Firm / Organisation

Kaplan & Stratton

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Senior Partner: Fred Ojiambo SC
Number of partners: 22
Number of lawyers: 70
Languages: English, French, Hindi, Swahili

Firm Overview:
Established in 1927, Kaplan & Stratton presently has over 70 qualified lawyers and several paralegal staff, making it the largest full-service law firm in East Africa. The firm advises on corporate and commercial law, investment, banking, taxation, intellectual property as well as complex litigation and dispute resolution.

Kaplan & Stratton is a founder member of LEX Africa, an association of independent law firms in 21 African countries.

Main Areas of Practice:

Capital Markets, Banking & Finance:
■ Kaplan & Stratton has acted on listings, capital raisings and takeovers of companies and institutions listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, many of which have involved international shareholders, lenders and institutions
■ The firm advised Transcentury and I&M Bank on their listings on the Nairobi Securities Exchange
■ The firm advised TPS Serena an the acquisition of 12 hotel and safari oproperties across East Africa including the Movenpick Dar Es Salam Hotel
■ Kaplan & Stratton has advised on a number of cross-border listings in Tanzania and Uganda
■ The firm has handled the majority of the institutional bond issues in recent years including Safaricom’s KES 12 billion bond issue, East African Development Bank, PTA Bank, Shelter Afrique as well as secured note issues by other telcom mobile operators: YU (Essar) and Celtel
■ Kaplan & Stratton has advised on many forms of structured finance transactions for leading local and international banks including the IFC, BNP Paribas, Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank
■ The firm also advises on all forms of asset leasing, with particular emphasis on aircraft leasing

Corporate & Commercial:
■ Within Kenya and elsewhere the firm advises and manages transactions covering all types of share and asset sales, shareholders’ and joint venture agreements, privatisation transactions and private securities offerings
■ Oliver Fowler has been cited as ‘an artist in his field’ and is largely considered a leader in the market on securities and tax matters with unprecedented expertise on general Kenyan law. He is currently advising Barclays in connection with the re-organisation of its African subsidiaries
■ Peter Hime advises a range of aviation clients on legal aspects relating to aircraft leasing, financing and acquisitions. He specialises in IP law and has recently advised Mepha GmbH on a valuable trade mark opposition in Kenya
■ Sam Wainaina, has been active in infrastructure development projects ranging from power generation, transport to large construction projects. He also specialises in employment and retirement benefits work
■ Nigel Shaw continues to handle large commercial real-estate development projects and also advises on mining matters
■ Rachel Mbai advises on commercial and residential real estate projects and is currently involved in Medina Palms, Kenya’s most luxurious beach property development
■ Binti Shah, dual qualified in the UK and Kenya, is advising on a multi-billion KES medium term note programme for a Pan-African housing finance and development institution
■ Mahesh Acharya, specialising in capital markets and M&A transactions is advising a large asian telecoms operator on the acquisition of a Kenyan GSM operator. He is also advising a large dairy producer on cross border acquisitions in Rwanda and Ethiopia
■ Amar Grewal-Thethy led Kenyan listed TransCentury in the disposal of its interests in Chai Bora. He also acted as local counsel to Toyota Tsusho Corporation in connection with its global acquisition of the CFAO group
■ Patrick Ikimire specialises in industrial property and design laws and is currently advising a large packaging manufacturer on a number of design matters
■ Ken Kamaitha, recently elevated to partner advises on general corporate commercial matters

Real Estate/Property:
■ Kaplan & Stratton handles all forms of real estate acquisition, sale, property development and financing
■ The firm also provides advice on estate planning

Litigation & Arbitration:
■ The firm has a substantial litigation practice. Court work occupies the majority of the litigation lawyers’ time, but specialists also provide advice and opinions on Kenyan law, particularly tax and revenue law
■ Fred Ojiambo is ranked as a leading litigation practitioner in Kenya and is the chairman of the Council of Legal Education. He is instructed in many of the leading commercial disputes and is currently engaged in a complex dispute relating to construction of a waste treatment facility to comply with MARPOL 73/78
■ Peter Gachuhi has extensive experience in commercial litigation and various regulatory issues involving the environment and retirement benefits. He is currently representing the East African Breweries in a large class action suit
■ Nazima Malik continues to advise and represent multinationals in a broad range of major tax related disputes and is currently representing two major mobile service providers in a dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority as to whether the expenditure on their licence fees is revenue or capital
■ Esther Kinyenje enjoys environmental, commercial and employment and is actively engaged in arbitration in Kenya as a fellow of the Institute and a member of the board of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Kenya Branch
■ Cosima Wetende is engaged in commercial litigation actively defending employers before the newly constituted Industrial Court. She is carving out a niche in regulatory governance compliance on behalf of multinationals with reference to the US and UK Anti Bribery Legislation impacting on subsidiaries
■ James Muthui is engaged in commercial litigation and arbitration and has developed a specialisation in intellectual property litigation

Intellectual Property:
■ Kaplan & Stratton has the largest IP practice in East Africa dealing with registration and protection of all forms of intellectual property (trademarks, industrial designs, patents)
■ The firm provides advice and support services for registration of IP rights through regional and international organisations
■ Lawyers advise on technology and other forms of licensing agreements, plant-breeders rights, as well as copyright law
■ The firm represents clients in IP infringement actions and proceedings

■ Revenue law is a significant growth area for the firm in response to market developments and increasing litigation in this field
■ The firm has achieved notable success in a favourable transfer pricing ruling for Unilever and has advised on successful appeals in income tax and VAT matters

International Work:
The firm has significant cross-border experience in corporate, M&A and joint ventures having worked in, or advised on, transactions in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Ethiopia and elsewhere. Through the Lex Africa network the firm has good relations with other law firms around Africa and receives large referral work from large international and magic circle law firms.

Articles, Highlights and Press Releases

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Restructuring Deal

Amar Grewal-Thethy

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