Court Dismisses Kenyan Firm’s Petition Seeking Sh150 Million in Damages from Nokia

The court has rejected a petition by a Kenyan firm seeking payment from Finnish tech firm, Nokia. TechnoService had applied  for the Sh150 million compensation for alleged breach of contract. According to the Kenyan firm, Nokia sold its business to Microsoft Corporation in 2014 while still in partnership with them.

Justice Chacha Mwita rejected the application, saying the two firms were last year referred to arbitration to arbitration, and as such, the courts could not interfere with proceedings.

“In the circumstances, granting leave to appeal will delay the resolution of the dispute which parties had committed to avoid when they opted for arbitration,” the Judge said.

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Technoservice took Nokia to court in 2020 accusing the multination of breaching a 2006 partnership deal by selling the business in 2014. The sale also resulted in the transfer of several Nokia Centres to Microsoft.

Technoservice went to court seeking $1,380,000 (about Sh149 million) plus damages and loss of earnings for the business it had created for the nine years they were partners with Nokia Ltd.

Technoservice named 4 defendants in the case: Nokia Corporation, Risto Siilasmaa, the chairman of Nokia; Stephen Elop, Nokia Chief Operating Officer between 2010 to 2014 and Nokia International OY, a company in Finland.

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Technoservice revealed that it was coerced into investing in the business through a deal that saw them establish Nokia care centres in the country. Despite co-establishing the centres, Nokia later transferred the centres to Microsoft Corporation without Technoservice’s consent, they said.

Last year, though, Justice Mativo issued an order submitting the dispute to arbitration. TechnoService took the case back to the High Court, claiming that the arbitration clauses were unconstitutional.

The suit papers show that the partnership deal was signed between Technoservice and Nokia employees Piotr Labuszewski and Nicholas Maina, leading to a contractual relationship. The deal was orchestrated by a Nokia intern.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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