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Portrait of Collette Akwana

Collette Akwana

Associate
Lawyer

CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates
Sea View Plaza
Mama Ngina Drive
80100 Mombasa
Kenya
Languages English

Collette is a Senior Associate in the firm’s dispute resolution department. She was admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 2010. Her practice includes domestic and regional representation of parties before different courts, tribunals and other forums.
 Collette has handled a blend of complex civil and commercial disputes in capital markets, banking, employment, trade, land and environment, defamation, immigration and insurance law. Currently, she advises on employment issues ranging from matters of sexual harassment, equal pay, mutual separation, outsourcing, collective bargaining, disciplinary hearings, non-competes, work-place conflict management, employment fraud, work permits, employee data protection policies as well as regularly conducting trainings that keep clients in the know of the developments of employment law and labour relations best practices.
Collette is a certified professional mediator, accredited by the Kenyan judiciary. She also features as a panelist on employment law seminars and webinars organized by the Kenyan judiciary as well as other official online platforms. Additionally she has contributed to content for feature stories by various leading media houses on matters of employment law and was a weekly columnist with Kenya’s Business Daily Newspaper focusing on current trends of employment law.

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Relevant experience

  • Successfully setting up and incorporating BBROOD in Kenya; a Dutch based pastry company with over 30 branches worldwide. This involved conducting due diligence and carrying out a comprehensive legal audit on incorporation of a foreign company under the Companies Act, 2015, obtaining relevant licenses and license agreements, reviewing and registration of business premises leases, tax advisory on compliance with tax laws, drafting different types of employment contracts, supply agreements and obtaining relevant work permits.
  • Acted on behalf of the Capital Markets Authority in Kenya in proceedings before the Authority’s Tribunal in enforcement of its regulations under the Capital Markets Act with primary focus on financial penalties against non-compliant listed companies and defending the Authority against appeals from actions and decisions carried out and made against aggrieved listed companies.
  • Acting for one of Kenya’s leading media houses which had been sued by a Retired Chief Justice for an article in its Daily Nation which the Judge had perceived as defamatory. The suit which was filed in the superior Court found the media house liable to pay Kshs. 20,000,000.00 to the Judge. The media house filed an Appeal on the quantum of damages after which the Court of Appeal reduced the same to Kshs.10 Million.
  • Successfully quashed the orders of the Director of Immigration Services, in which he had unilaterally revoked the client’s permanent residency while ordering for a deportation. The client was an Italian national who legally entered Kenya and settled in the early 90’s and heavily invested in the Kenyan Coast.
  • Successfully acted for the Kenya Airlines Pilots Association (KALPA) against the national carrier, Kenya Airways, in matter where the employer was acting in contravention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The client’s members were being subjected to unfair labour practices with threats of summary dismissals and non-payment of terminal dues. The Union obtained orders against the employer and were protected from arbitrary mass termination.
  • Acted for the employees of a leading telecommunications company in Kenya who involved in contentious discussions with the employer on overtime pay and guidelines. The employees had been subjected to extended overtime hours which was in excess of the legal limit provided for by the law. The nature of their work however was one that supported business operations between the employer and other leading industries hence were very essential. We negotiated an overtime matrix which managed the employees overall working hours and rewarded the same accordingly. This matrix is still in use from 2016.
  • Successfully mediated a claim of Kshs. 50 Million as a court annexed mediator in which the Plaintiff sued the Defendant for improper handling of a medical equipment which was procured by the city county government of Nairobi to serve patients in Kenya’s leading referral hospital. After numerous mediation sessions, the parties filed a consent in Court on marking the matter as settled upon apportionment of liability and completion of the agreed payment plan.
  • Acting for Soroya Investments Limited, a leading investment company in East Africa, in conducting a legal audit of its then existing employment contracts and policies. This involved negotiating terms of and drafting new employment contracts with the employees, drafting employee policy handbook and training top management on the procedures for lawful termination and summary dismissals.
  • Successfully representing a major outsourcing company in an Appeal filed in the Court of Appeal, in which the Judge of the Employment and Labour Relations Court had found the case against our client for unfair termination of over 40 employees, represented by a Trade Union. The Court of Appeal set aside that judgment in favour of our client.
  • Successfully represented employees of a major recruiting company in a suit against the employer for unlawful termination on grounds that due process was not followed when declaring the employees redundant. The employees also sued for damages for discrimination on the basis of ethnicity. The superior Court found in favour of the employees, which decision was appealed against by the employer but which was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal.
  • Successfully mediating a dispute in which a leading international school intended to take action against an employee for absenteeism from duty during the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a full day’s mediation session, the parties negotiated a mutual separation agreement.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Law Society of Kenya
  • East African Law Society
  • Chartered Institute of Mediators and Conciliators
  • FIDA Kenya
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Education

  • January 2008-June 2009: Post Graduate Diploma in Law
  • December 2007: LLB ( 2nd Class Honours, Upper Division) University of Nairobi
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Expertise

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30 March 2021
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