Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates > Nairobi, Kenya > Firm Profile

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates
IKM PLACE, 5TH FLOOR TOWER A
5TH NGONG AVENUE
NAIROBI
Kenya

Kenya > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a strong track record advising on a number of landmark banking and finance transactions in Kenya. As a member of DLA Piper’s Africa network, the firm is well-placed to act for clients on cross-border matters. The team has notable experience of syndicated lending, project finance, real estate finance and refinancing. Anne Kinyanjui heads up the department. Amrit Soar and Norah Mutuku are other respected practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Anne Kinyanjui

Other key lawyers:

Amrit Soar; Norah Mutuku; Kamami Christine Michira; Jane Wangari

Testimonials

‘Expansive geographical knowledge and practice expertise in Kenyan banking and financial transactions.’

‘Anne Kinyanjui and Jane Wangari have both been exceptional practitioners with a simple approach and timely turnaround. They are available at short notice and work well even under time pressure.’

‘They are knowledgeable, quick to respond to queries raised. Solution-oriented. Efficient in their work turn-around. Seldom would you find any errors or issues in the work done – my go-to firm for quality work.’

‘Anne Kinyanjui is accessible, innovative and solutions-oriented. Has solid legal knowledge and experience in banking, finance and securities.’

‘Norah Mutuku is accessible, easy-going and quick to respond to queries. Open to suggestions and knowledgeable in her field.’

‘Norah Mutuku is a seasoned practitioner. Her service delivery is customer-centric.’

‘Outstanding partners are Anne Kinyanjui and James Kamau.’

Key clients

Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank trading as Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Radiant Energy Limited

CDC Group Plc

Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

Gulf African Bank Limited

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited

NCBA Bank Kenya PLC

Absa Bank Kenya PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders on the restructuring of certain facilities extended to ARM Cement PLC, a leading cement company with operations in Kenya and Tanzania. The firm also advised on the sale by the administrators of ARM assets, retention/ distribution of realizations and tax concerns arising in the transactions
  • Advising KCB on the debt restructuring of one of its distressed borrowers in the construction sector specializing in the manufacturing and selling of cement and cement related products.
  • Acting for CDC Group Plc and Proparco in connection with a loan facility to Chania Green Generation Limited to finance a 50MW Chania Wind Power Project.

Kenya > Employment Tier 1

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:

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.

Kenya > Privatisation and projects Tier 1

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates is highly regarded for its work on energy and projects matters across the continent, including matters in Kenya, Uganda and Somalia. The department is increasingly active in significant renewable energy projects and PPPs. Beatrice Nyabira, who heads the firm, has an excellent reputation in the energy sector. James Kamau is similarly a highly rated lawyer in the projects and privatisation field.

Practice head(s):

Beatrice Nyabira

Other key lawyers:

James Kamau; Christine Murangi; Cynthia Olotch; Eunice Mwikali

Testimonials

‘IKM Advocates’ strength lies in the high quality of its work, turnaround times and ability to serve the different players in the projects cycle. The firm has a brilliant projects and energy team comprising key sector experts, with the skills and experience that are needed to drive a project to close.’

‘They keep us updated on emerging trends in the energy sector that may have a current or potential impact on our project through their individualized alerts and thought-provoking articles in the local dailies.’

‘IKM’s team is competent, effective, reliable and available. Beatrice Nyabira, Cynthia Olotch, Christine Murangi and Eunice Mwikali have advised us on our project.’

‘Beatrice is very responsive and provides thorough and extensive advice. She digests complex legal issues and simplifies them for clients owing to her deep understanding of the subject. She is one of the star lawyers in the energy space.’

‘Cynthia is very experienced in energy projects. She provides advice that is clear and well organised.’

‘Christine has a very sharp mind and a deep understanding of energy projects.’

‘The IKM team provides practical and sophisticated advice in a timely manner based on deep sector experience that allows them to guide clients effectively.’

‘Beatrice Nyabira understands the needs of international clients looking to invest in Kenya and provides timely and practical advice.’

Key clients

African Development Bank

Botswana Oil Limited

United States International Development Finance Corporation

African Legal Support Facility

EPCO Builders

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Ltd

Stanbic Bank Kenya Ltd

CDC Group Plc

Federal Government of Somalia

Malthe Winje Infrapower AS

Kenya Breweries Limited

Rareh Icon Solar Limited

Proparco

Unilever Kenya Limited

KTDA Power Company Limited

Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd

Japan Bank of International Cooperation

Selenkei Investments Limited and Cedate Limited No

World Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for EPCO Builders Limited as the developer of over 5,000 affordable housing units under the Affordable Housing Program of the Government of Kenya.
  • Acting as international counsel to Botswana Oil Limited on the development of a bulk petroleum product storage terminal with a holding capacity of 171 million litres at Tshele Hills in Botswana which is being undertaken as a PPP.
  • Advising PwC, the receivers of Kinangop Wind Park Limited, the project SPV for a 60.8 MW wind power project.

Kenya > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

The corporate team at Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates is regularly involved in complex and novel transactions that span a number of sectors. It has maintained an influx of engagements in the financial services, private equity and bank acquisition sectors. As a member of the DLA Piper Africa network, it is well-equipped to carry out continent-wide work. James Kamau and David Lekerai  co-head the department, which was bolstered by Kamami Christine Michira ‘s arrival from Bowmans. Trishala Devani is a name to note at associate level.

Practice head(s):

James Kamau; David Lekerai

Testimonials

‘The practice is well versed with the M&A landscape in Kenya, including managing stakeholder sensitivities when dealing with listed entities.’

‘They are competent and committed to what they do, which helps clients understand and mitigate risks of legal non-compliance.’

Key clients

Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited

Glacier Products Limited

KCB Group Plc

BOC Kenya Plc

Flamingo Group

NBCA Group Plc

East African Breweries Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising KCB Group Plc, one of East Africa’s largest banks (with subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi) on its acquisition of up to 100% stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (“BPR”) and a 100% stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (“BancABC”) from Atlas Mara.
  • Advised the Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited on the acquisition of 90% of the share capital of Jamii Bora Bank Limited (now trading as Kingdom Bank Limited).
  • Advised Glacier Products Limited (“GPL”) on a capital-raising transaction through an investment by Agri-Vie Fund II (Pty) Limited (“Agri-Vie”), a private equity fund, by way of share purchase and share subscription.

Kenya > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a strong position in the dispute resolution arena in Kenya, with its team regularly featuring in high-profile and landmark cases. Its work included handling an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020. Arbitration, banking, insurance and insolvency are among the firm’s areas of expertise. Karori Kamau heads up the department. Martin Munyu is a key lawyer in constitutional and procurement cases.

Practice head(s):

Kamau Karori

Other key lawyers:

Martin Munyu; Milly Jalega; Hiram Nyaburi

Testimonials

‘They are versatile, very efficient and always willing to assist. They try to keep engaging the client.’

‘Martin Munyu and his team are always approachable and available to assist in a matter regardless of whether it is paid or not. I also find him very efficient. His depth of knowledge of the law is remarkable. Whatever he advises is always well researched and can be banked on!’

‘The team is experienced, skilled and conscientious of turnaround times.’

‘Kamau Karori has the unique ability to condense, simplify and express difficult legal arguments. He is easy to understand and a real joy to work with. Milly Jalega appears to be second-in-command to Kamau Karori and very much takes in his manner of confident expression. She is also well-spoken and brings equal gravitas to the table.’

‘The individuals go over and beyond.’

Key clients

Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited

Absa Bank Kenya PLC (Formerly Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited)

Cooperative Bank of Kenya Limited

East Africa Breweries Limited

Equity Bank Limited

Pevans East Africa Limited

Mastermind Tobacco Kenya

The Estate of Njenga Karume

Telkom Kenya Limited

Coca Cola East, Central and West Africa

Association of Insurance Brokers

Kenya Bureau of Standards

Central Bank of Kenya

Government of Kenya-Office of the Attorney General

Kenya Airports Authority

Nuflower Foods and Nutrition PVT (India)

Kenya Commercial Bank

NCBA Bank Kenya PLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Stanbic Bank of Kenya in an Appeal filed by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) challenging the decision by the Tax Appeal Tribunal setting aside a tax assessment in the tune of USD 5,969,864.00 allegedly being the excise duty payable on commission and fees on inter alia, ATM transactions, loan administration, exported services and suspense account reconciliations, and derived commission fees for money transfers and visa fees.
  • Representing Kenya Bureau of Standards in defending judicial review proceedings before the High Court challenging the decision by the Public Procurement and Administrative Review Board seeking to annul a multibillion tender procurement process, aimed to expand the number of Service Providers in Pre-Export Verification sector.
  • Representing a consortium of leading banks in the industry, including KCB Bank Kenya Limited, NCBA Bank Kenya PLC, and Cooperative Bank of Kenya Limited (hereinafter “the Banks”) in an Insolvency Petition instituted by a Creditor, Synergy Industrial Credit seeking to liquidate Multiple Hauliers (EA) Limited. The Banks are secured creditors and account for about 87% of Multiple Hauliers (EA) Limited total debt.

Kenya > Real estate and construction Tier 2

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a relatively large real estate and construction team with notable expertise in handling energy-related transactions. The department is also familiar with large-scale acquisitions, development projects and lease arrangements. Anne Kinyanjui is highly regarded and often acts as the lead partner in matters. Amrit Soar and Norah Mutuku are noted for land acquisitions and project-related work respectively.

Practice head(s):

Anne Kinyanjui

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The firm is well structured with the right partner-to-associate mix. Their billing arrangements are friendly and offer real value for money.’

‘Anne Kinyanjui is an excellent practitioner with a sharp legal mind and broad experience. She’s adept at developing workarounds that keep deals on track.’

‘I think what comes to mind would be the regular legal alerts on developing areas of law that the team sends out to its clientele to keep them updated on the various areas of law. The team also organises training for its clients on the areas of law likely to affect them. The team is also hands-on with various transactions they handle on behalf of clients.’

‘The individuals I work with from the firm are very thorough in their work and follow up on transactions.’

‘The team’s analytical and logical approach to issues is backed by in-depth legal research in the area, which sets them apart from their peers. The team has extensive knowledge of substantive law and legal procedures that is lay broken down for the understanding of their clients.’

‘The company’s billing system is flexible and the client gets value from the cost incurred. Technology is incorporated in their process.’

‘The team is friendly and empowered to make decisions in quick turnaround time. The efficiency of the team is enhanced by the partner’s passion for their professional trade, knowledge of the law, collaborative approach with great communication/listening skills. The team is reachable even during odd hours underpinning their commitment to their assignment.’

Key clients

Kipeto Energy Limited

Benaa Limited

East Africa Breweries Limited

ADvTECH Limited

HealthLink Matcare Limited T/a Nairobi Women’s Hospital

Mass Discounters t/a Game and Dion Wired

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Rock Ridge Homes Limited

Meadow Brooke Farm Limited

Hua Xiang Development Company Limited

Kenya Simba Investments Company Limited

Tuffsteel Limited

Executive Concepts Limited

Spotlight Publishers East Africa Limited

Greenhills Investment Limited

East African Portland Cement Company PLC

Simba Lodges Limited

Ramco Group of Companies

Bank of Africa Kenya Limited

I&M Bank Limited

Ecobank Kenya Limited

Art Caffe, Coffee & Bakery Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited