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Law firm in Zimbabwe

LEX Africa member firm Scanlen & Holderness is a top performing corporate and commercial law firm in Zimbabwe

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Firm Overview


Scanlen & Holderness is a premier Zimbabwean law firm offering you a full circle of legal services whether you are a local, regional or international client. Our quality of expertise consistently earns us and our lawyers a top ranking in both local and international legal surveys. Throughout history Team Scanlen has proudly influenced jurisprudential development in Zimbabwe through our continued involvement in landmark cases which have set precedent in many areas of law. In 2013 two of our lawyers again set new precedents in Zimbabwe in the following areas of law:

  • electronic service of court papers for un-located debtors
  • private prosecution in criminal matters and
  • damages arising out of rape-pregnancy.

Team Scanlen has a track record of innovative transactions and market-firsts. In 2014 we celebrated 120 years of continued professional legal service. Although we have a rich heritage, our thinking is progressive.

We have our hand on the pulse of the law in Zimbabwe and over the years a number of our lawyers have been elevated to bench of the High Court and Supreme Court.



Sternford Moyo

Sternford is the Senior Partner and Chairman of the firm which he joined in 1981. He provides overall leadership in addition to taking special responsibility for Mining, Commercial and Corporate law. He coordinates all activities in the firm and looks after unallocated functions such as responsibility for non‐professional staff. His practice is mostly mining, commercial and corporate law related.

He has advised financial institutions and loan underwriters in most of the large infrastructure projects that have taken place in post independent Zimbabwe in areas such as forestry, energy, water supply and telecommunications. Sternford has provided advice on navigating Zimbabwe's empowerment laws and has been actively involved in most of the empowerment transactions which have been publicised so far.

He is a former President of both the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community Lawyers' Association, Co‐ Chairperson of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, Chairman of Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited ‐ a leading commercial bank in Zimbabwe which is a member of the Standard Bank group, Chairman of Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, Former Chairman of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Director of Alpha Media Holdings Limited, one of the largest and most diversified media companies and Portland Holdings Limited, one of the largest cement companies in Zimbabwe.

He is one of the leading corporate and commercial lawyers in Southern Africa. During the early part of his career, he taught corporate, commercial and constitutional law. He successfully completed the Media Law Advocates training program run by the University of Oxford. He graduated with distinction and was named by Butterworths as one of the most outstanding postgraduate law students in 1981.



Firm Highlights

  • Ranked Band 1 for General Business Law - Zimbabwe
  • Sternford Moyo ranked for General Business Law - Zimbabwe
  • Sternford Moyo Co-Chairs the IBA African Regional Forum

Practice Areas


Corporate & Commercial
Scanlen’s corporate law team has the capacity and experience to attend to the following: trusts; mergers and acquisitions; transactional advisory services; corporate due diligence; banking and finance; exchange control; project finance; infrastructure development and public private partnerships; private equity structuring; indigenisation/empowerment advice and compliance; competition law; company registrations. In the recent past, the team has tailored niche sound indigenisation advice for international corporates and stands as a national leader in understanding and advising on such transactions. Sternford Moyo who heads this department has advised on most of the large infrastructure projects which took place in post-independent Zimbabwe including projects in energy, telecommunications, forestry, water supply, airport construction and construction of a large processing plant.
Contact: Sternford Moyo Email:

Zimbabwe has an abundance of mineral resources. Investors from all over the world and within the country are eager to contribute to the development of this sector of the Zimbabwean economy. Where multi-jurisdictional mining transactions are involved, Team Scanlen is sought after by various global firms as the local expert of choice as it equips its clients with the relevant knowledge and assists in the facilitation of compliance with mandatory legislation generally (indigenisation, exchange control, investment licenses, competition laws and others) and advises and assists with the protection of the client’s mining rights. Its expertise is world renowned for being solid and reliable. Team Scanlen offers a one stop shop for mining law needs. Team Scanlen’s mining law department is credited with having navigated many local and foreign corporations through the legal and regulatory aspects of this extractive industry and understands the changes that the industry has gone through as well as the challenges it faces. Team Scanlen offers clients innovative legal solutions and market firsts which help clients stay competitive during the good times as well as the more challenging. The depth of the firm’s experience in all areas of law allows its practitioners to draw upon other internal specialists where necessary, such as those who devote their practices to environmental or regulatory law or those experienced in dispute resolution. Team Scanlen makes it its business to keep abreast of developments in the law and participate in industry seminars on an on-going basis. It advises and assists in obtaining and protecting the following: prospecting licenses; exclusive prospecting licenses; mining claims; mining leases; mining grants; mineral concessions and special mining leases. The team also advises on the following: all aspects of acquisition or disposal of mineral rights including transfers of interests; all aspects of mine safety and occupational health; structuring of indigenisation transactions; due diligence investigations; structuring of community involvements in mining projects; corporate commercial advice such as mergers and acquisitions, project finance, joint ventures and alliances; construction and engineering law; legal aspects of environmental and waste management; employment and immigration law; taxes and royalties; dispute resolution.
Contact: Sternford Moyo Email:

Dispute Resolution & Litigation
This highly respected and fearless department produces work of a high quality and standard. It boasts of a combination of experience, commitment, skill and sheer enthusiasm. The team has traditionally enjoyed and continues to rake in a high number of successes and is well respected within the legal fraternity. The team handles litigation in the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, High Court, Labour Court, Administrative Court and Magistrates Court using both trial and motion proceedings. Team Scanlen also has competent alternative dispute resolution practitioners with experience in arbitration, mediation and conciliation. Litigation practice areas include: corporate and commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, general law litigation, debt recovery.
Contact: George Gapu Email:

Team Scanlen’s Labour Law Department is capable of handling all employment related issues and has vast experience in smoothing and resolving disputes in employment relationships. The department handles litigious and non-litigious matters. It has the capability and resources to handle any of the following and more: labour litigation; employment contracts; advice on establishing employee share ownership schemes including those which are for indigenisation compliance purposes; advice on the generic/sector employment codes of conduct and grievance procedures; development of policy, procedure and employee handbook; advice on labour issues relating to business transfers; chairing a hearing, representing a party or general pre and post-hearing guidance on disciplinary proceedings; collective bargaining; confidentiality and trade secrets, non-solicitation of employees, restraint of trade, data privacy advice; employment health and safety compliance; employee benefits and compensation; executive severance; employee privacy; independent contractors, outsourcing; regulatory advice; restructuring, reorganisation, reduction and retrenchment; strikes; training and compliance; unfair competition; unfair labour practice litigation.
Contact: George Gapu Email:

Conveyancing & Property, Estate Planning & Administration
The Conveyancing and Property Department has a wealth of expertise in: acquisitions and disposals of immovable property, township developments, zoning, subdivisions and change of land use, mortgage and notarial bond registrations/cancellations, notarial deeds of cession, removal and placement of restrictions, removal and placement of caveats, town planning issues, neighbour disputes, evictions and collections, registration of notarial documents. The Estate Planning and Administration department assists in: drafting, interpreting and registration of wills; estate planning including formation, registration and administration of Trusts; deceased estate administration; litigation surrounding succession and other legal issues arising out of a person’s death; all dealings with the Master of the High Court; obtaining valuations of assets and liabilities, the winding up of the deceased estate; the resolution of disputes and claims of all creditors and heirs; the payment of liabilities and the distribution of the net assets to beneficiaries; safe custody services.
Contact: Byron J Symeonoglou Email: