Paras Shah

Paras Shah

Managing Partner
Nairobi, Kenya: Coulson Harney LLP
T: +254 20 289 9000
E: paras.shah@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights

Overview

Paras is a leading corporate and commercial lawyer who has worked on many of Kenya’s most high-profile M&A, capital markets and financing transactions. He is renowned for getting deals done across East Africa by providing unequivocal advice to help his clients navigate complex legal issues.

As part of the Firm’s senior leadership, Paras has also played an important role in building and fostering economic ties with clients and ILFs in the UK, India, Dubai, and Japan and in Africa.

He uses his 25 years of experience to get under the skin of every client he works with, to ensure his advice is always tailored to their specific needs and risk appetite. He helps his clients transform their businesses through IPOs, takeovers, listings and public-private partnership (PPP) transactions.

As Managing Partner of our Nairobi office, he directly manages teams of expert lawyers from across our offices to deliver a seamless cross-border service. Clients receive the best legal advice, delivered in a way that ensures efficiency and results.

He works with local and multinational companies, family businesses, financial institutions, state owned entities, and institutional investors. He acts as their trusted advisor working closely with them to understand their commercial needs and future objectives and guiding them locally with his vast local experience and contact base.

Education

Paras has:

  • Paras has an LLB from King’s College London, a Diploma in Legal Practice (with distinction) from the College of Law in the United Kingdom, a Diploma in Management from Henley School of Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law. He has also attended an executive law firm management course at Harvard Law School.

Professional Memberships:

  • English-qualified solicitor;
  • Advocate of the High Court of Kenya; and
  • Qualified Certified Public Secretary in Kenya.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Jurisdictions in which transactions worked on: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania Ethiopia, South Africa, Dubai, India, Germany, and United Kingdom.

Paras has advised:

  • Amethis and Naivas in relation to the sale of a 40% stake in Kenya’s largest retail chain, Naivas to IBL.
  • Safaricom PLC on its market entry into Ethiopia.
  • The Government of Kenya in relation to a number of sovereign bonds and privatisations.
  • Linde Group on the sale of its controlling stake in BOC Kenya Limited (a listed company).
  • Allianz on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Jubilee Insurance’s general insurance business in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius.
  • Rubis Energie S.A.S (France) on its USD 420 million take-over of KenolKobil PLC (NSE listed), a pan-African downstream oil company and the subsequent delisting of KenolKobil PLC.
  • Tullow PLC on its upstream oil exploration project in Northern Kenya and midstream crude oil pipeline project in Kenya.

Signature Matters

Awards

  • African Legal Awards: Paras received the Partner of the Year Award for East Africa, 2023.
  • Chambers and Partners: Band 1 for Banking & Finance (2016 to 2023); Band 1 for Corporate/ M&A (2015 to 2023); Band 2 for Real Estate (2019 to 2023), prior to that in Band 3 for the same category (2016 to 2018; and in Band 3 for his work in Projects and Energy (2018 to 2023).
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide: Highly Regarded (2018 to 2023) for work in Capital markets, Project development, Banking and M&A, particularly within the Energy, Transport, Real Estate and Social Infrastructure Sectors.
  • Legal 500: Leading Individual for Banking, Finance and Capital Markets, Kenya (2016 to 2023), Commercial, Corporate & M&A (2018 to 2023) and Real Estate and Construction for 2023.
  • ILO: Client Choice Award for corporate counsel in Kenya.

‘They have the ability to think out of the box and come up with unique solutions. Paras Shah is the standout partner along with Joyce Karanja.’

‘Paras Shah is reliable, efficient and dynamic.’ – Legal 500, 2023

“Highly qualified lawyer, with excellent knowledge of the oil and gas sector. He gives timely feedback on the issues and involves the experts in different fields in order to provide a complete analysis. “

“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.” – IFLR1000, 2023

Publications & Insights