Monday, September 14, 2020

Leading African law firm Bowmans has made a substantial investment in its tax dispute resolution capacity in East Africa by expanding its Tax Practice in Nairobi.

Partner, Andrew Oduor, together with associates, Nelly Chepkoech and Maurice Manani, joined the firm on 1 September 2020, adding further depth to the firm’s tax service offering, especially in the area of tax dispute resolution.

Announcing the appointments, Bowmans’ chairman and senior partner, Robert Legh, said the growth of the firm’s Tax Practice in the region was in the interests of its clients, many of whom are facing escalating challenges from a tax perspective.

‘Tax disputes are on the rise in Kenya, reflecting the growing complexity of the country’s tax laws and intensifying pressure on the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to collect more taxes. This has heightened the need for highly specialised tax dispute resolution services, and we have responded accordingly,’ Legh said.

Oduor is one of a small number of professionals in the region who has high-level legal and tax expertise. He is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and has 15 years of tax experience, including working in audit firms, negotiating with the KRA and representing clients at the Tax Appeals Tribunal, the High Court of Kenya, the Court of Appeal and other dispute resolution bodies.

Before joining Bowmans, Oduor was a partner at Andrew & Steve Advocates. Prior to that, he headed the Tax Department at Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews. This followed 10 years’ with the Kenyan practices of two international auditing firms – Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

His expertise encompasses income tax, corporation tax, withholding tax, payroll taxes, VAT, customs, and excise duties among others. He has worked in key sectors such as energy, oil and gas, banking, insurance, ICT, manufacturing, agriculture and fast-moving consumer goods and has advised on the structuring of transactions including mergers and acquisitions.

Oduor wrote the Kenyan chapter of Thompson Reuters’ Practical Law Guide on tax litigation, a global guide on the tax dispute resolution regime in multiple countries.

In recognition of his contribution in the field of tax law in Kenya, was Oduor named among the Top 40 under 40 Men in Kenya by the Business Daily in 2017.

Oduor, Chepkoech and Manani will join Bowmans’ existing Tax Practice headed by Alex Mathini (partner), with Nikhil Hira (director), Denis Magonga (senior associate) and a number of associates.

With Oduor and the two new associates taking responsibility for tax dispute resolution matters, the other members of the practice will focus their energies on tax advisory and tax due diligence services, both of which are also priorities for many corporate and multinational clients.

The expanded Kenyan tax team is expected to work closely with the Bowmans tax practices across Africa, particularly Ronald Kalema who was recently appointed to head the firm’s Tax Practice in Uganda, to offer specialist cross-border tax services to clients across the firm.

‘We are delighted that Andrew and his team have chosen Bowmans as their new home and are confident that they will enhance the tax service that we offer our clients across our geographical footprint,’ said Legh.