We have been active in Africa for over 40 years. We help clients anticipate the evolution of markets and their business in the fast-changing African business and legal environment.
Global team covering all the regions
We deliver our services through more than 200 Clifford Chance lawyers around the globe, in particular in Paris, London, Casablanca, Frankfurt, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. They are experts in their fields, working in close collaboration with six dedicated Africa regional teams and the top law firms in Africa.
Our Africa practice is organised on a regional basis in order to provide teams with the relevant legal and market experience. They have multi-lingual capabilities, including English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Afrikaans.
Best practice sharing
Through our regional teams, we make sure that knowledge and best practice developed in one regional market in Africa are shared with teams working on matters in other regions across the Continent.
Having been active in Africa for over 40 years, we use international best practice to provide clients on Africa matters with the same standards of service they have come to expect from us throughout the world.
Local law and knowledge
Our regional teams maintain close relationships with the best African law firms. We work together and meet on a regular basis to nurture and deepen those relationships. Our network of local counsel relations permits us to provide clients the opportunity to choose the best local African legal advisor for each matter, and we coordinate and can serve as a single point of contact.
We advise leading international and African corporates, banks and investors across all sectors, including power, natural resources, infrastructure, financial services and regulation, CG&R, agriculture, TMT, real estate, oil & gas, education, housing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
A few figures
In the last 18 months, our 200+ lawyers from across the firm regularly involved in Africa work were busy advising on:
- Over 400 active transactions of all types spanning 45 countries across Africa
- 100 M&A and PE transactions across more than 30 countries
- 130 lending and capital markets transactions across over 30 African countriesfor over US$20 billion
- 110 project financings in more than 30 African countries for over US$16 billion
- Power projects providing over 9GW of energy
- Over 30 disputes across 20 African countries
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. To date, over 300 participants from almost 75 law firms in 21 countries have participated in the training, covering topics such as banking, project finance, capital markets, corporate and dispute resolution.
A commitment to Africa
We are actively involved in 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 in Africa.
An acknowledged practice which is result-driven
Our expertise is widely acknowledged, as shown by the fact that we won International Law Firm of the Year at the African Legal Awards 2016 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 multiple awards for individual transactions.
Comments and rankings in independent legal directories show that clients recognise that our approach delivers results:
- "Their knowledge of Africa is one of the best in the market."
- "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."
- Focus on Hydrogen: A New Energy Frontier for Africa
- Doing Business in Africa: Financing projects, accessing liquidity and finding the right partner in a competitive market place
- Coronavirus: Government financial aid to business - An African guide
22 April 2020
- Guide to Financial Regulation in Africa
11 October 2019
- African Continental Free Trade Agreement Enters Into Force
30 May 2019
- A Major Step Towards A Single African Market
28 March 2019
- Sovereign sukuk in Africa: A developing landscape
12 December 2017
Awards and milestones
- African Corporate Debt Deal of the Year 2020 - IHS Towers, Nigeria – Africa Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Awards
- Legal Adviser of the Year 2019 Africa - IJ Global Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2019 - Bridge power, Ghana – PFI Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2019 - Bridge power, Ghana – IJ Global Awards
- African Transport Deal of the Year 2019 - New Owendo International Port PPP, Gabon - IJ Global Awards
- African Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2019 - Gimi floating LNG vessel project, Senegal and Mauritania – IJ Global Awards
- African LNG Deal of the Year for 2019 - Gimi floating LNG vessel project – Senegal and Mauritania – PFI Awards
- Deals Legal Advisor of the Year 2018 - 2019 – Private Equity Africa Awards
- Overall Legal Advisor of the Year 2013-19 – Private Equity Africa Awards
- African Power Deal of the Year 2018 – Nachtigal Hydro Project, Cameroon – IJ Global Awards
- Global Multilateral Deal of the Year 2018 – Nachtigal Hydro Project, Cameroon – PFI Awards
- African Wind Deal of the Year 2018 – Taiba N'Diaye, Senegal – IJ Global Awards
- African Refinancing Deal of the Year 2018 - Bujagali Hydropower Project, Uganda – IJ Global Awards
- African Fundraising Deal of the Year 2018 – Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund – IJ Global Awards
- African M&A Deal of the Year 2018 - AIIM acquisition of SEGAP stake - IJ Global Awards
- Africa-wide – Projects & Energy Law Firm of the year 2018 – The Chambers Africa Awards for Excellence
We are proud of our activity on ground-breaking and high profile deals across Africa. Please refer to the specific key jurisdictions and regions to find out about our recent activity in Africa.
- "A leader in the African projects and energy market, demonstrating top-drawer capability in power, oil and gas, infrastructure and mining. Highly adept in supporting sponsors and lenders through the design, building, financing and operation of projects across the continent. Possesses notable expertise in novel IPP and power mandates across the full array of renewable energy areas, from hydropower to wind, solar and geothermal. Also frequently mandated on corporate matters, commercial agreements and international disputes, including significant matters for major mining houses. The firm's clientele include lenders, sponsors, development finance institutions and major global corporations." Sources Say: They are "pragmatic and compelling across disciplines," and the team is "highly respected by everyone around the table." Others note that the firm's "goal is to close transactions and not to compete on academic theories" further praising it as "the most credible London-based law firm in the African renewable power space."
Tier One – Chambers Global 2021 – Africa-wide: Projects & Energy
- "High-end Africa department representing blue-chip international and African clients in big-ticket mandates. An active player in the PE and investment funds field, advising on fund formation, buyouts and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructuring mandates. Particularly prominent working for energy funds, as well as investors in agriculture, real estate and consumer goods. Notable activity handling corporate/M&A matters relating to infrastructure projects, including transport and renewable energy. Broad team with diverse expertise spread across a number of offices in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, with the practice primarily run from the London, Paris and Casablanca offices." One source praised their "excellent continental advice," saying: "They know us very well and understand our attitude to risk." And another source described the firm as a "top-league" outfit, praising the "depth and breadth of its experience" in Africa and "first-class support."
Tier One – Chambers Global 2021 – Africa-wide: Corporate and M&A
- "Acclaimed practice group regularly instructed by African sovereign entities and major corporate issuers on various capital markets arrangements and issuances across the continent. Possesses impressive expertise in a range of financial instruments, with particular strength in structured finance and derivatives, and an equally distinguished reputation for its counsel on debt restructuring. In addition to its strong client roster of sovereigns, the firm acts for a range of international financial institutions and development banks." One source said: "they have experience in niche markets that a lot of others don't," adding: "They have relationships that really help." Another said: "They always think outside of the box. They are very business-minded and pragmatic."
Chambers Global 2021 – Africa-wide: Capital Markets
- "Prominent presence on the African continent with a well-established dispute resolution practice. Demonstrates significant capabilities acting for leading banking institutions, oil and gas companies and mining houses, with activity throughout anglophone and francophone Africa as well as North Africa. Highly regarded international arbitration capacity, representing foreign investors in investment treaty arbitrations before the arbitral courts in London, Paris and Zurich, among others. The firm services its roster of global and African clients from its offices in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong and the USA." One interviewee recalled that the group "had their heart and soul behind us. They believed in our case and really jumped through some hoops for us."
Chambers Global 2021 – Africa-wide: Dispute Resolution