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Global Guide

Employment — Kenya


Anjarwalla & Khanna - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Sonal Sejpal and Rosa Nduati-Mutero
- 3 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Pre-eminent department frequently assisting major corporate clients with employment issues arising from large, multi-jurisdictional transactions. Noted for its expertise in advisory mandates and employee benefits matters, including employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and pension schemes, and demonstrates additional strength in litigious matters. Often instructed in connection with corporate restructurings and redundancies.

Strengths Peers regard the firm as being "among our biggest competitors" when it comes to transactional employment matters and employee benefit issues.

Work highlights Acted for Garda World on its acquisition of KK Security and the resulting employment and employee benefit issues, advising on redundancies, pension schemes, union matters and the terms of employment agreements. The matter spanned several jurisdictions and was valued at USD40 million.

Assisted L'Oréal Kenya with the termination of its then-managing director's employment contract.

Significant clients Alliance One Tobacco, Gulf African Petroleum, International Transport Workers' Federation, ComzAfrica, CDC Group.

Notable practitioners

Rosa Nduati-Mutero is a highly regarded employment lawyer with a strong advisory practice. She frequently advises regional companies on major corporate restructurings, as well as ESOPs and other employee benefits issues. She is an expert in compliance matters as well as employment contracts and policies.

About the Team (content provided by Anjarwalla & Khanna)

Anjarwalla & Khanna has a very active employment practice, regularly advising on complex employment matters, including on restructuring, transitioning of employees in the context of a mergers & acquisition transaction, labour management issues, employment related litigation, data protection and drafting employment policies and contracts. Our team provides the strategic advice and innovative legal services necessary to help employers maintain robust labour relations and minimize litigation risk through effective workplace strategies. A&K also advises on employee benefits, relevant work permits for non-residents, legal issues arising from trade unions, collective bargaining agreements and share incentive. The Firm has assisted local and international clients with implementation and structuring of pension schemes, employee share ownership plans and compensation claims and benefits.

A&K is a member of the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), a global network of labour and employment lawyers. One of our Directors – Sonal Sejpal – sits on the board of the Employment Law Alliance and is the Chair of the Africa & Middle East Region.

Some of our deals include:

  • Advising Google in connection with the legality of their global anti-harassment policy in terms of the Kenyan laws.
  • Acting for Garda World in providing legal advice on the transfer of employees from KK security as part of the M&A transactions.



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Bowmans (Coulson Harney) - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Rainbow Field, Angela Waki and Sean Omondi
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly respected team demonstrating significant capability in the employment sphere. Recognised for its prowess advising on major corporate restructurings and employee transfers resulting from M&A activity. Additionally well versed in union disputes and employment litigation. Also particularly adept at the structuring of ESOPs.

Strengths Sources commend the team for its transactional employment support and say: "The firm is well resourced and is therefore able to handle complex employment briefs. The information and advice provided is timely and draws from the wealth of experience they have garnered in dealing with similar issues."

Work highlights Advised Kenafric Development on redundancies and employee transfers following the acquisition of a 49% stake in the company by Amethis Africa Finance and Metier Growth Fund II.

Acted for Ericsson Kenya with regard to a USD1.9 million suit filed by current and former employees as a result of the company's voluntary retrenchment process, which formed part of Ericsson's global corporate restructuring.

Significant clients FIH Global, Global Eagle Entertainment, Wananchi Group, Kenya Markets Trust, Base Titanium.

Notable practitioners

"Solid and established employment litigation lawyer" Sean Omondi is well respected in the market, frequently handling union disputes and unfair dismissal cases. Clients describe him as "a really good operator. He's very skilled and has a very high service level as well as a good knowledge of employment law."

Rainbow Field enjoys a strong employment practice and is especially active in matters of employee transfer. She has a formidable client base and acted for FIH Global in relation to a USD350 million acquisition and the subsequent transfer of employees from Microsoft to FIH Mobile. She has further notable experience in ESOPs and matters pertaining to employee rights.

About the Team (content provided by Bowmans (Coulson Harney))

We have been at the forefront of employment law in the region for many years.  We offer a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in the fields of industrial relations, employment, employee benefits and pensions law on a level that is hard to match.

Our practice is known for its depth of experience; thought leadership; strategic and balanced labour relations advice; a reputation for effective solutions and extensive experience in complex commercial transactions and restructurings (including cross-border). We continue to redefine our practice in response to the needs of multi-national clients with increasing cross border interests in the sub-Saharan region.

Our focus areas include engaging and moving employees (immigration), employee risk and investigations, business transfers, outsourcing, and the employment consequences of all forms of business restructuring, industrial relations and collective bargaining (including union recognition), and dispute resolution, including mediation with a special focus on board room disputes, executive dismissals, discrimination and biased labour practice claims and judicial review of tribunal decisions.

We also do a vast amount of immigration work. We consistently provide advice on all immigration matters including immigration related applications, filing for special passes and work permits. 

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Hamilton Harrison & Mathews - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Maintains a stellar reputation in the area of employment disputes, while also providing top-drawer support in relation to corporate restructurings, redundancies and work permits for foreign nationals. Highly respected for its handling of wrongful termination claims and public interest cases, as well as advising on the wording of HR manuals and workplace investigations.

Strengths Clients are quick to praise the team's "detailed and astute responses" and excellent communication. They add: "This firm is one of the top in the country and the partners have considerable knowledge in their respective fields of law."

Sources praise the team as "extremely approachable," noting that "their client support system is very good. They're very willing to do training and keep us abreast of developments in the law."

Work highlights Advised Telkom Kenya on an unfair termination claim lodged by a former employee. The case is of note as it will determine whether a claimant can seek back-pay for up to two decades prior to a claim, as well as establishing whether unpaid salaries constitute continuing injury under the terms of the Employment Act.

Undertook due diligence studies on the Kenya employment market on behalf of Amazon EU, including advice on the legislative framework, as well as collective bargaining, data privacy and numerous other issues.

Significant clients Swiss International Airlines, Acumen Fund, Lufthansa, ICF International, G4S.

Notable practitioners

Michi Kirimi is recognised for her frequent representation of employers in high-profile cases. Peers describe her as "an outstanding labour and employment lawyer," while clients remark on her "detailed and commercially astute" advice.

About the Team (content provided by Hamilton Harrison & Mathews )

Hamilton Harrison & Mathews is one of the leading firms in Kenya that provides a full range of employment and labour relations legal services in both contentious and non-contentious matters. We represent a diverse portfolio of clients in complex and high profile cases in various courts. We have given advice on several complex employment matters including trade union disputes and negotiations, advice on termination and redundancies, managing employee exits, contract and policy, transfer of employment among others. Our team is also able to give advice on all immigration aspects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, visa requirements, work permits applications and related procedures.  The team also advises on ESOPS and Phantom Share Schemes for both listed and private companies.

We have an extensive client base which includes Kenyan and foreign banks and financial institutions, foreign investors and their Kenyan subsidiaries and branches, industry bodies, oil companies, airlines, insurance companies, foreign embassies and missions, tour and travel operators and agents, hotel groups, religious and missionary organisations and international aid organisations among others.

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Kaplan & Stratton - Employment Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Sam Wainaina
- 6 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Displays exemplary skill in employment litigation, handling a number of big-ticket disputes and workplace investigations. Additionally well versed in redundancies and employee misconduct matters, and well regarded for employee benefits and pensions.

Strengths Sources are particularly appreciative of the team's availability and range of expertise. A source said: "The fact that it has partners who are specialised in specific areas, like employment contracts and litigation, makes it a one-stop shop."

Others describe the firm as "very strong on employment and litigation," going on to say: "We're very happy in our dealings with Kaplan & Stratton. We feel very safe in their hands. They keep you abreast of progress at every stage of the journey."

Work highlights Defended Bayer East Africa in a USD1.49 million dispute regarding alleged unlawful redundancy and discrimination. The claim raised constitutional issues concerning the right to privacy due to the nature of the claimant's evidence.

Represented a multinational oil company in disciplinary proceedings against certain of its senior managers as a result of irregularities in the movement of its stock.

Significant clients Kenya Tea Growers Association, Unilever Kenya, Oxfam, Nestlé Kenya, Prudential Life Assurance Kenya.

Notable practitioners

Sam Wainaina is considered by some to be "Kenya's top expert on ESOPs, pensions and benefits." One peer added: "He is the go-to lawyer in the area of pensions." He advises an impressive roster of financial services groups and pension funds - including the University of Nairobi Pension Scheme, Britam, Kenya Power Pension Scheme and Barclays Bank of Kenya - on an array of matters, including the establishment of trust deeds and various investment management issues.

Esther Kinyenje is a respected disputes lawyer in the employment arena who frequently handles contract termination cases for important clients. Peers say: "She's very committed to her clients and goes the extra mile." Clients add: "She's very meticulous and very detailed. She's one of the most respected lawyers in the country in terms of employment disputes and labour relations."

About the Team (content provided by Kaplan & Stratton)

Our lawyers advise on all employment law issues contentious and non-contentious. We offer a high quality and rapid-response service. We also work with employers to create individually designed contracts, policies and HR procedures.  We have advised on matters ranging from sensitive severance issues, corporate governance, forensic audits, collective bargaining and more standard disciplinary and grievance procedures.

We act mainly for employers – including large public companies, SMEs and Not-for-profit entities. We also act for many international corporations and are experienced in co-ordinating employment advice across jurisdictions for corporate transactional work.



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Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates (IKM) - Employment Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: William Maema and Karori Kamau
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Services a diverse roster of regional and multinational clients, providing advice on redundancy programmes, labour relations and employment contracts. Possesses further experience in the drafting of HR manuals and staff handbooks, as well as assisting with workplace investigations and contract termination cases.

Strengths The team garners particularly positive commentary for its deep understanding of employment issues and timely handling of matters. Clients remark: "They've exceeded our expectations. I have full confidence in them," adding: "They really understand the requirements of our employment needs and have handled everything very well."

Others hold the firm's immigration group in very high esteem, praising its "years of experience" and observing that its lawyers are "focused on customer satisfaction."

Work highlights Acted for Auto-Sueco Kenya on its sale of business assets to Necst Motors and subsequent redundancy programme.

Advised Uber on its template restrictive covenant agreements and employment contracts, notably with regard to the structuring of contracts with motorcycle riders as independent contractors rather than employees.

Significant clients Haltons Pharmacy, Bollore Transport & Logistics, Population Services International, Cadbury Kenya, Seureca East Africa.

Notable practitioners

Peers note William Maema for his prominence in transactional employment matters and his strong advisory practice. He is particularly recognised for his advice on redundancy programmes. One client said: "His expertise in the employment area is excellent," while another added: "He's phenomenal - highly responsive, practical, clear, collaborative and dedicated. He's very, very strong."

About the Team (content provided by Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates (IKM))

IKM Advocate’s Employment and Immigration practice has a strong reputation for sound, practical and solution-based advice and support to clients. From recruitment to retirement, our team competently guides clients through a wide range of services, including providing specific advice on labour and immigration laws, preparing or localising employment contracts, assisting in obtaining work and residence permits, and advising on termination of employment.


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Oraro & Company Advocates - Employment Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: George Oraro and Chacha Odera
- 5 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Disputes powerhouse handling major employment litigation and public interest cases. Renowned for its representation of employers and pension schemes in significant class action claims, particularly concerning redundancies and unfair dismissal claims. Also well equipped to advise on discrimination matters, union disputes and collective bargaining agreements.

Strengths The firm enjoys an impressive reputation in the Kenyan market, with peers saying: "They're very strong in the employment disputes space."

Work highlights Defended the Teleposta Pension Scheme and Telkom Kenya following an earlier judgment for more USD70 million handed down by the Retirement Benefits Tribunal.

Successfully represented Aga Khan University Hospital in an appeal challenging the Supreme Court's ruling that a proposed redundancy contravened both its collective bargaining agreement and Section 40 of Kenya's Employment Act.

Significant clients Bidco Africa, Diamond Trust Bank, Ellams, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Laxmanbhai Construction.

Notable practitioners

Walter Amoko has established himself as a top-drawer employment litigator. He acts on high-profile disputes and union challenges. Peers engage with him frequently and acknowledge: "When he comes to the Employment Court, you know something very serious is happening. He's your main guy for all employment disputes. He'll fight matters all the way."

Eminent commercial litigator Chacha Odera also has a strong employment practice and enjoys broad market recognition. He is regularly instructed on major class action claims and industrial disputes and is commended by market commentators for his expertise in this area.

Georgina Ogalo-Omondi recently made partner and is rapidly developing a strong employment practice. Peers describe her as "a bright spark" and say: "She's definitely one to watch." She undertakes dispute resolution work in the areas of employment and labour relations.

About the Team (content provided by Oraro & Company Advocates)

We have labour law experience supporting local and multinational clients across a broad range of industry sectors. We offer clients support in collective bargaining, cross-border mergers and acquisition, ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans), pension, policy development and restructuring. Our lawyers are recognised for their employment experience and have worked on some of Kenya's biggest high-profile employment matters such as acting for the TelPosta Pension Scheme in defending a judgment by the Retirement Benefits Tribunal for approximately USD 70 million by former employees of Telkom Kenya Limited (one of Kenya’s leading telecommunication companies). The matter involves thousands of former employees is unique because it seeks the court’s guidance on interpreting the entitlement of employees who retire early to their deferred retirement dues. 


In pensions, we advised a multinational bank in respect one of the largest Kenyan claims by pensioners against a pension fund. Another notable work highlight is that we represented Kenya Airways in the Employment and Labour Relations Court against a high-profile class action for reinstatement of employees following a redundancy process. We are particularly known for our trade union work and have represented clients in matters involving some of Kenya’s largest trade unions such as KNUT (a trade union for Kenyan teachers), which is arguably one of Kenya’s largest trade unions with approximately over 150,000 members.

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B M Musau & Co., Advocates - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for A full-service firm recognised for its representation of state entities and multinational companies in diverse contentious and compliance matters. Has notable experience in employee rights and constitutional issues.

Notable practitioners

Benjamin Musau is a key client contact.

About the Team (content provided by B M Musau & Co., Advocates)

Department profile not yet provided by B M Musau & Co., Advocates. Please see their firm profile.

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MMAN Advocates - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Carole Ayugi
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected advisory practice with demonstrable expertise in employee share schemes, pension schemes and the drafting of employment contracts and handbooks. Also equipped to assist clients with employee transfers and general compliance matters.

Work highlights Assisted LeapFrog Investments with its setting up of an ESOP for Resolution Health, an insurance company in which LeapFrog had acquired a majority stake.

Reviewed and drafted the trust deed and rules for the Alexander Forbes Retirement Fund umbrella scheme, involving assets of over ZAR66 billion.

Significant clients Gallberry, Cambridge University Press, Aga Khan University, BlackGold Investments, Citibank Kenya Provident Fund.

Notable practitioners

Carole Ayugi is head of the employment and pensions department and a key client contact.

About the Team (content provided by MMAN Advocates)

We advise employers and employees on all aspects of employment law, including employment contracts, pay and benefits, compliance, policies and procedures, redundancy and business reorganization, share schemes and incentives, pension schemes and provident funds (including regulatory compliance, scheme restructuring, mergers and winding up).


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Walker Kontos - Employment Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Greg Karungo and Paul Ogunde
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for banks, foreign embassies and large multinationals on an array of employment-related mandates, ranging from contract termination cases and redundancies to collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts. Particularly strong on contentious matters.

Work highlights Acted for the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology on a significant unfair dismissal claim which will set a precedent for organisations protected by diplomatic immunity.

Assisted Stanbic Bank Kenya with an unfair dismissal claim arising from its corporate restructuring programme.

Significant clients InterContinental Hotels, Shell, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Belgian Embassy, PwC.

Notable practitioners

Greg Karungo is a key client contact.

About the Team (content provided by Walker Kontos)

Department profile not yet provided by Walker Kontos. Please see their firm profile.

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Band 1

Oraro & Company Advocates

From the Chambers Global guide

Walter Amoko has established himself as a top-drawer employment litigator. He acts on high-profile disputes and union challenges. Peers engage with him frequently and acknowledge: "When he comes to the Employment Court, you know something very serious is happening. He's your main guy for all employment disputes. He'll fight matters all the way."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Munyao Muthama and Kashindi

From the Chambers Global guide

Irene Kashindi recently joined Munyao Muthama and Kashindi, having previously been a partner at Hamilton Harrison & Mathews. She is a formidable employment lawyer with significant capabilities in both contentious and advisory mandates. She often represents employers and professional bodies in unfair dismissal cases and also advises on collective bargaining agreements, constitutional labour issues and HR policy review. Peers note her as particularly in demand for employment litigation.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

From the Chambers Global guide

Michi Kirimi is recognised for her frequent representation of employers in high-profile cases. Peers describe her as "an outstanding labour and employment lawyer," while clients remark on her "detailed and commercially astute" advice.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates (IKM)

From the Chambers Global guide

Peers note William Maema for his prominence in transactional employment matters and his strong advisory practice. He is particularly recognised for his advice on redundancy programmes. One client said: "His expertise in the employment area is excellent," while another added: "He's phenomenal - highly responsive, practical, clear, collaborative and dedicated. He's very, very strong."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Rosa Nduati-Mutero

Anjarwalla & Khanna

From the Chambers Global guide

Rosa Nduati-Mutero is a highly regarded employment lawyer with a strong advisory practice. She frequently advises regional companies on major corporate restructurings, as well as ESOPs and other employee benefits issues. She is an expert in compliance matters as well as employment contracts and policies.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Kaplan & Stratton

From the Chambers Global guide

Sam Wainaina is considered by some to be "Kenya's top expert on ESOPs, pensions and benefits." One peer added: "He is the go-to lawyer in the area of pensions." He advises an impressive roster of financial services groups and pension funds - including the University of Nairobi Pension Scheme, Britam, Kenya Power Pension Scheme and Barclays Bank of Kenya - on an array of matters, including the establishment of trust deeds and various investment management issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bowmans (Coulson Harney)

From the Chambers Global guide

Rainbow Field enjoys a strong employment practice and is especially active in matters of employee transfer. She has a formidable client base and acted for FIH Global in relation to a USD350 million acquisition and the subsequent transfer of employees from Microsoft to FIH Mobile. She has further notable experience in ESOPs and matters pertaining to employee rights.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Kaplan & Stratton

From the Chambers Global guide

Esther Kinyenje is a respected disputes lawyer in the employment arena who frequently handles contract termination cases for important clients. Peers say: "She's very committed to her clients and goes the extra mile." Clients add: "She's very meticulous and very detailed. She's one of the most respected lawyers in the country in terms of employment disputes and labour relations."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Oraro & Company Advocates

From the Chambers Global guide

Eminent commercial litigator Chacha Odera also has a strong employment practice and enjoys broad market recognition. He is regularly instructed on major class action claims and industrial disputes and is commended by market commentators for his expertise in this area.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bowmans (Coulson Harney)

From the Chambers Global guide

"Solid and established employment litigation lawyer" Sean Omondi is well respected in the market, frequently handling union disputes and unfair dismissal cases. Clients describe him as "a really good operator. He's very skilled and has a very high service level as well as a good knowledge of employment law."

^ See whole ranking table

Up and Coming

Georgina Ogalo-Omondi

Oraro & Company Advocates

From the Chambers Global guide

Georgina Ogalo-Omondi recently made partner and is rapidly developing a strong employment practice. Peers describe her as "a bright spark" and say: "She's definitely one to watch." She undertakes dispute resolution work in the areas of employment and labour relations.

^ See whole ranking table