Firm / Organisation

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

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Managing Partner: Adil Khawaja
Senior Partner: Richard Omwela
Number of partners: 11
Number of associates: 34
Languages: English, Swahili

Firm Overview:
Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Kenya. The firm is very highly regarded and has consistently been rated as one of the top tier firms in Kenya by clients and various international legal directories. The firm provides a full range of services to an extensive client base.

Main Areas of Practice & Recent Transactions:

Arbitration:
The team has vast experience in representing clients in local and international arbitral proceedings and is consistently consulted by foreign law firms and clients on the entire arbitration process.

Aviation:
The firm provides transaction and advisory services to various players in the aviation industry and has considerable litigation experience in this field.
■ Andrew Mugambi and Sigee Koech advised nine Kenyan banks in the restructuring plan proposed by Kenya Airways, the flag carrier airline of Kenya, to all of its creditors
■ Michi Kirimi successfully acted for a player in the aviation sector who had been named as a party in a derivative action on the allegation that it had purchased some assets of the company at an under sale

Business Set-Up & Regulatory Compliance:
The firm has a wealth of experience in assisting clients in setting up companies, branches of foreign companies and non-profit organisations and in advising on regulatory and compliance requirements.

Banking & Finance:
The firm acts for many local and international banks in all types of financing transactions and undertakes a lot of banking-related litigation. Recent significant transactions include:
■ Andrew Mugambi and Sigee Koech advised Thaara Limited in a mezzanine lending from Vantage Mezzanine Fund III USD (Pty) Limited to pay down existing senior debt funding from I&M Bank Limited
■ Richard Omwela is advising a Pan-African lender with respect to a convertible loan to a listed company. The transaction involves advising a foreign lender on the most prudent enforcement structure given that the securities taken by the lender transcend plethora of Kenyan financing and securities laws

Capital Markets:
The firm is a leader in capital markets work having advised on numerous IPOs, bonds, rights issues, capital base restructuring exercises and take-overs. The firm advised the Nairobi Securities Exchange on its demutualisation, IPO and self-listing.

Competition/Anti-Trust:
The firm has extensive experience in advising on all aspects of competition law including merger control, abuse of dominance, restrictive trade practices, cartels and other anti-competitive investigations under Kenyan law and the COMESA Competition Regulations:
■ Daniel Wanjau advised on all Kenyan competition law aspects of the sale of Sealed Air Corporation’s cleaning and chemicals systems division, Diversey Care, and its food hygiene and cleaning business to Bain Capital Private Equity Fund
■ Richard Omwela advised a multinational brewing and beverage company on the competition law requirements relating to a merger transaction

Constitutional & Administrative Law:
The firm has wide-ranging expertise in constitutional and administrative law matters and has been involved in litigation of great public interest
■ Kiragu Kimani acted in the two presidential election petitions filed following the presidential election held on 8th May 2017 and the fresh election held on 26th October 2017

Dispute Resolution & Litigation:
The firm continues to be ranked as a top law firm in Kenya in dispute resolution:
■ Kiragu Kimani and Kenneth Fraser successfully represented Kenya Power & Lightening Company in a petition alleging that the client had overcharged its customers. The amount in dispute was US$101 million
■ Kiragu Kimani acts for the State Corporation established to manage Kenya’s wildlife in litigation challenging the construction of Phase 2A of the Standard Gauge Railway project (SGR). The value of this matter is Ksh 105 billion
■ Kenneth Fraser successfully defended a leading commercial bank in a constitutional petition alleging that charges raised in connection with the bank’s mobile lending product amounted to interest in breach of the Banking (Amendment) Act, 2016
■ Michi Kirimi is acting for a leading player in the ICT and telecommunications sector in a suit challenging the decision of the procurement Board which annulled a tender that the client had been awarded. The matter is important as it will determine the considerations to be taken into account where tenders are subject to donor guidelines that may be in conflict with the local laws. The value of this matter is US$12 million

Employment & Immigration:
The firm undertakes employment-related litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes prescribed under the labour laws. The firm assists clients in drafting employment contracts and manuals and in making applications for work permits. The team regularly advises clients on labour law issues arising out of M&A transactions.
■ Lorna Mainnah assisted an international non-governmental organisation on the termination of employment on account of redundancy and drafted the termination notices required to be issued to the employees and the labour office
■ Michi Kirimi advised on a matter which led to the first Collective Bargaining Agreement to be registered in respect of the private security services sector in Kenya.

Energy, Oil & Gas:
The firm has extensive experience in advising on power generation projects and on oil and gas exploration and development.
■ Andrew Mugambi is acting as local counsel to the sponsors in the financing of the first private sector greenfield geothermal development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project is expected to generate 70MW
■ Daniel Wanjau advised the government on a World- Bank-funded institutional review of all petroleum and non-petroleum institutions involved in the oil & gas sector in Kenya

M&A & Private Equity:
The firm undertakes significant work in M&A and private equity work:
■ Daniel Wanjau advised Sealed Air Corporation in respect of all Kenyan law aspects of the sale of its cleaning and chemicals systems division, Diversey Care, and its food hygiene and cleaning business to Bain Capital Private Equity Fund. The value of the global transaction was USD$3.2 billion
■ Richard Omwela advised a global destination management specialist on all the Kenyan law aspects of its acquisition of a local destination management company
■ Andrew Mugambi advised Fenix International Inc. & Fenix International Kenya Limited on a transaction involving the acquisition of a controlling stake by Engie SA of Fenix International Inc. and its subsidiaries

PPPs & Infrastructure:
The firm is the leading firm in PPPs work in Kenya and is advising on a number of PPPs infrastructure and power generation projects in addition to representing clients in PPPs-related litigation.

Public Procurement:
The firm, in particular Kiragu Kimani and Michi Kirimi, has exceptional expertise in public procurement related litigation and has represented clients such as KenGen and Kenya Power & Lighting Company and Geothermal Development Company.

Real Estate, Planning & Environmental Law:
The firm has a dedicated team of real estate lawyers advising on conveyancing, planning, environmental law and real estate financing and development.
■ Adil Khawaja advised a client in the change of user of a piece of land from hotel use to hospital use
■ Adil Khawaja, Lorna Mainnah and Sigee Koech advising a property developer in connection with a large mixed use development which will include a hotel, serviced apartments, residential, commercial and retail units.

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