Ken Melly is an Associate in the Dispute Resolution practice at IKM.  He graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Master of Law (LLM) in Dispute Resolution (with distinction). He has been involved in diverse litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes in the fields of commercial and contract disputes, constitutional and administrative law, election petitions, employment and labour relations, insurance, banking and regulatory compliance.

Prior to his admission as an Advocate, Ken attended and passed the Entry Course in Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution offered by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb - Kenya) and also completed Section 6 of the Certified Public Secretary (CPS) course. He has since attended further training and obtained practical experience both within and outside of Kenya.

Ken is part of a dynamic team that represents a wide range of local and multinational clients and is frequently called upon to advise various clients on legal exposure, dispute resolution options and strategy. He is highly regarded by peers in the Dispute Resolution space.


Education and Training

  • University of Cape Town, Master of Law (LLM) - Dispute Resolution (with distinction) (2015)
  • Placement for practical experience at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Attorneys, Cape Town (October –December 2014)
  • DLA Piper Foundation Academy Training, Dubai (2013)
  • Pupillage placement and holding over, IKM, Nairobi (January - October 2012)
  • Kenya School of Law (Advocates Training Programme), Postgraduate Diploma in Law (2011)
  • Moi University, Bachelor of Law (LLB) (Hons) (2010)

Professional Qualifications and Membership

  • Law Society of Kenya
  • The Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG), a registered membership group under the auspices of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), registered as a member of ‘Young ICCA’
  • The International Chamber of Commerce, Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC-YAF)
  • Admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya (2012)

Key experience

  • Acted for a multinational company in a claim involving unfair and unsubstantiated comparative advertising by a competitor in the market. This was a novel matter before the High Court touching on competition law, comparative advertising, brand disparagement and consumer protection. The value of the claim was in excess of €1,85 million.
  • Represented a client in a case against a leading multinational airline in a matter arising from a breach of various obligations in the context of contracts for carriage by air. The case is ongoing.
  • Assisted in proceedings for the enforcement of an arbitration Award in respect of a claim by an oil company that sought to recover damages in the sum of US$14 million against a supplier of petroleum products. The court recognised the Award and directed that the same be enforced as a decree of the court.
  • Assisted the team appointed to represent the Government of Kenya in Investment Arbitration proceedings filed by a mining company in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
  • Assisted in the defence of a client in an arbitration dispute whereby the Claimant was pursuing compensation in excess of Kshs.600 million following the revocation of development approvals based on aviation safety considerations.
  • Acted as Counsel for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in several election disputes filed in various courts following Kenya’s 2013 General Elections. The briefs included defending the electoral body in petitions challenging the elections for Governor, County Women Representative, Member of National Assembly seats as well as the positions of County Assembly Representatives.
  • Represented the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in several constitutional claims arising from the nomination and gazettement of representatives of special interest groups, including the Marginalised Communities and Gender top-up categories.
  • Formed part of the defence team in Judicial Review proceedings filed by a political activist who sought to challenge the report of the Presidential Taskforce on State Corporations. The High Court agreed with the preliminary issues raised and dismissed the matter with costs.
  • Assisted a high profile legal team acting for a leading Kenyan bank in a matter where a Chargor challenged the bank’s right to appoint receivers over the Chargor’s company as well as the bank’s rights to exercise its statutory power of sale in a bid to recover a debt in excess of Kshs.643 million.
  • Represented various companies in employment and labour relations disputes instituted against them. The briefs involved defending of the respective organisations in the Employment and Labour Relations Court, and where appropriate, negotiating out-of-court settlements on behalf of the clients.
  • Rendered advisory opinions on various aspects of the Employment and Labour Relations legal framework, dispute resolution options and strategy in prosecuting or defending employment claims.
  • Formed part of the team that represented a leading telecommunications company in proceedings both in the High Court and in the Industrial Property Tribunal arising from alleged infringement and commercial use of industrial designs.
  • Assisted in the successful defence of a leading bank in a copyright infringement case filed in the High Court by a performing artiste.
  • Acted for several leading insurance companies in Kenya in respect of a range of claims, including the defence of industrial accidents, road traffic accident claims, material damage claims and outlay recovery. The scope of work included representing various clients in court as well as advising on and negotiating possible out-of-court settlements in appropriate cases.

Experience record

  • 2008

    Legal Assistant – Kibichiy & Company Advocates

  • 2012

    Associate – IKM

Languages spoken

  • 100
English - Excellent
  • 80
Kiswahili - Good