KO Associates > Nairobi, Kenya > Firm Profile

KO Associates
4th Avenue Towers, 14th Floor,
4th Ngong Avenue
Nairobi
Kenya

Kenya > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

KO Associates is highly reputed for advising large corporate clients operating in the technology, infrastructure and energy sectors. The corporate and commercial team have been involved in a wide array of mandates recently, with instructions from Safaricom PLC and Microsoft East Africa Ltd. Crispine Odhiambo Awitti and Stephen Kiptinness are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Crispine Odhiambo Awitti; Stephen Kiptinness

Key clients

Safaricom Plc

EchoVC

National Social Security Fund

Ngare Narok Industries Ltd

Stima Sacco Society Limited

Superfluids Holding Ltd (Mauritius)

Microsoft East Africa Limited

Adrian Group Limited

Quickmart

Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF)

Lordship Africa

Jubilee Holdings Limited

Poa Internet Kenya Limited

Africa Instore Solutions

Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM)

Work highlights

  • Advised Adrian Group Limited on the acquisition of 40% shareholding in Atlas Tower Kenya Limited, a tier 2 Network Facility Provider.
  • Advised National Social Security Fund on the set-up of the first of its kind SME Growth Fund by NSSF to finance small and medium-scale firms in the manufacturing, agriculture and technology sectors in Kenya through various funding instruments including private equity, debt and guarantee instruments. The project is a vehicle for the investment of the largely underfinanced SME sector and a move to support the government’s Big Four National Development Blueprint.

The Firm: KO Associates LLP is a leading corporate & commercial Law Firm in East Africa that offers full service. The firm is distinctively international in its outlook and approach and advises the world’s leading companies and financial institutions on their most complex matters in Africa and it is well known and regarded for its subject-matter expertise in technology, energy and infrastructure work in Africa. The firm has a strong team of Sixteen (16) qualified Advocates with strong expertise which has resulted to consistent ranking by legal directories including the Africa Legal Awards (ALA), Legal 500 and IFLR1000. We have been ranked among the leading Specialist Firms in Africa in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 by Africa Legal Awards. The firm operates in five markets in East Africa being Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia through the Citadel Law Africa (CLA) network.
The firm has expertise in Banking & finance, corporate and commercial, Technology, Projects, Energy & Infrastructure, Trade & investment, Real Estate & Construction, Dispute resolution, Tax & wealth management, Compliance & Governance and Intellectual Property. Our clients range from financial institutions, investment firms, public institutions, multinationals, and listed firms that operate in Kenya and Africa as a whole. Our vision is to be a World Class Law Firm with roots in the African Continent offering high quality legal services across the globe. To achieve this, we focus on our mission of offering timely, practical. and innovative legal solutions to clients in our areas of expertise

AREAS OF PRACTICE

BANKING AND FINANCE PRACTICE
Our Banking & Finance Practice advises leading Banks and Financial institutions in East Africa including Equity Group, ABSA PLC, Jubilee Holdings, AfDB, World Bank among others . we advise on the structuring, documentation and securitization processes for a variety of credit facilities, namely: corporate finance, Asset Finance, Mortgages, Lines of Credit and Term Loans. our key services include: Legal due diligence, deal structuring, Securities Registration, Regulation, Governance and Compliance, Debt Recovery, Review of Financial contracts, Restructuring, Administration and Insolvency, Insurance, Fintech.
COMMERCIAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS.
With an established and impressive reputation in this field, our commercial dispute resolution and litigation lawyers are highly skilled in managing and resolving all types of corporate and commercial disputes. Our commercial lawyers are your first port of call when seeking advice and support on a broad range of operational, commercial and contractual matters that are an inevitable part of your business life.
We follow a case management approach with a strategy dependent upon the probability of success, the ramifications of the outcome on your image, the likelihood of future litigation, and the cost. This commitment combined with our in-depth knowledge and experience in each of our practice areas allows us to deliver the highest level of service.
Our main priority is to resolve disputes quickly and effectively with as little disruption to business as possible. We focus on the issues that matter to clients and how the dispute resolution process can be managed to deliver optimum results for the client.

CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL PRACTICE
Our Corporate & Commercial Practice supports a number of entities and firms both large and small in their operations. The range of business we support include technology startups, Multinational Corporations, manufacturing firms, retail and distribution companies, financial institutions, foundations, infrastructure developers, international development institutions among others.

CROSS-BORDER TRADE & INVESTMENT
Our Cross-Border trade and investment Practice, focuses on the full range of legal advisory services in the trade industry. We have significant experience in handling cross –border transactions that involve governmental, intergovernmental and private parties.
Our client service strategy is to provide well thought out solutions that attend to the challenges in the trade sector. We provide guidance through local, regional and international trade laws and the interplay with economic and trade sanctions regimes. Our range of services include Trade and Investment Policy advisory , and Legal Frameworks Development ,Policy advocacy, Public-Private Sector Dialogue ,Establishment of Special Economic Zones and Free Trade Zones ,International Trade and Investment Disputes ,Trade Negotiations ,Policy and Regulatory reform ,Business Climate Advisory, Partnership Arrangements ,Institutional and Governance Arrangements, advisory and Design, Investment Due Diligence and Risk Assessment , Sector legal expertise support, Sector Research and advisory.
We have worked with a number of Regional Institutions, Development Agencies, Government Ministries, State Departments, private sector associations, public corporations and regulatory authorities in the Region to improve policy and legal environment for the EAC and COMESA regions in various sectors including trade, international development, Agriculture, water and Sanitation, financial services, transport, Energy, governance and investments.

ENERGY PRACTICE
KO Associates LLPs’ Energy Practice guides clients through all aspects of an energy project’s development, financing and operation. The Energy team brings to the table specialist skills in Project Finance, Infrastructure development, Environmental, Tax, Commercial and Corporate, Regulation and Property legal compliance. The team has experience in negotiating joint ventures, concessions, power purchase agreements or other development agreements, as well as providing insightful advice on environmental, regulatory, public procurement and public private partnerships compliance issues.
We are at the forefront of the renewable energy market for clean energy sources including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biogas and biomass. We advise public institutions, debt funders (including banks, development finance institutions, private equity funds, development funds, multilaterals) sellers and acquirers (on M&A transactions), sponsors, suppliers and equipment manufacturers.
We offer a full range of legal advisory services including legal due diligence and feasibility studies, joint ventures structuring, project finance documentation and negotiation, legal and regulatory compliance, institutional and governance design. Our experience in projects development ranges from Project Conceptualization, Feasibility studies, Project Institutional and Governance Arrangements, Drafting and Negotiating Project Agreements, Project and Corporate Finance, Project Approvals and Licensing, and Contract Management.

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION PRACTICE
Our Real Estate and Construction practice has lawyers with the expertise to handle the entire property life cycle from the initial acquisition, development, leasing, Joint Ventures and financing all through to the final exit. We appreciate that managing a Real Estate portfolio can be challenging and sometimes complex. In that regard, we help Real Estate owners and Investors simplify the process of addressing occupancy requirement, handling lease disputes, construction, development including structuring, documenting, negotiating, Joint Ventures and preparing permits and approvals that are compliant with local land use, Public Law and environmental regulations

TAX & WEALTH MANAGEMENT PRACTICE
KO Associates Tax Practice is focused on providing timely, effective and innovative solutions on international, cross-border and domestic tax issues.
We advise on a wide range of issues in tax that cut across different sectors such as Manufacturing, Investment and Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, Employment and Dispute Resolution. Our expertise in tax includes tax refunds, tax consulting, VAT, customs and excise, manufacturing tax, withholding tax, corporate tax, SEZs, income tax, private equity and investment fund tax issues, among others.
Some of our notable tax advisory services provided in the past; Successfully challenging the VAT refund formula: R=Z/T×e in Legal Notice No. 54 of 2017, Advisory services on East African Rules of origin, Immigration advisory services provided to Edge source Limited, Advisory of services to Lamu SEZ and Analysis of EAC Rules of origin.

TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND TELECOMUNICATIONS (TMT) & IP PRACTICE
KO Associates LLP advises global technology firms, major media houses, telecommunications companies and financial institutions who rely on our team to provide specialist legal services.
We are trusted by our clients because we bring the right mix of industry practice, government networks and experience to their most challenging and complex legal, regulatory and compliance issues. We invest time to understand our clients, their strategic objectives before offering relevant and practical advice. We have distinguished ourselves as one of the leading Technology and Intellectual Property law firms in Kenya. We offer our clients high quality, innovative and solution -oriented advice which aligns with their goals.
Our diverse experience includes advising the largest telecommunication services and mobile provider in Kenya on data protection and compliance with the European Union General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act, 2019. Advising leading multinational technology companies specializing in Internet-related services and products including online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware, in all legal issues including, regulatory and compliance, representation in contentious matters, transaction advisory, intellectual property, regulatory review and policy analysis and competition law and advised the East African Community / Investment Climate Facility for Africa on the EAC Study on Intellectual Property Laws and Anti-Counterfeiting Measures.

TRANSPORT & INFRASTRUCTURE PRACTICE
KO Associates LLP is at the forefront of the infrastructure financing market for large scale infrastructure developments in Africa. Our sector experience spans through Industrial Parks/ Special Economic Zones, transport infrastructure including roads, rail and ports and PPPs, energy and telecommunication sectors.
We are innovative, responsive and quite familiar with the region’s terrain having worked with Governments, government agencies, regulators, Commercial Banks, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), large commercial banks and Project developers and contractors. We are particularly strong in: Transport and Logistics (roads, ports, & railways) , Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones Development , Social Infrastructure – Housing, Hospitals, Schools and Sporting Facilities , Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and PFI schemes and Telecommunication Infrastructure.
We have worked with large clients including financing of 1050MW Amu Power Plant, Konza Technopolis City Project and Lamu Port under LAPSSET Corridor Development.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Business Support Services Dorine Adhochdorine@koassciates.co.ke+254 20 271 3977
Corporate & Finance Brian Odongobrian@koassociates.co.ke+254 20 271 3977
Dispute Resolution Allan Muturiallan@koassociates.co.ke+254 20 271 3977
Projects, Energy & Infrastructure Agnes Sajinaagnes@koassociates.co.ke+254 20 271 3977
Technology & IP Carolyne Guyacarolyne@koassociates.co.ke+254 20 271 3977
Lawyers : 16
English, Kiswahili & French
Citadel Law Africa
Law Society of Kenya
East Africa Law Society
The Kenyan Chapter Member firm of Advocates for International Development (A4ID)

Kiptinness & Odhiambo Associates LLP, founded in 2011 to provide legal services in four key areas namely: Projects (Energy, Infrastructure and Cross Border Trade); Technology and Intellectual Property; Corporate and Finance; and Dispute Resolution, deliberately places diversity and an inclusive work environment at the core of its operations. This diversity includes: nationality, language, race, ethnicity, age, personality, disability, and religion.

The firm is committed to providing a conducive environment that promotes Equity, gender parity, Inclusion and Diversity; as well as positioning it to attract, retain and motivate a diverse and well skilled pool of talent.

The firm’s diverse and inclusive teams have resulted in the following milestones:

  • Providing legal transactional advisory services to develop East Africa’ newest and largest Transport Corridor, the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) a USD. 24 Billion corridor programme with the following facets; port, highway, railway, SEZ, airport, oil pipeline, oil refinery and resort cities;
  • Representing major global technology firms based in Nairobi, including; Google Inc, Microsoft Corporation, Uber, Safaricom Plc and Huawei Technologies;
  • Advising the Government of Kenya in significant legacy projects including the rollout of the Government’s Digital Literacy Program where the Firm acted as Legal Transaction Advisors, the rollout of the National Security Surveillance System where the Firm advised on the contracts for procurement of security cameras and currently, the Nairobi City Mass Transit System through a Bus Rapid Transport system and a Commuter Rail System;
  • Involvement as a Legal Advisor in the Government of Kenya PPP Programme since 2014 having advised on the screening and determination of 15 priority projects with a combined project value of USD. 8.4 Billion;
  • Retained in 2018 as a Transaction Advisor to carry out Investment Due Diligence for a Pension Scheme on a proposed USD.20 Million investment in 1050MW Power project. This project was unique as it was the first time a public pension fund in Kenya was considering an investment of this kind;
  • Growth an average of 46% in its annual revenues between 2011 and 2021.
  • Establishment of Citadel Law Africa bringing together law firms in East Africa with intention to expand into the rest of Africa.