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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Kenya > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Praised for delivering ‘the best possible service’, Anjarwalla & Khanna’s domestic and international profile enables it to stay at the forefront of inbound investment by both multinationals and private equity houses; it has also advised private equity clients on a series of exit transactions. The ‘attentive, timely, proactive’ as well as ‘pragmatic but professional and business minded’ team recently assisted CDC Group, the UK development finance institution, with its $140m equity investment in ARM Cement. The widely renowned Karim Anjarwalla is supported by the hugely experienced Roddy McKean, the ‘commercially astuteDominic Rebelo and Rosa Nduati-Mutero. Anne Kiunuhe is ‘quick, accurate and client-oriented’, and tax specialist Daniel Ngumy is ‘precise and has very deep knowledge’.

Bowmans recently saw an uptick in private equity deals, restructuring, competition and tax work. It is one of few firms to specialise in corporate restructuring, competition and tax matters; Joyce Karanja-Ng’ang’a leads the competition practice and Alex Mathini heads the tax group. The ‘experienced, knowledgeable and professional’ team recently advised Kenya Airways on its debt and equity restructuring. Richard Harney is ‘excellent’ and ‘commercially very effective’,Paras Shah is a ‘strong negotiator and provides practical solutions’, while Philip Coulson, oil and gas specialist Rainbow Field and telecoms expert Angela Waki are also recommended.

Daly & Inamdar Advocates continues to have a significant market share of headline and high-value transactions, representing some of the biggest corporates in the market. Hamish Keith led the team that advised Sadolin Group on the $100m sale of its paints business in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to Kansai Paint Japan. The group also advised Vodafone and Safaricom on the €2.3bn restructuring of Safaricom and represented Thomas Cook in its acquisition of Private Safaris East Africa from Kuoni Travel Group. Nairobi partners Ashwini Bhandari and Shitul Shah are also prominent corporate and M&A specialists. The firm also has a substantial team in Mombasa.

Hamilton Harrison & Mathews’ ‘skilled and professional’ team, which is ‘honest’, ‘ready and available to assist’ and ‘well integrated’ with the rest of the firm, remains active in M&A and private equity transactions for purchasers and targets. The group advised General Motors on the sale of its 54% stake in General Motors East Africa to Isuzu Motors. Andrew Mugambi is ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘very detailed’ and is ‘available for consultation at short notice’; Daniel Wanjau Muriu, Richard Omwela, Martha Mbugua and Sigee Koech are also recommended.

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has an impressive corporate client base and frequently advises on major transactions, including the acquisition of energy projects. ‘Engineering commercially and legally viable outcomes’ and ‘promoting the client’s commercial interests’, the group is a growing force in private equity transactions and has a close association with International Finance Corporation (IFC), which it advised on its equity investment in Nairobi-listed Britam Holdings. It is frequently engaged in cross-border deals, leveraging its membership of the DLA Piper Africa group. James Kamau is an ‘excellent all-round lawyer’ who is ‘very resourceful, innovative and knowledgeable’; David Lekerai has ‘great potential’ and is ‘very sensible’.

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates’ ‘prompt’ and ‘responsive’ team has ‘excellent knowledge of the subject matter’, deep connections to local corporates and is consistently expanding its international referral base. The group advised Pioneer Foods (South Africa) on its $14m acquisition of a 49% stake in Weetabix East Africa. Senior statesman Oliver Fowler is ‘outstanding’, with an ‘encyclopedic knowledge of Kenyan law and good judgement’, and Mahesh Acharya has ‘extremely well-rounded knowledge of the legal environment’. Amar Grewal-Thethy, Sam Wainaina and Nigel Shaw are also highly reputed.

Walker Kontos Advocates is a leader in banking and financial services M&A and has an impressive market share of deals in other regulated sectors. The team has seen an increase in inward investment engagements, including those involving the financial services, fintech and other technology sectors; it is also increasingly active in private equity deals and corporate restructurings. It advised Fidelity Commercial Bank on its sale to Mauritius-headquartered SBM Africa Holdings, a deal which involved a shareholder squeeze-out procedure under the new Companies Act. Michael Kontos is highly regarded along with Deepen Shah and Diana Situma.

MMAN Advocates has experienced growth in workouts and corporate restructurings, while remaining active in commercial engagements such as concession contracts and long-term supply contracts, where it represents a number of manufacturers and suppliers. Private equity is another key area, with the firm recently advising Leapfrog Investments on its acquisition of a majority stake in Goodlife Pharmacy. Waringa Njonjo and Suzanne Muthaura are key partners.

Mboya Wangong'u & Waiyaki Advocates has high market penetration in corporate governance and mid-market M&A as well as private equity deals and recently advised on a series of microfinance sector M&A transactions. The team is ‘a cut above the rest’, ‘very fast and efficient’, has ‘sound business practice’ and identifies ‘very practical solutions that will protect the best interest of the client’. Godwin Wangong’u is ‘very level-headed’, ‘business-minded’ and is adept at ‘avoiding any disputes’. Kimani Njane ‘is definitely the rising star in the firm’.

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