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Real estate and construction in Kenya

Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna has one of the leading real estate and construction practices in Kenya and is prominent in both residential and commercial development projects. Its team also advises on large land sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing, leasing, environmental and regulatory matters. Amyn Mussa co-heads the department with Mona Doshi and Adnan Khan. He has been the lead counsel on some of the largest development deals in the region, including the Kigali International Financial Business Centre. Akash Devani regularly advises on tax-efficient structures and project finance agreements. Agnes Nicole Gichuhi is another key lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Amyn Mussa; Mona Doshi; Adnan Khan

Other key lawyers:

Akash Devani; Ian Gaitta; Agnes Nicole Gichuhi

Testimonials

‘Very professional team and individuals.’

‘The practice is client centric and primarily seeks to identify with the client’s requirements.’

‘The assigned counsel have vast experience in their areas of legal expertise but exert a flair of testing the paradigm and pushing novelty thinking to better assist their clients.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and very responsive. The quality of the work that is produced is top tier. They are expensive but worth it.’

‘Mona Doshi and Vivian Kerage are excellent to deal with. They are consummate professionals.’

‘Great breadth of expertise and networks along with sound legal advice and reasonable flexibility on fees.’

Key clients

EH Venture Capital Rwanda

Westlands Triangle Properties

AVIC International Real Estate Kenya

Paramount Chief Estate (Edenville)

Mi Vida Thika Road Limited

Impact North (KE)

Kiewa Group – Kitui

Soma Properties Limited (Sarit Centre)

Hemingways No

OLA Energy Kenya (formerly Libya Oil Kenya)

Kiewa Group – Nairobi

Maiyan Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting for EH Venture Capital Rwanda in connection with the development of a financial centre in Kigali Rwanda.
  • Acting for Westlands Triangle Properties in connection with redevelopment and refurbishment of its large office and retail development known as Westlands Square.
  • Acting for AVIC International Real Estate Kenya, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a Chinese state-owned aerospace and defence company.

Bowmans

Bowmans has an excellent reputation for real estate and construction and it is involved in several headline matters, including Tatu City, Northlands and Limuru Heights. The team is well versed in construction, conservation and leasing projects. The firm captures a significant market share of the master plan projects in Kenya. The practice is led by Cornelius Kigera, who has experience of advising clients on real estate finance transactions. Alex Njage is skilled in navigating complex real estate projects. Philip Coulson is another noted lawyer, as is Simon Kiriba.

Practice head(s):

Cornelius Kigera; Alex Njage

Other key lawyers:

Philip Coulson; Simon Kiriba

Key clients

Kisima Real Estate Limited

Genesis Park Limited and Genesis Global PVT Limited

Oaklands Properties Kenya Limited

Strabag International GmbH

Dewbury Limited

Berkshire Limited

Bloomfield Apartments Limited

Five Two One Park Limited

Stealth Limited

Car & General (K) Limited

The Nature conservancy

Dew Valley Limited

Tatu City Limited

Siana Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Kisima Real Estate Limited on a real estate joint venture with Genesis Global PVT Limited (UK) and Costa Homes Limited (Kenya).
  • Advised Berkshire Limited on a real estate venture for the development and construction of a mixed-use development in Nairobi County.
  • Advised Tatu City Limited on the sale of 5 acres of industrial-zoned land to Cold Solutions Kiambu Limited, within Tatu City Industrial Park, a Special Economic Zone located in Kenya.

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates

The real estate and construction team at Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is widely recognised for its strengths in complex projects. The firm has specialist sub-groups that focus on real estate, property development and construction, environmental & conservation law, construction and real estate disputes, and environmental and conservation law disputes. The department regularly acts for institutional investors, such as pension funds and life companies, as well as overseas investors and property companies. Rachel Mbai is an established practitioner in the market and leads the team. Nyakio Manga and Caroline Etyang are also key names.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Mbai

Other key lawyers:

Nyakio Manga; Caroline Etyang

Testimonials

‘Of current partners, I am with Nyakio Manga, who I have total faith in.’

‘The team are very dedicated to their work and helping clients meet their goals. They respond to client queries and offer advice.’

‘Nyakio Manga has worked with us. She is a skilled negotiator, is very patient and helped us navigate some protracted/prolonged negotiations that finally were concluded. Her dedication and attention to detail, knowledge of issues in our sector helped her articulate and get the other lawyers to understand what our challenges were and why the agreement had to be the way it was.’

Key clients

Olsuswa Energy Limited

Karen Blixen Coffee Garden Limited

Kenya Registered Trustees

Driftwood Beachclub Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Driftwood Beachclub Limited on regulatory compliance for the discharge of existing securities as well as the preparation of all the transaction documentation.
  • Advised a hedge fund manager on the negotiations for the acquisition of real estate with numerous landowners located within the same area and location.

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews continues to handle large-scale conveyancing transactions in the real estate and construction field. The firm has advised on large mixed-use developments, sales of bank assets, property disposals in share purchase schemes and restructurings of debt. The team has also worked closely with the government to review the national legal framework in the forestry sector. Adil Khawaja is the managing partner and is recognised for his real estate and commercial law acumen. Lorna Mainnah advises on private-public land exchanges. Sigee Koech is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Richard Omwela

Other key lawyers:

Adil Khawaja; Lorna Mainnah; Sigee Koech

Testimonials

‘Highly qualified and experienced team who know how to get things done, demonstrated through the challenging Covid period.’

‘Very thorough with the ability to see and counteract potential issues and problems in advance.’

Key clients

Elgon Development Limited

Immo80 Kenya Limited

Redbury Nine Limited

Khawaja Sohail Deen & Dr Lubna Khawaja

British High Commission

Elgon Development Limited

Immo80 Kenya Limited

Redbury Nine Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Immo 80 Kenya Limited which is a subsidiary of Overseas Administration Management that specializes in worldwide relocation and record management services. The firm set up Immo 80 Kenya Limited in Kenya on behalf of Overseas Administration Management and advised it on the acquisition of four warehouses in Nairobi’s busy Industrial Area, just off Mombasa Road.
  • Act for Elgon Development Limited (the developer) in the sale and lease of office units in an office complex located in a busy commercial area in Nairobi.
  • Act for Redbury Nine Limited in the acquisition of a prime piece of property in Kilifi. This transaction proved quite unique as the seller had charged the property to a bank, which is currently under receivership.

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates has a relatively large real estate and construction team with notable expertise in handling energy-related transactions. The department is also familiar with large-scale acquisitions, development projects and lease arrangements. Anne Kinyanjui is highly regarded and often acts as the lead partner in matters. Amrit Soar and Norah Mutuku are noted for land acquisitions and project-related work respectively.

Practice head(s):

Anne Kinyanjui

Other key lawyers:

Amrit Soar; Norah Mutuku

Testimonials

‘The firm is well structured with the right partner-to-associate mix. Their billing arrangements are friendly and offer real value for money.’

‘Anne Kinyanjui is an excellent practitioner with a sharp legal mind and broad experience. She’s adept at developing workarounds that keep deals on track.’

‘I think what comes to mind would be the regular legal alerts on developing areas of law that the team sends out to its clientele to keep them updated on the various areas of law. The team also organises training for its clients on the areas of law likely to affect them. The team is also hands-on with various transactions they handle on behalf of clients.’

‘The individuals I work with from the firm are very thorough in their work and follow up on transactions.’

‘The team’s analytical and logical approach to issues is backed by in-depth legal research in the area, which sets them apart from their peers. The team has extensive knowledge of substantive law and legal procedures that is lay broken down for the understanding of their clients.’

‘The company’s billing system is flexible and the client gets value from the cost incurred. Technology is incorporated in their process.’

‘The team is friendly and empowered to make decisions in quick turnaround time. The efficiency of the team is enhanced by the partner’s passion for their professional trade, knowledge of the law, collaborative approach with great communication/listening skills. The team is reachable even during odd hours underpinning their commitment to their assignment.’

Key clients

Kipeto Energy Limited

Benaa Limited

East Africa Breweries Limited

ADvTECH Limited

HealthLink Matcare Limited T/a Nairobi Women’s Hospital

Mass Discounters t/a Game and Dion Wired

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Rock Ridge Homes Limited

Meadow Brooke Farm Limited

Hua Xiang Development Company Limited

Kenya Simba Investments Company Limited

Tuffsteel Limited

Executive Concepts Limited

Spotlight Publishers East Africa Limited

Greenhills Investment Limited

East African Portland Cement Company PLC

Simba Lodges Limited

Ramco Group of Companies

Bank of Africa Kenya Limited

I&M Bank Limited

Ecobank Kenya Limited

Art Caffe, Coffee & Bakery Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

Walker Kontos Advocates

Walker Kontos Advocates excels in handling a wide variety of real estate and construction matters, such as leasing, joint ventures, sales and acquisitions. The team is able to aid developers engaged in complex residential and commercial developments; its work includes assisting with contract negotiations, funding, construction and disposal. The firm recently advised Saracota Enterprises Limited, a housing estate developer, on the sale of 52 developed units. Senior partner Alexandra Kontos is an experienced conveyancer with expertise in high-value acquisitions. Peter M Mwangi handles complex restructurings and investments.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Kontos; Michael Kontos; Peter Muhiu Mwangi; Deepen Shah; Martha Muturi-Gitonga

Testimonials

‘Quick, attentive, understanding and with excellent knowledge of the law in this area. They have also seen most of our issues before so have experience and know the answer based on previous work they’ve done.’

‘Michael Kontos looks after our account and is an excellent lawyer. Very very strong in this area, always re-checks things if he feels that things may have changed and calls on others who may have more recent experience to validate his views. Easy to work with and extremely helpful with one-off calls for quick advice. 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

responsibilityAccess to Clean Power Fund S.A.

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 for the developer of a housing estate in the Athi River Area (Phase III of Paradise Park) in the sale of 52 developed units each having its own title of which 45 are residential units, 6 commercial units and 1 nursery school.
  • Acted for Prabhaki Group in connection with the sale of nine warehouses at the Prabhaki Industrial Park to various corporate entities.
  • Advised Homescope Properties Limited (the developer) on the structure of the sale and construction of the Professor J. M. Kyambi Students Residencies in line with the applicable laws.

MMC ASAFO

MMC ASAFO is specialised in the structuring of joint ventures for real estate development and investment. The team is recognised for advising on urban regeneration projects, construction law, REITS and residential developments. It acts for some of the largest developers and corporate clients in the market. Esther Njiru-Omulele heads the commercial and property department. Jessica Mwenje Mayavi currently leads the real estate team. Isaiah Mungai Kamau is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

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

Key clients

Tatu City Limited

Oaklands Properties Kenya Limited

Tilisi Developments PLC

United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID)

State Department of Housing and Urban Development (SDHUD)

Urban Housing and Renewal Development LLP

Cool Breeze Development Limited

Superior Homes PLC

National Social Security Fund of Kenya (NSSF)

Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL)

Maisha Housing Limited

Zamani Business Park

Two Rivers Development Limited

Bongo Court Limited

Richland Development Limited

British American Tobacco

Precious Heights Limited

Centum Real Estate Limited

Student Factory Limited

Kenya Airports Authority

Twenty Twenty Red Hill Limited

Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK)

Goodman Agencies Limited

Loldia Ndulele Limited

Oraro & Company Advocates

Oraro & Company Advocates advises on joint ventures, leases, the preparation of licences, structuring of complex development projects and transfers of land, among other matters. The firm acts for numerous developers and investors in the market. Pamella Ager is the main contact at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Pamella Ager

Key clients

Tembuland Limited

Cytonn Investments Management PLC

Work highlights

  • Acted for Kengen Retirement Benefits Scheme on its $10.3m development of a 6.6-acre parcel of land.
  • Acted for Cytonn Investments Management Plc 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 acts for a variety of lenders, developers and investors in the real estate sector; clients include Barclays Bank of Kenya and Kenya Commercial Bank. In addition to handling residential and commercial real estate developments, the team is also well-versed in the tax implications of buying, selling and leasing of commercial and residential properties. Tom OnyangoJinaro Kibet and Cheptoo Langat are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Tom Onyango; Jinaro Kibet

Other key lawyers:

Cheptoo Langat

Testimonials

‘The ability to understand the client’s needs. Creating custom solutions. Having a dedicated point person. Having an acute sense of the subject matter. Identifying the unique inefficiencies within the system as a result of the African domain and setting up special solutions for the same.’

‘We work closely with Mr Tom Onyango and Ms Cheptoo Langat. They both make themselves readily available for our needs. Tom’s ability and vision to resolve problems through openness and dialogue is very impressive.’

Key clients

Uhuru Heights Limited

Miguna Miproma Limited

Church Commissioners for Kenya

Ceytun Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret

Kore Forests Limited

Echuka Country Estate

Nanyuki Holdings Limited