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Joyce Karanja

Head of Competition | Kenya | Nairobi

Joyce-Karanja

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Contact

T: +254 20 503 1600

Overview

Joyce Karanja heads our Competition practice in Nairobi.

She started her career specialising in company, corporate and commercial work. She has extensive due diligence expertise as well as experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate re-organisations, privatisations, banking and finance law, securities, competition law, real estate/ property development, conveyancing and project management.  More recently, Joyce’s primary focus is in mergers and acquisitions and competition law.

Joyce has been involved in a number of stakeholder discussion fora with COMESA in relation to the Guidelines in respect of the application of Articles 16, 18 & 20 of the COMESA Competition Regulations.

Experience

Some of the recent matters advised on include:

  • Globeleq Geothermal (Kenya) Limited – The proposed acquisition of control of QPEA GT Menengai Limited by Globeleq Geothermal (Kenya) Limited.
  • Increase in shareholding in Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited by Aldwych Turkana Investments.
  • Advising Tullow on competition work (either comfort letters or exclusion applications to CAK) for Block 9, 12 A and 12B.
  • P. Møller-Maersk A/S sale of its oil and gas division Maersk Oil to Total S.A.. Maersk Oil (holding its shares through Maersk Oil Exploration International Ltd ) controlled Maersk Oil Exploration International K1 Ltd (K1) which holds a 25% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract for Block 10BA, Maersk Oil Exploration International K2 Ltd (K2) which holds a 25% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract for Block 10BB and Maersk Oil Exploration International K3 Ltd (K3) which holds a 25% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract for Block 13T.
  • Competition law counsel to Britam Holdings Plc., the target, in relation to subscription by investor Africinvest III – SPV 1 of a 14.3% equity stake in Britam Holdings Plc.
  • Competition law counsel to ARM Cement PLC in relation to its disposal of 100% of the issued share capital of Mavuno Cement Limited to Omya (Schweiz) AG and Pinner Heights Limited, Swiss and Mauritian entities respectively, after completion of the transfer of its non-cement business (industrial minerals, fertilizers, mining and silicates business) to Mavuno Fertilizers Limited and its subsidiaries (ARM Minerals and Chemicals Limited and ARM Energy Limited).
  • Competition law counsel to Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu) in relation to the acquisition by Isuzu of a 57.73% shareholding in General Motors East Africa Limited (GMEA). Bowmans attended to merger filings in Kenya and across Africa, at COMESA, and in relation to the latter we acted for both Isuzu and GMEA.
  • Competition law counsel to Fung Africa Fund (I) Limited, an African investment firm investing through Sino Guru Limited and SKC2 PCC (the Investors), on a USD 4 million investment in Megafoods Limited, a Seychelles company which wholly owns Interstrat Limited, a Kenyan company which is the owner and operator of several restaurant chains and brands in Kenya including Big Square, Pizza Mojo and Square Cafe.
  • Competition law counsel to Guangdong New South Overseas Investment Holding Company Limited in relation to its joint venture and acquisition of shares in AEZ Limited, a company in a special economic zone.
  • Competition law counsel to Total Outre-Mer and Worldline SA in relation to the acquisition by Total Outre-Mer and Worldline SA of 52% of the total issued share capital of InTouch SAS.
  • Competition law counsel to Actis Development Partners Limited in relation to acquisition of 79.5% shares in Actis Development Partners Limited by Turner & Townsend International Limited.
  • Competition law counsel to Kenya Airways PLC, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Société Air France S.A in relation to request for an exemption from potential restrictive trade practices embodied in Part IIIA of the Competition Act, No. 12 of 2010.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners consistently ranked Joyce in Band 3 for Corporate/ M&A for three consecutive years (2018 to 2020) and in Band 4 for the same category in 2015-2017 and again in 2021. Joyce was also ranked as in the Spotlight Table by Chambers and Partners for her work in Competition/ Antitrust for three consecutive years (2021- 2023).
  • Joyce was featured as one of only three women in Africa for her work in the competition space by Global Competition Review, 2021 and in 2016 she was also featured as one of only two Bowmans partners.
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Joyce as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for her work in Capital Markets, Banking and M&A, particularly within the Real estate sector, for four consecutive years (2020 and 2023) and for three consecutive years prior to that, as a Rising Star (from 2016 to 2019).
  • Legal 500 2017 lists Joyce as a recommended lawyer for Competition.
  • In the Business Daily, a regional newspaper, Joyce is lauded as a Top 40 Under 40 lawyer.

‘Joyce Karanja is an expert in her field and often advises us on multi-jurisdictional transactions. She is readily available to address issues and queries from clients, even at short notice. She provides clear guidance with a practical approach.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Judd Lurie is responsive and pragmatic and has a great knowledge of the South African competition regime.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • LLB Hons from the University of Luton (now the University of Bedfordshire), UK.
  • LLM from the University of London (Queen Mary), UK.
  • Legal practice course from the College of Law, UK.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law.

INSIGHTS

Kenya: Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2024 – A new chapter in competition law enforcement Kenya: High Court issues its decision in the abuse of buyer power case against Carrefour Kenya: Competition authority publishes final consolidated administrative remedies and settlement guidelines COMESA: Amendments to the COMESA Competition Regulations Harnessing Africa’s free trade agenda – AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Services Kenya: Competition authority launches animal feeds sector inquiry Harnessing Africa’s free trade agenda – AfCFTA Protocol on Competition COMESA: Competition Commission partially prohibits AkzoNobel’s acquisition of Kansai Plascon Kenya: Competition Authority of Kenya imposes record-high penalties on the steel sector Kenya: Competition Authority of Kenya settles with Unilever over abuse of buyer power allegations Kenya: 11 years of Competition law enforcement The International Comparative Legal Guides: Foreign Direct Investment Regimes 2023 – Eastern and Southern Africa Hospitality Series: Acquisition of Hotel Assets The International Comparative Legal Guide: Foreign Direct Investment Regimes 2022 – Third Edition: East and Southern African Chapter Kenya: Competition Authority of Kenya issues a reminder to professional associations to avoid setting minimum fees/prices A new dawn for the buyer-supplier relationship in Kenya Kenya: Competition tribunal issues first decision on abuse of buyer power – Part II Kenya: Competition Tribunal issues first decision on abuse of buyer power Kenya: Competition Authority of Kenya launches Informants Reward Scheme A new chapter for merger control in Kenya Kenya’s Competition Tribunal’s Debut Review Application Kenya Competition (General) Rules, 2019 and Merger Threshold Guidelines in effect Saving jobs is a priority for African competition authorities Africa Competition Law Seminar, February 2018 COMESA: A competition regime for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Automation of processes at the Companies Registry Kenya strengthens competition regulation but leaves grey areas Two Bowmans partners listed in Global Competition Review’s Women in Antitrust Report 2016 Kenya office plays significant role in the disposal of Orange Kenya’s shares Competition Authority of Kenya flexes its muscles Restrictive trade practices under Kenyan law
Brochures

Overview

Joyce Karanja heads our Competition practice in Nairobi.

She started her career specialising in company, corporate and commercial work. She has extensive due diligence expertise as well as experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate re-organisations, privatisations, banking and finance law, securities, competition law, real estate/ property development, conveyancing and project management.  More recently, Joyce’s primary focus is in mergers and acquisitions and competition law.

Joyce has been involved in a number of stakeholder discussion fora with COMESA in relation to the Guidelines in respect of the application of Articles 16, 18 & 20 of the COMESA Competition Regulations.

Experience

Some of the recent matters advised on include:

  • Globeleq Geothermal (Kenya) Limited – The proposed acquisition of control of QPEA GT Menengai Limited by Globeleq Geothermal (Kenya) Limited.
  • Increase in shareholding in Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited by Aldwych Turkana Investments.
  • Advising Tullow on competition work (either comfort letters or exclusion applications to CAK) for Block 9, 12 A and 12B.
  • P. Møller-Maersk A/S sale of its oil and gas division Maersk Oil to Total S.A.. Maersk Oil (holding its shares through Maersk Oil Exploration International Ltd ) controlled Maersk Oil Exploration International K1 Ltd (K1) which holds a 25% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract for Block 10BA, Maersk Oil Exploration International K2 Ltd (K2) which holds a 25% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract for Block 10BB and Maersk Oil Exploration International K3 Ltd (K3) which holds a 25% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract for Block 13T.
  • Competition law counsel to Britam Holdings Plc., the target, in relation to subscription by investor Africinvest III – SPV 1 of a 14.3% equity stake in Britam Holdings Plc.
  • Competition law counsel to ARM Cement PLC in relation to its disposal of 100% of the issued share capital of Mavuno Cement Limited to Omya (Schweiz) AG and Pinner Heights Limited, Swiss and Mauritian entities respectively, after completion of the transfer of its non-cement business (industrial minerals, fertilizers, mining and silicates business) to Mavuno Fertilizers Limited and its subsidiaries (ARM Minerals and Chemicals Limited and ARM Energy Limited).
  • Competition law counsel to Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu) in relation to the acquisition by Isuzu of a 57.73% shareholding in General Motors East Africa Limited (GMEA). Bowmans attended to merger filings in Kenya and across Africa, at COMESA, and in relation to the latter we acted for both Isuzu and GMEA.
  • Competition law counsel to Fung Africa Fund (I) Limited, an African investment firm investing through Sino Guru Limited and SKC2 PCC (the Investors), on a USD 4 million investment in Megafoods Limited, a Seychelles company which wholly owns Interstrat Limited, a Kenyan company which is the owner and operator of several restaurant chains and brands in Kenya including Big Square, Pizza Mojo and Square Cafe.
  • Competition law counsel to Guangdong New South Overseas Investment Holding Company Limited in relation to its joint venture and acquisition of shares in AEZ Limited, a company in a special economic zone.
  • Competition law counsel to Total Outre-Mer and Worldline SA in relation to the acquisition by Total Outre-Mer and Worldline SA of 52% of the total issued share capital of InTouch SAS.
  • Competition law counsel to Actis Development Partners Limited in relation to acquisition of 79.5% shares in Actis Development Partners Limited by Turner & Townsend International Limited.
  • Competition law counsel to Kenya Airways PLC, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Société Air France S.A in relation to request for an exemption from potential restrictive trade practices embodied in Part IIIA of the Competition Act, No. 12 of 2010.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners consistently ranked Joyce in Band 3 for Corporate/ M&A for three consecutive years (2018 to 2020) and in Band 4 for the same category in 2015-2017 and again in 2021. Joyce was also ranked as in the Spotlight Table by Chambers and Partners for her work in Competition/ Antitrust for three consecutive years (2021- 2023).
  • Joyce was featured as one of only three women in Africa for her work in the competition space by Global Competition Review, 2021 and in 2016 she was also featured as one of only two Bowmans partners.
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Joyce as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for her work in Capital Markets, Banking and M&A, particularly within the Real estate sector, for four consecutive years (2020 and 2023) and for three consecutive years prior to that, as a Rising Star (from 2016 to 2019).
  • Legal 500 2017 lists Joyce as a recommended lawyer for Competition.
  • In the Business Daily, a regional newspaper, Joyce is lauded as a Top 40 Under 40 lawyer.

‘Joyce Karanja is an expert in her field and often advises us on multi-jurisdictional transactions. She is readily available to address issues and queries from clients, even at short notice. She provides clear guidance with a practical approach.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Judd Lurie is responsive and pragmatic and has a great knowledge of the South African competition regime.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

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