Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Bowmans Kenya is pleased to announce that, having co-founded Coulson Harney, Advocates in 2008, and led the firm in Kenya to great heights for twelve years as managing partner, Richard Harney will shortly take up a new position from 1 March 2021 as Senior Partner, Kenya. In this role, he will continue to represent the firm in a senior leadership position – he will also remain involved in complex client work as well as leading Bowmans’ efforts across Africa in building relationships with our own offices and other law firms across the continent.

As such, Richard will be stepping down as Managing Partner of the Bowmans Kenya office (Coulson Harney), and corporate and M&A partner, Paras Shah has been elected to take up that position from 1 March 2021.

Also, with effect from 1 January 2021, John Syekei has been appointed by the firm’s Partnership Board to the Management Board of Bowmans.  John’s role will be assisting Bowmans to achieve its strategic goals in the East African Region.  John already co-ordinates our IP and Technology offering in East Africa, and this makes him a natural fit for this new group-wide position.

Philip Coulson, as co-founding partner, remains as a senior partner in the Kenya office and will continue working on client assignments and providing leadership to the rest of the firm.

Richard Harney comments as follows:

“Having been managing partner of the firm for more than 12 years I am happy to pass the baton to my brilliant partner Paras Shah.  I am also honoured to be asked to serve as Senior Partner and continue to work here with my friend and co-founder Philip Coulson.  My greatest pride in my professional life has been in building this firm to what it is now, and especially to the impact our progress has had on the lives of so many Kenyans who have passed through our doors ranging from our gifted partners, our wonderful employees and, of course, our valued clients and colleagues.”

Paras Shah comments as follows:

 “I am very excited in taking the reins of our Nairobi Office from Richard who has done a phenomenal job in taking a brand new firm of two people in 2008 to one of the leading law firms in Kenya and the region, with over 160 members of staff.  I look forward to working with my partners and leading the office to even greater heights, and contributing to our firm’s vision of continuing to be a leading Pan African law firm.  I thank my partners for showing the confidence in me and Richard for his leadership in the last 12 years.  Our firm will continue to innovate and invest to serve our clients with excellent legal services in an increasingly complex environment and offer our employees a world-class environment to further their careers.”

John Syekei comments as follows:

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my Partners representing the offices in the East African region on the Management Board of the Firm. I will focus on providing strategic leadership and enhancing collaboration within the Firm. I look forward to enabling the implementation of the Firm’s strategic initiatives within the East African region as well as supporting and developing the Firm’s brand and profile in East Africa…..”

Rob Legh, Bowmans Group Chairman commented as follows:

“We are delighted with these new appointments and warm congratulations are due to Richard, Paras and John.

Richard has done a brilliant job over the last 12 years in taking Bowmans Kenya from a start-up office to one of the leading legal practices in Kenya.  We and our clients will continue to benefit from Richard’s extensive experience in his new role as Senior Partner, Kenya. In Paras, as one of the country’s top dealmakers, we have a worthy successor to Richard in taking the Kenya office forward to new heights. And, as our business becomes more regionally focussed, John will play a significant role in achieving Bowmans’ strategic objectives across East Africa”.