Desmond Odhiambo

Desmond Odhiambo


Desmond Odhiambo is a Partner in our Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Trusts & Estates practice areas, as well as in our Business Rescue, Restructuring & Insolvency sector. 

He has extensive litigation experience as lead counsel in all the higher Kenyan courts as well as quasi judicial bodies such as the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board and the Kenya Industrial Property Institute. He is a qualified mediator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb).

t +254 710 712 379

Desmond started as a Trainee Lawyer at a firm in Kenya and was later appointed as an Associate. He subsequently joined another firm where he remained as a Partner in the Dispute Resolution practice until October 2017. Desmond joined Kieti in 2017.

  • Advising a large retail supermarket chain on a debt restructuring plan that culminated in a Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) with hundreds of creditors.
  • Advising a leading food services franchisee on an appropriate business rescue mechanism under the Insolvency Act 2015. 
  • Successfully restraining the government from demolishing an estate of luxurious apartments along the coastal line of Mombasa worth KES 2 Billion.
  • Successfully defending a mortgage finance company in a claim for an alleged breach of undertaking worth KES 200 Million.
  • Successfully defending a commercial bank against a claim for shares worth KES 120 Million under an Employee Share Ownership Scheme (ESOP).
  • Successfully defending an international charitable organisation in a construction dispute worth KES 78 Million.
  • Acting for an estate worth KES 15 Billion in a landmark succession case at the Court of Appeal on whether estoppel can override statutory provisions on inheritance.
  • Advising various USAID funded projects on employment regulations, redundancies and drafting employment agreements.
  • Undertaking a wide range of commercial litigation in relation to guarantees, judicial review of government actions, winding up of companies and enforcement of securities.


  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2022 recommended Desmond for dispute resolution.
  • Desmond was listed in the Legal 500 Private Practice Arbitration Powerlist: Africa 2023.


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law, Kenya School of Law & Kenyan Bar Admission
  • LLB, Bachelor of Laws, University of Leeds, England


  • Law Society of Kenya
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
Performance management and performance improvement plans in the employment context
12 September 2022 Employment Law

Performance management and performance improvement plans in the employment context

Managing employee performance and creating an effective performance improvement plan (PIP) are active responsibilities that employers often underestimate. Employers must establish clear performance standards and build an employee's capacity to perform, in a manner that is reasonable, measurable, verifiable and achievable. The law further requires employers to structure a PIP to address a perceived employment failure, as opposed to using it to terminate an employment contract. Join Desmond Odhiambo and Tyler Hawi Ayah as they delve into these issues and discuss practical methods of managing performance and creating an effective PIP.

Njeri Wagacha talks to Vinodh Brathrie and Desmond Odhiambo
3 June 2021

Njeri Wagacha talks to Vinodh Brathrie and Desmond Odhiambo

On this month’s podcast Njeri Wagacha talks to Vinodh Brathrie Head of Employee Relations for Africa Standard Bank and fellow Partner, Desmond Odhiambo, Partner in the Dispute Resolution practice, CDH Kenya on Return to Work Policies, as the Continent emerges from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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