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Banking, finance and capital markets in Kenya

Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna has an established banking, finance, restructuring and insolvency practice and is considered to be one of the leading firms in the field. The team is particularly experienced in advising clients on transactions involving syndicated loans, aviation finance, Islamic finance and project finance. It also has expertise in insolvency-related issues. Much of the work the firm undertakes has a cross-border element, as is reflected by its work for several high-profile international lenders. Sonal Sejpal leads the banking, finance and insolvency practice and Akash Devani is another notable partner. Mona Doshi is recognised for her expertise in Islamic finance, while Amyn Mussa is an expert in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Sonal Sejpal

Other key lawyers:

Akash Devani; Mona Doshi; Amyn Mussa; Shellomith Irungu

Testimonials

‘The team evidently conducts extensive research when handling a brief and are quite thorough. They are responsive, commercially astute and value client relationships.’

‘They are extremely responsive and I have come to appreciate their approachability generally. They are quite amenable to taking hotline calls on short notice and sharing useful insights whenever I have sought to bounce off something on them.’

‘Sonal leads a team of very committed attorneys and she leads by example with her attention to detail. She is very well respected in the market and has continued to provide thought leadership in the various firm industrial engagements involving different market participants.’

‘Shellomith is flexible, approachable, knowledgeable and also keen on learning client processes in order to tailor a solution that meets the client needs, always going about her work with a good cheer.’

 

Key clients

Alliance One Tobacco

Standard Chartered Bank

NCBA Bank Kenya

I&M Bank

International Finance Corporation

Stanbic Bank Kenya

Liquid Telecommunications Holdings

National Bank of Kenya

DEG

Mastercard Inc

Uwezo Microfinance Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Alliance One Tobacco (Kenya), a leading independent leaf tobacco merchant, in connection with a $285 million secured pre-shipment and export finance financing and the renewal of facility from Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) to support purchasing, processing and packaging of green leaf tobacco for export.
  • Acting as local counsel for Liquid Telecommunications Holdings, a pan-African telecommunications company, in connection with the issue of up to $700 million senior secured bond offering to refinance its existing notes.
  • Acting as local counsel for Liquid Telecommunications Holdings, a pan-African telecommunications company, in connection with the issue of up to $700 million senior secured bond offering to refinance its existing notes.

Bowmans

Bowmans has a market-leading practice with strengths in securities matters, project finance transactions, regulatory issues and and asset management work, among other areas. The firm has a diverse client portfolio, which includes borrowers, banks, lenders and bond issuers. Cornelius Kigera, who is the head of the banking and finance group, has in-depth knowledge of corporate finance. Dominic Indokhomi is a key partner with expertise in general finance and real estate, including securities and debt restructurings. Paras Shah has expertise in capital markets transactions, structured lending and commodities finance.

Practice head(s):

Cornelius Kigera

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Indokhomi; Paras Shah; Richard Harney

Testimonials

‘The team that handles banking and finance has a wealth of knowledge, which they bring to every discussion. Their documentation is superbly drafted. Covering all legal areas and taking into account new and existing laws. Giving guidance and offering solutions where there are loopholes in the law.’

‘The banking & finance practice has a well-coordinated and tactically astute team that is well-versed in contemporary legal developments. With Bowmans Kenya being a full-service firm, the team is able to draw upon strengths in various related disciplines and are able to respond quickly and provide focused advice.’

‘I have worked with Cornelius Kigera, a hands-on partner leading a dynamic team. He is a very knowledgeable lawyer in matters of banking and finance, always responsive and understands our legal needs.’

‘Bowmans Kenya is one of the best law firms that I have had the pleasure of working with, they have an excellent understanding of general commercial law, corporate law, banking and finance as well as international trade transactions. They are accessible and provide tailor-made solutions.’

‘I enjoy working with all the partners. I would say Mr. Dominic Indokhomi stands out. Provides tailor-made solutions to clients, is accessible and provides advice on any legal matters that affect the business with professionalism and confidentiality.’

‘The team is knowledgeable and hands-on in delivering both simple and complex transactions. They have proven their unquestionable expertise, especially in medium to long-term financing, including real estate, project finance and capital markets transactions.’

‘They have adopted the use of technology and cultivated real relationships with their clientele, which has proven to be a good foundation for doing business in the pandemic and the future.’

Key clients

Safaricom PLC

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

Standard Chartered Bank (Johannesburg)

Standard Chartered Bank (Mauritius)

Standard Finance (the Isle of Man)

JPMorgan Chase Bank

N.A., London Branch

J.P. Morgan Securities Plc

The African Development Bank

Trustees of Kenya Power & Lighting Company PLC

Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme

International Finance Corporation

Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited

ABSA Bank Kenya Plc

East African Breweries Limited

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited

SunCulture Kenya Limited

Britam Holdings Plc

HFC Limited

Lendable Asset Management LLC

Mayflower Gold Investments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint lead arrangers/managers (Citi, J P Morgan, NCBA and I&M Bank) in respect of the issuance by the Government of Kenya of a sovereign bond of $1bn.
  • Advised Safaricom PLC, the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya, on Kenyan law aspects of the bid by Safaricom led consortium ‘Global Partnership for Ethiopia’ for Ethiopia’s second telecommunications licence and also advised on the financing to Safaricom Plc to fund its portion of the $850m fee to obtain the licence.
  • Advised the Trustees of Kenya Power & Lighting Company PLC Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme and the Trustees of Kenya Power & Lighting Company PLC Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme 2006 in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of certain loans extended to Gulf Power Limited as borrower.

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews has a well-established reputation as one of the leading advisers to local and international corporates on corporate finance transactions. It generates work from clients in sectors such as energy, real estate, manufacturing and agriculture. Practice head Richard Omwela works with Andrew Mugambi, who specialises in project finance and asset finance. Adil Khawaja has vast experience of real estate transactions. Sigee Koech is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Richard Omwela

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Mugambi; Adil Khawaja; Sigee Koech

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank (Dubai)

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited

ING Bank N.V Amsterdam Lancy/Geneva Branch

Absa Bank Kenya PLC

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

I & M Bank Limited

SBM Bank Kenya Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders in respect of facilities issued to Safaricom PLC, the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya and one of the most profitable companies in the East and Central Africa region.
  • Acted for I&M Bank Limited with respect to facilities offered to Tononoka Rolling Mills Limited.
  • Acted for KCB Bank Kenya Limited, which granted facilities to AMS Properties Limited.

ENSafrica

ENSafrica has built a first-rate reputation in Kenya and further afield internationally, with it attracting impressive mandates in the banking and finance sector. The firm is highly regarded for its work on project finance and capital markets transactions in connection with the infrastructure, renewable energy and fintech industries. Binti Shah, who heads up the banking and finance practice, specialises in securitisation and structured finance transactions, while Mahesh Acharya is active in fintech matters. Senior associate Nkatha Omondi is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Binti Shah

Other key lawyers:

Mahesh Acharya; Nkatha Omondi

Testimonials

‘ENS Africa are a fairly new team however you would not know it. They have the right people with the right expertise and knowledge and are able to keep up with changing times. They have adopted relevant and useful technology in the delivery of their services, which is highly appreciated as it has eased ways of doing business.’

‘Binti and her team remain a market leader, not only by continued demonstration of  expertise but also in the effort demonstrated in structuring and administering complex transactions.’

Key clients

Rubicon Landing LLP

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Fiserv Inc

Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG)

CDC Group plc

Nederlandse Financierings Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO)

Agence Française De Développement (AFD)

Work highlights

  • Advised AFD on exchanging securities in an existing secured loan to Aga Khan Health Service.
  • Advised on the grant of term loan facilities by Lenders (DEG, FMO and CDC) to Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited for the purpose of on-lending the same to private micro, small and medium-sized companies/enterprises in Kenya.
  • Advised Rubicon Landing LLP, as noteholder representative, with regards to issuance of a KES 500,000,000 loan note programme by Two Rivers Development Limited with Rubicon Landing LLP to raise finance in the retail market.

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a strong track record advising on a number of landmark banking and finance transactions in Kenya. As a member of DLA Piper’s Africa network, the firm is well-placed to act for clients on cross-border matters. The team has notable experience of syndicated lending, project finance, real estate finance and refinancing. Anne Kinyanjui heads up the department. Amrit Soar and Norah Mutuku are other respected practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Anne Kinyanjui

Other key lawyers:

Amrit Soar; Norah Mutuku; Kamami Christine Michira; Jane Wangari

Testimonials

‘Expansive geographical knowledge and practice expertise in Kenyan banking and financial transactions.’

‘Anne Kinyanjui and Jane Wangari have both been exceptional practitioners with a simple approach and timely turnaround. They are available at short notice and work well even under time pressure.’

‘They are knowledgeable, quick to respond to queries raised. Solution-oriented. Efficient in their work turn-around. Seldom would you find any errors or issues in the work done – my go-to firm for quality work.’

‘Anne Kinyanjui is accessible, innovative and solutions-oriented. Has solid legal knowledge and experience in banking, finance and securities.’

‘Norah Mutuku is accessible, easy-going and quick to respond to queries. Open to suggestions and knowledgeable in her field.’

‘Norah Mutuku is a seasoned practitioner. Her service delivery is customer-centric.’

‘Outstanding partners are Anne Kinyanjui and James Kamau.’

Key clients

Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank trading as Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Radiant Energy Limited

CDC Group Plc

Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

Gulf African Bank Limited

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited

NCBA Bank Kenya PLC

Absa Bank Kenya PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders on the restructuring of certain facilities extended to ARM Cement PLC, a leading cement company with operations in Kenya and Tanzania. The firm also advised on the sale by the administrators of ARM assets, retention/ distribution of realizations and tax concerns arising in the transactions
  • Advising KCB on the debt restructuring of one of its distressed borrowers in the construction sector specializing in the manufacturing and selling of cement and cement related products.
  • Acting for CDC Group Plc and Proparco in connection with a loan facility to Chania Green Generation Limited to finance a 50MW Chania Wind Power Project.

Walker Kontos Advocates

Walker Kontos Advocates has a strong profile among banks and financial institutions, including blue-chip global banks and DFI’s, for whom it handles corporate finance transactions. On the capital markets front, the firm has acted on the majority of bonds listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Also notable is that it has benefited from a strategic alliance with Norton Rose Fulbright, with it attracting a number of referrals and cross-border engagements. Managing partner Michael Kontos has a wealth of experience acting on syndicated lending matters and DFI investment transactions. Alexandra Kontos is another key individual. Peter M Mwangi is a leading figure in insolvency, while Deepen Shah has expertise in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Kontos; Michael Kontos; Peter Muhiu Mwangi; Deepen Shah; Diana Situma; Rahma Karanja; Martha Gitonga-Muturi

Testimonials

‘Vast experience in the sector of banking finance and capital markets and answers and direction are given simply and with backing explanations. WK also embrace technology and use technology tools effectively to make things more efficient for us as the client.’

‘Michael Kontos is very knowledgeable and very up to date with regulations and vast experience such that in most cases, he has already dealt with a similar situation so information and advice is forthcoming and quick. He is an excellent lawyer!’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Consolidated Bank of Kenya Limited

SBM Bank (Mauritius) Limited

Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.

Société de Promotion et de Participation Coopération Economique (PROPARCO)

Standard Bank Group

Bank of Africa Group

Absa Bank Kenya Plc

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N. V. (FMO)

I&M Bank Limited

Citibank N.A.

The Trade and Development Bank

Standard Chartered Bank Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

Jamii Bora Bank Limited

European Investment Bank

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

GuarantCo

Norsad Finance Limited

CDC Group Plc

SANAD Fund for MSME

NCBA Bank Kenya Plc

Prime Bank Limited

Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC)

World Bank Group

Saracota Enterprises Limited

Hajar Services Limited

Nedbank NA

Symbiotics SICAV (Lux) on behalf of its subfund SEB Microfinance V

SICAV-SIF

FirstRand Bank Limited

AKA European Export and Trade Bank

Global Partnerships Social Investment 5.0

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bonds S.A.

Cordiant Emerging Loan Fund IV

Allianz EM Loans S.C.S.

Belgische Investeriingsmaatschaappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden – Societe Belge D’Investissement pour les Pays en Developpment

Panari Group

Global Climate Partnership Fund S.A.

Work highlights

  • Acted as local transaction counsel and assisted the in-house legal teams for International Finance Corporation in preparing and drafting the transaction documents and opining on the enforceability of the transaction documents in Kenya.
  • Acted for the lenders in connection with the provision of a loan facility to Greenlight Planet Incorporated guaranteed by its Kenyan wholly owned subsidiary, Greenlight Planet Kenya Limited.
  • Advised Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC, the largest power producing company in Kenya, in relation to the structuring and negotiation of a USD 300 million commercial loan.

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is an experienced banking and finance team which deals with a wide spectrum of matters from local and international bank syndications to advising on the development of the listed bond market in Kenya. The team is also active in the aircraft leasing and finance space with significant clients such as Kenya Airways and Air Kenya. The team is led by Ruth Kirunga who advises on structures and securities in addition to aviation and project finance. Peter Hime is experienced in aircraft finance and acquisition while Sam Wainaina is the go-to for infrastructure development projects.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Kirunga

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hime; Sam Wainaina

Testimonials

‘Independent. Longstanding. Excellence in service.’

‘Ruth Kirunga was responsive and knowledgeable, she was experienced in the work she was retained to assist with and helped secure a smooth closing.’

Key clients

IFC

Stanbic Bank Kenya

Export Import Bank of China

African Export-Import Bank

Agence Française de Développement

Nordic Aviation Capital A/S

GECAS

Nedbank Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

European Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised investors in putting in place a back-up servicer in the event of the insolvency of the original servicer in connection with a USD 65 million receivables financing transaction which will enable the provision of loans to people living off-grid in Kenya to buy daylight solar home systems and related solar products.
  • Advised Alten Energias Renovables in a USD 66,700,000 and KES. 175,000,000 project for the development of a photovoltaic cell solar power plant in Kesses Sub-county within Uasin Gishu County in Kenya with an installed capacity of 40MW.
  • Advised and assisted Nedbank in the preparation, negotiation, execution and perfection of securities over the borrower’s various assets including property where the borrower intends to construct various go-downs and subsequently lease and/or sell the go-downs to third parties.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (Kieti Law LLP)

Sammy Ndolo, who is the main contact at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (Kieti Law LLP), has experience of structured finance, syndicated loans, acquisition finance, trade and commodity finance, as well as debt capital markets transactions. The firm is notably active in some of the most significant mandates seen in the renewable energy sector in Kenya. Ndolo’s banking expertise is complemented by his knowledge of corporate and M&A matters.

Practice head(s):

Sammy Ndolo

Key clients

SunFunder

MMAN Advocates

MMAN Advocates is recognised for it’s provision of legal services in aviation finance and experience in handling complex cross jurisdictional financing and security structures. The team is also well versed in project finance and other mainstream corporate finance transactions. Judy Kabubu leads the banking and finance practice group while Suzanne Muthaura has vast experience in aviation finance.

Practice head(s):

Judy Kabubu

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Muthaura; Carole Ayugi; Waringa Njonjo

Testimonials

‘MMAN Advocates has one of the most vibrant litigation teams in the country. Their knowledge of litigation practice in the country and most especially in labour matters is exemplary.’

‘They are able to prepare exemplary pleadings from documents that we avail to them, showing a thorough knowledge of banking and corporate matters.’

Jomo Nyaribo and Angela Cherono stand out as the outstanding support in this area. In matters of conveyancing and commercial matters. Christine Wambui is of immense support.’

‘Waringa Njonjo provides prompt, helpful and commercially sensible advice.’

Key clients

ABSA Bank

Cordiant Capital

Finfund Capital

First Abu Dhabi Bank

NCBA Bank Kenya PLC

Textron Financial Corporation

Elix Aviation Capital

Equity Bank Kenya Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted in conjunction with Pinsent Masons in connection with financing to Bandwidth and Cloud Group Holding by Finfund which is to rank pari passi to an existing senior debt by European Investment Bank (EIB) but superior to existing debt by Cordiant Capital.
  • Acted for First Abu Dhabi Bank in undertaking a due diligence of the Eastern and Southern African Trade Development Bank, a multilateral legal institution established under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa on the local regulatory and licensing requirements on over-the-counter derivative transactions.
  • Provided legal advice relating to short term facility of USD 14m from I & M Bank.

MMC ASAFO

MMC ASAFO is well-known for it’s wide range of banking transactional, regulatory and operational expertise. The banking, finance and capital markets department is experienced in debt restructuring, syndicated facilities and in giving regulatory advice to a number of East African banks. The firm’s clients include Absa Bank Kenya Plc, KCB Bank Kenya Limited and the Co-operative Bank Kenya Limited. Njoroge Nani Mungai is experienced in capital markets engagements and Esther Njiru-Omulele is recognised for her work in corporate lending. Isaiah Mungai Kamau is deputy managing partner.

Practice head(s):

Esther Njiru-Omulele; Isaiah Mungai Kamau

Other key lawyers:

Njoroge Nani Mungai; Edward Muriu

Key clients

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

ABSA Bank Kenya PLC

Prime Bank Limited

Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited

DIB Bank Kenya Limited

Gulf African Bank Limited

Family Bank Limited

The Co-operative Bank Kenya Limited

National Bank of Kenya Limited

Automobile Association of Kenya

Kenya Wines Agencies Limited

Bamburi Cement Limited

Homeboys Entertainment PLC

Orana A/S

British American Tobacco Kenya Limited

Liberty Afrika Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Automobile Association of Kenya on a capital-raising transaction through a restricted public offer.
  • Onboarded and advised Prime Bank Limited on perfection of securities with respect to a facility issued to a developer who is selling fully-serviced land parcels for developers of logistics, residential, commercial, educational, medical, retail, hospitality and recreational uses to develop on over 400 acres of land.
  • Advised KCB Bank Kenya Limited (KCB) in the perfection of securities relating to the composite and term loan facilities in the sum of USD 23,750,000. The deal unlocked acceptance of the borrower’s settlement proposal  with another international lender, ABSA Bank (Mauritius) Limited (Absa Mauritius) which had issued a Liquidation Notice against the borrower which would have led to the liquidation of the borrower as a going concern under Kenya’s insolvency laws.

Oraro & Company Advocates

The banking and finance team at Oraro & Company Advocates actively advises on a full spectrum of legal issues such as lending and securities, Islamic finance, syndicated loans and corporate lending. The firm is highly regarded for its expertise in handling and advising on insolvency matters. Pamella Ager heads up the banking and finance team with support from James Kituku.

Practice head(s):

Pamella Ager

Other key lawyers:

James Kituku