Allen Gichuhi is a Senior Partner at Wamae & Allen and a former President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). [Photo/ Wamae & Allen]

Former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Allen Gichuhi rejected his appointment by Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina as the new Chairperson of the Kenya Industrial  Property Tribunal.

Featured in the Kenya Gazette Notice No. 10714, the appointment was for a period of three years with effect from October 6, 2021. It was revoked barely a month later in the Kenya Gazette Notice published on Friday, October 29, 2021, as was that of Ambrose Weda who had been named to chair the Competition tribunal.

Media reports from platforms including Kenyans.co.ke and Opera News following the October 29 notice inaccurately indicated that President Uhuru Kenyatta had sacked Gichuhi barely a month after his appointment.

Gichuhi, who is also a Senior Partner at the law firm Wamae & Allen, actually declined the appointment and highlighted various discrepancies in his supposed recruitment prior to the publication of the gazette notice revoking his appointment.

In a letter dated 12 October 2021 seen by Business Today sent to the Cabinet Secretary, Gichuhi noted that he was never consulted about his availability and willingness to take up the position.

He further noted that the current chair of the Industrial Property Tribunal was still in office with his term to expire in July 2022.

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“I am not aware of any open, fair and competitive recruitment process leading to my appointment.

“I am the Senior Partner in a busy law firm and having consulted with my partners, I regret that such an appointment would cause a conflict of interest in matters that my firm handles for various clients that may give rise to a dispute before the Industrial Property Tribunal. In addition, my heavy workload in the firm, arbitral practice, my current pursuit of my further studies and various other personal commitments will not allow me to take up the role of Chairperson,” the letter read in part.

It was stamped received by the office of the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary.

The Industrial Property Tribunal was established in 1989 under the Industrial Property Act (Cap 509) of the Laws of Kenya which was later repealed and replaced by the Industrial Property Act, 2001.

The Tribunal is a court dealing with specialized areas of intellectual property recognized by the Constitution. It is a subordinate court as provided in the Constitution.

It is intended to provide an appropriate and specialized dispute adjudication mechanism for industrial property rights such as patents, industrial designs, utility models and tech innovations.

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