The Chambers Africa Awards 2022 were held on January 13, 2022 and a few names stood out in the Kenyan market for their exemplary performance and practice of law in the country over the past year.
The awards recognise a lawyer or law firm’s pre-eminence in key jurisdictions in the region. They also reflect achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.
Kenya Law Firm of the Year
Under this category, while five law firms were shortlisted as among the best performing in Kenya, only one was named Kenyan Law firm of the year.
Bowmans (Coulson Harney) received the top accolade beating out Anjarwalla & Khanna, Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya (IKM) and Kaplan & Stratton.
Bowmans Coulson Harney LLP managing partner Richard Harney (second left) with senior partners Paras Shah (left), Joyce Karanja and Aleem Tharani at the firm’s offices/NMG.
According to Chambers’, over the past 12 months Bowmans (Coulson Harney) maintained an enviable standing among the best Kenyan law firms, regularly acting on behalf of an impressive host of both domestic and international clients.
“Bowmans (Coulson Harney) boasts a full-service offering and maintains its top rankings in key practice areas such as Banking & Finance, Corporate M&A, Intellectual Property and Real Estate,” Chambers’ noted.
In 2021 the banking team advised a syndicate of lenders including Standard Chartered and JP Morgan on its $840 million (Sh84 billion) refinancing of Liquid Telecom’s debt.
Bowmans (Coulson Harney) advises a wide range of clients in the private sector, institutional and multi-national organizations, foreign investors and governmental institutions.
“Our advocates practice Kenyan law but we also have foreign-law expertise especially in English law banking and finance matters and corporate/commercial transactions. Other specialist areas include work on intellectual property, tech-law, arbitration, tax, energy, project finance, capital markets, investigations and corporate services,” Bowmans (Coulson Harney) states on its website.
The Kenyan firm works teams in Bowmans offices across the continent on various cross-border mandates for international clients.
Kenya Lawyer of the Year
In this category five lawyers in the country including Karim Anjarwalla – Anjarwalla & Khanna, Andrew Mugambi – Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, George Oraro – Oraro & Company Advocates, Sonal Sejpal – Anjarwalla & Khanna and Paras Shah – Bowmans (Coulson Harney) battled it out for the top position.
However only one could be named Kenya’s leading lawyer and this accolade went to Karim Anjarwalla of Anjarwalla & Khanna.
Anjarwalla & Khanna Managing Partner Karim Anjarwalla/ AfricaLegalNetwork.
Karim Anjarwalla is the Managing Partner of Anjarwalla & Khanna and is famed for undertaking a diverse range of high end corporate Mergers & Acquisitions mandates.
He is also recognised for his Africa-wide cross-border in areas including advising domestic, regional and international clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity investments and capital markets transactions.
Karim is known for his work advising Equity Group Holdings in their acquisitions of various banks in five African countries and Garda World’s acquisition of KK Security in eight African countries.
Other major deals he has worked on include the acquisition of Habib Bank by Diamond Trust Bank, and the sale of Fidelity Bank to Mauritius’ SBM Holding and Giro Commercial Bank to I&M Holdings.
He has also acted for the National Government of Kenya in various Eurobond issues, including most recently on its $2.5 billion (Sh250 billion) sovereign bond.
“He is perceived by commentators as an exceptional lawyer and a businessman who has an excellent commercial mind, he is unbelievably organised and strategic,” Chambers’ noted.
It is important to note that three names in the Kenyan Law market stood out in both categories during this year’s Chambers Africa Awards, namely-Bowmans (Coulson Harney), Anjarwalla & Khanna and Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews.