Bernard has a wide range of experience in advising clients on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), capital market transactions, public-private partnerships (PPP), energy and infrastructure projects, private equity, corporate restructuring, intellectual property, employment, general commercial contracts. He recently advised Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS) in its sale of 267 kilometers of fiber optic cable to Safaricom Limited in a novel asset purchase transaction in the telecommunications sector in Kenya.
He is currently the legal lead advisor in a consortium advising five public universities across Kenya in the development of university hostels under a PPP model.
He has also represented the owners and developers of wind, solar and geothermal projects in all aspects of conceptualization and development of their energy projects.

Areas of Specialization

  • Corporate and commercial law.
  • Mergers and acquisitions.
  • Project finance.
  • Energy and infrastructure.
  • Telecommunications law.
  • Employment law.
  • Immigration law.
  • Intellectual property.
  • Competition law.
  • Public private partnerships

Education

  • Diploma in Law, Kenya School of Law, 2009.
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB), University of Nairobi, 2008.
  • Certified Public Secretaries, Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB) (Section 5), 2008

Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Acting for Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group, a wholesale provider of internet and point-to-point services to telecommunication operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda with over 35 million end-user in its intended sale of 100% shareholding stake. This is one of the largest recent telecommunication transactions in the region.
  • Acting for Bandwidth and Cloud Services Limited, a Kenyan company licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya in its sale of 267kilometres of fiber optic cable to Safaricom Limited.
  • Advising Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) company in its intended acquisition of two established hotels situated in the Kenyan tourist hub of Mombasa, a transaction that involves a share purchase and an asset purchase respectively of the two proprietor companies.
  • Advising the existing shareholders of a mid-tier Kenyan bank in the intended disposal of a stake in the bank to an international private equity group.
  • Advising the shareholders of a Ugandan mid-tier bank in the proposed joint acquisition of 86.001% stake in the bank by a Kenyan listed company and a state-owned overseas developmental finance institution based in the United Kingdom.
  • Advising an integrated media agency with several affiliate companies in its proposed merger and acquisition of 30% stake in two digital marketing agencies in consideration of allotment of its shares to both marketing agencies in a share swap transaction.
  • Advising a company in the coastal region of Kenyan in the proposed acquisition of 100% stake in a company in the business of manufacturing edible oil.
  • Advising Helios Investment Partners, an African-focused private investment fund and Vitol Group, one of the largest global energy traders in the acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell’s downstream operations in Kenya, Botswana, and Mauritius.
  • Advising Enviroserv Kenya Limited in the acquisition of a majority stake in the company by Enviroserv Waste Management Limited, a large company with operations in several countries in Africa and the Middle East involved in the business of providing hazardous waste management solutions.
  • Advising Godrej Consumer Products Limited, an Indian company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in India, in the proposed acquisition of interests in the business of artificial hair production and distribution carried on by Strategic Industries in Kenya.
  • Advising SABMiller International, the world’s second largest beverages company, on its acquisition of Crown Foods Limited, a premier natural bottled water company in Kenya.
  • Advising Yehu Microfinance Trust and Yehu Microfinance Services Limited in an internal reorganization and restructuring which involved the transfer of the microfinance business and assets from the trust to the company.
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Energy and Infrastructure Projects

  • Advising the Public Private Partnerships Unit of the Kenyan National Treasury, as part of the Genesis Analytics Pty-led consortium, on the development, operation, and maintenance of students’ hostels under a public-private partnership (PPP) model to be undertaken by five public universities across Kenya.
  • Advising Astonfield Solesa Solar Kenya Limited in a USD 2.5 million project financing transaction for its solar power projects.
  • Advising a large cement manufacturer based in Kenya on the acquisition of approximately 4,000 acres of land and the prospecting and mining licenses in respect of the intended limestone reserve of approximately 3,598 million metric tonnes.
  • Advising China Water and Electricity Company in its intended development of a 20-year wind power project in Marsabit County, Kenya expected to produce approximately 300MW of wind power and modeled as a public-private partnership with the County Government of Marsabit.
  • Advising Explorer Holdings International Limited on all aspects of the intended development of a 160MW solar power project in Nanyuki County, Kenya.
  • Advising the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) on the agreement with Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN) for the utilization, operation, and maintenance of GDC’s 59 geothermal wells situated in Olkaria basin with a production capacity of about 280MW. This is the largest geothermal arrangement of this kind in the region.
  • Advising Iberafrica Power (E.A.) Limited on the legal and regulatory framework governing the development, construction, and operationalization of a solar power project in Kenya.
  • Advising a major global energy operator based in Denmark on the setting up of a wind power project in Meru County, Kenya.
  • Advising Tullow Oil Kenya BV on a monthly basis on any changes in the legislation and policies impacting the energy sector in Kenya.
  • Labour Experience

  • Advising various employers on issues of employment, pension and tax law arising out of retrenchment of employees.
  • Drafting and developing a standard template for expatriates, senior local employees and junior local employees of and providing general advice on employment matters.
  • Advising on the establishment of an ESOP by a listed company including a review of the relevant laws and regulations affecting the scheme and tax implications.
  • Providing advice generally to various clients on the Labour Laws.
  • Providing employment law advice to the Associated Press, providing them with an overview of labor laws in Kenya and drafting their employment contracts and disciplinary policy.
  • Advising the African Virtual University in relation to their employment contracts for both local and international employees and reviewed their employee handbook.
  • Preparing an analysis of employment issues for General Electric in five countries in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia).
  • Providing employment advice to Mitsui Corporation and drafting and developing standard templates for all their employees.
  • Providing employment advice to Vanoil Energy and drafting a template consultancy agreement.
  • Providing employment advice to Rainforest Farmlands and drafting and developing standard templates for all their employees; review and amending their Employee Handbook.
  • Drafting and developing standard employment templates for CIS Group and Interdist Alliances Kenya Limited and providing a commentary on their template employment contract identifying areas which are not in line with Kenyan employment laws.
  • Providing employment law advice to the IBM and providing them with an overview of labor laws in Kenya.
  • Advising Proctor and Gamble on data protection laws in Kenya.
  • Drafting and developing standard employment templates for GZI Kenya.
  • Drafting and developing a standard employment and consultancy agreement for Africa Oil Fields Logistics.
  • Advising Ophir Energy on termination of employees.
  • Advising Godrej on redundancy and taking over of employees; review of their handbook and employment contracts.
  • Advising Princeton University on immigration issues.
  • Advising Mitsui Corporation, Onmobile Telecommunications Limited, Zana Africa, Saracen Media on Immigration Laws.
  • Preparing Employment Law Alliance (ELA) and client seminar notes.
  • Preparing Littler Mendelson employment - Kenya Chapter
  • Intellectual Property

  • Advising numerous clients on the registration and protection of trademarks and patents in Kenya; Assignment of trademarks and partial assignment of trademarks; Alteration of trademarks; and Assignment of copyrights and Industrial Designs.
  • Trade Marks

  • Acting for Safaricom Limited , the largest telecommunications company in Kenya, in registration and renewal of numerous trademarks in Kenya including but not limited to ‘”SAFARICOM FLEX” which identifies the new data bundles services offered by the company, “BE YOUR OWN BOSS” which made a huge impact on the youth through promoting and inspiring entrepreneurial spirit in the young people, “G-ONEE”, “FUNZIKA” “TAPLAY” “SAFARICOM GENERATION” “M-PESA 1 TAP” which identifies a product used as a card or a phone sticker device that simplifies payment services through the M-PESA account “SAFARICOM HOME” which identifies Safaricom’s product that allows fast, reliable and unlimited internet access in the comfort of their homes and “#TWAWEZA”.
  • Acting for Solpia Kenya Limited, a well-established hair manufacturing company in Kenya, in protection, registration and enforcement of numerous trademark in East and Central Africa including but not limited to “SOLPIA”, “CROCHET BRAID”, “IT’S A BRAID” “BRAZILLIAN HAIR”, “ASANTE BRAID”, “SHAGGY CUT”, “OUTRE”, “LOOSE CURL” and “VOGUE CURL” .
  • Acting for The Legal Group, Dubai, UAE in registration and assignment of various trademarks such as “HUNTSMAN” “ARADUR” and “ARALDITE” in Kenya.
  • Advised Kenafric Industries Limited, one of the largest manufacturers of Footwear, stationery products, confectionery and food in Kenya, on protection and registration of its trademarks under ARIPO and assisting in registration of over thirty of its trademarks under the ARIPO including “Chewy”, “Oyo”, “Lollipop”, “Squeezy”, “Ki Lotto”, “Ki Special Veve”, “Ki Milk Munch”, “Ki Creamy Yoghurt”, “Ki Fruit Drops”, “Ki Orange Drops”, “Sparky” “Atomic”, “Faba”, “Pago Pago” and “Ki fresh”.
  • Advising Tanga Cement Limited, a cement manufacturing company in Tanzania, on its branding strategy and assisting in the registration of its trademarks “MKOMBOZI” and “TOFALI CHUMA” in Kenya.
  • Advised the Meru County Investment & Development Corporation on protection and registration of its logos in Kenya. Acted for the Company in the registration of its logos in Kenya.
  • Acting for P. Bhavanbhai Family Trust of Johannesburg, South Africa, the sole proprietor of trade mark NIKKI, in opposition proceedings against registration of a similar mark NICKI by Style Industries Limited.
  • Acting for Toto Limited, the proprietor of the world-famous and internationally recognized trademark “VOLT” which it uses in its popular energy drink products available in a number of countries worldwide, in opposition proceedings against registration of a similar mark VOLT by International Distillers Uganda Limited. Toto Limited is a Maltese company and a beverage producer in South America, Africa and Asia.
  • Advised Parallel Media Limited, a medium level television, and digital production company, on its branding strategy as well as protection of its trademarks in Kenya. Acting for the company in the registration of trademarks for its television platforms.
  • Advised Neotech Kenya Limited, a software company that provides lead generation to pharmaceutical and health-related products to retailers, on protection if its software applications and assisted in the registration of its logos in Kenya.
  • Registration of various trademarks for Assia Animal Health Limited and Phibro Animal Health Corporation.
  • Acting for Dudutech (K) Limited on the registration of various trademarks in a range of classes.
  • Acting for Homegrown (Kenya) Limited on the assignment of trademarks in a range of classes from Dudutech (K) Limited.
  • Acting for Hemingways International Holding Limited on the registration of trademarks in a range of classes.
  • Registration of various trademarks and industrial designs for Libya Oil Limited.
  • Copyright

  • Advising Safaricom Limited which operates the SKIZA Platform on Copyright law and is part of the MMC Africa Law team that is spearheading consultative talks and forums on creation and protection of collective rights in the musical works in light of the current copyright laws in Kenya. The SKIZA Platform is a value-added service for Safaricom’s customers under which digital music content is uploaded for downloading by Safaricom’s subscribers.
  • Acting for Safaricom Limited in protection and registration of its copyright works in “BLAZE BY SAFARICOM M-PESA CARD” which is artistic work in the Blaze by Safaricom M-PESA Card and “MY KENYA” which is a computer generated artistic work comprising a single image depicting mountains, an elephant, wildebeest and a series of lines and patterns of the Kenya national flag namely black, white, red and green. We are currently undertaking registration of “MPESA 1 TAP NFC CARD” which is copyright to the artistic work on the NFC card which enhances M-PESA monetary settlement services.
  • Acted for Trimble Solutions, owner of the copyright in TEKLA structures software in a prosecution of infringement against its software.
  • Patents

  • Acted for Crystal Lagoons (Curacao) B.V, an international company with about 16 offices around the world and a leader in innovation and technology, in the renewal of its patents in Rwanda.
  • Acting for Iceutica Pty Limited in the renewal of its patents in Rwanda which provide clinical benefits for patients with respiratory diseases.
  • Acted for Sanofi Aventis, a global life science company that transforms scientific innovation into healthcare solutions in human vaccines, in the renewal of its patent in Rwanda which is used in the treatment and prevention of malaria.
  • Acted on behalf of Schwarz Pharma AG and SABMiller Investments II B.V. in the renewal of their patents in Rwanda and Burundi respectively.
  • Industrial designs.
  • Advised Just Plastics Limited, a manufacturing company in Kenya specialized in the production of plastic products on protection and registration of Industrial Designs in Kenya, Assignment and licensing of the IP rights from their mother company. Just Plastics Limited situated in the UK and who have registered their industrial designs under ARIPO and OAPI.
  • Countries of Work Experience

  • Kenya.
  • United Kingdom.
  • United Arab Emirates.

Awards and Accolades

  • Ranked “Highly regarded” by IFLR100 in 2017 for M&A, project development, energy, oil, and gas.