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About Gikera & Vadgama Advocates (GVA) and why you should choose us:
Stephen Gikera, Managing Partner

The entire structure of GVA, how we work, what we work on, who we work with and how we deliver our legal service is entirely developed around you.

Established less than five years ago, with the main office in Nairobi and branches in Mombasa which govern coastal region, and Nanyuki which governs Mount Kenya region. Our practice is inevitably about your aspirations, your plans, your business, your investments and most importantly your expectations. Understanding this, GVA is set up to recognise your expectations early and assist you professionally in fulfilling and exceeding them as your legal counsel. This is who we are, a reflection of you.

To serve you, GVA has assembled a team of more than 10 capable lawyers, viewed overleaf in summary, to understand you and your business leverage our legal experience and meet your expectations. While such an ensemble of lawyers is common place in most law firms, similarities end there. Our intuitive client-centric approach means that GVA’s structure is unique, majorly consisting of a broad industry-sectorial and practice area categorization that intertwines to meet specific client requirements. So that GVA has broken rank with the traditional practice of law based solely on practice areas e.g. Conveyancing and succession law and has moved on to combine those with specific sectorial- industry focus areas e.g. transport and logistics, energy, real estate, insurance etc. The manner in which GVA combines these two broad categories is novel and is designed to comprehensively meet your specific industry or business requirements through an innovative and two-way communication platform. Ultimate Registrars, an independent and fully fledged company secretarial service affiliated to GVA, is a progeny of that two way client-centric communication platform. 

To serve your very complex, cross-border or international transactions, GVA is part of the IR Global Network, the fastest growing professional service firm network in the world; Providing legal, accountancy and financial advice to companies and individuals across 150 jurisdictions. The group’s founding philosophy is based on bringing the best of the advisory community into a sharing economy; a system which is ethical, sustainable and provides significant added value to you as a client. What this means for you is that through GVA you have access to a firm that benefits from an advisory network that is able to leverage a truly cross-border, regional and international capability experience for any project regardless of its complexity. In addition with the best friends’ network of law firms in the East African region, we are guaranteed to continually serve you and the region seamlessly with little differentiation. GVA also boasts of a professional indemnity cover of up to Kshs.2 Billion and perches itself on a strategy of representing clients with whom a conflict of interest is non-existent. We represent a wide array commercial entities, private clients and government bodies that include Kenya Commercial Bank, National Cereals and Produce Board, Multiship International Limited a shipping expediting company, Local Authorities Provident Fund a government pension fund for county government employees amongst others in a multi-sectorial market.

More importantly, we value you and what our clients think of us. So we keep our lines of communication always open. We respond to your emails and phone calls. We discourage bureaucratic processes in the way we work and in the way we respond to you. We maintain transparent processes including our pricing and take time with you to explain how we charge, why we charge the way we do, the variables and discuss this in advance and at any time upon your prompting. We conscientiously seek to build trust in our expertise and in the manner we transact with you.

If you would like more information about what we do and the industries that we focus on kindly visit our website at: www.gvalawfirm.com; and do not hesitate to give us a call. We cherish you.

 

Our principles & values:

GVA operates as a true partnership; we see ourselves as part of a global community imprinted with a set of principles to which a wide array of people can commit - principles that go beyond individual interests.

These principles make GVA the organization that it is, encompassing: unparalleled focus on client needs, a passion for excellence, integrity and accountability, creativity and innovation and strength in unity and diversity and because we are a true partnership, we seek to forge long term client relationships that transcend mere marketing slogans.

 

Sector areas:

GVA is  the  benchmark setter of  client focused  legal services in the East African region. We are leading the way in changing the face of legal services by providing services that meet the needs of contemporary clients and businesses by understanding how, where and when they need our expertise. The firm offers a wide variety of legal services for the following industry sectors:

√  Agribusiness

√  Aviation

√  Banks, Financial Institutions and Capital Markets

√  Construction

√  Consumer Goods & Retail

√  Energy and Mining

√  Environment

√  Funds & Investment Management

√  Government and Public Procurement

√  Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

√  Hospitality and Recreation

√  Industrials & Manufacturing

√  Infrastructure and PPP

√  Insurance

√  Maritime and Transport

√  Non Profit Organizations

√  Private Equity

√  Real Estate

√  Telecommunications, Media & Technology

 

Practice areas:

Anti-bribery and corruption

The advent of Anti-bribery and prohibited corrupt practices legislation internationally - the UK Bribery Act (UKBA) and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) -and in Kenya - the Anti-Bribery Act of March 2016 - has increased the importance of setting up effective anti- bribery and corruption (AB&C) compliance programmes. This is highlighted in the Anti-Bribery Act which turns the spotlight on compulsory measures that private companies in  Kenya  should  take  to  curb  indictable practices.

GVA can help your organization navigate this sphere by:

o  facilitating and conducting anti-corruption risk assessments, and preparing/reviewing anti- corruption policies and procedures

o  preparing procedures addressing the appointment and retention of agents and representatives, including providing appropriate anti-corruption protections in representative agreements

o  dealing with queries relating to specific proposed practices, for example, permissible gifts, hospitality, sponsored travel and facilitation payments

o  conducting anti-corruption due diligence for M&A activity and other transactional work

o  delivering targeted training, including training for boards and risk committees, training for particular high risk roles and general employee training,

o  advising generally on the effect and application of anti-corruption legislation

o  assisting in the development and conduct of audits of anti-corruption programmes 

Capital markets

Initial public offerings, capital increases and reductions and delisting require specialized legal advice and insight into the dynamics of the capital market.

If you are about to raise capital through an initial public offering, we can offer you a full suite of legal advisory services walking with you side by side to advise you of your company’s options and challenges of the actual IPO. We collaborate with you to reshape your internal structures and rules in anticipation of the requirements of a listed company. We maintain the same comportment for your organization’s decisions on a rights issue, private placement, bond issue and offers for sale and the interactions with the capital market regulations. We take it on ourselves to advise you comprehensively about your options and challenges connected with regulatory capital.

We wade along with you in the murky waters of acquisitions, restructurings, securitization, structured financing and reorganizations and develop a deep understanding  of  your  business   and  industry.  We then work around your strategic objectives to develop Innovative and bespoke solutions that propel business growth.

Corporate

GVA possesses remarkable depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in corporate law, combining that  with  the  firm’s  ability  to  draw  on   its  other market-leading practices, enables us  to  provide your organization with a one-stop solution at all stages of your organization’s growth. Possessed with vast experience in the areas of emerging companies, drafting commercial agreements, competition law, corporate governance and director responsibilities, reorganizations, insurance, joint ventures, intellectual property and strategic alliances, we help our clients achieve strategic advantage, navigate complex legal and business issues, and realise their long- term business objectives. We represent organizations across the spectrum of industry sectors and are widely recognized for our representation of regulated industry clients.

Employment, pensions and executive payment

GVA’s employment practice advises on all aspects of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious, industrial relations law, as well as pension, benefits and executive compensation issues. We provide assistance and guidance to our clients in domestic, as well as in multi-jurisdictional projects.

Our practice work focuses on:

o  Employment Agreements, restrictive covenants, benefits and executive remuneration, including pension plans, share options and other incentive agreements

o  Individual and collective redundancies

o  Mergers and Acquisitions/restructurings

o  Trade Unions and collective bargaining agreements

Our team is particularly  experienced in litigation before all Kenyan courts, including civil, criminal and administrative proceedings involving employees. We also advise our clients on their employees’ immigration matters.

Finance

Our Finance practice addresses your quest for finance and the interaction with the organization, ownership and operation of banks and depository institutions and other providers of financial services regulated or licensed by the government. It also covers representation of banks and other financial organizations in lending transactions to borrowers and compliance with consumer and other laws involving all aspects of financial services provided by banks and other financial organisations including Asset and Project Finance, Islamic Finance, Syndicated Loans, Corporate and Real Estate Finance.

More than being just a traditional law firm in this domain, we offer the  entire gamut of a modern finance law practice including advice and representation not only with respect to lending and regulatory compliance, but also with respect to fiduciary activities, securitizations, derivatives, payment systems, electronic banking, data security and risk management. Our capabilities further extend to cover mergers, corporate organisational and ownership issues involving holding companies, banks and other regulated entities.

Intellectual property

o  preliminary legal advice on IP

o  registrations and renewals of trademarks, patents, utility models, designs and copyright locally

o  filing for regional and international registration of patents, designs and trademarks

o  providing consultancy service for clients to derive the best economic value from their Intellectual Property assets as their business evolves

o  infringement opinion

o  draft and review patent claim and description

o  negotiating, drafting and/or concluding license, franchise and assignment agreements on behalf of our clients

o  recordable of license, franchising and assignment agreement with the registry

o  preparing Non-Disclosure Agreement

>  brand valuation and brand development

>  Anti-Counterfeit actions

>  International TMA LogoIP Litigation on infringement, piracy, passing-off, unlawful competition and opposition proceedings

GVA is honored to be an esteemed member of the International Trademark Association.

Maritime and transport

The Maritime and Transport practice is one of a kind in the East African region with GVA being the only law firm in the region that dedicates an entire department to maritime and transport.

We are at the forefront in this field, offering legal advisory regarding:

o  Registration of Vessels

o  maritime and transport claims

o  Marine Insurance

o  Project Finance and Public Private Partnerships in the purchase, acquisition and leasing of Maritime vessels and equipment.

o  Maritime and Transport regulations within the East African region

o  Comparative Maritime International Regulation

o  Clearing and Forwarding and Customs regulations

o  Bills of Lading & Charterparties

o  Offshore Exploration

o  Offshore structures, installations and pipelines

o  Salvage, Towage and Wreck Removal legal advisory

o  Ports and Terminals

o  Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Contracts

o  Collisions – Stranding-Pollution

o  Health and Safety regulations in the Maritime and Transport Industry

o  Mediation and Dispute Resolution mechanisms; and Maritime Law Training

Litigation, dispute resolution & risk management

GVA’s successful litigation, dispute resolution and risk management métier is grounded entirely on years of experience and an ensemble of shrewd litigation lawyers. Coupled also by sectorial industry and practice area in- depth knowledge.

Foremost, we  aim to  minimize our  clients’  exposure to litigation risk and recommend solutions to clients involved in disputes that are pragmatic and commercially focused.

We also place emphasis on alternative dispute resolution procedures in addition to traditional processes of litigation, including:

o  arbitration

o  pre-litigation disputes management

o  mediation, expert determinations, adjudications, negotiations and agreed custom-made processes to resolve disputes

Being sensitive to your cost and time sensitivities we are totally committed to alternative cost  options  for our clients which enables us to offer you an attractive combination of quality, efficiency and pricing.

Real estate

Our practice of real estate law involves a myriad and often complex set of activities centering on sales and acquisitions, title, land use, environmental, development, leasing, finance, joint ventures, restructuring and litigation.

We offer expertise in the following areas:

o  Sales and Acquisitions: The representation of buyers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of the various kinds of real estate including office buildings, retail centers, industrial and residential properties

o  Risk Management in the examination of title to real estate, evaluation of title exceptions and negotiation of property insurance policies.

o  Land Use and Environmental: Land use entitlements, due diligence investigations,

o  Development: The negotiation and preparation of development and construction agreements and other documents required to develop and construct office buildings, shopping centers, mixed-use projects, free-standing units and industrial sites.

o  Leasing: The negotiation and preparation of office, retail and industrial leases and long-term ground leases.

o  Finance: The representation of lenders and borrowers in real estate secured loan originations and purchases and other debt financing arrangements.

o  Joint Ventures: A very large proportion of real estate transactions involve joint ventures between capital sources and developers. GVA is in a position to structure and negotiate partnership agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, shareholder agreements and other forms of joint venture arrangements and advice on the tax aspects of the transactions.

o  Litigation: Our practice in this area involves the representations of real estate owners, buyers, sellers, lessors, brokers, lenders, and developers in, among other things contract, title and construction disputes

 

Experience

Our services to these firms include Conveyancing and perfecting of securities, business formation, intercompany and infrastructure financing. Other services involved dispute resolution including litigation, arbitration and mediation.

Litigation Matters Handled by the Firm include:

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Gikera & Vadgama Advocates know that our clients would first and foremost like to avoid the tedious and costly process of the judicial system whenever they initially approach us with disputes they would like to be represented in. Our advocates encourage negotiations first that come to an amicable conclusion before approaching the Court, failure to which litigation is inevitably the next course of action. The firm has experience in handling out of court settlements effectively. The firm has successfully negotiated some matters on behalf of its esteemed clients that are valued to the tune of USD 3 million and most importantly to the satisfaction of our clients.

Commercial Litigation

Our advocates take the time to research and aptly prepare for matters that are before the Honorable Courts. Here at Gikera & Vadgama advocates we know that we owe a duty to the court first and then to our client. We ensure therefore that we do not approach the Court with trivial and malicious issues and try our best to advice our client on the best course of action to take to avoid wasting the Court's time and their hard earned money. It is in this spirit that we win and have won cases on behalf of the aggrieved persons that come to us for our services. We have in the past recovered monies on behalf of our clients that amount to over 100 Million shillings and seek to continue to succeed and improve with justice as our shield and defender.

Environmental and Land Disputes

Land in Kenya is the most sensitive issue that gives rise to countless disputes between individuals on a small scale and communities on a large scale. Land disputes do not only arise to determine ownership but also in transactions that are not properly completed or agreements that are not honoured. Our firm has invested in its research department in order to ensure that we ably defend and institute proceedings with regard to land and the environment. We have in the past restituted land to its rightful owners or ensured that land agreements are honored and if not relief is given to our aggrieved client.

Family and Succession disputes

The firm of Gikera & Vadgama advocates holds no qualms when delving into the sticky terrain of family law. We have successfully in the past fought for the rights of rightful heirs and dependants in succession matters that involve large estates that hold assets that can be summed up to 1 Billion Shillings. We handle matrimonial and children's' matters and work closely with government agencies to ensure children's interests are taken care of whenever any cases with regard to child support are brought to us. In sensitive matters like matrimonial causes, we seek to advice our clients on the law whenever we are presented with cases of divorce and take necessary measures to ensure that our Client's interests are protected and the best course of action is taken after attempting negotiations.

We serve a wide range of clientele spreading through the following industries;

o  Banking and Financial Institutions

o  Telecommunications

o  Manufacturing Industry

o  Insurance Agencies

o  Reinsurance Companies

o  Real estate and Property Development

o  Mining Companies

o  Oil and Gas Industry

o  Aviation Industry

 

Client Policy

Our client policy is anchored on professionalism. We are guided in all of our work by a key question: "How can we ensure that we address all of the immediate needs of the client while delivering long-term benefits to the organization and its business as a whole?" We focus on how to accomplish this in the manner most expedient and appropriate to each client's unique needs and circumstances.

It is our firm's foundational belief that everyone should have equal access to the civil justice system, regardless of their personal or economic situation. We recognize both the professional obligation of our firm and the personal obligation of our lawyers to serve our community. We strive to collaborate with clients to help them conquer their legal problems.

The standard we uphold is to earn our clients' confidence on the first matter and to keep earning it on every matter thereafter. Every aspect of the enterprise here at Gikera & Vadgama Advocates is focused on representing clients expertly and cost-consciously.

We are a high-performance organization, and our mission is our clients' success. We believe clients have a right to expect the exceptional from us - in service, value, and results - and our goal is to meet or exceed that expectation on every matter for every client. We are able to anticipate our clients' needs by first understanding their industry and the business issues they face as they seek to achieve their objectives.

It is our heartfelt endeavor to wow our clients.

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