• +265 1 824 555 / +265 1 824281
  • savjani@globemw.net
  • Ground Floor, Hannover House, Hannover Avenue - Blantyre.

Krishna Savjani OBE SC | Managing Partner

Background

Krishna Savjani OBE SC, Barrister-at-Law (England), Senior Counsel (SC)(Malawi), the Honorary British Consul is the firm’s Sole Equity Partner. Mr Savjani was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

According to Chambers Global, who have interviewed parties in Malawi and elsewhere Krishna Savjani has been described as “equally at home in the boardroom and the courtroom”. Clients admire his combination of local understanding and international experience and praise his “ability to plan ahead”. Mr Savjani has also been described as “superb” and “clever”. He is widely assessed by the market as “the country’s leading commercial and banking lawyer”. He is sought out for the most complex matters and praised for the speed and depth of his advice: “He is an astute man, methodical and a deep thinker”. Corporate investors appreciate his discreet approach and in-depth knowledge of the Malawian market.

 

Professional qualifications

  • Barrister-at-law (Gray’s Inn)

 

Career summary

1977 – DATE: Sole Equity Partner at Savjani & Co

 

Areas of expertise

  • Banking, project and structured finance and securitization
  • Corporate  / mergers and acquisitions / share sales / restructuring
  • Commercial
  • Capital markets, listings (bonds, bonus issues, rights issues)
  • Mining
  • Litigation

 

Top matters

  • Ongoing representation of Paladin Africa, Malawi’s only major mining company in matters involving financing, taxation, labour and various environmental and mining issues
  • Press Corporation and Presscane – ongoing representation in issues concerning shareholder disputes regarding a Joint Venture
  • Introduction of Capital Gains Tax on Sale of Listed Shares. Until June 2011, capital gains on sale of shares of listed companies held for more than 12 months were exempt from income tax.  The Malawi Government introduced capital gains tax on capital gains on sale of shares of listed companies irrespective of the period held (in effect with retrospective force), and this resulted in a lot of advisory work.
  • Globe Metals and Mining. Advising in relation to a transaction whereby a Chinese state owned enterprise acquired majority shareholding in an Australian mining company which in turn has a mining company in Malawi.
  • Cane Products. Advised the board of directors of the company on cash flows and dividend issues in the context of the complaint by minority shareholder regarding non-declaration of dividends, and threat to commence winding up proceedings.
  • Lynas Africa. Completing the acquisition of mining licence for rare earths and other assets from the previous licence holder.
  • NICO Holdings Amending and restating trust deed in relation to employee share ownership plan and amending the trust rules.
  • Packaging Industries Malawi. We advised minority shareholders of this company in relation to the proposed basis of acquisition and valuation of shares of minority shareholders as part of de-listing the company from the Malawi Stock Exchange.  Resulted in the majority shareholder offering more for the minority shares.
  • Mining Development Agreement with the Government. Advising a mining company on the scope of the duty exemptions under the development agreement with the Malawi Government and also on the effect of various stability provisions in the development agreement.
  • Malawi Distilleries. Advising in relation to applicable excise duty on cane spirits, limitation periods in respect of claims by the Malawi Revenue Authority and the powers of the Authority to levy distress for excise.  Also advised on past conduct that created legitimate expectations which can be protected by judicial review proceedings.
  • Advised a major tea company in relation to exchange control and customs and excise issues in the context of export of tea.

 

AWARDS

  • Order of the British Empire (OBE) awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Senior Counsel – appointment made by the President of Malawi.
  • Honorary British Consul since 1998.
  • Honorary legal advisor to the British High Commission.
  • Listed as Malawi’s leading lawyer in Chamber’s Global and as the only lawyer in Band 1.
  • A member of the four person Advisory Committee (comprising the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the President of the Malawi Law Society and Mr. Savjani) on the appointment of Senior Counsel.
  • Chairman of the Malawi Stock Exchange from 2000 to 2010.
  • Chairman of the Giants Group of Malawi.
  • Chairman of the Board of Governors of South End Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • Trustee of the Friends of Sick Children.
  • Chairman of Ameca Healthcare Trust.