Esther participates in both the transactional work and the management of MMC Africa Law. As the Deputy Managing Partner, Esther is in charge of human resource and administration at MMC Africa Law. As a transactional lawyer, she heads the Commercial and Property Department. Her areas of expertise are real estate, property law, banking, and finance. In this respect, she has represented and continues to represent some of the largest developers and banking institutions in Kenya having practiced for close to 20 years. Esther has been ranked by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in the real estate industry in Kenya. She has also been ranked by IFLR as a leading lawyer in the practice area of banking and M&A. As regards Company Secretarial work, Esther has served and continues to serve on several boards as Company Secretary. Esther is also a Notary Public.

She has a wealth of experience in structuring large mixed-use real estate developments, advising on land use planning, handling project financing transactions, structuring shared ownership hotel type facilities and preparation and negotiation of project contracts including joint venture agreements, shareholder agreements, partnership deeds, design guidelines and master declarations of easements covenants and restrictions. She is also an expert in structuring Real Estate Investment Trusts, Construction Law, Hospitality Law, Regulatory review and advising on Corporate Governance.

Esther has advised several leading banks and financial institutions on the structuring of financial products, syndicated facilities, corporate finance transactions, mortgage finance transactions and asset finance transactions. She is also a trainer of note and has spoken on numerous forums on various aspects of real estate law.

As regards Company Secretarial work, Esther has served and continues to serve on several boards as Company Secretary.

Areas of Specialization

  • Real Estate
  • Banking
  • Company Secretarial Services

Education

  • Leadership in Law Firms, Harvard Law School
  • Bachelor of Laws Degree, University of Nairobi
  • Diploma in Law, Kenya School of Law
  • Diploma in Project Finance, The 12th African School for International Financial Law Cape Town, South Africa
  • Certified Public Secretary, The Institute of Certified Public Secretaries
  • ACCA, Level 1
  • Corporate Governance training by Institute of Directors and the Capital Markets Authority

Real Estate

  • Currently structuring a development that will incorporate a luxurious golf resort, timeshare units and holiday cottages.
  • Advising Tatu City Limited, one of the largest property developers in East Africa, on the structuring of an entire city on the outskirts of Nairobi. This involved developing a master declaration of covenants and restrictions which shall act as the constitution of the city and which shall protect the viability of the city in perpetuity.
  • Giving legal advice and structuring 2 multi-billion property development deals that involve the redevelopment and regeneration of old housing estates in both Nairobi County and Mombasa County in Kenya.
  • Advising Tbilisi Developments Limited on mixed-used development structuring in Kenya.
  • Advising Beulah City Limited on mixed-used development structuring in Kenya.
  • Advising Amboseli Golf Resort Hotel and Spa Limited on mixed-used development structuring in Kenya.
  • Currently structuring a D-REIT so as to create a bankable project that will be transferred to the REIT trustee.
  • Currently structuring the setting up of an exclusive members club based at the North Coast which shall own extensive world-class luxury hotel apartments together with restaurants, conference facilities, state of art recreational facilities and grounds.
  • Advising on land use planning and partnering with professional urban planners to advise our clients on obtaining of approvals relating to change of use, amalgamation, subdivision, and extension of leases both at the County Government level and the National Government level.
  • Involved in the setting up of a comprehensive sustainable multigenerational community center having a mixed-use which shall be set up on approximately 350 acres of land in Kiambu County. The investors shall be allowed to pay for their houses for a period of 20 years and shall also be entitled to other benefits which include education for 2 children and medical insurance.
  • Acting for one of the largest Saccos in Kenya in structuring funding for its working capital.
  • Acting for a Golf Resort and Spa developer in the corporate structuring of the development company and its related companies including preparation of shareholder agreements, advising on a management agreement with Wyndham, advising on the financing structure of its tourism construction facility afforded by the African Development Bank, fundraising from equity investors and the real estate structuring of a golf estate.
  • Advising a developer in the structuring and sale of 600 residential units in Mavoko. This estate is a unique lifestyle development that offers the best of country living within easy reach of the city along the Nairobi- Mombasa highway.
  • Banking

  • Structuring and creating various securities to secure borrowings by one of the largest textile companies in Africa amounting to KES 3.5B to finance the company’s expansion and working capital.
  • Structuring and creating various securities to secure borrowings by one of the largest millers in Kenya amounting to KES 3B to finance the company’s expansion and working capital.
  • Handled a cross-border syndicated facility valued at USD60M from various subsidiaries of a Nigerian Bank.
  • Advising a bank client on the structure, operational and legal framework of mortgage-backed securities.
  • Undertaking securities review on the various securities perfected in favor of banks and recommending the way forward to reduce the risk exposure to the respective banks in the event of recovery.
  • Structuring and creating various securities to secure project finance for a manufacturing company amounting to KES2.4B.
  • Structuring and creating various securities to secure financing to various oil companies.
  • Structuring a KES1.35B real estate project finance deal starting from land acquisition, joint venture/shareholder’s agreements and the financing agreements.
  • Acted for various banks in complex takeover transactions.
  • Acted for various banks in development of Compliance Manuals, for the use by the banks on all aspects of bank operations and processes, including prudential requirements.
  • Currently undertaking a comprehensive securities review for one of its bank clients.
  • Developed security templates for various banks.
  • Advised on the development of an Asset-Backed Security to raise approximately USD 450M as funding for the 1,050 MW of a power plant project.
  • Conducted training on the Companies Act, 2015 and the Insolvency Act to its bank clients and other financial institutions.
  • Advised one of its clients on securitization of corporate debt of USD 200M.
  • Advised clients on equity and debt investment.
  • Advising on a capitalization program (Private Placement and Loan Capitalization) to the tune of USD 5M.
  • Company Secretarial Services

  • Facilitating the smooth operation of the Company’s formal decision making and reporting machinery.
  • Ensuring that Board procedures are followed and reviewed regularly
  • Ensuring that the applicable rules and regulations for the conduct of the affairs of the Board are complied with and that all matters associated with its efficient operation are maintained.
  • Ensuring that each Board member is made aware of and provided with guidance as to their duties, responsibilities and powers.
  • Providing the Board as a whole and Board members individually with detailed guidance as to how their responsibilities should be discharged in the best interests of the Company. In this regard, providing a central source of guidance and advice to the Board.
  • Ensuring that all Board Committees are properly constituted and provided with clear terms of reference.
  • Assisting the Board in understanding and applying the principles of corporate governance.
  • Keep abreast of and inform the Board of current government thinking and practice.
  • Maintaining the following statutory registers:

    • Members;
    • Directors and Secretary;
    • Directors’ interest in shares and debentures;
    • interest in voting shares; and
    • Debenture holders.
  • Filing information with the Registrar of Companies to report certain changes regarding the company or to comply with requirements for periodic filing.
  • Continually reviewing developments in corporate governance.
  • Facilitating the proper induction of directors into their role.
  • Advising and assisting the directors with respect to their duties and responsibilities, in particular compliance with company law.
  • Corporate

  • Acting for various companies in the restructuring of ownership including the introduction and implementation of corporate governance within the companies’ governance structures.
  • Legal Team – Corporate documentation review and shareholders agreement review- Safaricom IPO.
  • Energy

  • Advising a power producing company in the negotiation, preparation review and execution of a Power Purchase Agreement with KPLC for two of its power plants at Embakasi.
  • Countries of Work Experience

  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Burundi
  • DR Congo

Awards and Accolades

  • Ranked by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in the real estate industry in Kenya and is respected by both her seniors and peers.
  • Ranked by IFLR as a leading lawyer in real estate law for 2011.
  • Ranked by IFLR as a leading lawyer in real estate law for 2012.
  • Ranked by IFLR as a leading lawyer in the practice area of banking and finance for 2017.
  • Ranked by IFLR as a leading lawyer in the practice area of banking and finance for 2018.