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Cornelius Kigera

Partner | Nairobi

Cornelius-Kimamo-Kigera

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Contact

T: +254 20 503 1600

Overview

Cornelius heads our Finance practice in the Kenya office, Coulson Harney LLP.

He specialises in banking and finance, construction, property and conveyancing law and general corporate and commercial law. Cornelius advises on large-scale transactions for a variety of clients across a range of sectors in Kenya.

 

Experience

Cornelius has advised:

  • Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (and other lenders) in respect of credit facilities to be made available to a telecommunications group with operations in Kenya for a sum of USD 270 million.
  • Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) in connection with the restructuring of facilities of up to USD 50 million advanced to ARM Cement Limited under a convertible subordinated secured term loan facility agreement. The principal amount of the restructured facility was USD 36 million.
  • UAP Holdings Limited (UAP) in relation to a term loan facility from Nedbank Limited (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking division) (Nedbank) for USD 35 million.
  • Wananchi Group of companies in Kenya in relation to a loan facility of USD 72 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the United States of America.
  • Banque Cantonale De Geneve in relation to a loan facility of USD 15 million to Kenol Kobil Limited.
  • Kenya Commercial Bank Limited in relation to a KES 5 billion facility to County Government of Nairobi.
  • Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited on a financing transaction from Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited to the value of USD 250 million.
  • Several commercial banks on preparation and perfection of securities. Some of these banks include Kenya Commercial Bank, NIC Bank Limited, CfC Stanbic Bank Limited, Equity Bank Limited, Bank of Africa, UBA Bank Limited, GT Bank Limited.
  • Developers, Hello Properties Limited and Lagoon Developments Limited, on project structuring and transaction documentation for the Mandharini development and sale of 130 homes on 150 acres of land in Kilifi. The development received international acclaim and won the international development award for the best residential development in Africa – 2011.
  • PwC on the then proposed acquisition of a building in Nairobi that was to house their regional offices; deal value of KES 2 billion.
  • PwC on a financing transaction from Standard Chartered Bank to the value USD 17.9 million.
  • ED & F Mann Holdings Limited on its exit from the Dormans Group; a well-established coffee business in East Africa.
  • Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited in obtaining project finance from Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited for the purpose of upgrading its Mombasa petroleum refinery; deal value of USD 13.5 million.
  • Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited on a financing transaction from UBA Kenya Bank Limited to the value of USD 150 million.
  • Equity Bank on a financing transaction to Riverside Mews Limited to the value of USD 5.5 million.
  • East African Breweries in its sale of a piece of land for the sum of KES 650 million.
  • British-American Asset Managers Limited in their acquisition of a piece of land worth USD 4.6 million.
  • Actis on the purchase of prime real estate in Nairobi for the purpose of developing a residential cum commercial estate; deal value of KES 1.2 billion.
  • Actis on the project structuring and transaction documentation for the proposed development of a residential cum commercial estate in Ruaraka, Nairobi. Actis proposed to develop 600 units as part of this project.
  • Buffalo Malls Limited, on project structuring and transaction documentation for the development of a shopping mall in Naivasha, Kenya. The transaction involved a joint venture between the land owner and the developer where we drafted and negotiated a joint venture agreement, drafted and negotiated the terms of a long term lease with an anchor tenant – (one of Kenya’s) leading supermarket chains.
  • Norfund on the transaction documentation for the financing of a power project in Kenya coupled with an equity interest; deal value of USD 15 million.
  • PSP Homes on the sale of a piece of land for the sum of KES 450 million.
  • KTGA in deliberations with the Ministry of Lands and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution on the introduction of new Land laws and the proposing of amendments to the draft bills.
  • Musiara Limited on the protection of its property rights within the Maasai Mara Conservancy, in relation to the parcel of land on which it established the world famous Little Governors Camp.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Cornelius in Band 4 in the Banking and Finance category in Kenya (2023-2024) and as Up and Coming (2022) in the same category. In 2023, Cornelius was also ranked as Up and Coming in the Real Estate category in Kenya and ranked in Band 3 in Real Estate in 2024.
  • Legal 500 ranked Cornelius as a Leading Individual for Banking, Finance and Capital Markets as well as Real Estate and Construction in Kenya (2023-2024). In 2017, he was listed as a Recommend Lawyer for both Real Estate and Construction and Banking, Finance and Capital Markets.

  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Cornelius as Highly regarded for his work in the Banking category, specifically within the Real Estate, Construction and materials sectors for three consecutive years (2021 and 2023) and prior to that, as a Rising Star for four consecutive years (2016 to 2020) in the same category.

‘Cornelius Kigera goes out of his way to give credible and practical legal advice.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Cornelius Kigera is my go-to guy and he ensures we find a solution.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘He is proactive and has great client service with a very practical, commercial approach.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘He is a seasoned and respected name in the banking and finance sector.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Cornelius Kigera is thorough and takes on the clients’ interests. He doesn’t compromise on documentation and is detailed.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Cornelius Kigera is a heavyweight in real estate financing transactions’ – Legal 500, 2024

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • LLB degree from the University of Nairobi.
  • Diploma from the Kenya School of Law and the Institute for the Management of Information Systems.
  • Member of the Law Society of Kenya, the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch).  
  • An associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch), a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Public Secretary.

INSIGHTS

Kenya: High Court rules a creditor cannot seek recovery against a guarantor after purchasing the charged property of a chargor Kenya: The Land Control Bill, 2022 Kenya: Central Bank of Kenya (Digital Credit Providers) Regulations, 2021 Kenya: Law Restricting Ownership of Land in Kenya by Foreigners Declared Unconstitutional Kenya: Conversion of Old Land Reference Numbers to New Parcel Kenya: Waiver Of Land Rates Penalties and Interests In Nairobi Kenya: The sectional properties regime Kenya: Launch of the National Lands Information Management System (NLIMS) Kenya: Pre-Launch of the National Information Management System (NLIMS) Kenya: Implementation of the Stamp Duty (Valuation of Immovable Property) Regulations 2020 Kenya: Conversion of land reference numbers in Nairobi Abolition of Common Seals for execution of documents COVID 19 Briefing No 4 – The closure of Registries and Government Offices The Law of Contract (Amendment) Bill, 2019 The Appointment of Commissioners in the National Land Commission and its Impact on Land Transactions The interest rate cap is no more… Regulation of interest rates: Where are we? Various Land Regulations – when should we start using the new prescribed forms? The Warehouse Receipt System Bill 2018 Suspended land transactions at the Nairobi and Central Land Registry Parliament extends the period for consideration and approval of Land Regulations and Wildlife Conservation Management Regulations by 6 months  Have your securities over movable assets been registered in the Collateral Registry? The Banking (Amendment) Act, 2016 (the Act)
Related Sectors

Overview

Cornelius heads our Finance practice in the Kenya office, Coulson Harney LLP.

He specialises in banking and finance, construction, property and conveyancing law and general corporate and commercial law. Cornelius advises on large-scale transactions for a variety of clients across a range of sectors in Kenya.

 

Experience

Cornelius has advised:

  • Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (and other lenders) in respect of credit facilities to be made available to a telecommunications group with operations in Kenya for a sum of USD 270 million.
  • Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) in connection with the restructuring of facilities of up to USD 50 million advanced to ARM Cement Limited under a convertible subordinated secured term loan facility agreement. The principal amount of the restructured facility was USD 36 million.
  • UAP Holdings Limited (UAP) in relation to a term loan facility from Nedbank Limited (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking division) (Nedbank) for USD 35 million.
  • Wananchi Group of companies in Kenya in relation to a loan facility of USD 72 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the United States of America.
  • Banque Cantonale De Geneve in relation to a loan facility of USD 15 million to Kenol Kobil Limited.
  • Kenya Commercial Bank Limited in relation to a KES 5 billion facility to County Government of Nairobi.
  • Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited on a financing transaction from Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited to the value of USD 250 million.
  • Several commercial banks on preparation and perfection of securities. Some of these banks include Kenya Commercial Bank, NIC Bank Limited, CfC Stanbic Bank Limited, Equity Bank Limited, Bank of Africa, UBA Bank Limited, GT Bank Limited.
  • Developers, Hello Properties Limited and Lagoon Developments Limited, on project structuring and transaction documentation for the Mandharini development and sale of 130 homes on 150 acres of land in Kilifi. The development received international acclaim and won the international development award for the best residential development in Africa – 2011.
  • PwC on the then proposed acquisition of a building in Nairobi that was to house their regional offices; deal value of KES 2 billion.
  • PwC on a financing transaction from Standard Chartered Bank to the value USD 17.9 million.
  • ED & F Mann Holdings Limited on its exit from the Dormans Group; a well-established coffee business in East Africa.
  • Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited in obtaining project finance from Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited for the purpose of upgrading its Mombasa petroleum refinery; deal value of USD 13.5 million.
  • Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited on a financing transaction from UBA Kenya Bank Limited to the value of USD 150 million.
  • Equity Bank on a financing transaction to Riverside Mews Limited to the value of USD 5.5 million.
  • East African Breweries in its sale of a piece of land for the sum of KES 650 million.
  • British-American Asset Managers Limited in their acquisition of a piece of land worth USD 4.6 million.
  • Actis on the purchase of prime real estate in Nairobi for the purpose of developing a residential cum commercial estate; deal value of KES 1.2 billion.
  • Actis on the project structuring and transaction documentation for the proposed development of a residential cum commercial estate in Ruaraka, Nairobi. Actis proposed to develop 600 units as part of this project.
  • Buffalo Malls Limited, on project structuring and transaction documentation for the development of a shopping mall in Naivasha, Kenya. The transaction involved a joint venture between the land owner and the developer where we drafted and negotiated a joint venture agreement, drafted and negotiated the terms of a long term lease with an anchor tenant – (one of Kenya’s) leading supermarket chains.
  • Norfund on the transaction documentation for the financing of a power project in Kenya coupled with an equity interest; deal value of USD 15 million.
  • PSP Homes on the sale of a piece of land for the sum of KES 450 million.
  • KTGA in deliberations with the Ministry of Lands and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution on the introduction of new Land laws and the proposing of amendments to the draft bills.
  • Musiara Limited on the protection of its property rights within the Maasai Mara Conservancy, in relation to the parcel of land on which it established the world famous Little Governors Camp.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Cornelius in Band 4 in the Banking and Finance category in Kenya (2023-2024) and as Up and Coming (2022) in the same category. In 2023, Cornelius was also ranked as Up and Coming in the Real Estate category in Kenya and ranked in Band 3 in Real Estate in 2024.
  • Legal 500 ranked Cornelius as a Leading Individual for Banking, Finance and Capital Markets as well as Real Estate and Construction in Kenya (2023-2024). In 2017, he was listed as a Recommend Lawyer for both Real Estate and Construction and Banking, Finance and Capital Markets.

  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Cornelius as Highly regarded for his work in the Banking category, specifically within the Real Estate, Construction and materials sectors for three consecutive years (2021 and 2023) and prior to that, as a Rising Star for four consecutive years (2016 to 2020) in the same category.

‘Cornelius Kigera goes out of his way to give credible and practical legal advice.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Cornelius Kigera is my go-to guy and he ensures we find a solution.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘He is proactive and has great client service with a very practical, commercial approach.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘He is a seasoned and respected name in the banking and finance sector.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Cornelius Kigera is thorough and takes on the clients’ interests. He doesn’t compromise on documentation and is detailed.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Cornelius Kigera is a heavyweight in real estate financing transactions’ – Legal 500, 2024

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