Firm Profile > Bowmans > Nairobi, Kenya

PO BOX 10643

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Bowmans has a depth of resources, expertise and experience in financings and debt capital markets. The team has made considerable progress in fintech, structured finance, commodities finance, financial restructurings and subordinated debt financings for Kenyan banks. Moreover, it advised the government of Kenya on its $2bn sovereign bond listed on the London Stock Exchange. It also assisted Kenya Airways with its balance sheet restructuring, which included $750m of sovereign guarantees from the government of Kenya to the airline's creditors. Paras Shah 'works hard to get the deal across the line'; Kamami Christine Michira is recommended for financial regulatory matters and fintech, along with debt restructuring expert Richard Harney and senior corporate finance specialist Cornelius Kigera. The group was further bolstered by the recent hire of Stephen Matthews, the former head of banking at Allen & Overy LLP's Moscow office.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Bowmans is at the forefront of cross-border transactions, most notably in the East Africa region. It has also handled a series of significant private equity exits and a number of headline corporate restructurings, including advising Kenya Airways on its debt and equity restructuring. The Nairobi office 'is doing very well from its South Africa connection', has 'fantastic people' and is 'rated highly'. Richard Harney 'works very hard to see the transaction through' and Paras Shah is 'very amiable, very client oriented and practical'. Joyce Karanja-Ng’ang’a is a leader in competition law and Philip Coulson has considerable experience in the space.

Employment Tier 1

Bowmans has a well-developed employment practice that leads the field in transactional-related matters, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), redundancies and restraint of trade issues. It advised NIC Group on the transfer of employees from one entity within the group to another following a reorganisation of the business. The group is praised for its 'speed, pragmatism, ability to think outside the box and proactiveness'. Rainbow Field is the market leader in employee transfers and ESOPs, while Sean Omondi is 'pragmatic, draws on a vast range of experience, thinks outside the box and covers off all angles to protect the client'.

Real estate and construction Tier 1

Bowmans continues to have a significant market share of major projects and mini-city developments. It is building its presence in new areas such as special economic zones and has leading expertise in construction, and community land and conservation issues. It advised Africa Pearl River on its 60% investment in Africa Economic Zones, which owns 600 acres of land which have special economic zone status. Philip Coulson and Alex Njage have outstanding reputations.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Bowmans is at the forefront of restructuring and insolvency matters, including related contentious proceedings. It has also seen growth in tax cases, trade mark disputes, general commercial litigation and shareholder disputes. Evans Monari is the senior litigator in the team, while Anthony Njogu and Terry Mwango have earned market recognition through a series of headline cases. Njogu was the lead dispute resolution partner in successfully defending Kenya Airways' unprecedented scheme of arrangement restructuring in the Court of Appeal.

Privatisation and projects Tier 2

Bowmans has gained considerable traction in the upstream and midstream oil and gas sectors. It advised a Kenyan joint venture (led by Tullow Oil) on the upstream and midstream aspects of oil extraction from the Lokichar Basin in Northern Kenya and the proposed development of a crude oil pipeline from Lokichar to Lamu. Paras Shah has an outstanding reputation.

The firm: Bowmans is a leading Pan-African law firm. Its track record of providing domestic and cross-border legal services in the fields of corporate law, banking and finance law and dispute resolution spans over a century.

With 400 specialised lawyers, Bowmans is differentiated by its independence and the quality of legal services it provides.

The firm delivers integrated legal services to clients throughout Africa from six offices (Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg, Kampala and Nairobi) in four countries (Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda).

Bowmans works closely with leading Nigerian firm Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, and Mozambique-based boutique firm Taciana Peão Lopes & Advogados Associados. It also has strong relationships with other leading law firms across the rest of Africa and is a representative of Lex Mundi, a global association with more than 160 independent law firms across the globe.

Clients include corporates, multinationals and state-owned enterprises across a range of industry sectors as well as financial institutions and governments.

Bowmans’ expertise is frequently recognised by independent research organisations. The firm has been named African Legal Adviser by DealMakers for the last three consecutive years and South African Law Firm of the Year for 2016 by the Who’s Who Legal. Most recently, Bowmans won the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Team of the Year Award at the prestigious African Legal Awards hosted by Legal Week and the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa in 2017. The firm was also ‘highly commended’ in the African Law Firm of the Year – Large Practice and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year categories.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and financial services regulatory
Commercial property
Dispute resolution
Employment and benefits
Governance, compliance and investigations
Government contracting and public procurement
Oil and gas
Private equity
Intellectual property
Mergers and acquisitions
Regulatory services
Shipping and logistics
Photo Name Position Profile
 Philip Coulson  photo Philip Coulson
 Rainbow Field  photo Rainbow Field
 Richard Harney  photo Richard Harney
 Joyce Karanja-Ng’ang’a  photo Joyce Karanja-Ng’ang’a
 Cornelius Kigera  photo Cornelius Kigera
 Kamami Christine Michira  photo Kamami Christine Michira
 Evans Monari  photo Evans Monari
 Njau Mukuha  photo Njau Mukuha
 Alex Njage  photo Alex Njage
 Anthony Njogu  photo Anthony Njogu
 Sean Omondi  photo Sean Omondi
 Paras Shah  photo Paras Shah
Number of lawyers : 400
Lex Mundi
Contact : Richard Harney (managing partner, Kenya T: +254 20 289 9000, E:
Other offices : Cape Town
Other offices : Dar es Salaam
Other offices : Durban
Other offices : Johannesburg
Other offices : Kampala