• You are now in...
  • Global

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates


Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates - Nairobi
  • IKM Place, Fifth Floor, Tower A
  • 5th Ngong Avenue, off Bishops Road
  • Nairobi
  • Nairobi
  • Kenya
  • 11866-00400
  • Managing Partners: James Kamau
  • Number of partners:  8
  • Number of consultants: 1
  • Number of lawyers: 15
  • Languages: English, French, Kiswahili
  • www.ikm.co.ke

Firm Overview:
The firm was founded in 1987 and is one of the leading and fastest growing commercial law firms in Kenya, handling complex commercial transactions and having responsibility over the affairs of some of the largest multinationals in the world. It has a well established network of corresponding law firms in Africa, Europe and USA. The firm is a member of the DLA Piper Group, an alliance of legal practices, which includes firms with offices around the globe that are affiliated to the DLA Piper Practice. The firm is also a member of Juris East Africa, an alliance of DLA Piper affiliated law firms in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Bank Securities:
3 partners, 4 associates
The firm has an efficient and extensive Banking and Securities Practice. It acts for local and international banks and financial institutions in preparing various forms of securities including debentures, mortgages, guarantees, pledges, asset finance documents, chattels mortgages, loan agreements, lenders’ agreements, etc.

Capital Markets:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm provides advice on the obligations of listed companies under the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) Act and NSE Rules and Regulations. It also advises clients on any capital markets related matters.

Civil Litigation & Arbitration:
2 partners, 3 associates
The firm offers a full range of litigation services in all areas of Kenya law except criminal cases, land disputes and matrimonial causes. The matters handled include, without limitation, commercial disputes, bank litigation, defamation, procurement, recoveries and debtcollection, insurance claims, aircraft accidents, medical negligence, traffic cases, work injuries compensation, marine claims, mortgage realisations, partnership disputes, infringement of intellectual property rights, election petitions etc. The firm deals with arbitration matters and two of its partners, Karori Kamau and Martin Munyu, are members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

3 partners, 5 associates
The firm provides diverse commercial legal services to its clients such as drafting, review and standardisation of commercial contracts and agreements, preparation of legal opinions, training on commercial matters etc

Competition & Monopolies:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm advises clients on competition and monopolies matters.

3 partners and 4 associates
The firm has a respected and busy conveyancing practice dealing with various land transactions.

Corporate & Drafting:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm handles all manner of corporate transactions e.g. corporate set ups, corporate restructuring, debt rescheduling, finance instruments, corporate governance documentation, shareholders’ agreements, joint ventures, government approvals, etc. The firm has extensive experience in the drafting of various legislative and legal instruments for organisations, state corporations, banks, etc.

3 partners, 5 associates
The firm advises many US based universities including but not limited to Johns Hopkins University, University of Washington, Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Indiana University, De Paul University, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Duke University on the law governing universities in Kenya including registration procedures and requirements, collaboration with Kenyan universities, immigration affairs for foreign staff, establishment of non academic programs in Kenya, employment law, contracts with collaborators including Government, etc.

Energy, Oil, Gas & Mining:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm advises clients in the energy sector (including renewable energy) on the legal aspects arising out of energy related transactions in Kenya. The firm has expanded its practice to cover oil and gas as well as mining and is advising a number of clients in these emerging areas.

1 partner, 2 associates
The firm is the exclusive legal counsel in Kenya for Fragomen, the largest immigration law firm in the world through which it handles immigration work for various multinationals and also advises on various immigration issues and obtains work permits for employees of many of its multinational clients and NGOs.

2 partners, 4 associates
The firm acts for five major insurance companies in Kenya in all aspects of insurance law.

Intellectual Property:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm has a vibrant Intellectual Property Law Practice that deals with all aspects of trademark law, patents law, industrial designs and plant breeders rights.

3 partners, 5 associates
The firm advises many clients on various aspects of employment law including preparation of employment contracts, advising and setting up employee share option plans/schemes, human resource policies, manuals etc as well as litigation involving individual labour issues e.g. dismissals, redundancies, trade disputes etc.

Mergers & Acquisitions:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm has been involved in mergers and acquisitions in Kenya and abroad, including obtaining the relevant approvals e.g. monopolies, capital markets etc in various African countries.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) & Public Benefits Organisations (PBOs):
1 partner, 3 associates
The firm acts as local legal counsel for over a dozen international NGOs operating in Kenya as well as in the registration of new NGOs and PBOs.

Private Equity:
3 partners, 3 associates
The firm is involved in the set up of equity funds, venture capital set ups, routinely advises its clients on private equity transactions and drafts all the required documentation in respect of such transactions.

2 partners, 1 Director, 1 associate
The firm has a growing Tax Practice and has represented clients in various contentious and non-contentious tax matters including challenging tax assessments by the Kenya Revenue Authority and in collaboration with its correspondents has advised on tax efficient corporate restructuring and the tax implications of new products.

Telecommunications & Information, Communications & Technology:
3 partners, 5 associates
The firm deals with both contentious and noncontentious matters in this area and provides specialist advice on e-commerce matters, licensing and regulatory issues, network building, diverse contractual matters, financing, investments and litigation arising from such matters.

Areas of Practice

  • Bank Securities
  • Capital Markets
  • Civil Litigation & Arbitration
  • Commercial
  • Competition & Monopolies
  • Conveyancing
  • Corporate
  • Drafting
  • Education
  • Energy, Oil, Gas & Mining 
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insurance
  • Labour
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Non-Governmental Organisations & Public Benefits Organisations
  • Private Equity
  • Tax
  • Telecommunications, Information, Communications & Technology


  • IKM Place, Fifth Floor, Tower A,
  • 5th Ngong Avenue, off Bishops Road,
  • Nairobi,
  • Kenya
  • 11866-00400
  • Tel +254 20 2711021
  • Fax +254 20 2710988
  • Email : info@ikm.co.ke
  • Website : www.ikm.co.ke

Banking & Finance - Kenya

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other lawyers

What the team is known for A strong practice in conveyancing and bank securities work, the team acts for numerous local banks on a range of security agreement documents. Recent mandates include financings in the property and transportation sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "IKM is very proactive – we use them when we need a quick turnaround."

Notable practitioners  

James Mburu Kamau is praised by commentators for his experience in banking work, as well as his role in fostering the firm's strong practice in this area.

Corporate/Commercial - Kenya

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A strong profile in Kenya and a broad regional reach reinforced by its alliance with the DLA Piper Africa Group. Frequently instructed by investment firms acquiring interests in Kenya, as well as international corporates setting up locally or requiring regulatory review. Wide-ranging sector expertise includes power, oil and gas, real estate and technology.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client-oriented: "They do a good job of managing our relationship. They take the approach that the customer is always right and work all night if they need to."

Expertise: "We are comfortable we are getting the right advice about the local environment."

Work highlights Advised the board of directors of Barclays Bank Kenya on corporate restructuring arising from share swaps affecting its parent company and African subsidiaries.

Advised Fanisi Venture Capital Fund on several matters, including a USD1.5 million investment in Kenyan pharmaceuticals retailer Haltons.

Conducted a study on behalf of the Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission into the possible improvement of the Kenyan legal framework for wealth declaration.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner James Kamau impresses with the high quality of his work and his "business mind." He is particularly active on M&A and private equity deals and clients seek his representation on some of their most significant mandates. 

William Maema's diverse practice encompasses commercial, competition, employment and immigration matters. His impressive client roster features private equity firms, NGOs and international education institutions. Clients rate him highly for IP: "He's very reliable and is the person I run to." He is also recognised for his expertise on the South Sudan market.

Beatrice Nyabira has a strong reputation for commercial matters, particularly relating to project-based transactions. Wind and geothermal energy are recent areas of engagement.

Anne Kinyanjui is the firm's key contact for real estate matters, including development projects, sales of property and regulatory matters pertaining to new land legislation.

Significant clients Norfund, Cellulant, Seven Seas Technologies, Population Services International.

Dispute Resolution - Kenya

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive activity in both litigation and arbitration proceedings. A popular choice with local banks and an active presence in the expanding field of oil and gas. Real estate disputes include matters for developers, governmental institutions and property owners. Taxation is also a growing area.

Work highlights Represented the Kenya Airports Authority in defending compensation claims in excess of USD11 million, following its refusal to approve a proposed development.

Acted for the Central Bank of Kenya on an USD8 million claim against its pension fund by former employees.

Notable practitioners  

Head of practice Karori Kamau is highly regarded for litigation and arbitration, in which he appears as both counsel and arbitrator: "He's made his name and is very impressive." He represented the Interim Independent Electoral Commission in the Supreme Court against petitions challenging the results of the March 2013 presidential election.

Martin Munyu is an esteemed litigator whose caseload includes employment and insurance disputes. He is recommended for his down-to-earth approach and responsiveness.

Significant clients Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya Commercial Bank, ASL Limited Kenya, Kenya Urban Roads Authority.