Employment in Kenya
Bowmans has a well-developed employment practice that leads the field in transactional-related matters, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), redundancies and restraint of trade issues. It advised NIC Group on the transfer of employees from one entity within the group to another following a reorganisation of the business. The group is praised for its 'speed, pragmatism, ability to think outside the box and proactiveness'. Rainbow Field is the market leader in employee transfers and ESOPs, while Sean Omondi is 'pragmatic, draws on a vast range of experience, thinks outside the box and covers off all angles to protect the client'.
Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews' team has 'a very high level of expertise in the laws of Kenya'. It leads the market in employment disputes and is further building its presence in advisory work. It has a high profile in unlawful termination claims and constitutional petitions, often representing clients in cases brought by trade unions. It represented Kenya Kazi Security Services in proceedings brought by a trade union to compel it to negotiate and conclude a collective bargaining agreement. Michi Kirimi has emerged as a leader in this field, along with Lorna Mainnah and senior disputes practitioner Kenneth Fraser.
Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has worked on a series of big-ticket matters including major redundancy exercises and senior executive terminations. The team operates in both the contentious and non-contentious fields. It delivers 'an excellent and timely service', is 'professional in all ways' and 'timely, transparent and clear in its legal advice'. Senior figure William Maema is a recognised employment specialist and senior associate Christine Njau is another name to note. Immigration is another area of particular expertise.
Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is a leader in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team has had pivotal roles in a series of landmark judgments, creating jurisprudence for issues such as redundancy exercises. The firm is at the forefront of industrial relations and collective bargaining arrangements; it defended Amadeus East Africa against a headline employee claim alleging breach of constitutional and other rights. The department leverages 'good use of litigation experience to inform legal opinions', is 'aligned with client's needs', 'very professional' and 'takes time to understand the timelines on each assignment and the depth of work required'. Cosima Wetende is a leader in employment litigation and Esther Kinyenje is noted for trade union and industrial relations disputes. Sam Wainaina 'has extensive experience' in employment and pensions issues.
Oraro & Company Advocates
Oraro & Company Advocates' workload includes an impressive mix of contentious and non-contentious work, and is specifically noted for its handling of trade union matters. The team has worked on a series of major restructurings and class actions. It acted for Kenya Railways Corporation in a claim brought by its former employees to enforce an award made by the Industrial Court and in a claim for unfair dismissal following a strike. Georgina Ogalo-Omondi is highly specialised in employment and Chacha Odera has considerable experience in employment disputes.
Anjarwalla & Khanna has 'a holistic view of the employment relationship' and 'offers pragmatic advice and solutions'. The firm is noted for East Africa regional work, including both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team has experienced an uptick in union and strike-related work and whistleblowing cases. It acted for Alliance One Tobacco Kenya on a large-scale redundancy exercise and in separate employment claims. Rosa Nduati-Mutero, Sonal Sejpal and Aisha Abdallah lead the cross-disciplinary team.
CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates
MMAN Advocates is a leader in pensions matters thanks to the presence of Carole Ayugi. It also has a strong presence in non-contentious employment and immigration matters for foreign investors; redundancies, terminations and employment contracts are key fortes for the team. It advised Leapfrog Investments on the establishment of an employee share ownership plan at target company Resolution Health.