Employment

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.

Anjarwalla & Khanna 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. Leading legal directories, Chambers and Partners, and Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa, have highly ranked Anjarwalla & Khanna’s Employment Practice in their 2017 listings. Key partners in this practice, Sonal Sejpal and Rosa Nduati-Mutero have also been highly recommended.

Representative matters include:

  • Acting for and advising a large multinational company in the agricultural and manufacturing industry, in connection with a large scale redundancy of its employees, where our client’s former Managers and the concerned Trade Union instituted separate employment claims at the Employment and Labour Relations Court against our client. The Trade Union sought additional payments from our client for housing allowance, mileage reimbursement, gratuity, Savings and Credit Co-operative dues, leave day dues and other ancillary orders, whereas the managers sought additional payments for housing allowance, mileage allowance and other ancillary orders. A&K managed to convince the courts to reduce the amount claimed by USD 41 million in connection with both suits filed by the Managers and Union.
  • Acting for the shareholders of Giro, a commercial bank in Kenya, on its sale of the entire issued share capital to I&M Holdings, a publicly listed regional bank with operations in Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda, followed by the simultaneous transfer of assets from Giro to I&M Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of I&M Holdings, at completion of the share transaction, including coordinating the redundancy and redeployment of over one hundred employees and negotiating with the Banking Insurance and Finance Union (BIFU) on employee matters.
  • Acting for Export Trading Group, a shareholder in Shanta Retail Group, which owns a 25% stake in Choppies Enterprises Kenya, a Kenyan company that was established by Choppies, an African supermarket chain and a public company listed in Botswana and South Africa, in connection with the acquisition of the assets and business owned by Ukwala Group of Companies and Ukwala Supermarkets, including advising on regulatory matters with respect to redundancy and redeployment of close to 800 employees.
  • Successfully defending one of Kenya’s most successful motor vehicle companies, at the Employment and Labour Relations Court in a claim against them for unfair discrimination in pay and treatment of employees on the basis of race, ethnicity and/or social origin; equal pay for equal work; equal pay for work of equal value; and general damages for racial discrimination.
  • Advising Mitsui, one of the largest conglomerates in the world, on employment and immigration matters, including drafting employment, secondment and termination contracts, reviewing its employee handbook, advising on disciplinary processes and defending employment related claims as well as assisting in obtaining work permits, special passes, visas, dependant passes and alien cards for employees.
  • Advising Google, an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products, in connection with the legality of their global anti-harassment policy, including providing legal advice on the laws on sexual harassment in Kenya and reviewing Google’s Global Anti-harassment policy to ensure that it is in line with the Kenyan law.
  • Providing ongoing advice for the last 13 years to Open Society Initiative Company, an organisation which promotes public participation in democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, on various employment and labour law issues, including providing general advice on Kenyan employment and labour laws, advising on redundancy, termination of employment contracts and defending the company against suits instituted by employees.
  • Acting for and defending a well-known airline, serving Eastern and Southern Africa, in a complex employment claim instituted by the Head of Cabin Crew at the Employment and Labour Relations Court. The employment claim raised weighty issues of law such as secondment, safety in the aviation industry, managerial prerogative, fixed term contracts, enforcement of Court Orders extra-territorially, enforcement of Court Orders against persons who are not parties in a suit and setting aside of Court Orders and its effects.
  • Advising the Center for Reproductive rights, a global reproductive rights organization that uses constitutional and international law to secure women’s reproductive rights in over 45 countries, including advising on various employment matters, reviewing the Center for Reproductive Rights Employment Handbook to ensure the same complies with Kenyan law statutory requirements and recent case law, providing advice in relation to review of employment contracts and the process to be followed in disciplinary actions.
  • Acting for Kenya Commercial Bank on the restructuring of its Staff Pension Scheme, including conducting due diligence on KCB’s employment contracts, employment plan and pension plan and ultimately creating an autonomous pension scheme to which the investment portfolio of the previous pension scheme was transferred.
  • Representing Essar Telecom Kenya in connection with the defeat of an injunction to stop the conclusion of Essar’s sale of its Kenyan subsidiary, Yu, a local mobile service provider, including successfully arguing the absence of a legal basis under Kenyan employment law underlying the plaintiff class of 233 Yu employees’ allegation of guaranteed redundancy packages in the context of a company sale as well as successfully negotiating a court approved settlement with the plaintiff class.
  • Advising the Renaissance Group, an emerging markets investment firm with a portfolio of USD 750 million, on employment and restructuring options including redundancy, payment of benefits and other employment related advice.
  • Advising Fintech International, a Pan-African IT group catering to financial services and blue chip companies, on an ESOP to enable eligible employees to acquire shares in the company, including reviewing overall structure options, scheme rules, performance conditions and procedures for administering the scheme, preparing offer documents and analyzing tax implications.

For more information on Anjarwalla & Khanna’s employment services, please contact SONAL SEJPAL and ROSA NDUATI-MUTERO