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Financial Services

The banking and financial service industries in Kenya are well developed and have enjoyed exponential growth alongside the country’s booming economy. 

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s financial sector is the third largest in sub-Saharan Africa, making a significant contribution to economic growth and job creation. The government’s Vision 2030 identifies access to finance as critical to enhancing the prospects for growth, regional competitiveness and shared prosperity. 

Our lawyers advise some of the largest financial services companies and institutions on both their day-to-day operations and wider strategic objectives. We help our clients contend with legal issues in banking, including restructurings and regulatory demands. 

Our clients include: asset managers, capital markets and their participants, investment banks, national regulators, private banks, private equity firms, professional services organizations engaged principally in financial services and retail banks. In addition, we regularly work with retail intermediaries on the legal issues involved in the selling of financial services to consumers.

Experience has included advising:

  • OPIC jointly with DLA Piper in connection with facilities to be granted to Acorn Holdings Limited, which is a leading real estate developer in Kenya for financing 10 mixed-use development projects
  • Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited in a transaction involving real estate financing
  • A top-tier commercial bank in Kenya in the financing of a used aircraft, which required a high degree of due diligence over the aircraft and security documentation proceedings
  • East African Breweries Limited as Kenyan counsel advising the borrower as to Kenyan law facilities in connection with the financing of the construction of its new brewery in Kisumu
  • Advising Radiant Energy Limited on the financing of two 40 MW solar power projects
  • Advising CDC Group Plc, the lenders, on the financing of a 40 MW solar project in Malindi
  • Ranked Tier 1 in Finance & Corporate (IFLR1000 2020)
  • Ranked Band 1 in Banking & Finance (Chambers & Partners 2019)
  • Ranked Tier 1 in Banking & Finance (The Legal 500 2019)
  • Ranked Tier 1 in Finance & Corporate (IFLR1000 2019)

Why new changes to the insolvency laws matter

The Business Laws (Amendment) (No.2) Act, 2021 received Presidential assent on 30 March 2021 and brought amendments to several statutes into effect, many of which are geared towards improving the ease of doing business in Kenya. One of the affected statutes is the Insolvency Act, 2015 and this article explores the impact of some of the changes on businesses and creditors.

Legal hurdles in blockchain and digital finance systems

The words Bitcoin or Ethereum may not fall within our everyday lingo but most of us know they are digital currencies or “cryptocurrencies” that are not controlled by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and can be sent to anyone without the need of an intermediary.

Getting competition right key to business in Africa

Since the advent of the Sherman Act of 1890 in the United States of America, competition and ant-trust regulation has been gaining Global prominence. Competition and anti-trust laws are essential for regulating competition in order to facilitate ethical economic growth and consumer protection. Anti-competitive behaviour which includes restrictive trade practices such as cartels, collusions, price fixing, abuse of dominance and predatory pricing is largely frowned upon and regulated in several jurisdictions. With growing and expanding business models, spurred by globalisation and technological advancements, the character and nature of what constitutes anti-competitive behaviour has evolved since 1890, and competition laws and regulations have equally evolved.

Why new digital lending rules may hurt consumers

The recently published Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (the “Bill”) is the latest attempt by parliament to regulate the previously unregulated digital lenders. In 2020, there were two different attempts to amend the law to give the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) power to regulate digital lenders. The Bill defines "digital credit" as a credit facility or arrangement where money is lent or borrowed through a digital channel, that is, the internet, mobile devices, computer devices, applications and any other digital systems as may be prescribed by CBK.

Shareholder primacy key to avoiding COVID-19 financial land mines

Shareholder primacy requires that the Board of any Company must act in the best interests of its shareholders. Under the concept, the shareholder is placed at the centre of the company’s corporate governance structure. The interests of other stakeholders such as the consumers, employees and the external society are largely regarded as secondary to the interests of the shareholders.