A&K is generally considered the leading corporate law firm in Kenya, and is one of the largest full-service corporate law firms in Africa with close to one hundred lawyers. A&K has won African Law Firm of the Year four times in the last five years, and was recently named Kenyan Law Firm of the Year by leading global directory Chambers & Partners.
A&K operates Africa-wide, handling deals in several countries across the continent, both in its own capacity and through its membership in ALN, an alliance of independent top-tier law firms in sixteen countries across Africa. A&K works closely with its affiliate offices in Tanzania and the UAE.
Legal Alert | Investing in Virtual Currencies in Kenya: A Legal Perspective
According to a Citibank report, Kenya is estimated to hold more than KES 163 billion (approx. USD 1.62 billion) worth of Bitcoin, which is approximately 2.3% of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP). With only 4 countries having a higher Bitcoin to GDP ratio than Kenya, this is an indication of Kenyans’ thirst for the cryptocurrency.
Although trading in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has not been made illegal, regulators such as the Central Bank of Kenya have publicly announced their skepticism and warned the public against investing in virtual currencies.
In the article ‘Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from a Kenyan legal perspective’, we examine what cryptocurrencies are and how they work, how cryptocurrencies have been treated from a Kenyan legal perspective compared to other jurisdictions, and some of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
Legal Alert | Holding of a Foreign Bank Account and Succession Issues
High net worth individuals commonly hold bank accounts in different jurisdictions like Singapore, England, Dubai and Switzerland. These accounts form part of an individual’s estate when it comes to dealing with inheritance matters and there are legal issues that need to be carefully considered when dealing with succession planning.
First, it is necessary to consider the jurisdiction in which the bank account is booked. Having a relationship with a bank in Dubai does not necessarily mean the account will be booked in Dubai.
Second, consideration needs to be given to the domicile of the account holder. “Domicile” as a legal concept should be distinguished from “residence” (tax or otherwise). The ability of an account holder to dispose the monies in his bank account as he wishes will to a large degree depend on the inheritance laws applicable in the country of his domicile.
If the law in the country of his domicile provides for a “forced heirship” concept of inheritance (a good practical example of this is Sharia’h inheritance principles which apply by law in many Muslim countries) then the ability of the account holder to dispose the monies in the bank account freely will be restricted. The courts in the country in which the account is booked will apply the law as applicable in the country of the account holder’s domicile. It should be noted therefore that simply making a will in the country in which the account is booked is not sufficient. The account holder should obtain appropriate legal advice in relation to all foreign bank accounts so as to ensure that his wishes in terms of disposal of his assets are given full effect and his intended beneficiaries are not disappointed.
Please click here to read the full article on the key issues to consider while planning your estate matters.
Should you have any queries or need any clarifications with respect to this alert, please do not hesitate to contact Atiq Anjarwalla or Mona Doshi.
A&K Wins Chambers & Partners’ Law Firm of the Year Award for Kenya
We are honoured to have won this year’s Chambers & Partners’ Law Firm of the Year Award for Kenya. Winning this award is a reflection of the hard work and determination of all our lawyers and business support teams and of our commitment to delivering excellent client service across the region.
Legal Alert | New Dawn for the Income Tax Bill, 2018
The long awaited Income Tax Bill, 2018 has been released for public participation. The Bill proposes to overhaul the Income Tax Act, (CAP.470) (the ITA) and makes significant changes to the current regime.
The National Treasury has indicated that it is in the process of reviewing the ITA with the aim of simplifying compliance and aligning it to international best practice within the Kenyan business context. The National Treasury has also indicated that the review of the ITA is in line with the Government’s Big Four Agenda to enhance the growth of the economy.
The National Treasury has welcomed contributions from stakeholders and members of the public on or before 24 May 2018.
The Bill is still under review and will no doubt be amended in the coming weeks and months following the public participation and parliamentary processes.
Click here to read a more comprehensive overview of the key highlights of the 2018 Income Tax Bill.
The draft Income Tax Bill can also be accessed here.
Should you have any queries or need any clarifications with respect to the above, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel Ngumy.