What You Need to Know About Industrial Design in Kenya 

An industrial design is any composition of lines or colours or any three dimensional form that gives a special appearance to a product of industry or handicraft and can serve as pattern for a product of industry or handicraft. An industrial design registered in Kenya is effective only in Kenya.

The Concept of Utility Models in Kenya

A utility model is a patent-like intellectual property right to protect inventions. Although a utility model is similar to a patent, it is generally cheaper to obtain and maintain, has a shorter term, shorter grant lag, and less stringent patentability requirements.

Requirements for Registration of Trademarks in Kenya 

A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. Registering a trademark confers exclusive ownership and safeguards the owner from infringement. These are the requirements for registration of a trademark in Kenya.

Is the Time Ripe for Enhancement of Legal Rights of Drivers Working for Ride-hailing Apps?

The dispute as to whether drivers working for ride-hailing apps are employees or independent contractors is not one merely of law, but one of law and fact. Is the time ripe for enhancement of the legal rights of these drivers?

Disputing Erroneous Information Appearing on Your Credit Report at CRB

Given that a credit report affects many parts of one’s life, it is important to review the information carried on it regularly to ensure it is free from incorrect information including misspelling of one’s name. Inaccuracies to a credit report should be reported or disputed with the CRB immediately one notices them.

Important Considerations When Entering into a Joint Venture

A joint venture is a contractual business undertaking between two parties or more where the parties pool, exchange and/or integrate their resources with a view to realizing profit and mutual gain. These are the important factors to be considered before entering into a joint venture in order to minimize the risk of things going awry.

Common Uses and Financing of Companies Limited by Guarantee

A company limited by guarantee is a company that does not have a share capital. The liability of its members is limited by the company’s articles of association to the amount that the members undertake, by those articles, to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of liquidation of the Company.

Methods by Which Protection Can be Accorded to Minority Shareholders in a Company

Minority shareholding in a company may take a variety of forms. In order to safeguard the interests of minority shareholders certain provisions can be included in the Articles of Association of the Company or in a Shareholders’ agreements.

Legal Safeguards Availed to a Tax Payer Where KRA Oversteps its Powers in Demanding Disputed Taxes

A tax payer can obtain orders allowing it to continue with its business where KRA hinders such business by demanding payment of a disputed tax demand in spite of existence of tax refunds capable of off-setting the disputed tax.

Three Instances When the Court May Order Specific Performance

A breach of contract occurs when a party to the contract fails to perform their obligations under the contract. Often, the offended party will rush to have the offending party pay monetary compensation, which often ends in litigation. One of the ways of enforcing a contract that can be applied by the court is Specific Performance.

Courts Now Allow Companies to Hold Virtual General Meetings

The High Court has ruled that any company which finds it impracticable to conduct its general meetings in the manner required under its Articles of Association and the Companies Act 2015 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may convene the general meeting by use of virtual/electronic technology.

How Different Are Children Courts from Normal Courts?

The establishment of separate children courts is meant to ensure that cases involving children are heard with the welfare of the child being the paramount consideration and that matters involving children are not mixed with other types of cases. So how are children courts different from normal courts?

Rights of an Employee Where Employer Unilaterally Changes Contractual Terms of Employment

In as much as some employers may be genuinely unable to meet contractual obligations due to employees on account of the pandemic or other difficult circumstance, there is need to consult with employees and thereafter communicate with them in writing before effecting fundamental changes to their contractual terms of employment.

5 Tips for Use When Resigning Due to Intolerable Working Conditions

An employee may resign in response to misconduct on the part of an employer that has made the employee’s working conditions so intolerable that he is compelled to leave. Where the employee considers making a claim for constructive dismissal these five tips should guide his writing of a resignation letter.

Handling Employment Contracts Adversely Affected by the Outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Given the duration of the restrictions imposed by the government, many employers have found it difficult to generate revenue that is required to meet their business overheads including salaries. Employers have handled this challenging environment in varied ways.

Important Considerations When Changes are Made to an Employment Contract

An employer may propose revising the terms of an employment contract on account of adverse economic conditions affecting the employer from the effects of the corona virus pandemic. In such instances, these are the considerations to be made.

Pertinent Matters for Employers When Considering Redundancy Due to Economic Downturn

In times of economic downturn employers may opt for redundancy given that it is provided by statute as a fair reason for terminating employment in instances where a business needs fewer people carrying out work of the kind which several employees previously performed.

Managing the Adverse Effects of an Economic Downturn on Employee Remuneration

The economic downturn expected in the wake of the corona virus pandemic has forced businesses to employ a number of cost cutting measures in order to maintain operations. One of the measures that has been effected by many companies is reduction in employee remuneration.

Use of a Power of Attorney to Facilitate Business Continuity During Times of Travel Restrictions

In view of the current pandemic, a power of attorney can be used to formally delegate authority to handle transactions to persons that are physically present where business needs to be conducted hence managing the challenges arising from the prevailing travel restrictions.

Where Outbreak of COVID-19 frustrates the Performance of a Contract

A possible consequence of the outbreak of COVID-19 is that a party to a contract entered into prior to the outbreak may argue that the contract has been frustrated and that the party is discharged from further performance of obligations under the contract

Managing the Impact of COVID-19; Executing a Contract Virtually

Did you know that you may now enter into contractual relationships from the comfort of your home without the need to physically meet so as to sign contracts? Advanced electronic signatures are now recognized as a valid way to sign binding contracts between individuals just as handwritten signature.

Helpful Tips for Succession Planning

A good succession plan gives one a measure of control over matters of administration of his estate upon death. Without a proper succession plan in place, important decisions over ones estate are usually left up to a court determination with the attendant delays and costs.

Preparing a Partnership Agreement; 5 Key Matters We Forget to Include

When preparing a partnership deed or partnership agreement certain pertinent matters tend to be forgotten yet they are important for the sustainable operation of a partnership. Five such matters are as follows.

What Do I Do with a Company I Registered But No Longer Wish to Use?

If left unattended, statutory obligations relating to a company result in financial penalties to the directors of a dormant company which over time may rise to significant sums.

5 Tips for Entrepreneurs Seeking Financing for their Business Ideas

Sometimes entrepreneurs come up with promising business ideas but are constrained in moving their ideas into a viable business by unavailability of finances. Here are 5 matters an entrepreneur should consider before approaching an investor with an idea requiring business finance.

5 Mistakes Employers Make in the Course of Employment

Here are common mistakes employers make in the course of employment that will strongly influence an employee’s claims once the employee is terminated.

5 Important Aspects of Due Diligence to Perform Before Buying Land

Conducting an official search before purchasing property only shows the current legal owner of the property and may not bring out other pertinent information about it. Here are other measures a buyer needs to take when doing their due diligence on a property.

What You are Entitled to After Employment Termination

Do you know what you are entitled to after employment termination? An employee whose employment has been terminated other than by summary dismissal is entitled to these rights and benefits.

Legal Position Where You are Made to Quit Employment Due to Intolerable Working Conditions

Are you considering quitting employment due to intolerable working conditions? This is the legal position on cessation of employment brought about by an employer making the employee’s working conditions so intolerable that the employee feels compelled to leave.

Impact of COVID-19; Handling of Events That are Beyond the Control of Parties to a Contract

Some contracts include a ‘force majeure clause’ which provides that on the happening of a specified event that is beyond the control of the parties’ to the contract, either of the said parties has recourse to do the following.

The Place of Discharge Vouchers in Termination

Discharge vouchers or settlement agreements are used by employers to ensure that employees relinquish any claims they may have against the employer. The courts have held that once an employee signs a discharge voucher then he cannot claim against the employer.

Factors the Court Considers When Making an Order for Reasonable Provision

By making a will, the law allows a person to determine the distribution of his assets posthumously. However, this right is not absolute and the courts may intervene to provide for dependants who the writer of the will has not provide for. This is known as reasonable provision.

Your Legal Rights When Facing Redundancy

Do you know your legal rights when facing redundancy? These are the legal rights of an employee whose employment is terminated on account of redundancy.

Tips for Effective Recovery of Business Debts

First, make follow-up on sums owed by written correspondence so as to have ready record trail minimizing phone-calls which may not provide an easy record trail.

Commission of an Offence Outside Employment

Here are 5 matters an employer considers prior to terminating employment for commission of an offence by an employee outside work.

Legal Remedies Available to Landlords for Non-payment of Rent

The law provides these remedies to a landlord whose tenant is in breach of the terms of the lease relating to payment of rent.

Basic Rights of an Employee that is Summoned to a Disciplinary Hearing

An employee that is not accorded his basic rights may succeed in legal action against an employer who proceeds to terminate his employment following a  disciplinary hearing process.

Redundancy Procedure in Kenya

One of the statutory prerequisites for a redundancy procedure in Kenya is that the employer has to give written notification to the targeted employees at least one month before the commencement of the intended redundancy. There are other prerequisites for this process.

Steps to Take When an Employee Commits a Criminal Offence

The Employment Act allows an employer to summarily dismiss an employee if the employee is arrested for a cognizable offence punishable by imprisonment and is not released within 14 days. Where the offence is against the employer, the employer should take the following steps.

Types of Employment Contracts

An employment contract is an agreement whether oral or written, expressed or implied, to employ or to serve as an employee for a period of time. These are the types of employment contracts in Kenya.

Hidden Charges in Land Transactions

Often, parties to a land transaction focus on the purchase price and forget about other additional charges that may arise in the course of the transaction. These charges may seem negligible, but could sum up to a substantial amount.

Legal Aspects to Consider when Starting a Business

When starting a business, it is important to consider the legal aspects. This not only ensures that your business is legally compliant but also limits interruptions due to non-compliance. You may involve a lawyer who will advise you on the following aspects.

Starting the Process of Administration of the Estate of a Deceased Person in Kenya

It is prudent to administer the Estate of a deceased person within a reasonable time to avoid disputes that invariably arise when the process is delayed. The process starts as follows:

Compulsory Acquisition of Land in Kenya

Did you know that when your land is compulsorily acquired by the government you may be entitled to damages in addition to compensation for the market value of the land?

6 Tips to Employers Considering Summoning an Employee to a Disciplinary Hearing

The contents of the letter by which an employer summons an employee to a disciplinary hearing in instances of gross misconduct is an important first step in a disciplinary process. These 6 tips will help you draft the letter in a way that mitigates some of the risk arising from legal action.

Withdrawal of Notice of Resignation

Employment contracts have to come to an end, by either party terminating the contract. Resignation is usually done by issuing a notice to the employer in accordance with the contract of employment. This is what you need to know about withdrawal of a notice of resignation.

What is Life Interest by a Spouse?

Life interest refers to the legal interest of a surviving spouse in the net estate of the deceased spouse in the course of the surviving spouse’s lifetime. This is what the law provides on life interest.

Principles of a Reinstatement Order

A reinstatement order ensures that the employee is restored to the same position he held, or a substantially similar position, prior to termination of employment with full pay and other benefits. These are the principles applicable to a reinstatement order.

Withdrawal of an Employment Offer

Once a potential employee has been offered a job, an employer may choose to withdraw the offer for various reasons such as finding out that the prospective employee provided false information or lack of funds on the part of the employer. These are the key issues to keep in mind.

6 Essential Clauses in a Business Agreement

Business entities need agreements to ensure that providers of goods and services are legally bound. Having a written agreement ensures that there is a reference point. Every agreement should be tailored to suit the individual needs for each business.

Provision by Step Parents

Often parties enter into marriage with children from previous unions. While the relationship is working, the question of parental responsibility for such children hardly arises. However, issues of parental responsibility often arise when the relationship falls apart.

Use of Polygraph Tests in Fighting Corruption

If we wish to increase the credibility of polygraph tests, the tests should be taken voluntarily and even then, the subject should be allowed to be guided by his lawyer and measures put in place to ensure that the subject is not coerced into giving consent.

5 Factors to Consider before Suing for Breach of Contract

Instituting a civil suit as a result of breach of contract could seem like the best option when the party in breach of the contract is not willing to rectify the breach or perform their part of the contract. However, there are factors you need to consider before filing the suit.

What is an Unfair Labour Practice?

Every person has the right to fair labour practices. Where the court finds that during termination, the employer’s conduct amounted to an unfair labour practice, it follows that the termination was unfair and the employee is entitled to compensation.

5 Tips to Ease your Search for a Business Name

A business name is a valuable asset that helps customers identify you and your goods or services. Once you have settled on a name, it is advisable to conduct a search on its availability on the e-Citizen platform after which you can reserve the name.

Companies Limited by Guarantee

Are you engaged in a not for profit venture in Kenya and are uncertain over the type of entity to use? Why not register a company limited by guarantee which has the following features.

Extension of Parental Responsibility Beyond 18 Years

Legal parental responsibility ends once a person attains the age of 18 years. However, the law makes exceptions under which it may be extended.

Legal Guardianship in Kenya and how to Acquire it

Legal guardianship is acquired after the death or presumption of death of either one or both parents of the child. It can be acquired either by a deed or will made by a parent before his/her death or by a court order.

Why Should You Register Your Trademark?

A trademark is a form of intellectual property, where registration is proof of ownership. Unlike real property where it is easy to monitor and protect the owner’s interest, interest over intellectual property may be difficult to monitor. Registration is the surest was to avoid theft and interference.

Five Common Mistakes Employers Make During Termination

When terminating an employee’s services, it is important to consider the legal implications. These are five common mistakes that employers should avoid during termination in order to minimize the risk of litigation.

Tips for Avoiding Litigation for Startups

Litigation can be a long and expensive process. For a startup, it could stall the growth of your business and sometimes even lead to collapse of the business. Here are some tips to help you minimize litigation.

Writing a Will in Kenya

A will provides certainty to the surviving members of the deceased’s family, by distributing the property of the deceased according to his/her wishes. These are the legal requirements for a valid written will.

Reasons for Challenging a Will

When making a will, it is important to involve an attorney to guide you through the formalities. A will that does not conform to the law could be successfully challenged and revoked or have the invalid sections revoked.

How your Contract May Still Apply After you Leave Employment

Did you know that your employment contract may still apply after you leave employment? Such contracts are known as restrictive contracts and are meant to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests including trade secrets, goodwill and business connections.

Common Mistakes in Estate Administration

Administration of estates is usually done under court supervision by appointing a person duly qualified and legally appointed. The appointed administrator safeguards the interests of the beneficiaries of the estate. These are the common mistakes an administrator should avoid.

Drone Regulation: Can County Governments be Involved?

Kenya has incorporated drones into its civil aviation regulatory framework. The Regulations prohibit any person from operating a drone in Kenya without KCAA authority. But why is KCAA, a National Government regulator, the sole regulator of these low-flying devices?

The Divorce Process in Kenya

Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage that has subsisted for three or more years. The common grounds for dissolution of all forms of marriage are cruelty, adultery, desertion, exceptional depravity and the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, among others.

Five ways a parent may lose legal custody over their child

The best interest of the child is the paramount consideration when deciding the legal custody of the child. However, a parent who is ordinarily entitled to custody over a child could lose it under these circumstances.

Legal Questions on Fresh Vetting of Public Officers

The Kenyan President recently gave the directive for fresh vetting of public officers. Although the exercise is geared towards determining suitability to continue holding public office in public trust, and promote confidence in the public service, several legal questions arise from this directive.

Procedure for Extension and Renewal of Leases in Kenya

The extension and renewal of leases is governed by the Land (Extension and Renewal of Leases) Rules, 20l7 which provide for the manner and timelines in which a landowner is to be notified of impending expiration. A lessee can apply for extension at any time before expiry of a lease.

How a lawyer can help you when buying or selling property

It is essential to involve a lawyer of good standing when buying or selling property. This is to ensure that the sale agreement and transfer documents are well drafted to protect your interests. There are other roles that the lawyer will play in the transaction.

Maintenance of a child in Kenya

An order for maintenance is made when the court, orders a person to make payment for the child’s upkeep.  Here are some of the factors that the court considers in making maintenance orders.

The Distinction between an Employee and an Independent Contractor

With increasingly stringent Labour laws you need to consider instances when using an independent contractor trumps getting an employee.

Forms of Intellectual Property

Set yourself apart from the competition, register a trademark, patent or copyright in Kenya.

Is your toy licensed to fly in Kenya?

It appears that some toy drones, no matter their size or use squarely fall within the ambit of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). So, parents watch out! Before you allow your child to fly that quad-copter you bought on Amazon, check the specifications.

Remedies for Minority Shareholders

It is not always the case that majority shareholders have the final say in company decisions. A minority shareholder can challenge the actions of majority shareholders that are not made in the best interest of the company.

Registration of Security Rights in Movable Property

Did you know that you can now create a security over movable property from the comfort of your computer using your e-citizen account? The Movable Property Security Rights Act enacted in May 2017 which is aimed at improving access to finance now enables this.

What you need to know about Employment of Persons with Disabilities

Persons with Disabilities Act makes provision for employment of persons with disabilities and prohibits anyone from denying a person with a disability access to opportunities for suitable employment. This is what you need to know about employment of persons with disabilities.

Remedies for Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement includes doing an act protected by the copyright, making or importing a copy of the copyrighted work and circumventing measures meant to protect the copyrighted work, without a license from the copyright owner. These are the remedies available to a copyright owner.

Duties of a Personal Representative in Estate Administration

A personal representative is the person charged with dealing with the property of a deceased person. He can be appointed either by the deceased in his will or by the court upon application for a grant of administration where the deceased died without a will.

Offences Under the Employment Act

Section 4 of the Employment Act prohibits the use of forced labour and makes it an offence for anyone to use or assist another person in recruiting, trafficking or using forced labour. Other offences are as stated here.

How to Enforce your Trademark in Kenya

The two ways of enforcing a trade mark is by an action in passing off (taken against a person who violates trademark rights in relation to an unregistered trademark) or an action against infringement (taken against a person who violates trademark rights in relation to a registered trademark).

Requirements and Process of Adoption in Kenya

Under The Children Act No. 8 of 2001, any child who is resident within Kenya is eligible for adoption, whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen, and whether it was born in Kenya or not. The child has to be at least six weeks old and has to be declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society.

What Amounts to Discrimination in Employment?

Discrimination of any form is prohibited under the Constitution, ILO conventions and the Employment Act which requires an employer to promote equal opportunity in employment and strive to eliminate discrimination in any employment policy or practice.