Deloitte partners lock horns

The High Court has ordered the arrest of Mombasa County executive committee member for finance and the chief officer of finance.

Photo credit: File | pool

The Court of Appeal has suspended the hearing of a partnership dispute involving the local arm of the British audit firm Deloitte & Touche LLP, pending the determination on whether the matter should be referred to arbitration.

The court suspended the hearing of the matter pending at the High Court after eight partners alleged that Justice Nixon Sifuna erred by extending interim orders obtained by Amaha Bekele Admassie when his partnership with the firm had ceased.

The partners further faulted the High Court judge for refusing to refer the matter to an arbitrator.

“We find that if the matter at the High Court proceeds when the applicants have invoked an arbitration agreement in terms of Section 6 of the Arbitration Act, the appeal would be rendered nugatory as the parties would be robbed of the opportunity to resolve their dispute in an agreed way,” Justices Sankale ole Kantai, Francis Tuiyott and Mwaniki Gachoka ruled.

Mr Admassie obtained orders in May blocking his co-partners at Deloitte East Africa — Ann Muraya, Graeme Berry, Gladys Makumi, Doreen Mbogho, Arifa Sheikh, Fred Okwiri, Charles Luo and Bernadette Wahogo— from expelling him from the partnership.

Mr Admassie also sought orders allowing him full access to the workplace as an equity partner.

But the eight partners submitted that the court forced them to contend with a relationship that has irretrievably broken down.

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