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John Kawana

Partner | Lusaka

John-Kawana

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Contact

T: +260 97 7638406

Overview

John Kawana is a partner in our Zambian practice.

He specialises in commercial litigation and dispute resolution and has acted on some of the country’s most complex and high-profile matters, from competition and tax disputes to class-action cases involving wrongful discharge. His expertise extends to commercial claims, debt recoveries, and administrative and judicial proceedings, including responding to claims, conducting and managing pre-trial discovery and trial work, and negotiating settlements.

He has acted for clients in the aviation, banking, energy, financial services, logistics and mining sectors in matters before the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal, the Zambia Revenue Authority Tax Appeals Tribunal, and the superior and subordinate courts of Zambia.

Experience

  • Acted for Absa Bank Zambia Plc, formerly Barclays Bank Zambia Plc, the Respondent in the matter, Jeremiah Njovu & 41 Others v. Barclays Bank Zambia Plc, one of the country’s largest employment class action involving pensions and employment benefits with an estimated value of ZMW 500 million (est. USD 33.2 million).
  • Represented Nestlé Zambia Trading Limited (Nestlé Zambia) in the landmark case, Nestlé Zambia Trading Limited v. Zambia Revenue Authority, concerning transfer pricing with respect to Nestlé’s cross-border related-party transactions and business model. The Zambia Revenue Authority performed a transfer pricing audit with respect to Nestlé Zambia operations on the basis that Nestlé had consistently reported losses for a period of five years (2010 to 2014). Nestlé Zambia lodged an appeal with the Tax Appeals Tribunal at Lusaka.
  • Acted for Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (“ZANACO”) in the matter, Zambia National Commercial Bank PLC vs. Masautso E. Nyathando and 88 Others, one of the country’s largest employment class action involving pensions and employee benefits with a potential exposure of approximately ZMW 80 million (est. USD 6.5 million).
  • Advisor to Smollan Zambia Limited, a part of the Smollan Group (formerly Smollan Holdings), a privately held sales, marketing and retail execution services company focused on growing clients’ brands across five continents (Africa, South Asia, Asia & Oceania, South America, and Europe), in relation to provision of employment law advice on the transfer of employees in Zambia to Lactalis Zambia, formerly Parmalat Zambia Limited and part of the Lactalis Group (Parmalat Group). ).
  • Acted for Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (“ZANACO”) in the matter, ZANACO v. Geofrey Muyamwa and 89 Others, in relation to an employment dispute involving pensions and employment benefits valued above ZMW 80 million (est. USD 6.5 million) Represented Lunzua Power Authority Limited (Lunzua) in a dispute relating to the first privately owned hydro-electricity power plant in Zambia. A private entity commenced legal proceedings against the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Water Resources Management Authority for failure to consider its application for water rights which was duly lodged in accordance with the Water Resources Management Act. Lunzua joined the action and protected its interests in the disputed waters.
  • Provided legal representation to Supaswift (Pty) Limited (Supaswift) in an arbitration relating to a shareholder dispute that arose following the sale of the Zambian business to FedEx Limited. The Zambian shareholders commenced arbitration proceedings against Supaswift alleging breach of the Discharge Agreement between the parties.
  • Provided legal advice and representation to PostNet Zambia Limited in obtaining approval of a scheme of arrangement proposed by the company to its creditors in order to rescue the company from insolvency. This case (PostNet Zambia Limited v. Western Union & Others) was the first in Zambia where a scheme of arrangement was approved by the High Court for Zambia under the repealed Companies Act Chapter 388 of the Laws of Zambia.

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • Member of the International Bar Association and the Law Association of Zambia.
  • Advocate of the Superior Courts of Zambia.
  • LLB from the University of Zambia.

INSIGHTS

Overview

John Kawana is a partner in our Zambian practice.

He specialises in commercial litigation and dispute resolution and has acted on some of the country’s most complex and high-profile matters, from competition and tax disputes to class-action cases involving wrongful discharge. His expertise extends to commercial claims, debt recoveries, and administrative and judicial proceedings, including responding to claims, conducting and managing pre-trial discovery and trial work, and negotiating settlements.

He has acted for clients in the aviation, banking, energy, financial services, logistics and mining sectors in matters before the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal, the Zambia Revenue Authority Tax Appeals Tribunal, and the superior and subordinate courts of Zambia.

Experience

  • Acted for Absa Bank Zambia Plc, formerly Barclays Bank Zambia Plc, the Respondent in the matter, Jeremiah Njovu & 41 Others v. Barclays Bank Zambia Plc, one of the country’s largest employment class action involving pensions and employment benefits with an estimated value of ZMW 500 million (est. USD 33.2 million).
  • Represented Nestlé Zambia Trading Limited (Nestlé Zambia) in the landmark case, Nestlé Zambia Trading Limited v. Zambia Revenue Authority, concerning transfer pricing with respect to Nestlé’s cross-border related-party transactions and business model. The Zambia Revenue Authority performed a transfer pricing audit with respect to Nestlé Zambia operations on the basis that Nestlé had consistently reported losses for a period of five years (2010 to 2014). Nestlé Zambia lodged an appeal with the Tax Appeals Tribunal at Lusaka.
  • Acted for Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (“ZANACO”) in the matter, Zambia National Commercial Bank PLC vs. Masautso E. Nyathando and 88 Others, one of the country’s largest employment class action involving pensions and employee benefits with a potential exposure of approximately ZMW 80 million (est. USD 6.5 million).
  • Advisor to Smollan Zambia Limited, a part of the Smollan Group (formerly Smollan Holdings), a privately held sales, marketing and retail execution services company focused on growing clients’ brands across five continents (Africa, South Asia, Asia & Oceania, South America, and Europe), in relation to provision of employment law advice on the transfer of employees in Zambia to Lactalis Zambia, formerly Parmalat Zambia Limited and part of the Lactalis Group (Parmalat Group). ).
  • Acted for Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (“ZANACO”) in the matter, ZANACO v. Geofrey Muyamwa and 89 Others, in relation to an employment dispute involving pensions and employment benefits valued above ZMW 80 million (est. USD 6.5 million) Represented Lunzua Power Authority Limited (Lunzua) in a dispute relating to the first privately owned hydro-electricity power plant in Zambia. A private entity commenced legal proceedings against the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Water Resources Management Authority for failure to consider its application for water rights which was duly lodged in accordance with the Water Resources Management Act. Lunzua joined the action and protected its interests in the disputed waters.
  • Provided legal representation to Supaswift (Pty) Limited (Supaswift) in an arbitration relating to a shareholder dispute that arose following the sale of the Zambian business to FedEx Limited. The Zambian shareholders commenced arbitration proceedings against Supaswift alleging breach of the Discharge Agreement between the parties.
  • Provided legal advice and representation to PostNet Zambia Limited in obtaining approval of a scheme of arrangement proposed by the company to its creditors in order to rescue the company from insolvency. This case (PostNet Zambia Limited v. Western Union & Others) was the first in Zambia where a scheme of arrangement was approved by the High Court for Zambia under the repealed Companies Act Chapter 388 of the Laws of Zambia.

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