Irene Kashindi

Irene Kashindi

Partner

LLM (UoN)
LLB (Hons) UoN
Dip. Law (KSL)
Admitted 2008


Practice Areas

  • Employment and Labour Relations
  • Taxation and Revenue
  • Public Procurement
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
  • Judicial Review and Administrative law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Insurance

 

  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Legal Compliance and Regulatory
  • Charities and Non-profits
  • Environmental law

Biography

Irene Kashindi is a partner in the firm with over 10 years’ experience as a practicing advocate. She was until June 2018 a partner in Hamilton Harrison & Mathews. She has a wealth of experience in commercial and civil litigation as well arbitration. She has represented and advised a diverse portfolio of local and international clients in disputes filed before all the courts in our legal system including the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court as well as key statutory tribunals and bodies.

Irene has significant and distinguished experience in employment and labour relations matters. She was top-ranked by the reputable, Chambers and Partners global guide in 2017 and 2018 in this practice area where she is described as " One of the most prominent employment lawyers in Kenya”, "excellent," "She is informed, professional and proactive", “ a formidable employment lawyer with significant contentious and non-contentious mandates” and that “She is particularly in demand in employment litigation.”

She was also recognised by Legal 500 in 2018 global guide which notes her as recommended for employment disputes.

She has been involved in notable and important litigation in the country and is the recipient of International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2018 for Litigation. She was part of the team that represented a leading player in the tobacco industry before the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in challenging the lawfulness and constitutionality of certain regulations affecting the industry. She regularly appears before various statutory tribunals and particularly the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board and has been involved in disputes relating to tenders for some of the largest tenders in the country including various projects in the energy sector, the standard gauge railway, the laptop project and the Lamu Coal power plant project among others.

Irene has considerable experience in tax matters and has represented and advised clients in complex and high exposure tax and revenue disputes. She also handles judicial review and constitutional law disputes among others.

Irene is an active member of the Sacred Heart Girls Mukumu Alumni Association that runs a mentorship programme for the students as well as an endowment fund for needy students. She is passionate about mentoring young girls. She is also a member of the Women's Law Network, a global network of women lawyers that among other things, represents and supports the growth of professional women in the legal industry.

Educational and professional qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Nairobi 2006
  • Diploma in Law, Kenya School of Law 2007
  • Admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, 2008
  • Masters Degree in law (Financial Services Law), University of Nairobi 2011

Membership in professional associations

  • Law Society of Kenya

Career history

  • Pupilage: Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, 2006 to 2007
  • Associate: Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, 2007 to 2013
  • Partner: Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, January 2014- June 2018
  • Partner: Munyao Muthama & Kashindi, July 2018 to date

Certifications and Accolades

  • Chambers and Partners 2017, top ranked in Band 1, Employment.
  • Chambers and Partners 2018, top ranked in Band 1, Employment.
  • Legal 500 2018 acknowledged Irene Kashindi as recommended lawyer in employment matters.
  • Recipient of the International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2018 for Litigation.

Work Highlights

Employment and labour relations

  • Represented a top-tier bank in Kenya in a highly contentious employment dispute brought by 20 former employees of the bank both at the trial and appellate stages. The claims against the bank succeeded at the trial stage and the claimants were awarded substantial damages a large portion of which was overturned on appeal. The dispute addressed key employment and labour principles touching on collective bargaining, redundancy and employee benefits.
  • Representing the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya in successfully defending suits instituted by its former senior managers challenging their termination of employment in which they claimed substantial amounts of damages. Some of the important findings made by the court in one of the cases included the finding that disciplinary proceedings need not follow the strict strictures of trial particularly regarding the examination of witnesses.
  • Represented British Army Training Unit Kenya in successfully defending a claim by a union seeking recognition for purposes of collective bargaining. The matter dealt with some novel issues not previously handled by our courts.
  • Represented British Army Training Unit Kenya in successfully defending employment claims brought by 18 of its former employees claiming substantial damages both at the trial and appellate stages. Both the Employment and Labour Relations Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed the ex-employees’ claims.
  • Regularly advised two firms which are related UK and Kenyan charitable organisations since the establishment of operations in Kenya on many aspects of employment and labour relations. She extensively reviewed the entities’ human resources manual, policies, code of conduct and procedures for their operations in Kenya. She carried out a sensitization seminar to their staff on anti-bribery and anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and anti-fraud policies which were particularly important noting recent legislation in Kenya touching on these policies.
  • Advised on certain employment aspects including the transfer of employees from one entity to another, of a multi-million cross-border merger and acquisition of a business division of a multinational corporation operating in various countries including Kenya, by an entity headquartered in the United States of America.
  • Advised a multi-national corporation operating in Kenya and dealing with the manufacture of fast moving consumer goods in outsourcing some of its key functions. The matter was multifaceted in that consideration had to be had of an employee’s union’s resistance of the outsourcing among others.
  • Advised various local and international clients drawn from diverse sectors on a wide spectrum of non-contentious employment and labour relations mandates touching on nearly all key aspects of employment and labour related matters including; advice on termination and dismissals, restructuring and redundancy, transfer of employment, managing employee exits, post-termination restrictions, secondment, outsourcing, recognition of employee unions, reviewing and drafting collective bargaining agreements, policy and contract drafting and review, among others.

Public Procurement and PPP disputes

  • Part of the team that successfully defended the winning bidder in the Lamu Coal power plant project which was valued at over Kshs170 billion, in challenges made against the award of the tender, before the PPP Petition Committee and the High Court. This project is projected to generate 1050 MW of power and is one of its kind in the region.
  • Part of the team that represented the Ministry of Education in challenges made against the award of the laptop tender which was valued at over Kshs 25 billion, before the Public Administrative Appeals Review Board, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
  • Part of the team that successfully defended China Road and Bridge Corporation in a constitutional petition filed to challenge the tender for Phase 1 of the standard gauge railway project valued at over Kshs 370 billion. This is one of the single largest procurement in the country since independence.
  • Involved in representing the Kenya Electricity Generating Company before the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board, the High Court and the Court of Appeal in various tender disputes. Some of the notable matters Irene was involved in related to the following tenders; the Kshs 52 billion tender for the Leasing of 50MW Wellheads Geothermal Power Generation Units at Olkaria geothermal field; the tender for the procurement of the design, supply and installation of the Olkaria IV And Olkaria 1 Additional Units involving the generation of 280 MW.
  • Involved in representing the Kenya Power and Lighting Company before the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board, the High Court and the Court of Appeal in various tender disputes. Some of the notable matters Irene was involved in related to the following tenders; tender for the replacement/upgrade and expansion of the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition and Energy Management System (SCADA/EMS), the tender for an 80-90 MW Power generating Plant at Rabai, Mombasa.
  • Part of the team that represented the successful bidder in successfully defending an appeal filed before the Public Procurement Appeals Review Board regarding the tender valued at approximately Kshs 15 billion for provision of medical cover to the Teachers Service Commission.
  • Successfully represented Cosmos Limited before the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board in a tender dispute with Kenya Medical Agency relating to supply of certain drugs valued at over Kshs 120 million.
  • Represented a trading company specializing in the procurement of a wide range of engineering and technical services in a tender dispute with Kenya Railways Corporation relating to the supply of a track recording car valued at over Kshs 500 million.

Tax and revenue

  • Acted for two leading players in the pharmaceutical industry in consolidated judicial review proceedings challenging substantial tax demands made by Kenya Revenue Authority against key pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. The matter affected the entire industry and had a cumulative tax exposure of over Kshs 2 billion. The court made useful findings on what should happen if Kenya Revenue Authority delays in demanding taxes as a result of which a taxpayer loses recourse or other benefits.
  • Involved in successfully challenging a demand of over US$ 500,000 by Kenya Revenue Authority made against a global footwear and fashion manufacturer arising from an assessment of taxes from royalties. The case dealt with the issue as to whether royalties should be added to the custom value of imported goods for purposes of assessing customs duty. This is one of the first cases in which the court addressed the issue.
  • Involved in representing a multinational construction firm undertaking large projects in Kenya on a tax demand by Kenya Revenue Authority for over US $ 5 million which was ultimately resolved leading to Kenya Revenue Authority withdrawing its demand.
  • Part of the team which successfully petitioned the Constitutional Court to compel Kenya Revenue Authority to process Value Added Tax refunds totalling over US$ 9 million owing to a major player in the Information and Communications Technology industry.
  • Involved in acting for a global manufacturer of healthcare products and consumer goods in successfully challenging by way of a constitutional petition, an assessment totalling over US$ 3.8 Million relating to Corporation Tax and Excise Duty. The main issue for determination was the liability of a tax payer for fraudulent entries made by clearing agents.
  • Part of the team which successfully challenged by way of judicial review an assessment of over US$ 800,000 raised by the KRA on a leading player in the agricultural sector. The issue in dispute was liability of a fraudulent clearing agent who appeared not to have remitted the tax in question to KRA.

Commercial and civil litigation

  • Part of the team that represented a leading player in the tobacco industry before the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in challenging the lawfulness and constitutionality of certain regulations introduced in the tobacco industry which for the first time, provide for graphic health warnings, restrict and limit interactions between the tobacco industry and public officers and also require tobacco manufactures to pay a solatium compensation levy. The litigation dealt with key administrative and constitutional law matters and the interpretation of the Statutory Instruments Act.
  • Represented the Kenya Wildlife Service in a number of matters instituted before the National Environmental Tribunal and the High Court challenging the construction of phase 2A of the Standard Gauge Railway project (SGR). The entire phase 2A of the project is valued at Kshs 105 billion. Part of the challenge involved the proposal to route the railway line through the famous Nairobi National Park.
  • Represented the Kenya Wildlife Service in the Supreme Court of Kenya in an appeal arising from a claim for substantial damages for loss occasioned to farmers’ crops by wildlife which had migrated from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. The matter raised a novel issue as to whether common law can apply to grant a remedy where a statute imposes a duty but does not provide a remedy in the event that the statutory duty is breached. The Supreme Court’s decision addressed and pointed out key areas for legal reform in the sector.
  • Represented and advised leading insurance companies in many aspects of insurance law arising or relating to a wide variety of policies including but not limited to general liability, professional liability, fidelity guarantee, common carriage and goods in transit, life insurance, employers liability, work injury benefits/workman compensation, property insurance, motor insurance, performance bonds among others. Irene’s work included representing the insurance companies in declaratory suits and primary suits both in first and third party settings.
  • Part of the team that represented one of the leading private hospitals in the country in defending substantial professional negligence claims some of which dealt with highly contentious matters.

The People