General Business Law - Rwanda
THE FIRM ENS entered the Rwandan market in August 2012, after hiring Désiré Kamanzi and the rest of his team from Kamanzi & Associates in Kigali. The firm is viewed as a market leader for business law in Rwanda, and has extensive expertise in banking, M&A and project finance. It also advises foreign companies on the establishment of their local operations, and provides services in both English and French.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The impressive Désiré Kamanzi focuses on all areas of business law, including banking, mining and telecoms. "We would undoubtedly work with him again," said one client.
THE FIRM Clients appreciate this firm's expertise in areas such as banking, M&A, restructuring and employment law. The majority of its clientele is international, hailing from Europe and the USA. The group represents financial institutions, mining firms and real estate companies, and regularly assists foreign businesses with their local entry strategies. It is also developing its capital markets practice and has been advising the Rwandan government on the country's first IPO. Other notable clients include the delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, MTN Rwandacell, Cogebanque and Brussels Airlines.
Sources say: "I have never been disappointed by them. I also like that they are a bilingual firm." "They have really risen through the ranks."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise department head Eric Cyaga, saying: "He is very assiduous, always listens and gives excellent legal advice." His mandates include advising Cogebanque on a USD1.5 million debt recovery matter.
Firm co-founder Julien Kavaruganda "is strong in banking, financing and contract negotiations." He assisted the New Bugarama Mining Company with a USD10 million mining licence application.
THE FIRM Market commentators view this firm as a strong competitor in Rwanda. It specialises in business and public law, and has a thriving practice in both areas. The firm benefits from its association with SNR Denton, and via its membership in Lex Africa acts for a diverse and international clientele. It advises foreign investors, financial institutions and NGOs on matters of energy and natural resources, telecoms and business law, among others.
Sources say: "One of the best firms in the country."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Apollo Mugisha Nkunda wins widespread acclaim for his technical abilities and involvement in the firm's key cases. One interviewee described him as "a very intelligent legal expert."
The popular Richard Mugisha attracts praise from interviewees, who recommend him for government-related work. Sources say: "He's brilliant."
THE FIRM This firm is best known for its work in civil and criminal litigation and insurance law. It maintains a healthy market presence, advising largely on domestic matters. Additional areas of expertise include banking, transportation, trade and employment law.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Jean-Claude Batware is an active player in the market. He has in-depth experience of the insurance sector and is singled out by clients for his organised and results-oriented approach.
THE FIRM This domestic firm assists clients with contracts and litigation, representing clients in court and before financial regulators. The team has extensive experience in banking, tax and intellectual property law. Its clientele is formed of both domestic and international businesses.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Isaïe Mhayimana leads the firm. One client commented: "I was really very impressed by him. He always got back to us on time and was there when we needed him."
THE FIRM This compact firm is well known for its litigation practice. It has a strong focus on criminal law, and also advises on commercial and civil litigation.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources view Jean-Bosco Kazungu as one of the country's leading lawyers for domestic litigation. He is a former president of the Rwandan Bar Association. One interviewee enthused: "He has great mastery of the law and is a real leader."
THE FIRM This firm offers the full range of business law services, including commercial dispute resolution and advice. It receives warm praise from clients for its versatility, international capabilities and value-added approach. As a preferred member of DLA Piper Group and a member of Juris East Africa, it has a diverse domestic and international client list, which includes financial institutions, foreign investors, development agencies and government departments. Notable clients include Tigo Rwanda, the Eastern and Southern African Development Bank (PTA) and the Bank of Kigali.
Sources say: "Amongst the best law firms in the country – they are very respected by the government, NGOs and the private sector."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say practice head Moses Kiiza is "very efficient" and "very well organised." He is well known for his expertise in project finance.
Interviewees are impressed by Calvin Mitali, who focuses on asset acquisition. One client commented: "He is a very professional lawyer. He takes his job very seriously and he always delivers."
Faroh Ndahiro of Cabinet Maitre Ndahiro Faroh comes highly recommended by international market observers, who say: "He is very responsive and has a good grasp of the law – the sort of local counsel that you want."
Richard Rwihandagaza of R & Partners Law Firm is recognised for his focus on business law and commercial dispute resolution. Sources say: "He is an excellent practitioner."