Paras Shah

Paras Shah

Managing Partner
Nairobi, Kenya: Coulson Harney LLP
T: +254 20 289 9000
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


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.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

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; and
  • Tullow PLC on its upstream oil exploration project in Northern Kenya and midstream crude oil pipeline project in Kenya.

Signature Matters


  • 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 2022) 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 and Finance, Kenya (2016 to 2022) and Commercial, Corporate & M&A (2018 to 2022).
  • ILO: Client Choice Award for corporate counsel in Kenya.

“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, 2022

“Paras is incredibly transactional and will get deals done.”

“He knows what is going on and will make quick commercial decisions.”

“He has a good depth of experience and is quite agile with his thinking.”

“He is a versatile lawyer who covers the full range of energy projects and is especially good with international clients.”

– Chambers and Partners, 2022

“The highly rated Paras Shah is a leader in capital markets issuances, structured lending, and trade and commodities finance.”

“Paras Shah is very strong on M&A, and business advice.”

“I worked with Paras Shah and found him able to devote attention to our issues, help us deep dive on all the various options and arrive at workable solutions.” – Legal 500, 2021

“Paras Shah continues to impress market observers with his deep understanding of the banking sector, acting as a key contact and partner to a large number of established investment banks and financial institutions. He is rated highly in Kenya for his breadth of practice, covering project, property and development finance, as well as corporate transactions and M&A.”

“Paras Shah is “good to have on your side in negotiations,” explained one commentator, while another said: “He is diligent, experienced and practical.” Famed for his multifaceted practice encompassing finance, real estate and projects, he also has a superb track record of advising on both cross-border investments and domestic acquisitions.”

“Paras Shah is a luminary commercial practitioner with a versatile skill set and a diverse practice which sees him regularly handle matters in the real estate space. He is frequently instructed to advise on conveyancing issues and has a wealth of experience concerning property acquisition and disposition. He acts for a range of clients including investors and operators.”

“The “excellent” Paras Shah is noted for his corporate expertise in relation to energy projects. He is frequently instructed by notable oil and power firms to advise on project financing and various other matters from PPAs to shareholder and host government agreements.” – Chambers and Partners, 2021

Publications & Insights