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People

Beatrice Nyabira is the Partner in charge of the Projects and Infrastructure practice at IKM. She specializes in energy, infrastructure, public-private partnerships (PPPs), public procurement and government contracting. Some of the mandates in which Beatrice has been involved include: a solid waste PPP project, a geothermal power project, a coal-fired power project, several solar photovoltaic projects, two wind power projects, construction of a bridge through a PPP and the procurement of medical equipment under a managed equipment services (MES) arrangement.

Beatrice’s clients include, commercial lenders, development finance institutions (DFIs), project sponsors and developers and contracting authorities.

The Chambers Global legal guide has reported that she is: “one of the star lawyers in the energy space” and “one of the people to watch due to her high energy and exceptional attention to detail.” It also reported that: "she has exceptional technical knowledge, especially in projects.” The guide has recognized Beatrice over the past few years as one of the outstanding commercial lawyers in Kenya.

Experience has included advising:

  • Lenders in a 40 MW solar power project being developed in Kesses, Kenya
  • Lenders in a 50 MW wind power project being developed in Kajiado, Kenya
  • Senior lenders on the development and construction of a 140 MW geothermal power plant and related facilities in the Rift Valley region in Kenya, and the sale of capacity and energy to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company
  • A developer of a 100 MW wind farm located in the Kajiado County in Kenya
  • Developers of small-scale, off-grid wind hybrid power plant in Kenya
  • A consortium of investors in respect of a proposed primary healthcare project, which will be piloted in Makueni County before being scaled up to all 47 counties in the country
  • The providers of equity and mezzanine debt for initial contractors who will be constructing roads assigned in lots under the Kenya Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure’s Roads 10,000 Program, for the development of a total of 10,000 km of roads (phase one being for 2,000 km)
  • A potential developer on the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project; an economic corridor that will foster regional socio-economic development in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan, comprising a port, oil refinery, highway and railway construction
  • A state corporation on a bridge PPP, being one of the Kenya National Treasury’s priority PPP projects
  • World Bank on a PPP options study for accelerated and sustainable non-revenue water reduction for Nairobi and Mombasa Counties
  • An international oil and gas exploration and development company on its rights under a production sharing contract with the Kenyan government for the acquisition of onshore exploration blocks

Professional Qualifications

  • Advocate admitted to the High Court of Kenya (2005)

Education

  • Kenya School of Law, Diploma in Law (2005)
    University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Laws LL.B. (2003)

Recognition

  • Ranked by Chambers Global
  • Ranked by IFLR 1000

Prior Experience

  • 2011 to date, Partner, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
  • 2008 to 2010, Senior Associate, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
  • 2005 to 2008, Associate, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya
  • 2003 to 2004, Pupil, IKM, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Kenya

Memberships

  • Member of the Law Society of Kenya
  • Member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Tribunal member of the PPP Petition Committee

Why transparency matters in projects

Kenya’s Vision 2030 aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized, middle-income country that provides high-quality life to its citizens. To achieve this, the government of Kenya continues to make great strides in the development of ground-breaking infrastructural projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway, the Nairobi Expressway, Konza Techno City, among others.

How digitalisation could solve Kenya’s power sector woes

Amit Zavery, the head of Google Cloud makes the point that we should “Think of digital transformation less as a technology project to be finished than as a state of perpetual agility, always ready to evolve for whatever customers want next.” The electricity sector in Kenya has been grappling with a plethora of challenges which are often met with a chorus of public outcry. Three of the most prominent issues are reliability, the high costs and accessibility. Digitalisation presents workable solutions for some of these challenges through digital tools such as smart meters, smart grid systems, and blockchain technology.

Will beneficial ownership rules curb tenders graft?

In many countries, public procurement has for a long time been considered one of the areas most prone to manipulation and fraud. Kenya is no exception and there have been allegations of public officials and their cronies creating and winning bids at inflated prices.

Public accounting officers cannot be glorified clerks

In recent years, there have been a number of media reports about procurement malpractice and misuse of public funds by public officers entrusted with such duties. The reports tend to elicit a lot of public indignation and debate has often centered around who should be held accountable. On its part, the Government will argue that the institutions set up to deal with such malpractice are doing the best that they can. There are many examples of suspension or removal of implicated officials (including top officers) from office, freezing of assets and hefty fines, among others. However, this is unlikely to appease a public which is craving high profile convictions, the main complaint being that only the ‘small fish’ get netted for procurement crimes, with many of the more senior public officers seemingly walking away scot-free, or at worst, with a slap on the wrist.

How land banking can cut mega projects costs

The high cost of land has often been cited as one of the biggest challenges facing infrastructural development. This is particularly so, where infrastructure development is carried out in phases. Latter phases end up being hit with higher land acquisition costs due to enhanced commerce, habitation and other opportunities resulting from the earlier phases of the investment.