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Richard Harney

Senior Partner | Kenya | Nairobi

Richard-Harney

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Contact

T: +254 20 503 1600

Overview

Richard Harney is the senior partner of Bowmans Kenya.  Richard co-founded the Nairobi office as Coulson Harney LLP in 2008 and served as managing partner of the firm until 2021.

Richard is consistently involved in the most prominent transactions in the region.  Having spent over 27 years in Kenya, Richard has a wide array of experience advising domestic, regional and international clients on M&A deals, capital markets, finance, restructuring and corporate law.  Prior to moving to Kenya, in the early 1990s, Richard worked as a solicitor at two leading law firms in the City of London.

He is listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, a Leading Lawyer in IFLR1000 and a Tier 1 Lawyer in Chambers Global where clients acknowledge “he has a good feel for what is and isn’t practical in Kenya, and for how it will work in the local environment.’”

Experience

  • Liberty Holdings Limited on its acquisition of additional shares from institutional shareholders in Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Liberty Kenya Holdings plc – 2021
  • Oserian Development Company Limited on the sale of its flower business in Kenya – 2021
  • Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) on its proposed nationalization and merger with Kenya Airports Authority and delisting from the Nairobi Securities Exchange – 2019/20.
  • Commercial Bank of Africa Limited on its USD 4 billion merger with NIC Bank PLC to create the third largest banking group in East Africa: NCBA Bank Group PLC – 2019.
  • KQ on its USD 2 billion balance sheet restructuring which included USD 750 million of sovereign guarantees from the Government of Kenya to KQ’s creditors, US Exim Bank and 11 Kenyan commercial banks, debt for equity conversions and realignment of shareholding arrangements with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The restructuring was linked to a USD 175 million term facility for KQ from eight of the Kenyan Banks – 2016/17.
  • Adviser to Diageo PLC and East African Breweries PLC on corporate and commercial matters in Kenya.
  • Orange S.A. on the disposal of all of its shares and shareholders loans, comprising 70% of Telkom Kenya Ltd, to Jamhuri Holdings Limited, owned Helios Investment Partners.
  • Old Mutual Property Africa Investment Company Pty Limited on its USD 55 million investment to acquire 50% of the shares in Two Rivers Mall and Office Tower in Nairobi, the largest mall in East and Central Africa.
  • Certain long-term lenders in regard to the receivership of Pan-African Paper Mills (EA) Limited.
  • East Africa’s leading dairy produce business Brookside Dairy Limited on the investment of a 40% shareholding by Compagnie Gervais Danone.
  • East African Breweries on its KES 11 billion corporate bond listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
  • Lafarge and Holcim on Kenyan regulatory approvals required in Kenya for their global merger.
  • LafargeHolcim on shareholders matters concerning the East African Portland Cement Company Limited.
  • E.A. Trading Limited on its offer to acquire all the ordinary shares not already owned by it in R.E.A. Vipingo Plantations Limited, a company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange – the first contested takeover on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
  • France Telecom on its USD 390 million acquisition of 51% of Telkom Kenya from the Government during the privatisation of Telkom Kenya Limited.
  • Equity Bank in the USD 185 million equity investment by Helios Investors.
  • Dimension Data Holdings plc on its take-over of 100% of the issued share capital of AccessKenya Group Limited, an internet service provider listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Awards

  • Legal 500 inducted Richard into its Hall of Fame for his work in Commercial, Corporate and M&A for the past six consecutive years (2019- 2024) and prior to that, in Tier 1 (2015-2016) and as a Leading Individual (2017-2018) in the same category.
  • Chambers and Partners ranked Richard in Band 1 for Corporate/ M&A for ten consecutive years (2015- to 2024) and in the Spotlight Table for Capital Markets for six consecutive years (2019- to 2024).
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Richard as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for Restructuring and Insolvency, Banking and M&A, particularly within the Energy, Transport, Social infrastructure and Natural resources sectors for seven years (2016- and 2018, to 2023).
  • Richard was awarded the World Bank Award for Excellence in relation to the privatisation of Kenya Airways in 1996.

‘He is innovative in coming up with solutions for clients.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Richard Harney is experienced in financing and structuring.’– Legal 500, 2024

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Solicitor (England & Wales), BA (Hons.) (History)

INSIGHTS

Related Sectors

Overview

Richard Harney is the senior partner of Bowmans Kenya.  Richard co-founded the Nairobi office as Coulson Harney LLP in 2008 and served as managing partner of the firm until 2021.

Richard is consistently involved in the most prominent transactions in the region.  Having spent over 27 years in Kenya, Richard has a wide array of experience advising domestic, regional and international clients on M&A deals, capital markets, finance, restructuring and corporate law.  Prior to moving to Kenya, in the early 1990s, Richard worked as a solicitor at two leading law firms in the City of London.

He is listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, a Leading Lawyer in IFLR1000 and a Tier 1 Lawyer in Chambers Global where clients acknowledge “he has a good feel for what is and isn’t practical in Kenya, and for how it will work in the local environment.’”

Experience

  • Liberty Holdings Limited on its acquisition of additional shares from institutional shareholders in Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Liberty Kenya Holdings plc – 2021
  • Oserian Development Company Limited on the sale of its flower business in Kenya – 2021
  • Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) on its proposed nationalization and merger with Kenya Airports Authority and delisting from the Nairobi Securities Exchange – 2019/20.
  • Commercial Bank of Africa Limited on its USD 4 billion merger with NIC Bank PLC to create the third largest banking group in East Africa: NCBA Bank Group PLC – 2019.
  • KQ on its USD 2 billion balance sheet restructuring which included USD 750 million of sovereign guarantees from the Government of Kenya to KQ’s creditors, US Exim Bank and 11 Kenyan commercial banks, debt for equity conversions and realignment of shareholding arrangements with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The restructuring was linked to a USD 175 million term facility for KQ from eight of the Kenyan Banks – 2016/17.
  • Adviser to Diageo PLC and East African Breweries PLC on corporate and commercial matters in Kenya.
  • Orange S.A. on the disposal of all of its shares and shareholders loans, comprising 70% of Telkom Kenya Ltd, to Jamhuri Holdings Limited, owned Helios Investment Partners.
  • Old Mutual Property Africa Investment Company Pty Limited on its USD 55 million investment to acquire 50% of the shares in Two Rivers Mall and Office Tower in Nairobi, the largest mall in East and Central Africa.
  • Certain long-term lenders in regard to the receivership of Pan-African Paper Mills (EA) Limited.
  • East Africa’s leading dairy produce business Brookside Dairy Limited on the investment of a 40% shareholding by Compagnie Gervais Danone.
  • East African Breweries on its KES 11 billion corporate bond listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
  • Lafarge and Holcim on Kenyan regulatory approvals required in Kenya for their global merger.
  • LafargeHolcim on shareholders matters concerning the East African Portland Cement Company Limited.
  • E.A. Trading Limited on its offer to acquire all the ordinary shares not already owned by it in R.E.A. Vipingo Plantations Limited, a company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange – the first contested takeover on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
  • France Telecom on its USD 390 million acquisition of 51% of Telkom Kenya from the Government during the privatisation of Telkom Kenya Limited.
  • Equity Bank in the USD 185 million equity investment by Helios Investors.
  • Dimension Data Holdings plc on its take-over of 100% of the issued share capital of AccessKenya Group Limited, an internet service provider listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Awards

  • Legal 500 inducted Richard into its Hall of Fame for his work in Commercial, Corporate and M&A for the past six consecutive years (2019- 2024) and prior to that, in Tier 1 (2015-2016) and as a Leading Individual (2017-2018) in the same category.
  • Chambers and Partners ranked Richard in Band 1 for Corporate/ M&A for ten consecutive years (2015- to 2024) and in the Spotlight Table for Capital Markets for six consecutive years (2019- to 2024).
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Richard as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for Restructuring and Insolvency, Banking and M&A, particularly within the Energy, Transport, Social infrastructure and Natural resources sectors for seven years (2016- and 2018, to 2023).
  • Richard was awarded the World Bank Award for Excellence in relation to the privatisation of Kenya Airways in 1996.

‘He is innovative in coming up with solutions for clients.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Richard Harney is experienced in financing and structuring.’– Legal 500, 2024

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