Tuesday, October 05, 2021

It is with much sorrow that we announce that our dear friend, colleague and partner, Evans Monari, passed away last night in Nairobi Hospital.

Evans was our senior disputes and arbitration partner and was instrumental in the growth of our Disputes Practice in Kenya. 

An all-round litigator, he was involved in a myriad of commercial, civil, judicial review and constitutional cases, and also handled high-profile criminal briefs. A stand-out achievement was his successful defence of the Government of Kenya in an international arbitration.   

Evans was well liked and had friends from all walks of life.  He had a great sense of humour and was always smiling. Despite being a very senior member of the Kenyan legal fraternity, he was also humble, calm and generous.

He leaves a lasting legacy at Bowmans and we will miss him tremendously.

Our thoughts are with his wife Jacqueline, his children Cynthia, Michelle, Joshua, Jeremy and Baraka, his mother and his brothers.

Evans’ funeral was held on Monday 18 October. Richard Harney, senior partner, Kenya, and Paras Shah, managing partner, Kenya, gave the following tributes on behalf of Bowmans.

Richard Harney, senior partner, Bowmans Kenya

Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, friends and family to the late great Evans Nyarong’I Monari - Good afternoon.

My name is Richard Harney and I am the founding partner and senior partner of Coulson Harney LLP Advocates, otherwise known as Bowmans Kenya.

I come with greetings to you all from my fellow partners at Bowmans across the continent of Africa, and, of course, with heartfelt condolences at the loss we have all suffered with the passing of our dear Evans.

I mention Africa because when Evans and his colleagues approached us to join our law firm what attracted them was that we were building our case to be an African law firm, owned and run by Africans for Africa.

And that vision inspired Evans all the time he was a partner in our firm. His dedication and loyalty to the firm was evident from the start. We enjoyed his enthusiasm for what we were doing and he contributed hugely as time went by - with his professional skills, his clients and connections, with his positive attitude and engaging conversation.

Evans was known as a man with impeccable taste and an eye for fashion, with a twist. Clients and colleagues from all over warmed to him quickly and appreciated his soft tone and cheeky smile.

He put people at ease, something that is not always easy to achieve in the world of law where brains and egos give more than a fair account of themselves.

Evans was not given to long speeches or keen on long documents which is perhaps ironic for a Kenyan lawyer; his delivery in mild tone and short sentences made him a lawyer with a difference – someone clients could relate to. And of course, when he grinned, you knew he was on your side.

So, if you thought Monari’s presence was felt only in Kenya think again. Monari was known the length and breadth of this great continent Africa. He will be missed but not forgotten.

Evans was a great partner. Always available, always conscientious and ready to contribute – sometimes with a twist. He made us smile whenever he walked into our meetings, came to a lunch or mixed with us for drinks and dinners with colleagues and clients. Such events without Evans were always the poorer.

We must now face up to the fact that he won’t be among us in the future. And that is very sad. Evans had much still to give – after all by our standards in Kenya, he was just entering the prime of his life.

We will always remember him as one of our founding partners in the disputes and litigation team and it was fitting that in recent times he was invested with the title of Senior Disputes and Arbitration Partner.

We at Bowmans loved Evans, and don’t let anyone suggest otherwise.

He nurtured our young talent, he worked alongside our lawyers and gave confidence to our partners that with him on our side things would go well.

The partners, lawyers and staff at Bowmans mourn his loss, we share your grief and pray for friends and family at this time of great sadness.

But it would be wrong to end on such a doleful note. Whilst affirming our sorrow we also give thanks to Evans for his life, his contribution, his friendship and his wisdom.

We thank his parents, his wife and children for sharing Evans with us for the past few years. We will not forget him and in time we will arrange our firm-wide tributes to our dearly departed partner.

He leaves a legacy of how to be a great man but also of how to be a gentleman. His children and grandchildren will, I am sure, take much pleasure in knowing that they walk in his footsteps……. lightly taken, with purpose and love in his heart.

May the lord God almighty bless Evans and help us to preserve his memory in our hearts for ever and ever. May his good soul rest in eternal peace and may his smile never fade.


Paras Shah, managing partner, Bowmans Kenya

Jacki, children, family of Daktari. Dear friends

My name is Paras Shah and I am a partner in Bowmans where Evans worked since 2014

On behalf of all of Evans partners and colleagues not just in KENYA but also all across Africa, I bring you a message of our sincere condolences. We stand in solidarity with all of you during this difficult time for all of us.

To all of us at Bowmans Evans was not just a lawyer and partner. He was a friend, he was a brother, he was a personal advisor, he was a mentor, he was a counsellor and many many times he was the best companion at parties....often the last man standing. We and our clients turned to Evans when we were faced with the most complex and tricky situations. His counsel was always concise but very powerful. His contact list was extensive and he was generous with it. He helped anyone who needed help and never expected glory or gratitude. He was truly selfless. His humility was one of his biggest strengths. His smile was one of his biggest assets. Above all else. Evans was just a good human being.

He has gone too early but as has been said he has left and indelible mark on our firm and the wider legal profession. We will continue to build on his legacy.

Evans. Thank you for shaing the years that you did with us. Jackie and the family. Thank you for sharing Evans with us.

Go well Daktari

Tribute to Evans Monari by Ezra Davids, chairman and senior partner, Bowmans

It is with profound sadness that I have to inform you of the untimely passing last night of our partner, colleague and friend, Evans Monari. Evans bravely battled illness for the last month and passed away in hospital in Nairobi.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all our Kenya colleagues, his wife Jacqueline and his children Cynthia, Michelle, Joshua, Jeremy and Baraka, together with the rest of his family, other loved ones and friends.

Evans was a senior partner in our Nairobi office and was instrumental in the growth of our disputes practice in Kenya. He was an all-round litigator involved in a myriad of commercial, civil, judicial review and constitutional briefs. He had been successful in defending the Government of Kenya in international arbitration matters and also handled high profile criminal briefs.

Evans was a friend to many. He had a great sense of humour and acted with humility despite being a very senior member of the Kenyan legal community.

Go well, Evans! May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Tribute to Evans Monari by Christina Nduba, partner, Kenya

I met Evans Monari, or as I called him, EM, 11 years ago when I started my pupillage at the then Daly & Figgis. As pupils, we sat in a room that had big glass windows all around, so anyone walking past could look in and see what we were up to. The room was therefore aptly dubbed the Fishbowl. EM’s office was the nearest to the Fishbowl and you would think that having one of the most senior partners sitting so close to us would be a downer, but we quickly learned that he was actually one of the most approachable (and probably the most mischievous) partners.

We happily admitted him as an honorary Fishbowl member, especially since he bought us many lunches and was an avid contributor to a not-so-secret list we kept behind our door of funny mistakes/things the different associates and partners in the firm had accidently said. Free food and jokes and he had our loyalty. Yes, we were by far his juniors, but he never made us feel inferior. He would tell us when we needed to step up but was just as quick to sing our praises to anyone who would listen for a job well done.  

He also had virtually no ego when it came to sharing the limelight with his juniors and I was certainly a recipient of that. I remember the first time I ever appeared on the news, I was probably a month into my pupillage and was assisting him on a brief. And by assisting, I mean photocopying and paginating the documents…you know the type of ‘very critical’ work that obviously had no real impact whatsoever on the outcome of this very important case.

However, on the day we got the judgment, EM told me to appear in court with him and the associate. We won the case and there were members of the press waiting outside the courthouse for interviews. EM, ever the showman, told me to take out this large bound document from the suitcase and walk beside him and the associate holding it. I was trying to cower behind them and disappear, but he refused and even told me to walk slowly and savour the moment. He made me stand with them as he addressed the press, looking very much like a part of the team, despite my having made what I felt was such a minor contribution.

He was the best cheerleader for his juniors and propped us up whenever he had the opportunity. I experienced this when assisting him at the Hague on the ICC case against General Ali. EM had a spare jabot (aka court bib) and robe and made sure that each of the junior lawyers assisting him got to attend at least one session in full regalia where he would formally introduce us to Court, so that our names would appear on the official Court transcripts. He did not have to do that, and he might not even have realized how exciting and impactful that small act was to us.

Monari was the life of the party and took party themes very seriously! His 50th birthday party was a back-to-school themed party and he came fully decked out in a primary school uniform, complete with shorts and pulled up socks. Every year at the Christmas party, EM was either won the male category for best dressed in theme or was a leading contender. He fully committed to the fun of it all, which gave others permission to let their hair down and enjoy the moment.

Finally, anyone who knew Monari, knew that he loved connecting people. He would casually introduce you to a Minster or some other important person like it was not a big deal. Once following such an introduction, I joked about how I was just a lowly associate and for the first time ever, he was very stern with me and told me I need to remember that I’d earned a spot in the room and should never look down on myself and then he promptly turned around and introduced me to someone else as the future of law. He was so generous with his contacts and if he could make a connection, he would. Many can attest that if they were ever in a fix, EM was the guy to call and if he could help or knew anyone who could help, he went out of his way to sort you out.

It saddens me deeply that he is gone. He is not away on holiday, he’s not just down the corridor. He is gone and is never coming back. He was a mentor, cheerleader, fixer and friend. I will never forget him and pray his soul finds eternal rest. 

We are receiving  tributes from clients, colleagues and friends throughout the legal community. Some highlights follow below. Additional tributes are posted on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

Hanifa Shakombo, Legal Senior Manager: East Africa, Oracle
Please accept my condolences for the loss of Evans Monari. We worked with him on quite a few of our litigation-related matters and he was a wonderful person to work with. I spoke with a few of your colleagues and attended his service last week and for sure he will be missed by many.

Simon Wall,  General Manager External Affairs, Base Titanium
It was with great sadness that we learnt of the recent passing of Mr Evans Monari. On behalf of everyone at Base Titanium I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and heart felt condolence to all his colleagues and friends. Mr Monari has worked closely with Base Titanium on a number of legal issues over the years. His advice and counsel were always highly valued and respected. His passing is a great loss to us all.

Jumoke Lambo, Partner, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie
Oh dear!  This is really shocking and sad news.  Evans was such a lovely person (and rescued me in Limpopo – but that is a story for another time). I will miss Evans.  May his lovely soul rest in perfect peace. Our condolences go to his family (he was so proud of them) and also to everyone in the Bowmans office in Kenya and across the network.

Maureen Mithamo, Head of Corporate Affairs, Java House
Our sincerest condolences and regards to you and the whole of Bowmans family for the loss of Mr. Evans Monari. We the Java family pass comfort , peace and light to all of you.

Carly Hicks, Senior Director: International Human Resources, HIAS
HIAS received the newsletter update that announced the passing of one of your colleagues, Evans Monari. We wanted to send our deepest condolences to you and the team at Bowmans. We will continue to keep you and the team in our thoughts in coming weeks during this difficult time.

Njoroge Regeru,  Founding & Senior Partner, Njoroge Regeru & Company Advocates
On my own behalf and on behalf of all members of our Firm, we convey our condolences on the demise of Evans Monari, Advocate, who was a Partner in your Firm.  Evans was an astute lawyer, a jolly good fellow and it was always a pleasure to interact with him, professionally and otherwise.  He will be sorely missed.  We pray that the Almighty shall grant Evans eternal peace.

Jennifer Mbaluto, Partner, Clifford Chance LLP
Please receive, and pass on to the wider Bowmans family, our (Tony, Nick, Danny and Jen on behalf of the Clifford Chance family) heartfelt condolences on the passing of Senior Counsel Evans Monari. We have fond memories of an intelligent, witty, and hugely personable individual, who was passionate about the law and distinguished himself as a leader in his field. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and with his family at this difficult time.

Richard Bell
I was saddened to hear of Evans’s passing. He was an entertaining, genuine and professional guy who I had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions. Please pass on my condolences to his family.

Nankunda Katangaza, Deputy Chair, IBA Africa Regional Forum
I just saw an announcement from Bowmans on Linkedin about Evans Monari. Oh my goodness, what a shock, I am so very sad to hear that. Evans was my first Kenyan lawyer friend and I have so many lovely memories of time spent with him in Nairobi and in EALS and IBA activities all over the world. I am sorry for you all who worked with him and of course his family and friends. I’m so sad really. Please pass on my condolences. Thinking of you all.

Nikhil Hira, Regional Representative, Eastern Africa Association
Please accept, on behalf of the Eastern Africa Association, our heartfelt condolences to the partners and staff at Bowmans on the very sad demise of Evans Monari.  May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Evans was a great supporter of the Association and indeed he was the keynote speaker at our last physical event in March 2020.  I recall receiving several comments from members who attended on how much they enjoyed his presentation.
He will be sorely missed, not only by the Bowmans fraternity, but by many in Kenya and the region who had contact with him.

Zainab Jaffer
I would like to convey my condolences to you and your colleagues over the loss of your Partner Evans. We pray that his soul rests in peace.

Karim Jetha, Sayani Investments Ltd
My sincere condolences on this sad news.  Evans was an outstanding human being and he will be sorely missed. I was in regular communication with him up until mid-August of this year.  He stood by me during some very challenging times and I will never forget his support and concern.

Nannette Miingi, UAP Group
Kindly receive our sincerest condolences following the demise of Senior Counsel Dr. Evans Monari. This is a big loss to his beloved family, the firm and the wider legal fraternity. We pray that the Lord gives his family and colleagues the fortitude and courage to come to terms with your grief. May the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace. “Like a bird singing in the rain, let the grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.” – Robert Louis Stevenson.

Alex Mania, Director of Administration, Baltic Textiles Trading
We have learnt with great sadness the passing of Senior Counsel Evans Monari. In this moment of sorrow, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his relatives and his colleagues. Worlds cannot convey the magnitude of the loss they feel. Read more

Agnes Gitau, GBS Africa
Please accept our deepest sorrows and condolences following the death of our dear friend  and your colleague Evans Monari. We have all lost a great friend and a leader in the region’s legal fraternity.  My team and I are at loss with grief and as we mourn his passing, we will be thinking and praying for you and Bowmans family. We  have been so blessed and are grateful to you and Evans for your guidance and Support, always finding the time and budget to promote our vision of building Arbitration excellence in East Africa. A gentleman and a professional to the book. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

RL Hon Raila Odinga, EGH
It is with a heavy heart that I write this condolence message on behalf of my family to the family of Counsel Evans Monari.
Counsel Monari who we lost early today, was a man with a brilliant mind, a generous heart and a lively spirit. His friends will remember him for his infections laughter that masked the solemnity of the cases that he had to resolve in his illustrious legal career, on a daily basis. He has gone too soon, and our country is poorer with his departure. I wish peace and strength to his family.
Many he rest in peace.

Hon. Justice Martha Koome, EBS, Chief Justice & President of the Supreme Court of Kenya
It is with deep sadness that I join other Kenyans on my own behalf and the Judiciary, to mourn the untimely death of Advocate Evans Monari who passed away on the night of 4th October, 2021 while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.
I have known Evans for the last 38 years since we met as first-year law students at the University of Nairobi.
I lack appropriate words to describe how wonderful, conscientious, friendly and a caring person Evans was. He had that never-ending joy that was evident in his signature smile, with the potential of cheering everyone even at the lowest moments.
He had a deep sense of humour that thawed every situation and broke all barriers. Yet in Evans, lay this gallant and astute lawyer who represented the high, mighty and even poor clients who consulted him with equal measure of care and professionalism.
The legal profession has lost one of our best Advocates who contributed immensely by mentoring many upcoming lawyers and was a great role model.
Very few people can navigate a balance of enjoying their full social life and professional calling like Evans did.
My last integration with Evans was in July this year when in his usual jovial manner, took the lead in organising a wonderful felicitation for me and other colleagues who were promoted to various positions in the Judiciary. Read more

Chandrakant P Shah, Chairman, Vitafoam Products Ltd
It is with deep sorrow that we learnt of the sad and untimely demise of  Mr Evans Monari on Monday, 4th October, 2021 in Nairobi. The Chairman, Directors and all Staff of Vitafoam Products Ltd. convey their sincere and heartfelt condolences to you all during this time of deep sorrow.
Mr Evans Monari was a kind, jovial, friendly and humble person. He was a commendable legal professional in Disputes Practice in Kenya and gave valuable contribution as litigator in variety of cases. His noteworthy contribution to defend Kenya Government deserves high praise and the achievement will remain as milestone in the history of Kenya.  His demise will be a great loss to your firm, his family and relatives. His wise guidance will be greatly missed by all. We pray to the Almighty God “Jai Ambe Maa” to give courage and strength to the bereaved family of the Late Mr Evans Monari to overcome this sad loss.
May God Rest His Soul in Eternal Peace OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

Godfrey Mambo, Director  Corporate Lending Africa, Rabobank Kenya Representative Office
We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Evans Monari, your senior disputes and arbitration partner.
While the legal community in Kenya has lost a highly respected lawyer, you have lost a partner, a colleague and a friend.
Please accept our deepest condolences to both you and your team. May you all find strength to get through this difficult time.

Njoki Muhoho, Academy Director, Multichoice Talent Factory (MTF)
I learnt through social media that Evans Manori has passed on.  I knew him though not very well but met him couple of times. We at Multichoice are with you in spirit. Poleni sana. May God Rest him in Peace. You are in our minds.

Nelly Kanake, Relationship Manager, Priority Banking, Standard Chartered Bank
We at Standard Chartered Bank are deeply saddened to hear about the recent passing of Counsel Monari.
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for this great loss during this difficult time of grief for the entire Bowmans fraternity.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Fellicine Oriri, Multichoice
We join you in eulogizing Evans: a true litigation counsel with such great humility and warmth

Mercy Muthee
My very sincere condolences for the loss of your friend, colleague and brother.
Praying that the Almighty will be with the Bowmans family and Mr. Monari's family during these very trying times.
It is never easy but may you find comfort in knowing that we are with you in our thoughts and prayers during these times.

Pratul Shah
I am sad to hear the passing of Evans and pass my condolences to you and  your partners. I had the pleasure of knowing him, although I did not do much work with him, except that he was involved  with his team when  we were getting the court order for hold virtual AGMs.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Joanita Nakimuli, Trademark East Africa
We would like to send our deepest sympathies on the demise of Mr Evans Monari. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bowmans family. May his soul rest in peace.

Theresa Mruttu, Legal Counsel | Commercial and Strategic Transactions, Safaricom
My sincere condolences to Monari’s family and the entire Bowmans family. This really is a great loss.
May his joyful soul rest in peace.

Izelle Le Roux-Owen, Director, Africa Private Equity News
We all were all saddened to hear of the passing of your colleague, Evans (Morani), in Nairobi - regardless of his long battle – the finality of death always strikes us. May he rest in peace.

President Kenyatta Mourns Lawyer Evans Monari
‘President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to the family of prominent Nairobi lawyer Evans Monari who passed away Monday night.
In his message of comfort, the President mourned the departed lawyer as a solid and dependable legal mind who leaves behind a rich legacy of professional success.
"It is regrettable that we've lost Evans to the cruel hand of death after a long illness. He was one of our country's leading lawyers who distinguished himself as a dependable resource as seen from his successes," the President mourned.
Alongside his stellar legal practice, lawyer Evans Monari served in several public appointments among them the 2016 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection panel.
The Head of State wished the family of the departed lawyer God's comfort as they come to terms with his passing away.’

Emily Matano, Regional Counsel (ENEA) | Seacom
It is with deep regret that I have today learnt of the demise of your colleague and partner Mr. Evans Monari. Your firm is in my thoughts and prayers at this time of sadness. Please accept my deepest condolences.

Kamal Shah, Partner, Head of the Africa & India Groups, Stephenson Harwood LLP
It is with great sadness I learnt of the news this morning about Evans. I last spoke to him earlier this year when he was, as always, in great spirits and had the signature smile.
Our deepest condolences to his family, and to all of you in the office. He always lit up the room with his presence, and was always jovial. We spoke often jokingly about him coming on secondment to London and me to Nairobi. He was such a great ambassador for Bowmans, and no doubt his legacy will carry through in his team and the office.
On behalf of all of us in the Africa team at SH, please pass on our condolences to his family and the wider office.

Alex Calloway, International Transaction Advisor – UK Counsel | N. Dowuona and Company
Very sorry to see that sad news about Evans this morning. A big loss. Condolences to you and all the team.

Laura Wandera, Kenya Airways
My sincere condolences to his family and the Bowmans family may the Lord grant you all peace and strength at this difficult time. May he rest in eternal peace.

Vimal Shah CBS, Chairman, Bidco Africa Ltd
Our heartfelt and sincere condolences on this sad occasion of the passing on of Evans Monari and we pray that the beautiful soul finds eternal peace in its new holy abode.  He was a great man and did work well at KEPSA with him and he does leave a legacy.

Michael Turner
This is very sad news. I send colleagues my condolences for the loss of a respected and well liked colleague.

Tim Hobbs
So sorry to hear about Evans. He was a good man, and will be sorely missed.

Mugambi Nandi, Senior Partner KN Law LLP
Sad to hear about your loss. He enjoyed life to its fullest and he had a good heart.

Chadwick Poletti, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Base Resources
Our thoughts are with the whole team.

Ramadan Mogga, South Sudan counsel
Sincere condolence with the passing on of Senior Counsel Evans Monari.

James Ndegwa, First Chartered Securities Limited
We offer our sincere condolences to his family and also to you, his partners and colleagues. May the Almighty God rest Evans' soul in eternal peace as he grants his family and you all the strength and comfort needed at this time of great sadness.