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Who Represents Who

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A pre-eminent law firm in Botswana, Armstrongs Attorneys is instructed by BSE-listed and unlisted companies and leading international law firms. Among its areas of strength are banking and finance, project finance and M&A. Real estate is another mainstay. In a recently completed project, Mark McKee advised on a joint venture and development agreement for a new luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta. The firm’s litigation department continues to thrive; in a recent victory, senior associate Temwanani Karen Phiri successfully defended a power-sector client against two unfair dismissal claims. Managing partner John Carr-Hartley heads the dispute resolution department, which also includes litigator and employment law expert Moemedi Tafa. Commercial law specialist Sipho Ziga advises on M&A, commercial contracts and corporate governance.

Collins Newman & Co is among the country’s leading firms, drawing on a long history in the market and a solid track record in corporate and commercial transactions. It is the firm of choice for a number of parastatals and state-owned entities. Among its best-known areas of expertise is mining, where the group acts for an impressive client roster including Anglo American, Botswana Power Corporation and Lucara Diamond. Telecoms is another standout area. Managing partner Parks Tafa maintains a varied practice that includes banking, M&A, private equity and projects, and Neill Armstrong specialises in corporate, capital markets, finance and tax. At the senior associate level, key names include Anisa Nabee and Candice Dubane. Tsholofelo TJ Mvungama heads the dispute resolution team.

Desai Law Group has seen impressive growth since its establishment in 2016. In a significant move, former Minchin & Kelly (Botswana) partner Andre Bell joined the firm in December 2017. In other internal developments, litigator Obrien Bvindi was promoted to partner. The firm has been particularly busy handling banking and finance, capital markets and private equity deals. In one highlight, the team advised a leading multinational bank on a secure syndicated loan to a company in the retail sector; founding and managing partner Rizwan Desai led the advice. Other names to note in the firm include corporate, banking and regulatory expert Angelica Bojosi, who regularly acts for blue-chip clients, and property department head Akheel Jinabhai, who has experience in the full life-cycle of real estate projects.

Established in 1890, Minchin & Kelly (Botswana) has a deep history in the market and is well established as one of its leading players. For cross-border work, the firm is the Botswana member of DLA Piper’s Africa network, giving the Gaborone-based lawyers access to a large international platform. Recent highlights in the project space include the team’s advice to a consortium on the construction and operation of a proposed 300MW coal power station. John Griffiths heads the financial recoveries department, which has extensive experience in debt collection and insolvency processes. In recent work, the team represented a creditor of an insolvent bank. Managing partner Terence Dambe leads the real estate practice; Jayne Cross heads the litigation department; and Isaac Ntombela is the corporate and commercial practice head.

Osei-Ofei Swabi & Co excels in debt collection, insolvency and commercial litigation. The non-contentious side of the practice has grown, with the team seeing an uptick in corporate and commercial mandates. Banks and financial institutions have traditionally represented a large proportion of the firm’s client base, though this has also expanded to include a greater number of retail and real estate companies. Senior partner Kwadwo Osei-Ofei and civil litigation expert Daniel Swabi are the names to note.

Piyush Sharma Attorneys & Co fields a sizeable team operating under the leadership of managing partner Piyush Sharma. The firm maintains strong relationships with a number of key banks in Botswana, though its client base expands beyond the financial sector to include a range of parastatals and private companies in various sectors. It had another busy year in 2018 and saw a particular uptick in labour and employment work. The property department remains buoyant and is currently handling several large real estate projects. Telecoms is another active practice; the firm’s expertise in this sector includes M&A, antitrust, outsourcing, licensing and litigation. Atang Latelang and Efan Khan are key contacts in the dispute resolution practice. Grace Muzondiwa is the commercial and family law head.

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