Real estate and construction in Kenya

Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna is best-known for large-scale developments and high-value conveyancing. It continues to advise on a high market share of the biggest office, retail, mixed-use and residential developments in the country. The firm represents some of the biggest developers and investors in the market. Co-head of the real estate and construction department Amyn Mussa has advised on many of the largest developments in the jurisdiction. Mona Doshi co-heads the department from Mombasa, where she is also noted for high-value developments and investments. Adnan Khan was promoted to partner in 2020. Senior associates Agnes Nicole Gichuhi and Caroline Karugu and associate Robert Kaniu Gitonga are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Amyn Mussa; Mona Doshi

Other key lawyers:

Adnan Khan; Agnes Nicole Gichuhi; Caroline Karugu; Robert Kaniu Gitonga 

Testimonials

‘The team is very professional, proficient and they have a great depth of experience. They are committed to supporting their clients even in difficult circumstances, be it when we have had to deal with defaulting tenants or even more recently, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.’

They are proactive and they demonstrated this in the manner and efficiency with which they anticipated our needs at the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak and put together a very cohesive and resourceful Covid-19 Hub.

Their strength is that they are good listeners, accessible and approachable. They have the capability to innovate and come up with legal solutions to legal issues whether existing or emerging like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amyn Mussa is very pragmatic and offers top-notch practical legal advice. He is adept at finding solutions and has helped us navigate our way around some of our most complex legal and lease structuring issues.

Senior associate Agnes Nicole Gichuhi is sharp, responsive and pleasant to work with. She has a good grasp of our business and gives sound advice with our commercial and legal interests in mind.

Associate Robert Gitonga is knowledgeable, competent, and obliging. He puts effort to ensure that our leases and other documents are done in good time.

Key clients

AVIC

Paramount Chief Estate (Edenville)

Mi Vida Thika Road

Impact North (KE)

Kiewa Group – Kitui

Soma Properties (Sarit Centre)

Karibu Homes

Actis

Improvon

Hemingways

OLA Energy Kenya (formerly Libya Oil Kenya)

Kiewa Group – Nairobi

Work highlights

  • Acted for AVIC International Real Estate Kenya, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, in connection with its development of a mixed-use state-of-the-art development comprising of one of tallest office blocks in Kenya.
  • Acted for Paramount Chief Estate in connection with its greenfield development of a medium-cost housing estate in the Kenyan suburb of Kiambu.
  • Advised Mi Vida Thika Road, a newly established residential home developer, on the development of a proposed new $120m residential project, comprising of approximately 624 apartments.

Bowmans

Bowmans is a recognised leader in master plan real estate projects, such as the headline developments of Tatu City, Northlands and Limuru Heights. The firm is actively engaged in land rights connected to projects work and has a significant market share of conservation work in Kenya. Allied to this, is a well-established construction practice. Alex Njage is highly adept in both real estate and construction matters, notably active in master planning developments and construction contract issues. Simon Kiriba provides additional support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Cornelius Kigera; Alex Njage; Paras Shah

Other key lawyers:

Simon Kiriba

Testimonials

‘The team’s depth of knowledge was manifested when we invited them to advise us on the structural formation of our SPV prior to construction. Their uniqueness is the thorough information they provide and options based on practical examples from the field.’

‘Alex Mathini is recommended for his vast knowledge during SHA discussions.’ 

Key clients

Grit Real Estate Income Group

Tatu City

Qatar Investors in Affordable Housing

The Nature Conservancy

Naivas Supermarket

Kenya Commercial Bank

Great Plains Conservation

Northlands City

Cemtec Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Tatu City on the sale of 10 acres of industrial-zoned land to Crown Healthcare, within Tatu City Industrial Park, a special economic zone located in Kenya. Tatu City sits on a 5,000 acre master-planned private city.
  • Advised a group of Qatari Investors on a private-public partnership with the Kenyan government for the development of 140,000 affordable housing units, on 2,000 acres of government land, Kenya’s largest affordable housing project to date.
  • Advised Naivas on its acquisition of retail space for expansion of the supermarket chain across various prime locations in Kenya.

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates's real estate practice is widely noted for property acquisitions, developments and property finance. The firm has continued to work on a number of major acquisitions and disposals. It is also at the forefront of land aspects of energy projects. Rachel Mbai is a leading figure in the market, while Nyakio Manga is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Mbai

Other key lawyers:

Nyakio Manga

Key clients

American Tower Corporation

E3 School Support

AFDB, Menengai Geothermal Project

Work highlights

  • Advised Vipingo Properties on the successful sale of 100 acres in Vipingo to a property development company looking to construct a multi-use site.
  • Advised Olsuswa Energy in connection with the building and operation of a 140MW geothermal power plant within the Barrier Volcanic Complex in Kenya.
  • Advised the landowner on the sale of one of Kenya’s most iconic properties known as the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages.

CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates

CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates became part of the international firm CMS in October 2019, providing it with additional credibility in the real estate segment, among others. It has gained further traction in hotel and leisure investments, mixed-use and residential developments around Kenya. It has established teams in Nairobi and Mombasa. Key partner Harpreet Ubhi is noted for retail leases and luxury residential developments.

Practice head(s):

Harpreet Ubhi; Julius Wako; Nishit Maru

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews has maintained its eminence in large-scale acquisitions and disposals, along with major mixed-use developments. The core real estate team also frequently works on M&A deals where there is a substantial property component. It represents a number of big-name corporates, property developers and government entities. Managing partner Adil Khawaja is an experienced real estate, planning and conveyancing expert. Lorna Mainnah is similarly specialised, especially in large-scale conveyancing.

Practice head(s):

Richard Omwela

Other key lawyers:

Adil Khawaja; Lorna Mainnah 

Key clients

Gulf Energy

Sahil Patel

Nanyuki Ranching

British High Commission

Eezy Track

AMS Properties

African Logistics Properties

Mitithiru Company

CMC Holdings Limited (an Al Futtaim LLC Company) No AMS Properties Limited

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a sizeable real estate team that frequently works on the property aspects of renewable energy projects and M&A transactions, large-scale acquisitions and disposals, development projects, and lease arrangements. Anne Kinyanjui has an excellent record in acquisitions and disposals, and major developments. The hugely experienced Amrit Soar is noted for land acquisitions and Norah Mutuku is key for project-related work.

Practice head(s):

Anne Kinyanjui

Other key lawyers:

Amrit Soar; Norah Mutuku

Key clients

Kipeto Energy

Benaa

EKE Property

East Africa Breweries

ADvTECH

HealthLink Matcare

Nairobi Women’s Hospital

Mass Discounters

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Rock Ridge Homes

Meadow Brooke Farm

Hua Xiang Development Company

Kenya Simba Investments Company

Tuffsteel

Executive Concepts

Spotlight Publishers East Africa

Greenhills Investment

East African Portland Cement Company

Simba Lodges

Ramco Group of Companies

Bank of Africa Kenya

I&M Bank

Ecobank Kenya

Walker Kontos Advocates

Walker Kontos Advocates' strong reputation has landed an impressive client base of corporate, investor, developer and financier clients. The firm is well acquainted with land law and regulations, residential and commercial developments. It advised the World Bank on the creation and implementation of the Naivasha Affordable Housing Project. it also remains active in the land aspects of renewable energy and conventional power projects. Senior partner Alexandra Kontos remains active in high-value acquisitions and disposals, while Peter Mwangi is a leading figure in land law and regulations.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Kontos; Michael Kontos; Peter Mwangi; Deepen Shah

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Consolidated Bank of Kenya

SBM Bank (Mauritius)

Société de Promotion et de Participation Coopération Economique (PROPARCO)

Standard Bank Group (Standard Bank of South Africa, Stanbic Bank Kenya)

The Trade and Development Bank

Coöperatieve Rabobank

Citibank N.A.

Bank of Africa Group

Absa Bank Kenya Plc

I&M Bank Limited

Standard Chartered Bank Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

Jamii Bora Bank Limited

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)

European Investment Bank

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

GuarantCo

Work highlights

  • Advised GuarantCo in relation to a guarantee for a proposed KS5bn medium-term note programme of FinCo,  a financing vehicle wholly owned by an existing real estate company in Kenya.
  • Acted for the World Bank Group in a comprehensive legal review and study on the legal and regulatory framework for the setting up and implementation of the Naivasha Affordable Housing Project, as part of the Affordable Housing pillar of the Government of Kenya.
  • Acted for Prabhaki Group in the sale of nine warehouses at the Prabhaki Industrial Park.

ENSafrica

ENSafrica specialises in the real estate aspects of energy and infrastructure projects, including permits and licenses. The firm is also active in M&A and investment-related real estate matters. The relatively compact team is able to draw on the wider Africa expertise and resources of ENSafricaNigel Shaw is an experienced real estate specialist.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Shaw

Testimonials

Speed of response and knowledge of the sector.

Key clients

Tropical Power

Dr Lal Pathlabs

Aga Khan Fund

Tourism Promotion Services Eastern Africa

Afrimatic Industries

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tropical Power on the proposed development and roll out of a Solar PV project across various sites in Kenya on behalf of its client Vegpro (Kenya).
  • Assisted Dr Lal Pathlabs Kenya Privateon its entry into the Kenyan market with emphasis on the real estate aspects of the transaction.
  • Acted for Afrimatic on a 100% acquisition of Kartasi Industries including the creation of an investment vehicle.

Mboya Wangong'u & Waiyaki Advocates

Mboya Wangong'u & Waiyaki Advocates has a flourishing real estate practice, most notably in large-scale and novel development projects, along with significant acquisitions and disposals. The firm has achieved further prominence in major student accommodations, mixed-use developments and multi-dwelling residential developments. Gladys Mboya is a key figure for large housing developments.

Practice head(s):

Gladys Mboya

Other key lawyers:

June Njoroge Ngwele

Key clients

Housing Finance Development and Investment

Limited (HFDI) No

Africa Integras Kenya

Marina Place

Koibatek

Orro Investments

KO Holdings

Leading International School Developer

Work highlights

  • Advised on the establishment of student hostels on the main campus of a large public university in Nairobi to accommodate a minimum of 10,000 students through private participation (PPP) on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
  • Advised on a joint venture between Clayworks and Housing Finance through its subsidiary HFDI to build a mixed-use development.
  • Advised on the development and sale of multi-dwelling residential units in the suburb of Kileleshwa, Nairobi.

MMC ASAFO

MMC ASAFO has an impressive record in creating joint ventures for real estate developments and investments. It has an emerging reputation in mixed-use developments, permits and authorisations. The team is also building its standing in large-scale urban regeneration projects and city developments. It represents some of the biggest developers and corporate clients in the market. Managing partner Esther Njiru-Omulele leads the real estate department. Jessica Mwenje Mayavi  is an emerging talent.

Practice head(s):

Esther Njiru-Omulele; Isaiah Mungai Kamau; Jessica Mwenje Mayavi

Key clients

Tatu City

Oaklands Properties Kenya

Tilisi Developments

Urban Housing and Renewal Development

KPMG East Africa

Coolbreeze

Superior Homes

National Social Security Fund of Kenya (NSSF)

Student Factory

Kenya Airports Authority

Kenya Wine Agencies

Two Rivers Development

Richland Development

Oraro & Company Advocates

Oraro & Company Advocates has achieved prominence in the market for high-end residential developments, mixed-use developments, commercial developments and commercial leases. The firm represents a number of developers and investors in the market. Pamella Ager and Nelly Gitau are experienced real estate experts.

Practice head(s):

Pamella Ager; Nelly Gitau

Key clients

Kengen Retirement Benefits Scheme

Tembuland

Cytonn Investments Management

Work highlights

  • Acted for Kengen Retirement Benefits Scheme on its $10.3m development of a 6.6-acre parcel of land.
  • Advised Cytonn Investmests Management on the purchase of property for a comprehensive mixed-use development consisting of 408 units.
  • Advised a real estate developer on a joint venture for the construction of a mixed-use development inclusive of 8,800 residential units.

TripleOKlaw Advocates

TripleOKlaw Advocates has a strong real estate finance, development and investment practice. The firm acts for a wide range of lenders, developers and investors. It has gained a foothold in premier residential developments and smart home residential projects, and continues to advise a number of lenders on high-value real estate financings. Tom Onyango is the key partner.

Practice head(s):

Tom Onyango; Jinaro Kibet

Key clients

SBM Bank, Kenya

KCB Bank

ABSA Bank Kenya

Echuka Country Estate

Hayer One

Ceytun Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret

Church Commissioners Properties

NCBA Bank Kenya

Equity Bank Kenya

Soluti Finance East Africa