Aleem Tharani

Aleem Tharani

Head of Projects, Energy and Infrastructure
Nairobi, Kenya: Coulson Harney LLP
T: +254 20 289 9000
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Aleem Tharani heads our Projects, Energy and Infrastructure practice in Kenya. Aleem is rapidly developing an enviable reputation in the market and is increasingly acting on significant energy projects both in Kenya and in other African countries, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Uganda.

Aleem has experience in project, corporate and property finance transactions across a range of sectors, including transport, ports, telecoms, energy, financial institutions and industrials and has a particular focus on renewable energy deals.

Aleem’s experience involves advising on government contract work, including drafting and negotiating concession agreements, PPAs and offtake agreements; structuring debt financing for clients; structuring project equity financing, including all operative agreements such as share purchase agreements, shareholder agreements and share subscription agreements; structuring unique partial risk guarantees and developing political risk guarantee products for clients with counter parties such as MIGA, IDA, ATI, ADF and the Government of Kenya; and  providing project-related advice on land acquisitions and all regulatory matters pertaining thereto.

In 2021, he successfully completed the Leading Professional Services Firms Programme run by Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

* experience gained prior to joining Bowmans

Energy Experience

A selection of Aleem’s experience in the energy sector includes advising:

  • DEG and FMO on the financing of the 30MW Makindu Solar Project being developed by Responsibility.
  • Voltalia on the development of the 40MW Kopere Solar PV Project.
  • Frontier Energy on the development of the 60.8MW Range Wind Park.
  • Virunga Holdings on the development of 3 hydropower projects in Kenya.
  • Hallbourgh Investments Limited on the development of a hybrid renewable energy power plant of 130MW capacity integrating wind, solar and battery storage technologies and which is intended to make Unguja, Zanzibar largely energy self-sufficient.
  • Windlab Kenya on all aspects of the development of an 80MW wind-solar-storage project in Meru County, including drafting the legal aspects of privately initiated investment proposal under the PPP Act.
  • Africa Clean Energy Solutions on the development of a 20MW hybrid Biogas and Solar PV Power Plant in Kenya.
  • Themis Energy on the development of a 10MW Solar PV power plant in Kajiado County, Kenya.
  • Globeleq Africa Limited on the proposed acquisition of a 35MW geothermal power plant being developed in Menengai, Nakuru County, Kenya.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the development of an IPP regulatory framework in Zanzibar.
  • Solar Century Africa Holdings on the development of the Lewa-Borana & Sergoit Solar PV Projects (aggregate 20MW).
  • Njumbi Hydropower Limited on the development of a 10MW hydropower project in Kenya.
  • Toyota Tsusho Corporation on a joint venture with Powerhive Africa for the development of mini-grid projects across Kenya.
  • Proto Energy Limited on steam supply agreements to be entered into with various C&I clients.
  • *rAREH on the joint development of a 25MW solar PV project located near Bo Town, Sierra Leone.
  • *rAREH on the joint development of the Mutunguru Hydropower Project, Meru County, Kenya.
  • *Tembo Power Limited on the development of a 15.6MW Hydropower Plant in Kakamega.
  • *Sponsors on three separate geothermal power projects in Menengai, Kenya which in the aggregate will generate 105 MW and cost approximately USD 250 million.
  • *Frontier Energy on the development of a 5.6MW hydropower plant in Meru County.
  • *Africa Geothermal International (Kenya) Limited in connection with the development and financing of a 140MW geothermal power plant in Kenya.
  • *DEG and Proparco on their principal and mezzanine debt financing of the 40MW solar power plant being developed by Alten Solar in Kenya.
  • *Frontier Energy on the acquisition of a majority interest in Chania Green Generation Limited, the developer of a 50MW wind farm in Kajiado County, Kenya.
  • *Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers, General Electric, Craftskills Wind Energy International Limited, Actis and the International Finance Corporation, on the100MW wind powered generation facility in Kipeto, Kajiado.
  • *KP&P B.V. the sponsors of the 310MW Turkana Wind Power Project (the largest power generation project in Kenya, designed to provide at least 30% of the country’s power demand).
  • *Elicio NV and the International Finance Corporation among others, the sponsors of a 90MW wind powered generation farm in Mpeketoni, Lamu on the coast of Kenya.
  • *Craftskills Wind International (Craftskills) and Globeleq in connection with the joint development of a 50MW wind power generating facility in Kipeto, Kenya.
  • *Globeleq on various aspects of the development of a 40MW Power Generating Plant at Lagobaya, Malindi, Kilifi County.
  • *Frontier Energy on the Financing of the 40MW Selenkei Solar PV Project and the 40MW Cedate Solar PV Project in Eldoret, Republic of Kenya.
  • *Asachi Power Tech on the financing, design, construction, operation or maintenance of a 30.6MW in Isinya, Kajiado County.

Infrastructure Projects Experience

Aleem’s Infrastructure project experience includes advising:

  • Tullow Oil Plc (including Africa Oil and Maersk Oil) on all its upstream and midstream aspects of the oil extraction by the Joint Venture from the Lokichar Basin in Northern Kenya in relation to all legal and regulatory issues, including land and infrastructure access rights, tax, contract issues, the production sharing agreement and other agreements for the project.
  • The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited as local counsel together with Clifford Chance LLP (international counsel) on the proposed PPP structure for the Lot 15 and Lot 18 concessions to finance, build, operate and maintain several roads in the Republic of Kenya.
  • A consortium comprising of Shandong Hi-Speed, Hass Infra Limited and GVR Infra Projects Limited on Lot 3 of the Kenya Roads Annuity Program. The Lot 3 project scope includes the design, construction, commissioning, financing, operation and maintenance of the Modogashe – Habaswein – Samatar and Rhamu – Mandera (A13 Roads).
  • Intex Construction Ltd on the only Roads Annuity Programme Lot to have reached financial close, being Lot 33 for a concession to finance, build, operate and maintain a 93 km road from Ngong – Kiserian to Isinya and Kajiado – Imaroro Road under the Kenya Rural Roads Authority Kenya’s Roads 10,000 Annuities programme.
  • *Kenya Airways on the PIIP for the take-over of JKIA from the Kenya Airports Authority and the general restructuring of the Kenyan aviation sector.
  • *Bechtel, one of the world’s largest infrastructure and construction companies, in connection with the construction of the Nairobi – Mombasa Expressway.
  • *City-Yuwa Partners and Ingerosec Corporation on the development of a medical and hazardous waste management.
  • *Fujita Corporation on contract negotiations with the Kenya National Highways Authority on the development of the Mombasa Port Area Road Development Project.
  • *DP World on the PIIP in respect of a concession to operate CT2 (the Second Container Terminal) at the Mombasa Port.
  • *The AIIM-Mota Engil Consortium on its bid for the design, build, financing, operation, maintenance and transfer of the Nairobi – Nakuru – Mau Summit Highway.
  • *Mota-Engil Africa on the development, construction, operation and maintenance of Lot 15 and Lot 18 of the Roads Annuity Programme.
  • *A consortium led by Kiewa Group in a joint venture with the Nairobi County Council for the redevelopment of the Old Ngara Estate within Nairobi City County.
  • *KCB on the PIIP in respect of the development of 20,000 housing units across Kenya for the National Police Service.


  • Chambers and Partners ranked Aleem in Band 2 for three consecutive years (2021 to 2023) for Projects and Energy in Kenya and in Band 3 both 2019 and 2020 for the same category.
  • Legal 500 ranked Aleem as a Next Generation Partner for four consecutive years (2020 to 2023).
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Aleem as a Highly Regarded lawyer for Project development, Banking and Project Finance for four consecutive years (2019 to 2022).

‘Aleem is a very strong, knowledgeable and pragmatic partner, with high responsiveness and great understanding of the Kenyan energy sector. He is a pleasure to work with overall.’

‘He’s always amazing. He shares very good insight of the market in a timely manner.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2023

‘The ‘skilled and knowledgeable’ Aleem Tharani heads up the practice, and provides ‘high quality legal advice’ on significant energy mandates.’

‘Aleem Tharani provides excellent project financing advice drawing on global and in-market experience, has very good commercial nous, and is able to balance the legal and commercial issues in pushing projects forward. He is well regarded by counterparts, constructive in his approach, and has been integral to the progress we have made. He is clearly the best advisor in this space in the market.’

‘Aleem Tharani is a commanding presence on the commercial features of energy and infrastructure projects. He balances technical acumen with a pragmatic, solution-driven approach which is user-friendly. His network is extremely valuable and he provides high quality legal advice in a timely fashion.’ – Legal 500, 2023

‘Focused and dedicated; innovative in the solutions; very proactive.’

‘Reliable, responsive and very knowledgeable about the sector. Pleasant to work with.’
‘Solid professional advice.’

‘Aleem is a very strong lawyer and is able to provide relevant feedback to clients taking into account the risks clients should be able to take and the ones clients shouldn’t.’

‘Always willing to assist and ready to think outside the box. Great in brainstorming and has in-depth knowledge and experience in the sector.’

‘He had everything – accessible; knowledgeable; great network; insights; proactive; friendly; professional; responsible.’ – IFLR1000, 2022

‘Paras and Aleem make a formidable team and complement each other very well. Paras has a depth of knowledge on interactions with government contracts, whereas Aleem has distinguished himself particularly in the structuring of transactions.’

‘Practice head Aleem Tharani has an excellent reputation in energy and road projects.’

‘Aleem Tharani is consistently exceptional.’

‘Bowmans’ energy/infrastructure team has significantly strengthened since Aleem Tharani joined the firm…’

‘Aleem Tharani is doing an excellent job at Bowmans and brings a wealth of expertise to his clients, having worked on a large number of transactions in the energy/infrastructure sector over the last years. Not only is he very knowledgeable about the sector, but Aleem knows all the key stakeholders, is always available for his clients and is pragmatic/innovative in problem-solving.’ – Legal 500, 2022

‘He is the technical driving force that ensures projects are effectively executed.’

‘He is a strong projects lawyer who understands the Kenyan market and its precedents, and is able to accurately guide clients, which is invaluable.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2022

‘The “technically superior” Aleem Tharani is lauded for his “excellent knowledge of the energy sector across Kenya and east Africa.” He represents a roster of financiers, project developers and sponsors active in infrastructure and renewable power projects, and source say his “ability and comments are such that you don’t need to ask questions as they are succinct in meeting requirements.”‘ – Chambers & Partners, 2021

‘Aleem Tharani continues to make waves in the Kenyan energy sector after joining Bowmans in July 2019. He has considerable strength in PPAs, M&A and power projects, with sources singling him out as a future star in renewable energy. Commentators further praise him as a “very strong individual” who “gets the job done.”‘ – Chambers & Partners, 2020

‘Lauded by clients as “a capable and smart structurer with a strong commercial orientation and key problem-solving bent,” and one client added. “He’s an excellent drafter. And when I say excellent, I’m talking on an international level.”‘

‘”He is a great detailed guy and very accurate in drafting and arguing contracts. He’s well organised and a quick worker. A really good lawyer.” Others indicate “He has a sharp, clear and immediate grasp of commercial issues, and a willingness and quickness to proffer solutions and precise drafting ability.”‘ – Chambers & Partners, 2019

Publications & Insights