Kaplan & Stratton Advocates > Nairobi, Kenya > Firm Profile

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates
9TH FLOOR, WILLIAMSON HOUSE
4TH NGONG AVENUE
PO BOX 40111-00100 NAIROBI
Kenya

Kenya > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The dispute resolution team at Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, which is one of the largest in Kenya, has expertise in commercial litigation, mediation and arbitration. The department engages in a variety of commercial dispute resolution matters, including breaches of contract, charter party disputes, shareholder disputes and regulatory compliance matters. Fred Ojiambo is a highly rated litigation and arbitration expert along with Peter GachuhiNazima Malik has expertise in navigating tax disputes, while Esther Kinyenje is experienced in major trade and industrial relations issues. Cosima Wetende and Peter Njeru are also notable names.

Practice head(s):

Fred Ojiambo

Other key lawyers:

Peter Gachuhi; Nazima Malik; Esther Kinyenje; Cosima Wetende; James Muthui; Peter Njeru

Testimonials

‘James Muthui has a direct approach and availability with excellent writing skills, fair knowledge of the law.’

‘The team’s in-depth knowledge and turnaround time is impressive.’

‘They care about our business and our people. This makes all the difference.’

‘I work a lot with Esther, Peter and Cosima and they have been of great support in addressing various concerns and attending to legal briefs.’

‘Nazima Malik is extremely knowledgeable about Kenya’s functioning of courts, existing cases and practices.’

Key clients

Unilever Kenya Limited

Tata Chemicals Magadi Limited

British American Tobacco Kenya Limited (BATK)

AON Minet Kenya Limited

Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa Limited

East Africa Breweries Limited

Safaricom Limited

PricewaterhouseCoopers

TNT Express Worldwide Kenya Ltd

CMA CGM Kenya Limited

Samsung

Oracle Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised and defended Total Kenya Limited in a dispute concerning throughput of fuel that was referred to arbitration under the Petroleum Rules.
  • Defended the Trustees of the Kenya Ports Authority Pension Scheme against claims that were filed before the Chief Executive Officer of the Retirement Benefits Authority.
  • Advised and defended Kuehne+Nagel, a leading worldwide logistics company, on a dispute regarding a VAT application with the KRA.

Kenya > Employment Tier 1

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.

Kenya > Privatisation and projects Tier 1

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates' practice covers various sectors in Kenya, including energy and transport. The team has a growing reputation for its ability to navigate complex PPP projects and recently advised the sponsors on one of the largest road transport infrastructure matters in East Africa, the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Highway. In the energy arena, the group has expertise in geothermal and solar power projects. Sam Wainaina has vast experience of infrastructure developments, while Kenneth Kamaitha is actively involved in local projects.

Practice head(s):

Sam Wainaina; Peter Hime

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Kamaitha

Testimonials

‘Strong across the piece; give clear advice and are responsive.’

Key clients

European Investment Bank (EIB)

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO)

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

The Export-Import Bank of China

PowerChina Group

Sinohydro Corporation

Vinci SA

Meridiam SAS

Stanbic Bank

Societe De Promotion et de Participation Pour la Cooperation Economique (Proparco)

Alten Energías Renovables

Work highlights

  • Advised Rift Valley Consortium on a PPP in Kenya for a project involving the widening, improvement, operation and maintenance of 245 Km of the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway, a major transport corridor for Kenya and the East Africa region.
  • Advised Olsuswa Energy Limited in setting up the Olsuswa Geothermal Project, one of the few private initiatives for geothermal power generation in Kenya.
  • Advised Sinohydro Corporation Limited on a PPP – rehabilitation, upgrading, operation, and maintenance of the 66.5 Km Illasit-Njukini-Taveta road in Kenya as part of the first phase of Kenya’s 10,000 Km annuity road project.

Kenya > Real estate and construction Tier 1

The real estate and construction team at Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is widely recognised for its strengths in complex projects. The firm has specialist sub-groups that focus on real estate, property development and construction, environmental & conservation law, construction and real estate disputes, and environmental and conservation law disputes. The department regularly acts for institutional investors, such as pension funds and life companies, as well as overseas investors and property companies. Rachel Mbai is an established practitioner in the market and leads the team. Nyakio Manga and Caroline Etyang are also key names.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Mbai

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Of current partners, I am with Nyakio Manga, who I have total faith in.’

‘The team are very dedicated to their work and helping clients meet their goals. They respond to client queries and offer advice.’

‘Nyakio Manga has worked with us. She is a skilled negotiator, is very patient and helped us navigate some protracted/prolonged negotiations that finally were concluded. Her dedication and attention to detail, knowledge of issues in our sector helped her articulate and get the other lawyers to understand what our challenges were and why the agreement had to be the way it was.’

Key clients

Olsuswa Energy Limited

Karen Blixen Coffee Garden Limited

Kenya Registered Trustees

Driftwood Beachclub Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Driftwood Beachclub Limited on regulatory compliance for the discharge of existing securities as well as the preparation of all the transaction documentation.
  • Advised a hedge fund manager on the negotiations for the acquisition of real estate with numerous landowners located within the same area and location.

Kenya > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is an experienced banking and finance team which deals with a wide spectrum of matters from local and international bank syndications to advising on the development of the listed bond market in Kenya. The team is also active in the aircraft leasing and finance space with significant clients such as Kenya Airways and Air Kenya. The team is led by Ruth Kirunga who advises on structures and securities in addition to aviation and project finance. Peter Hime is experienced in aircraft finance and acquisition while Sam Wainaina is the go-to for infrastructure development projects.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Kirunga

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hime; Sam Wainaina

Testimonials

‘Independent. Longstanding. Excellence in service.’

‘Ruth Kirunga was responsive and knowledgeable, she was experienced in the work she was retained to assist with and helped secure a smooth closing.’

Key clients

IFC

Stanbic Bank Kenya

Export Import Bank of China

African Export-Import Bank

Agence Française de Développement

Nordic Aviation Capital A/S

GECAS

Nedbank Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

European Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised investors in putting in place a back-up servicer in the event of the insolvency of the original servicer in connection with a USD 65 million receivables financing transaction which will enable the provision of loans to people living off-grid in Kenya to buy daylight solar home systems and related solar products.
  • Advised Alten Energias Renovables in a USD 66,700,000 and KES. 175,000,000 project for the development of a photovoltaic cell solar power plant in Kesses Sub-county within Uasin Gishu County in Kenya with an installed capacity of 40MW.
  • Advised and assisted Nedbank in the preparation, negotiation, execution and perfection of securities over the borrower’s various assets including property where the borrower intends to construct various go-downs and subsequently lease and/or sell the go-downs to third parties.

Kenya > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is able to provide a full range of services to clients, with the corporate and M&A practice being able to count on the support of practitioners with expertise in finance, tax, competition, regulatory and employment law. The team operates across multiple sectors, with mandates ranging from telecommunications matters to mandates relating to energy and natural resources. Joseph Ng’ang’ira and Sarah Kiarie-Muia lead the team, which also includes Kenneth Kamaitha. Oliver Fowler is another experienced practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Ng’ang’ira; Sarah Kiarie Muia

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Kaplan & Stratton Advocates has a good team of lawyers covering all aspects of corporate law.’

‘Joseph and Kaplan & Stratton Advocates have become our go-to law firm in Kenya; thanks to Joseph’s focus on client needs, not only providing invaluable legal advice and delivering high-quality outputs but also being available almost 24/7 and at short notice whenever we need help.’

‘K&S provides good quality and timely advice. Whenever I contact them, they are quick to respond to my queries and to answer any follow-up questions that I have.’

‘Joseph Ng’ang’ira is a very intelligent and knowledgeable lawyer. He is able to provide quick solutions to our business issues. He understands our business very well and is able to grasp the issues at hand.’

‘Very pragmatic and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

British American Tobacco

Coca Cola Kenya

Proparco

American Tower Corporation

Safaricom Limited

Samsung

Unilever PLC

A.P. Moller Capital

Hapag-Lloyd

DHL Group

Prudential Assurance Group

Lafarge Holcim Group

Agri-Vie Fund

SAP Group

L’Oreal Group

Creadev

Work highlights

  • Advised Agri-Vie Fund II on all aspects of an acquisition transaction of a controlling interest in Dairyland, including coordinating a cross border legal due diligence across three African countries and preparing the relevant transaction documents including a complex share purchase agreement and shareholders agreement.
  • Advised on a proposed transaction involving the acquisition of shares comprising 24.1% of ICEA LION Insurance Holdings Limited by Eastern Africa Holdings Limited.
  • Advised IFC regarding its multimillion-dollar investment into the recently established Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC).

Established in 1938, Kaplan & Stratton has over eight decades of experience providing a comprehensive range of legal services to domestic, international, corporate and private clients. Kaplan & Stratton also has a pan African reach as one of the founder members of LEX Africa. LEX Africa is a leading network of independent law firms spanning 26 African countries.

Recognised as a market leader in the region Kaplan & Stratton has successfully argued numerous precedent setting cases and been involved in several first of their kind transactions in Kenya and the region. Our strength lies in our exceptional legal practitioners who have expertise in specific practice areas as well as sector knowledge. For more details of our practice areas please visit our website https://www.kaplanstratton.com/expertise/.

Our firm ethos is to be client-focused with the objective of providing accurate, timely and practical legal advice that will facilitate clients’ business dealings in Kenya and in the East African region. Our genuine commitment to our clients has made us the law firm of choice for clients instructing us repeatedly citing our “commitment to client satisfaction and timely service delivery,” and “understanding the commercial needs of businesses… to give solutions that meet the business needs.”

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Aircraft Leasing and Financing Peter HimePHime@kapstrat.com
Aircraft Leasing and Financing Ruth KirungaRKirunga@kapstrat.com
Arbitration and Mediation Peter GachuhiPGachuhi@kapstrat.com
Arbitration and Mediation Esther KinyenjeEWK@kapstrat.com
Banking / Insurance / Telecoms Ruth KirungaRKirunga@kapstrat.com
Business Establishment Kenneth KamaithaKKamaitha@kapstrat.com
Business Establishment Joseph Ng’ang’iraJNgangira@kapstrat.com
Capital Markets Sarah Kiarie-MuiaSKiarie@kapstrat.com
Capital Markets Joseph Ng’ang’iraJNgangira@kapstrat.com
Employment / Retirement Benefits Sam WainainaSWainaina@kapstrat.com
Employment / Retirement Benefits Esther KinyenjeEWK@kapstrat.com
Employment / Retirement Benefits Cosima WetendeCWetende@kapstrat.com
Environment and Conservation Rachel MbaiRMbai@kapstrat.com
Environment and Conservation James MuthuiJMuthui@kapstrat.com
Forensics and Due Diligence Cosima WetendeCWetende@kapstrat.com
Forensics and Due Diligence Sarah Kiarie-MuiaSKiarie@kapstrat.com
Forensics and Due Diligence Joseph Ng’ang’iraJNgangira@kapstrat.com
Immigration and Private Client Peter GachuhiPGachuhi@kapstrat.com
Immigration and Private Client Nyakio MangaNManga@kapstrat.com
Intellectual Property Peter HimePHime@kapstrat.com
Intellectual Property Patrick IkimirePIkimire@kapstrat.com
Joint Ventures and M&A Sarah Kiarie-MuiaSKiarie@kapstrat.com
Joint Ventures and M&A Joseph Ng’ang’iraJNgangira@kapstrat.com
Litigation Esther KinyenjeEWK@kapstrat.com
Litigation Fred OjiamboFOjiambo@kapstrat.com
Litigation Peter NjeruPNjeru@kapstrat.com
Litigation James MuthuiJMuthui@kapstrat.com
Litigation Peter GachuhiPGachuhi@kapstrat.com
Litigation Cosima WetendeCWetende@kapstrat.com
Power and Energy Samuel WainainaSWainaina@kapstrat.com
Power and Energy Kenneth KamaithaKKamaitha@kapstrat.com
Private Equity Sarah Kiarie-MuiaSKiarie@kapstrat.com
Private Equity Joseph Ng’ang’iraJNgangira@kapstrat.com
Privatisation and Project Finance Kenneth KamaithaKKamaitha@kapstrat.com
Privatisation and Project Finance Samuel WainainaSWainaina@kapstrat.com
Real Estate/ Property Management Rachel MbaiRMbai@kapstrat.com
Real Estate/ Property Management Caroline EtyangCEtyang@kapstrat.com
Structured Finance Kenneth KamaithaKKamaitha@kapstrat.com
Structured Finance Ruth KirungaRKirunga@kapstrat.com
Tax and Stamp Duty Planning Nazima MalikNMalik@kapstrat.com
Tax and Stamp Duty Planning Ruth KirungaRKirunga@kapstrat.com
Number of lawyers : 36
English
Swahili
Lex Africa

Kaplan & Stratton has advised on several precedent setting matters including:

Representing the Communication Authority of Kenya, in a dispute regarding the roll out of the digital migration framework in Kenya, in light of the International Telecommunication Union Rules, which require migration within a specific period. The matter had huge implications on the communications sector comprising both civilian and non-civilian communication traffic throughout the country.

Representing Barclays Bank in the High Court against the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes on a withholding tax (WHT) claim. The issue in dispute was whether payments to credit card companies were in respect of services and therefore subject to WHT. We successfully obtained a decision from the High Court that sets out the parameters within which the Kenya Revenue Authority can demand payment of WHT.

Advising on the first-ever contested takeover of a company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The matter involved the take-over of REA Vipingo Plantations Limited by R.E.A. Trading Limited and sale of Vipingo Estate to Centum Investment Company Limited.

Acting as the Kenyan legal advisers to the Joint Lead Managers – Citigroup Global Markets Limited, J.P. Morgan Securities PLC, Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, Standard Chartered Bank in the Government of Kenya’s issuance of USD 2 billion bond on the London Stock Exchange.  This was Kenya’s second ever bond issue. The bond was highly successful and was oversubscribed.

Successfully defending a client in a redundancy suit where the Employment Court found that the redundancy process was improper as the client failed to issue two notices. On appeal, we successfully argued that the proper interpretation of the Employment Act was to provide for the issuance of only one notice. The case set legal precedence in Kenya by successfully overturning various Employment Court decisions to the contrary effect.

Advising East African Breweries on the sale of 15 acres of land to Actis Africa as part of Actis’s strategy to expand its Garden City project. Garden City is Kenya’s first integrated residential, retail and office site.

Advising on the development of a 50MW renewable energy project – solar cell farm. Our advise encompassed energy regulatory matters and land acquisition issues. Solar power generation in Kenya is at its infancy stage.

Advising Safaricom Plc on a first ever “joint venture” style collaboration and technical services agreement between Safaricom Plc and Hikma Electronics Plc  (Ethiopia) relating to the provision and roll out of an airtime credit services technology platform to Ethiopia’s only telco, Ethiotel for onward use by the public. This was the first ever airtime credit services technology platform being offered to Ethiopia’s only telco.

Advising American Tower Corporation (ATC) on its acquisition of over 700 telecommunication towers from Telkom Kenya Limited. The transaction triggers ATC’s entry into the Kenyan market and is one of the largest asset acquisition transactions in Kenya this year by deal value advised entirely by Kenyan lawyers.