Kamau Karori is th Partner in charge of the Dispute Resolution practice at IKM. He has been involved in many ground breaking and high profile commercial disputes in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Karori has attained the rank of Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration and is an active member of the institute’s Kenyan branch. Based on his extensive experience in the field, he has been retained by several multinationals and high ranking individuals to advise and/or act in various dispute resolution matters.
In recognition of his status, he has been invited by the Judicial Training Institute to train Judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal. He is currently a member of the team advising the judiciary on the introduction of court mandated ADR.

He has attended several international arbitration conferences in Kenya and abroad. He has also served as Attorney and Arbitrator in a number of high profile arbitrations. Several of his arbitral awards have been upheld by the court.

He has received accolades from peers as well as from leading International directories, including Chambers Global where he has been consistently ranked First Tier in Arbitration and is recognised as one of the leading lawyers in Kenya. In the latest issue of the Chambers Global, he is described as being highly regarded for litigation and arbitration, in which he appears as both counsel and arbitrator: "He's made his name and is very impressive."

Credentials

Education

  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2013)
  • Kenya School of Law: Diploma in Law (1994 – 1995)
  • University of Nairobi: Bachelor of Law (LLB) (1990 – 1993)

Professional Qualifications

  • Post admission experience: 18 years
  • Law Society of Kenya
  • Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya (1996)

Key experience

  • Represented the Independent Electroral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its Chairman before the Supreme Court of Kenya in the petitions that resulted from the March 2013 presidential elections. The Petitioners sought to challenge the presidential election results as announced by the IEBC. The Supreme Court unanimously found in favour of our clients.
  • Acted for a client in a judicial review application where the Applicant sought to challenge the creation of the newly created Balambala Constituency in Garissa County under the first review carried out by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The challenge was based on Article 89 of the Constitution, 2010 that IEBC failed to comply with the requirements set out under the said provision in carrying out the delimitation review exercise.
  • Represented the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in a constitutional reference whereby the Petitioner was claiming compensation in excess of KShs.1 billion following the refusal by the KAA to approve a proposed development on his property. KAA’s position was that the Petitioner’s property is situated on the flight path/funnel.
  • Represented a client in a dispute involving the refusal by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to pay VAT refunds on the grounds that it did not have funds. The court issued an order of mandamus and directed KRA to pay the client the unpaid VAT refunds of approximately US$421,686. This was a landmark decision as no tax payer had previously successfully sued KRA to compel payment of VAT refunds.
  • Represented the Kenya Urban Roads Authority in a suit seeking damages for demolition of a building valued at US$1,2 million.
  • Represented a bank in a claim by former employees against the client’s pension fund. The employees claimed that their pension benefits computation was in contravention of the Trust Deed. The client’s position was that the computation was in accordance with the voluntary early retirement scheme. The claim by the employees was for approximately US$8 million.
  • Acted for a leading Kenyan bank in a dispute resolution matter where a chargor challenged the bank’s right to appoint receivers over the chargor company as well as the bank’s rights to exercise its statutory power of sale in a bid to recover a debt in excess of KShs.643 million (approximately US$7,7 million).
  • Advised a local bank on a matter where the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) had issued a tax demand of approximately KShs.28 million or US$350,000 to the bank on the basis that the bank owned the building in which it occupied and used a portion of the same to carry on its banking business. In KRA’s view, the bank made a supply of VATable services to itself and the issue was whether this self-supply (the bank’s appropriation of this space) was a VATable supply which would require the bank to charge VAT.
  • Acted for a client in a constitutional petition in which the Petitioner alleged contravention of its constitutional rights and in particular Article 40 of the Constitution, 2010, by the Registrar of Titles. The Registrar had purported to revoke the Petitioner’s title to its property by way of a gazette notice.
  • Acted for two oil companies in a suit seeking to challenge subsidiary legislation promulgated by the Ministry of Energy. The constitutional issue arising is whether the right to property as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya includes the right to secure the means to make a decent living and whether therefore a subsidiary legislation the inevitable effect of which is to cause financial loss to a business, is unconstitutional.
  • Engaged in a constitutional reference challenging the authority of Parliament to investigate what is purely a criminal matter and obtained an order of injunction restraining the adoption of the report of a Parliamentary Select Committee. The suit sought to explore the issue of separation of powers and the jurisdiction of the courts to question the constitutional legality of the actions of the legislative assembly.
  • Engaged in a suit where an HIV positive former restaurant worker had filed a suit against our client (her former employer) claiming damages for wrongful dismissal, discrimination and being subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment. It was the first case of its kind in Kenya.
  • Represented a client in a suit that sought to challenge the authority of the government to allocate land that has been set aside for public purposes. The suit involved the complex issue of whether setting aside land for public purposes amounts to alienation and if so whether such land can later be allocated to private individuals.
  • Acted for a leading real estate developer in challenging the right of the Government of Kenya to demolish and/or repossess private property on the grounds that the same was irregularly allocated. The issue of law arising is the extent to which private property may be repossessed by the government in situations where the registered owner obtained the property without notice of any fraud, impropriety or mistake.
  • Appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the prosecutor in the only case of its kind in Kenya where an international cricket player was charged with the offence of match fixing culminating in the said player being found guilty and banned for a period of five years.
  • Represented the ICC in proceedings brought to challenge the authority of the ICC to prosecute a local player. The landmark legal issue arising is the jurisdiction of the domestic courts to supervise or review the authority of international sporting bodies over their members and players affiliated to the member countries.
  • Represented Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in an arbitration dispute whereby the Claimant was pursuing compensation in excess of KShs.600 million following the revocation of the development approval. Karori successfully represented the KAA and the arbitral tribunal dismissed the claim and held that the revocation of the approval was warranted in view of the danger posed to aviation safety and security by the proposed developments. Karori is representing the authority before the High Court in the application lodged by the claimant to set aside the arbitral award.

Experience record

  • 1996

    Legal Assistant, Litigation practice – Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates (Jan)

  • 1996

    Partner - Kamau Karori & Co. Advocates (Jul)

  • 2002

    Partner, Litigation practice – IKM

Languages spoken

  • 100
English - Excellent
  • 80
Kiswahili - Good

Market recognition

IKM is ranked in Band 2 for Dispute Resolution with specific mention of Karori Kamau (Band 1: Dispute Resolution and Band 2: Arbitration). “He has a wealth of experience in commercial dispute resolution” and “his communication skills are excellent”. He is also highly regarded for his arbitration work, both as counsel and as arbitrator.

Chambers Global 2015