Aisha Abdallah | Partner | Anjarwalla & Khanna
Aisha heads the Disputes Resolution department at Anjarwalla & Khanna, covering offices in Nairobi and Mombasa. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on fraud and anti-corruption issues, money laundering and disputes over land, the environment and natural resources.
Aisha is dual qualified as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Solicitor of England and Wales. She joined A&K from Shoosmiths in the United Kingdom in 2012 and has substantial experience in complex, high value cross border litigation.
Aisha was appointed to the MARC Court in 2017, the ADR arm of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, alongside some of the world’s most eminent arbitration experts. She is the lead author of the Kenyan chapter of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th editions of the International Arbitration Review.
Aisha is part of an expert team that has drafted Anti-Money Laundering, Remittances and Mobile Money Bills for Somaliland and is the lead author of the Kenya chapter of the 2018 Chambers Anti-Corruption Global Practice Guide.
Aisha provides training and writes and speaks on a wide range of contentious issues, including international arbitration, corruption, economic crime and pro bono work. Aisha is rated and recognised by both Chambers Global and Legal 500 for her work.
Membership in Professional Societies
- Member of the MARC Court of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Law Society of Kenya and member of the various sub-committees
- Law Society of England and Wales
- Member of the African Arbitration Association
2004: Admission as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales
2000: Admission as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
1998: Master of Laws (LLM), King’s College London, University of London: Comparative Competition Law, Comparative Law of Trusts, Islamic Law of Succession and International Law of the Sea
1997: Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons), University of Bristol
JAN 2016 TO DATE: Head of Litigation, Anjarwalla & Khanna, Nairobi
JAN 2013 – DEC 2015: Partner and joint head of Litigation, Anjarwalla & Khanna, Nairobi
AUG 2012 – DEC 2012: Senior Principal Associate, Anjarwalla & Khanna, Nairobi
JAN 2008 – MAR 2012: Associate, Real Estate Litigation, Shoosmiths, Milton Keynes, England
SEP 2002 – DEC 2007: Solicitor Dispute Resolution, Hewitsons, Northampton, England
SEP 1999 – JUL 2000: Advocate, Mohamed Madhani & Co., Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya
JAN 1999 – AUG 1999: Trainee Advocate, Kilonzo & Co., Advocates, Nairobi Kenya
SEP 1998 – DEC 1998: Trainee Advocate, Veljee & Devshi & Bakrania Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya
Awards and Accolades
- Aisha is ranked by Chambers Global in 2020, 2019 and 2018 and is highly appreciated by clients. Sources praise her skills in client handling, and highlight her “excellent judgement.” – Chambers Global 2020. Previously, clients described her as ‘everything you’d want in a cross-border partner’.
- Aisha has been recognised in the Dispute Resolution and Employment categories by Legal 500, 2020
- Client feedback to Chambers Global in 2018, about Aisha included that she was “‘outstanding and compassionate’; ‘professional, detailed and a great coordinator and leader’; ‘she has a good conceptual sense of where we need to go’; ‘she’s also mindful of strategies involved in US law’; and ‘she’s very good to work with’.”
- Aisha is highly regarded by Legal 500 (2017) and described as ‘very knowledgeable’.
- Recipient of Above & Beyond award for training delivery, Shoosmiths (2011)
- Volunteer Mentor for the Association of Women Solicitors, England
- Corporate Social Responsibility Local Champion, Shoosmiths (2011-2012)
- Best Commercial law paper, Kenya School of Law (2000)
- Best Overseas Law Student, Faculty Award, University of Bristol (1994-1995)
- Vanoil Energy v Government of Kenya – Acting as local counsel for Vanoil in an international arbitration challenging the validity of the termination by the Kenya Government of Production Sharing Contracts for blocks 3A and 3B in Garissa County valued at USD 150Million.
- Acting for Lake Turkana Wind Power in defending a class action claim on behalf of the residents of Laisamis constituency to prevent the construction of a € 594 million, 300MW wind power farm in Marsabit County, Kenya, which is a flagship project of the national government designed to increase electricity capacity by 17%. Also opposing an injunction application and obtaining a status quo order allowing the client to proceed with its project subject to an agreed footprint.
- Acting for Africa Oil Corp and group companies in high profile litigation involving Production Sharing Contracts for oil exploration in Turkana. The grant of the PSC’s is being challenged via judicial review proceedings by a local company, Interstate Petroleum, and one of its shareholders, Edwards Onyancha. The first judicial review proceedings filed in 2010 by Interstate was dismissed with costs by the High Court and an appeal struck out by the Court of Appeal on our application. Interstate has sought and was denied leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. There is also a second set of judicial review proceedings filed by the individual shareholders of Interstate on the same subject matter. There are numerous interim applications and pending appeals in relation to this dispute, which is ongoing.
- Acting for large multinational in connection with anti-bribery allegations, including advising on Kenyan anti-bribery law, liability of companies and their officers, extra-territoriality issues, and the scope and extent of regulators’ powers of investigation.
- Advising a Kenyan company implicated in bribery allegations in connection with a forensic external audit conducted by an international supplier in relation to the allegations.
- Successfully defending GC Retail, the developer of Garden City Retail Mall, a Vision 2030 Project, in relation to an interim relief application by Sinohydro Corporation under the Arbitration Act, 1995, to prevent payment of almost $6m under a performance bond issued by Equity Bank. Opposing the appeal against the High Court ruling and negotiating and concluding an out of Court settlement.
- Defending Kipeto Energy against an application for interim injunction against the development of a windfarm project in Kajiado brought by landowners and assisting with negotiations. Applying for stay pending arbitration of the dispute under the lease agreements.
- Successfully defending Giro Commercial Bank in connection with a class action unfair redundancy claim and interim injunction aimed at preventing a proposed sale to I&M Bank.
- Acting for Geyser International, a member of the Global Tea Group, in a 2015 claim against Kenya Railways Corporation, the National Land Commission and China Road & Bridge Corporation Kenya for trespass to land and obtaining an ex parte interim injunction against encroachment in relation to the Standard Gauge Railway, a Vision 2030 Project. We have also filed contempt proceedings and the matter is ongoing.
- Pursuing a Constitutional challenge at the High Court on behalf of Cycads Properties against the proposed demolition by Ministry of Roads of part of a Runda residential development worth in excess of KES 600 million for alleged encroachment on road reserve for the Northern Bypass. Following dismissal of the petition, advising on the merits of a proposed appeal to the Court of Appeal. Obtaining a stay of judgment at the Court of Appeal, following a contested application.
- Advising the Capital Markets Authority in an out of Court settlement as between shareholders at listed company, CMC Holdings, in relation to high profile litigation involving fraud and breach of directors’ duties at the High Court and Court of Appeal. Attending a settlement meeting and finalising a consent order in the various cases.
- Acting for California based AeroCentury Corporation in a disputed oral agreement for lease renewal of an aircraft against DAC Aviation. Opposed an ex parte interim injunction preventing the return of the aircraft. Negotiating and finalizing a settlement agreement to sell the aircraft for USD 4 million.
- Acting for foreign investors in civil fraud proceedings involving disputed transfers of shares and change of directors at the Companies registry. Filing High Court proceedings and obtaining an ex parte interim injunction to secure the company’s main asset being an office block valued at KES 1.1 billion. Appealing against the refusal to uphold the injunction at an inter partes hearing. Appealing and obtaining an interim injunction at the Court of Appeal following a contested hearing. Negotiating a global settlement and pursuing the cooperation of interested third parties to dispose of the proceedings. Filing fresh proceedings challenging the appointment of a receiver manager by the bank.
- Advising and defending British citizen, Wendy Martin, against an appeal to the Court of Appeal by Lewa Conservancy and others against a record award of damages for personal injury by the High Court as a result of an elephant trampling incident reported widely in the British press. The case concerns occupier’s liability and was settled out of Court.
England & Wales
- Wilkinson v Kerdene (2013) EWCA Civ 44 – Appeal on a point of law. Whether the principle of benefit/burden in Halsall v Brizellcan be applied to allow recovery by against a non-contracting party of a fixed sum service charge covering a variety of rights and services where the recipient has elected to exercise some but not all of the rights. It was common ground that the sum could not be apportioned. The exercise of the rights did not have to be expressly conditional on payment. The sum was recoverable as the payment covenant was intended to secure the subsistence of those rights by, in a substantial part, providing for maintenance of common roads and services. The covenant by the original developer to maintain also did not prevent recovery.
- Giles v Rhind (2008) EWCA Civ 118 – Appeal on a point of law. The appeal concerned the meaning of the phrase “breach of duty” under section 32 of the Limitation Act 1980 as it relates to section 423 Insolvency Act 1986. We acted for the appellant under a conditional fee agreement and I drafted a bespoke agreement.>
- Re Skupinksi (2005) RVR 269 (Lands Tr) – Acting for an objector at the Lands Tribunal. The successor in title to the covenantor applied under s 84 LPA 1925 to vary or discharge a restrictive covenant and to assess the compensation payable. This was a decision by the President of the Tribunal modifying the covenant to allow the development and refusing to award any compensation.
- Obtained injunctive and declaratory orders for a waterways authority to remove a trespassing boat and successfully defending a counterclaim for breach of human rights.
- Pursued claim by a commercial tenant for rectification of a lease on the basis of common mistake in relation to disputed rent review provisions where the sum involved was over $1.5m.
- Advised a local authority on its potential liability in negligence, contract and under health and safety regulations when asbestos was discovered at a public swimming pool under commercial lease.
- Pursued claims under directors’ personal guarantees securing a debt of £160,000; obtained summary judgment and negotiated settlement.
- Defended a claim for compensation of £200,000 under the Commercial Agency Regulations and negotiated settlement.
- Acted for a computer software manufacture in its dispute against a customer for breach of software licences and recovery of licence fees. Pursued winding- up in relation to a disputed debt of £117,500 with a cross- claim valued at £500,000; conducted the advocacy at the contested trial and obtained a winding-up order.
- Advised a liquidator on a claim by the EC to monies purportedly comprising a special purpose trust, obtained counsel’s opinion on the merits and negotiated settlement.
- Obtained a section 313 charge against an uncooperative bankrupt pursuant to transitional provisions in the Enterprise Act 2002.