Noreen Kidunduhu/ LinkedIn
NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 21- Noreen Kidunduhu was recently appointed as the chairperson of the steering committee for the Young Members Group (YMG) at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).
“Delighted to be the first African appointee to the CIArb YMG Global Steering Committee Chairperson ship and to shepherd the most regionally diverse and inclusive Committee in history. We have a pipeline of interactive programs and projects for our members to deepen their understanding of ADR, hone their skills and network. I look forward to a dynamic and interactive YMG that caters to our members’ priorities and specialisms,” she stated following her appointment.
CIArb is an international legal body that was granted a royal charter by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II back in 1979.
“The YMG is delighted to announce that Noreen Kidunduhu and Ana Gerdau de Borja Mercereau have been appointed Chair and Vice-Chair of CIArb YMG’s Global Steering Committee. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ (CIArb) Young Members Group (YMG) brings together dispute resolution practitioners below the age of 40,” read a statement by CIArb.
Noreen is a Common Law qualified lawyer and a Senior Associate at TripleOKlaw LLP with over five years of experience in dispute resolution and transactional work in the energy and extractives industries.
In an interview by CIArb, Noreen said that her choice to specialize in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was not so much a decision but rather ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’.
During her third year pursuing her Bachelor of Laws (LLB), the school introduced ADR as an elective course, a class she says she selected under the guise that it was the least daunting of the available options.
“Up until that time, I had imagined that I could only either be a litigator or a transactional lawyer. The idea of a practice that was an alternative to the two was deeply enthralling to me,”she said in the interview.
Following her LLB, Noreen undertook an introductory course to ADR with CIArb and qualified as an Associate of the institute. Soon after, she was retained as a Junior Associate in the Dispute Resolution Team at TripleOKLaw where she was able to represent clients in both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations under a wide variety of arbitral rules.
“I also appeared in court matters related to arbitrations which saw my co-option into the Law Society of Kenya’s ADR Committee,” she said.
According to Noreen, CIArb enhanced her understanding of ADR which in turn enabled her to be a better ADR counsel and to serve clients more effectively.
“Qualifying with a globally recognized institution also got me unanticipated speaking, teaching and writing opportunities. I also get to engage with other professionals in the international community and benefit greatly from their experiences, wisdom and practical knowledge,” she added.
Her new appointment positions Noreen as active ADR practitioner, contributing largely to the development of ADR globally as well as creating skill-building and mentorship opportunities for young ADR practitioners.
While Noreen noted that the greatest challenge for her was penetrating and getting recognised in the largely male-dominated ADR practice, she is hopeful for greater representation, recognition and respect for women in ADR regardless of their age or origin.
“Thankfully, there are now numerous diversity initiatives that have increased the inclusion and participation of women in ADR. I reckon that the biggest challenge will be staying ahead of the curve in our ever-developing practice. We will need to remain adaptable or perish,” she stated.
Noreen is a holder of a master’s degree in International Energy Law and Policy from the University of Dundee, and a co-founder of the Energy Related Arbitration Practitioners, Kenya Chapter.
She works on her passion for the environment through extensive contribution to the field of Energy and Natural Resources practice.
At TripleOKLaw, Noreen provides project, corporate, sustainability and dispute advisory services as well as practical legal, technical and commercial solutions to governments, energy and mining companies, businesses, investors and financial institutions in Africa
She is currently a Research Fellow with the Energy Charter Secretariat where she reviews the investment climate and market structures of the energy sectors of various countries.
She is a board member of the Kenya Green Building Society and sits on the Energy and Infrastructure Taskforce of the America Chamber of Commerce (Kenya).
Prior to specializing in energy law, Noreen was an astute litigator and represented high-profile clients in constitutional and human rights-related matters as well as environment and land law cases before both Kenyan and regional courts.
Noreen has a strong commitment to pro bono work, particularly offering legal research and analysis support to energy law reform and policy development-related projects.
In 2020, Noreen published a chapter on the energy transition in Africa and another on Afghanistan’s mineral policy with Springer Publishing.