-related employment issues, disputes, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPS) and employee incentive plans. The department is also proficient in workplace policies and compliance, recently developing “The Bowmans’ Return to Work Pack (RTWP)” in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. Rainbow Field leads the team, with experience in insolvencies and restructurings. Terry Mwango has expertise in disputes.

Practice head(s):

Rainbow Field; Terry Mwango

Other key lawyers:

Cecil Kuyo

Key clients

Sanlam General Life Insurance Limited

Sanlam Kenya Plc

Mercy Corps

KCSSA East Africa Limited

Superfoam Limited

Timothy Xerxes

Tatu City Limited

Actis Kenya Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sanlam Kenya Plc and Sanlam General Life Insurance Limited in a matter filed in the employment and labour relations court by a former employee claiming, among other reliefs, damages for unfair termination.
  • Advised Superfoam Limited on negotiations of a collective bargaining agreement with the union representing the employees of the company during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
  • Advised Actis Kenya Limited and responded to a claim filed by a former employee for constructive dismissal.

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews is highly reputed for employment advice, with it generating mandates from clients across a broad cross-section of sectors. TIts team advises clients on disciplinary processes, performance improvement plans, termination processes, redundancy processes and drafting employment contracts. It is also knowledgeable about M&A-related employment issues. Michi Kirimi is a senior practitioner with extensive experience of disputes, while Lorna Mainnah has expertise in employment and immigration engagements. Ezra Makori has experience of employment litigation. Richard Omwela is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Richard Omwela

Other key lawyers:

Michi Kirimi; Lorna Mainnah; Ezra Makori

Testimonials

‘Credible advice and professional conduct demonstrated by the whole staff.’

‘Every interaction is accurate and professionally handled. Timely updates and a well connected team with multiple expertise.’

‘Approachable and accurate.’

‘Excellent knowledge about laws and regulations and practical strategies to apply them to businesses.’

Key clients

Elgon Development Limited

Immo80 Kenya Limited

Redbury Nine Limited

Khawaja Sohail Deen & Dr Lubna Khawaja

British High Commission

Work highlights

  • Acted for Immo 80 Kenya Limited on behalf of Overseas Administration Management and advised it on the acquisition of four warehouses in Nairobi’s busy Industrial Area, just off Mombasa Road.

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a large employment team, which is active in transactions and contentious matters, and attracts work from domestic and international clients. The team advises on novel areas of the law, such as Covid-19-related workplace regulatory guidance and the effects of changes in shareholding on employees’ obligations. The firm is also highly skilled in M&A-related matters, backed by the resources it has obtained due to being part of the DLA Piper Africa Network. William Maema is a key partner with experience in advisory matters. Martin Munyu is well-versed in employment and labour relations disputes. Karori Kamau and Christine Njau are significant figures in the team.

Practice head(s):

William Maema; Kamau Karori

Other key lawyers:

Martin Munyu; Christine Njau

Testimonials

‘IKM is a diverse firm with excellent services. The billing conforms with the Advocate Remuneration Order 2014. It has very good staff who are always at hand to go the extra mile to assist. In terms of technology, the firm is quite ahead of its peers.’

‘The individuals I work with have always maintained a one-on-one relationship. They ensure any matter is handled diligently from inception to conclusion with updates from time to time.’

‘Whenever I engage IKM Advocates I am certain that, like before, my needs will be met and on time. I never have to worry about the quality of work as I am served with unparalleled standards of professionalism. IKM provides clarity on work deliverables as well as billing.’

‘I have worked directly with William and I can attest to his responsiveness. His attention to detail is unmatched. He has got in-depth legal experience and therefore understanding. He is honest and respectfully direct even when one tends to differ in opinion.’

‘DLA Piper (IKM) advocates are professional, extremely warm and supportive to me and my team. I have in previous engagements worked with other law firms but the unique thing about them is the depth of their research, understanding of their clients and how balanced their turnaround time is.’

‘Very mature in their engagement through analysis and are honest in there undertakings. I look forward to working with them even more.’

‘IKM has been very informative in all our labour concerns. The team is reachable on a need be basis regardless of hours. In case of no response on call, they always call back and whatever time but first they check whether we are ok to talk after working hours. In terms of collaborations, IKM has linked us to various legal firms within the region, in particular in Uganda and South Sudan as they are well linked to great minds.’

‘At times, the law can be very complex. Our key contact person always tries to look at all the risk involved in the matter, provide verbal opinion either oral or written. We explore risk to business and best approach on the matter.’

Key clients

BOC Kenya PLC

Church World Service

Dummen Orange/ Fides Kenya Limited

FilmAid Kenya

TechnoServe Kenya

L.A.B. International Kenya Limited

UAP Old Mutual Plc

Britam Holdings Plc

Center for International Health, Education and Biosecurity

Spotlight East Africa Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Flamingo Group International Limited (“FGIL”) and Flamingo Horticulture Kenya Limited (“FHKL”) on the employment issues arising from FHKL’s hive-off of its integrated pest management business and FGIL in connection with the sale of the integrated pest management business.
  • Advised Britam Holdings Limited on its high-profile restructuring process.
  • Representing Britam in defending an employment claim filed by one of its senior managers.

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates mainly acts for employers, including public companies, SMEs and not-for-profit entities. The team advises regularly on terminations, work permits, pension disputes, ESOPs and incentives. Sam Wainaina heads the practice with vast experience advising on employment and labour issues. Esther Kinyenje has expertise in industrial relations disputes, while Cosima Wetende is a leading employment litigator.

Practice head(s):

Sam Wainaina

Other key lawyers:

Esther Kinyenje; Cosima Wetende

Testimonials

‘I work a lot with Esther Kinyenje and Cosima Wetende and they have done a stellar job of advising on and mitigating risks arising from employment disputes.’

Key clients

Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa Ltd

Prudential Life Assurance Kenya Ltd

Kenya Tea Growers Association

Kenol Kobil

Unilever Kenya Ltd

Unilever Tea Ltd

AMREF Health Africa

Samsung Kenya Limited

British American Tobacco (BAT) Limited

Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd

Orpower 4 Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented British American Tobacco Kenya Plc in claims instituted by two former employees for wrongful dismissal.
  • Advised Eastern Produce Kenya Limited following a series of wild cat strikes. The client took collective disciplinary action against its employees for engaging in an unlawful, unprotected strike.
  • Advised British American Tobacco in respect of the obligations of an employer for covid-19 testing, isolation and safety protocols under the Employment Act, Ministry of Labour Covid 19 guidelines and The Occupational, Health and Safety Act.

MMAN Advocates

MMAN Advocates has an excellent reputation handling pensions issues for clients and it also specialises in the employment aspects of both share and asset acquisitions; Carole Ayugi is experienced in employment issues relating to corporate and commercial transactions. The firm is also a member of the Eversheds Sutherland Africa Alliance.

Practice head(s):

Carole Ayugi

Key clients

Koontor Asia

Massmart Holdings Limited

Auto Springs East Africa Plc

Amazon.com Inc.

Eaton Corporation Inc.

Capital Markets Authority Retirement Benefits Scheme

Zamara Actuaries, Administrators & Consultants Limited

Croda International Plc

PPD Inc

Terasteenus Ou

Work highlights

  • Advised PPD Inc on the matters to be considered when setting up a cross border ESOP including several branches of the law not limited to employment, tax, stamp duty, banking, foreign exchange and trusts.
  • Advised EATON CORPORATION INC on employment-related aspects of the multinational hydraulics business purchase transaction.

Munyao Muthama & Kashindi

Munyao Muthama & Kashindi generates work from clients in a wide range of industries, with particular experience of acting for those in the education, manufacturing and charities sectors. It also acts for government institutions. On the contentious side, the firm represents clients in matters before the employment and labour relations court, as well as the appellate courts. Elsewhere, it advises on compliance and employee separation processes, including summary dismissals and redundancies. Irene Kashindi, who heads up the employment department, handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. George Kashindi and Paul Munyao provide additional expertise.

Practice head(s):

Irene Kashindi

Other key lawyers:

George Kashindi; Paul Munyao; Margaret Miringu

Testimonials

‘The quality of having a competent staff available to stand in for the Managing Partner when our case came up while the Managing Partner was still on the road with poor network connectivity. It was wonderful and very refreshing.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable on labour law-related matters and this is evident in the solutions they provide as well as the training and legal updates.’

‘Irene Kashindi has a wealth of knowledge in employment law and has been able to develop solutions that safeguard clients’ interests. From the cases she litigates, she has added a lot of value in the development of jurisprudence in the employment field.’

‘I like that a lady leads the labour relations area (Irene). Thorough and quality work.’

Key clients

Safaricom PLC

Unilever Kenya Limited

National Bank of Kenya

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

Johnson Diversey East and Central Limited

Spire Properties Limited

Bank of Africa

Youth Enterprise Development Fund Board

Cosmos Limited

Institute of Certified Public Accountants

National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)

Kenya Ports Authority

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority

Crowe Erastus & Company

Green Belt Movement

Work highlights

  • Advised Safaricom on a range of employment and labour related matters.

Oraro & Company Advocates

Oraro & Company Advocates has an excellent employment and labour relations team, which acts for large local, regional and international organisations. The department advises on employment contracts, redundancies, employee benefits, collective bargaining agreements and reviews HR policies and procedures. The firm has acted against two of the largest trade unions in Kenya, including the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), in disputes against the employer. Chacha Odera is the most senior partner in the team and has represented a variety of different clients. Georgina Ogalo-Omondi has advised on intricate labour disputes in relation to terminations, redundancies and collective bargaining.

Practice head(s):

Chacha Odera

Other key lawyers:

Georgina Ogalo-Omondi; John Mbaluto

Testimonials

‘They give efficient legal services. I like the way they handle all legal matters assigned to them with a lot of passion, due diligence and high standard services. They are exceptional in terms of hiring very competent personnel who ensure all legal matters are handled very well.’

Key clients

TelPosta Pension Scheme

National Bank of Kenya

Kenya Railways Corporation

The Honourable Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya

Tumaini Self Service Limited

Art Caffe Coffee & Bakery Limited

Aidspan

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited

Diamond Trust Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended a judgement by the retirement benefits tribunal for unpaid retirement dues.
  • Acted in various claims for The Honourable Attorney General – Kenya challenging section 85 of the Finance Act 2018.
  • Acted for Kenya National Union of Teachers in a trade dispute amounting to $540m against the teachers’ employer.

Kieti Law LLP

Kieti Law LLP  has joined forces with South Africa-based firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr to expand its service offerings in the region. It advises on a wide range of non-contentious employment matters, which range from corporate immigration to employee benefits issues. The team recently advised PayGo Energy on the termination of a senior employee. Department head Njeri Wagacha has extensive experience of pension schemes, disciplinary proceedings and collective bargaining agreements.

Practice head(s):

Njeri Wagacha

Key clients

PayGo Energy

Shara

KOKO Networks

RONN Law Advocates LLP

RONN Law Advocates LLP is a new full-service firm, which was set up in 2021. Sean Omondi heads up the employment team, which has expertise in employment disputes, the implementation of redundancy programmes, union disputes and advises on employment policies, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Sean Omondi

Key clients

AAR Hospital Limited

Acumen EA Advisory Services Limited

Andela Kenya Limited

De La Rue EPZ Limited

Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines

GoTV Kenya Limited

Habitat for Humanity International

IBM East Africa Limited

ISS Global Forwarding (Kenya) Limited

Java House Africa

Promasidor (Kenya) Limited

S.C. Johnson & Son Kenya Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised and acted for IBM EAST Africa Limited in a constructive dismissal claim filed by a former employee.
  • Advising and acting for Paul Odera (Head Coach of the Kenya Men’s National 15s Team) in an injunction/ interdict claim to restrain the Kenya Rugby Union from terminating his employment.
  • Advised ISS Global Forwarding (Kenya) Limited in relation to company-wide redundancies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.