Firm / Organisation

Dube Manikai & Hwacha

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Managing Partner: Milanda Manjengwah
Number of partners: 11 Number of lawyers: 7
Languages: English

Firm Overview:
DMH-The Law Firm (DMH) opened its doors to clients on 1 June 1998 as Dube, Manikai & Hwacha Legal Practitioners with just four partners and 12 support staff, to date the team comprises of twelve partners, six associates and twenty four support staff. Over the years DMH has established itself as pioneers in the Zimbabwean legal landscape leaving an inedible mark by offering expert legal advice in the commercial and financial services sector, trade and investment, labour and litigation, tax and insurance and conveyancing sectors.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Commercial & Financial Services
Trade & Investment
Employment Law
Tax Advisory
Conveyancing

Commercial & Financial Services Unit:
3 partners, 2 associates
The commercial and financial services unit, is a multidisciplinary unit which offers specialised legal services in the commercial, corporate and financial services sectors of the Zimbabwean economy. The dynamic unit is headed by Edwin Isaac Manikai, a co-founder of the firm, and one of the leading lights in the commercial sphere in Zimbabwe. Some notable work includes, but are not limited to:
■Appointed as local consultants by the World Bank in the harmonisation of the Zambezi River Authority
■Zimbabwean Counsel in respect of loans by regional financial institutions to local banks and companies for trade finance purposes, of a total in excess of US$1 billion
■Lead Local Counsel for Afreximbank on a US$150 million Syndicated Future Flow Financing Facility in favour of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (Private) Limited (ZETDC)
■Lead Counsel in the recapitalization and restructuring of the biggest local bread producer in the country
■Independent legal advisors to the debt restructuring of one of the country’s largest mining houses
■Lead Counsel in the recapitalization and balance sheet restructuring of one of the country’s sugar producers in 2016

Trade & Investment:
3 partners, 2 associates
The trade and investment unit is a specialist response team, aimed at giving foreign investors world class legal advice related to greenfield and subsisting investments cutting across all sectors of the economy. The unit is headed by the firm’s co-founder and senior partner, Canaan Farirai Dube, a pioneer and renowned investment lawyer and corporate leader make sound and legally enforceable investments. Some notable work includes, but are not limited to:
■Lead counsel in the negotiations pertaining to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), for a 100MW Gwanda/Plumtree Solar Power Project, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe
■Local counsel for restructuring and divisionalisation of one of Zimbabwe’s largest chicken processing companies
■Advised and assisted Chinese, Mauritian, Israeli, Canadian, English, Russian and South African investors in establishing enterprises in Zimbabwe
■Current local counsel for over 5 Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed companies

Tax:
1 partner, 1 associate
The tax department is headed by Zimbabwe’s leading tax practitioner, Johaness Muchada. Its aim has always been to advise and represent its clients (mostly tax payers) with a high level of competence and diligence. Pursuant to this objective, the tax department is proud to have dealt with various tax disputes that came to a successful end. Notable transactions in this practice include, but are not limited to:
■Successfully represented companies in the tourism industry resulting in a reprieve from government that led to the enactment of a statutory instrument that outlaws the tax assessments that had been raised against them and ultimately saving clients hundreds of thousands of dollars
■Successfully defended a client in the Energy Industry against a claim made by ZIMRA, which resulted in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority withdrawing its matter
■Provides tax opinions to both local and international clients, including international law firms, tax advisors

Employment Law:
3 partners, 2 associates
The department’s dominance in the field of employment law is unparalleled. The team advisory services follow the full cycle of an employer/employee relationship from recruitment, immigration, employment contracts and remuneration, company employment policies (working in conjunction with human resources), internal hearings, dispute resolution and mediation, restructuring and retrenchment.
■Legal Counsel that pioneered the current status quo in applying the ‘Dirty Hands Principle’ when dealing with labour and employment disputes
■Successfully defended The Catering Employers Association comprising of all hotel, motel, lodge and similar employers in Zimbabwe from industrial wage increments and negotiated for a wage freeze
■Successfully defended employers in the insurance industry from a wage increase that had been ordered by the courts

Conveyancing:
1 partner
The conveyancing and securitisation department is a key unit in the firm whose practitioners collaborate with the commercial and financial services unit in deal structuring and securitisation. The department is headed by Rumbidzai Matambo, who worked as an Associate then a partner in the Commercial Financial Services Unit before being appointed head of the conveyancing and securitization unit in 2012. The department has years of experience in advising local and international clients on complex transactions underpinned by securitisation. The firm’s advisory services in this department are unmatched in Zimbabwe. Notable work includes:
■Lead advisors and conveyancers for the country’s largest building societies and development projects
■Lead legal counsel for a sizeable cluster house development project for Zimbabwe’s leading insurance company
■Local counsel for multi-million dollar project pertaining a tender related to a building project along Masvingo highway