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Clifford Chance

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Regional coverage

Africa

We have been active in Africa for over 30 years. Long-established relationships with local counsel, long-term exposure to legal issues, and a constant flow of complex and outstanding deals on the continent: this makes us the go-to firm in Africa.

A market-leading Africa team

We have been accompanying our clients in Africa for over three decades and our African business continues to grow at a great pace.

Our office in Casablanca, Morocco is a hub for clients across the wider North Africa and Sub-Saharan Francophone region and the nerve centre of our Africa initiative.

We act for all types of clients including African and international corporations, investors, commercial lenders, export credit agencies, development agencies and governments, domestic and international private equity funds on Africa related matters.

We work on high-profile, groundbreaking and market first transactions across Africa.

In 2016 we won International Law Firm of the Year at the African Legal Awards for the second time. We have been ranked Tier One in Africa by Chambers Global for Corporate & Commercial and Projects & Energy for each consecutive year since 2009, and we have won several awards for individual deals.

Strong relationships with African counsel is a cornerstone of our strategy

We have built strong working relationships with local law firms across Africa. These relationships are essential to our success; because we know these firms well we can pick the right one for each assignment, and because we work with them regularly they know how we work and understand our focus on excellent client service.

A commitment to excellence in Africa

We launched our Clifford Chance Africa Academy in September 2013. It provides world-class training for the associates and senior associates of the African law firms we work with regularly. This programme helps talented African lawyers develop their careers and helps guarantee our clients the highest standard of service and advice.

A commitment to Africa

We are actively involved in many community programmes across Africa including advising on legal reform and the establishment of local charities.

We also engage in pro bono efforts to support the legal profession and legal services in Africa and have an extensive record in providing pro bono advice and legal representation here.

A constructive approach to doing business in Africa

We have a reputation for being practical, for getting deals done and for being good to deal with.

We know the issues and we pride ourselves on finding pragmatic solutions that are acceptable to all parties.

After years of experience, we are also fully familiar with the underlying business issues, local considerations and political risk mitigants (including use of bilateral investment treaties, insurance and agency support).

We have multi-lingual capabilities, including in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Afrikaans.

Comments and rankings in independent legal directories show that clients recognise that our approach delivers results:

  • "Very good experience, both locally and internationally, and they were proactive, commercially minded and extremely resourceful."
  • "Clifford Chance continues to be a lead player in this vast developing market, and its involvement in Africa is going from strength to strength."
  • "This firm is undoubtedly one of the leading Africa practices, with a clear commitment to a wide variety of projects and energy work."
  • "Clifford Chance is great in Africa."

Recent highlights

Recent initiatives

  • African Legal Counsel Retreat (2016): Clifford Chance brought together members of African law firms and representatives of African and international corporations and financial institutions to discuss various aspects of business on the continent. It focused on the continued importance of the power and financial M&A sectors in Africa, as well as the best ways to manage risks and comply with sanctions, the rise of platform deals and the constantly developing nature of clients' needs. This is the third event of its kind, following two others in 2014 and 2013.

Recent deals

Examples of work in banking, finance and regulatory include advising:

Examples of work in project finance include advising:

Examples of work in capital markets include advising:

Examples of private equity work include advising:

Examples of M&A work include advising:

Directory listings and client comments

Awards and milestones

  • Africa - Multi-sourced Financing Award - Azura-Edo IPP, Nigeria: IJGlobal Awards 2015
  • African Power Deal of the Year - Maamba Collieries Coal-fired Plant and Mine, Zambia: IJGlobal Awards 2015
  • African Power Deal of the Year - Maamba Collieries Coal-fired Plant and Mine, Zambia: PFI Awards 2015 
  • EMEA Deal of the Year - Safi Coal-fired power plant, Morocco: Trade Finance Awards 2015
  • EMEA Deal of the Year - Kenya Airways - ECA-backed aircraft financing: Trade Finance Awards 2015
  • EMEA Deal of the Year - Kosmos Financing and Refinancing, Ghana: Trade Finance Awards 2015
  • African ECA Deal of the Year - Ethiopian Railways: TXF Awards 2015
  • Debt Deal of the Year - Ethiopian Railways: African Banker Awards 2015
  • Overall Legal Advisor of the Year: Private Equity Africa Awards, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Deals Legal Advisor of the Year: Private Equity Africa Awards, 2015
  • Africa Deal of the Year - Republic of Senegal CFA100 billion sukuk: Islamic Finance News Awards 2015
  • Infrastructure & Project Finance Deal of the Year - Al Sharkiya Sugar Manufacturing Company financing, Egypt: Islamic Finance News Awards 2015
  • Best Power Deal in EMEA - Cenpower Kpone IPP, Ghana: EMEA Finance Project Finance Awards 2014
  • Best Project Finance Deal in Africa - Cenpower Kpone IPP, Ghana: EMEA Finance Project Finance Awards 2014
  • African Power Deal of the Year - Safi coal-fired power plant, Morocco: IJ Global Awards 2014
  • North African Power Deal of the Year - Safi coal-fired plant, Morocco: PFI Awards 2014
  • African Power Deal of the Year - Cenpower Kpone IPP, Ghana: PFI Awards 2014
  • North Africa Consumer Deal of the Year- Actis’ investment in Edita Food Industries: Private Equity Africa Awards, 2014
  • International Law Firm of the Year: The African Legal Awards, 2013
  • Deal of the Year-Power- Azito Gas-fired Power Plant expansion, Côte d'Ivoire: Infrastructure Journal, 2013
  • Infrastructure & Project Finance Deal of the Year- Barclays financing of district hospitals in Ghana: The Banker, 2013

Directory listings and client comments

  • "Regarded as a dominant presence in project finance, this team is well reputed for its role in some of the largest projects throughout Africa. Also assists lenders and sponsors with transactions in the space, and increasingly active on power projects in the region."
     "They're top-notch in project finance and their knowledge of Africa is one of the best in the market."
    Tier One
    Chambers Global, 2016: Africa wide - Projects & Energy
  • "Top international firm well regarded for its experience in handling complex M&A, project finance and private equity transactions in Africa. Offers particular expertise across sectors such as TMT, energy and finance"
    "Clifford Chance really understand the African continent. They have the experience needed to actually have a feel for it - I would rate them top for sure."
    Tier One
    Chambers Global, 2016: Africa wide - Corporate/M&A
  • "Leading practice advising financial institutions, public entities and development agencies across the continent on top-tier finance transactions. Maintains an established presence in North and West Africa through its Casablanca office while teams in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai co-ordinate operations in all key jurisdictions."
    "They have unparalleled expertise in the industry and are my first-choice firm."
    Tier One
    Chambers Global, 2016: Africa wide - Banking & Finance
  • "One of the most prominent corporate practices, regularly sought after for big-ticket and high-profile M&A deals, project financings and capital markets work. Highlighted for its strength in private equity transactions in Africa. Attracts an enviable clientele including leading domestic and international corporates, financial institutions and private equity funds."
    "They genuinely have experience and expertise across the board."
    Tier One
    Chambers Global, 2015: Africa wide - Corporate and Commercial
  • "One of the most well-respected project finance practices, drawing on deep expertise from its teams in London and Paris, as well as Casablanca. Handles some of the largest mandates on the continent, including oil and gas, power and infrastructure projects across the continent."
    "They have a good reputation and their work has been fantastic." "They have excellent credentials."
    Tier One
    Chambers Global, 2015: Africa wide - Projects & Energy
  • "An impressive pan-African deal sheet that includes significant work in capital markets, private equity, M&A and the full spectrum of financing mandates. Commentators note the firm's particular expertise in the Nigerian market, and its wider geographical spread of work extends to all regions from South Africa to Morocco, where the firm also has a local office."
    "They're approachable, straightforward, able to dissect difficult legal issues in a pragmatic way and have a lot of patience." "We've worked with them successfully on some fairly big-ticket transactions."
    Tier One
    Chambers Global, 2014: Africa wide - Corporate and Commercial
  • A team that is sought out for some of the largest financings in the market. Groups from London, Paris and the Middle East frequently appear on instructions from Nigeria to South Africa, and an office in Casablanca aids the firm's work in North Africa. The firm's expertise extends across the full range of projects and energy sector work."
    "Good in the negotiation of direct agreements with governments in Africa." "Very prominent on the lending side."
    Tier One 
    Chambers Global, 2014: Africa wide – Projects & Energy
  • The firm's Africa desk handles mandates on behalf of major financial institutions and well-known large multinationals. The desk offers an impressive geographical spread and advice on M&A, investments, projects and associated finance, energy and natural resources and infrastructure. Anthony Giustini is a key contact.
    Tier One 
    Chambers Global, 2014: Africa-wide - Corporate/M&A: France - Foreign Desks

Areas of expertise

Legal areas

Sectors