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    Africa regional coverage

    Morocco and Francophone Africa

    We have unparalleled experience in North Africa and West Africa and are able to coordinate these efficiently and seamlessly from a single hub, ensuring that each step is taken with an eye to both the "big picture" and the nuances of individual jurisdictions. By combining international best practice and deep local knowledge, we offer a unique service in Africa.

    The Nerve Centre Connecting Clients to Africa

    Our Casablanca office is key to our work in Africa. It is a nerve centre that connects clients from across the world with our on the ground resources in Africa, and gives Africa-based clients access to the capabilities of our international network.

    We offer the full spectrum of legal advice that clients can expect from a leading global law firm. We have very strong capabilities and unrivalled experience in both M&A/Private Equity and Finance transactions.

    Our leading team of local and international lawyers are fluent in French, English and Arabic. We offer advice in Moroccan, French and English law and are also well versed in OHADA law. It also has a close working relationship with regulators and is frequently called upon to participate in the drafting of legislation and regulations. 

    Our Casablanca office is part of a dedicated Africa practice which has been active in Africa for 40 years. Our African expertise is recognised globally by our clients, all the major legal directories, as well as the business world.

    Our lawyers work closely together, mobilising the firm's resources in Morocco and in our other international offices to provide you with optimum client service. In addition to this, we possess a carefully selected network of the best local African law firms in jurisdictions where the firm is not directly represented.

    Learn more about our Africa practice.

      Africa regional coverage

      Egypt and Arabophone Africa

      Our dedicated Arabophone North Africa Group is based in our offices in the Middle East and consists of lawyers fluent in English, Arabic and French.

      Genuine on the ground experience in Egypt

      Our team is well versed in the Egyptian business landscape having advised both local Egyptian clients as well as international clients on their interests in Egypt. Our solid track record across a wide range of sectors and specialisms and excellent relationships with leading Egyptian professional advisers sees us appointed on the most complex and innovative deals in the country.

      We have relevant experience in Egypt in a variety of industries (banking, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecoms) and across a full range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity and corporate/M&A, dispute resolution):

      • Projects and energy: we have a strong track record advising on projects and energy deals, particularly in the renewable energy sector. Key highlights include advising a pan-African renewable energy generation platform on entry into a joint development agreement with a solar technology company in respect of the development of a proposed solar project and advising an international energy group on its bid for a 250MW wind project in Gabal El Zeit.
      • Banking and finance: our team has advised on a number of big-ticket loan facility deals in Egypt, such as advising the lenders (including Bank Audi and National Bank of Egypt) on a USD$521 million syndicated financing for Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, a company owned by the Egyptian government.
      • Corporate and M&A: we have considerable experience advising international banks on high profile deals in Egypt such as Citi on the sale of its consumer banking business in Egypt, Qatar National Bank on its acquisition of National Société Générale Bank and Ecobank Transnational amongst others.
      • Private equity: we advise global and regional private equity houses doing business in Egypt and the wider region. We recently advised Actis on the acquisition of a 21% stake in Integrated Diagnostics Holdings.
      • Dispute resolution: our team is currently busy representing a Kuwaiti investor in an ICSID claim for breaches of BIT arising out of a unilateral increase in the gas price and cancellation of free zone licence (resulting in an increase in tax to be paid) by the Egyptian Government.

        Africa regional coverage

        Ivory Coast and OHADA zone

        Our multi-disciplinary practice brings together lawyers from different practice groups and offices, particularly London and Paris. Our lawyers are fluent in both English and French.

        We have been at the forefront of developing and implementing the OHADA law in major secured financings in several OHADA Member countries. In recognition of our OHADA law expertise, we were asked by the World Bank and the OHADA Authorities to help prepare an analytical report with proposals for the reform of the OHADA Uniform Act on Security (the revised act came into effect in May 2011).

        Our clients include African and international corporations, investors, commercial lenders, export credit agencies, development agencies and governments, domestic and international private equity funds.

        We boast a wealth of on the ground experience, delivering international market practice in the regional business environment.

        Our expertise across the region covers a variety of industries (banking, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecoms) and the full range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity and corporate/M&A, dispute resolution):

        • Project Finance: we pride ourselves on having acted on landmark projects in the region such as the Azito and Ciprel Power plants in Côte d’Ivoire, the Kribi power plant in Cameroon, the extension of the Dakar toll road in Senegal, the Chad-Cameroon petroleum and pipeline project, the Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal, the financing for the construction and operation of a container terminal in the port of Lomé
        • Corporate: our recent highlights include advising Actis on the sale and transfer of Globeleq Africa to a consortium formed by Norfund and CDC (including assets in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire), advising on the USD$1.35 billion acquisition of Caracal Energy Inc., a company focused on oil and gas exploration, development and production activities in the Republic of Chad, advising Carrefour on its joint venture arrangements with CFAO for the development and operation of retail activities in Senegal, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, DRC, Gabon, Nigeria and Ghana
        • Capital Markets: recently advised on the two sovereign debt issuances by the Republic of Gabon and the Republic of Cameroon
        • Lending: we advise numerous clients on loan facilities

        We have excellent and long standing relationships with all of the leading law firms in the region. In September 2013, we launched the Clifford Chance Africa Academy ("CCAA"), which provides a structured training programme that is accessible for all our relationship African counsel. Regional law firms took part in the sessions we organised in Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal.

          Africa regional coverage

          Kenya and East Africa

          Our team has genuine on the ground experience in advising international and regional-based businesses on market leading transactions across the East Africa region.

          Through our work across a range of sectors for corporates, financial institutions, private equity houses and Governments we have the legal expertise, industry knowledge and local know-how to advise on your mandates across East Africa.

          Integrated East Africa Team

          Our international team of Clifford Chance lawyers regularly work on market leading matters in the region, are familiar with the local legal and business environment and are able to use that experience to quickly identify issues and design effective solutions for clients. The team includes lawyers who are qualified or have worked in the region.

          Working with African Counsel

          We work with and have excellent and long standing relationships with the leading law firms in each East African jurisdiction. We have delivered eight Clifford Chance Africa Academy training sessions in the region since 2013 sharing insights and discussing best practice with over 100 regional lawyers.

          Offering Full Service Capability

          Our East Africa team have specialist knowledge across a variety of industries including financial services, energy and infrastructure, telecoms, real estate and transportation. The integrated team advise across a range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, bank and other lending, private equity and corporate/M&A and dispute resolution).

          Committed to the Region

          We are providing funding and legal assistance to a number of pro-bono projects across the region. Our East Africa team are also working with Governments and national organisations to develop regulations and training programmes which are intended to attract further investment into the region.

          Risk and Raising Capital in East Africa

          In February 2017, our East Africa practice held a successful conference on "Risk and Raising Capital in East Africa" in Nairobi.

          The future for international trade (including the UK's relationship with East Africa post-Brexit), the challenges that East African banks and corporates face in trying to successfully raise capital and the impact that developing business/compliance risks are having were just some of the engaging topics that were covered during the conference.

          The publication Risk and Raising Capital in East Africa explores some of the key themes discussed during the conference.

            Africa regional coverage

            Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa

            Our team has genuine on the ground experience in advising international and local-based businesses, with experience of delivering international market practice in the regional business environment.

            We act on a broad range of matters for a wide variety of businesses. Our clients include financial institutions, industrial conglomerates, companies involved in oil and gas (operators as well as suppliers), construction companies, transportation companies, investment and private equity funds, mining companies and public institutions and agencies.

            Our team comprises members from the whole Clifford Chance network and includes Nigerian and Ghanaian lawyers.

            We have relevant experience in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia in a variety of industries (banking, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecoms) and across a full range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity and corporate/M&A, dispute resolution):

            • Power sector: we are currently advising on six IPP projects under the Nigerian power sector reforms, including Azura-Edo, a pathfinding transaction. In Ghana, since successfully advising on the largest ever independent power project in West Africa and the first ever Ghanaian IPP (multi-award winning Cenpower Kpone project), we are currently advising on all of the major power projects in the country. In Sierra Leone, we are advising a developer in connection with the development of Bumbuna II Hydro project.
            • Oil & Gas: we act for both IOCs as well as indigenous oil companies in Nigeria in respect of disposals/acquisitions of OML and the financing thereof. We have also acted on reserve base financings for lenders as well as borrowers.
              private equity and funds: we advised global and regional private equity houses doing business in Nigeria such as Actis, KKR, Quantum, Carlyle, African Capital Alliance and others.
            • Private equity and funds: we advised global and regional private equity houses doing business in Nigeria such as Actis, KKR, Quantum, Carlyle, African Capital Alliance and others.
            • Banking & finance: we regularly act for lenders and borrowers on some of the most high profile transactions in the region including Dangote's USD$ 3.25 billion and the Azura Edo USD$1 billion financings.
            • Capital markets: we have become the go-to firm for Nigerian issuers acting recently for Access Bank, First City Monument Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Africa Finance Corporation, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank.
            • Dispute resolution: we act principally for international clients, in particular in the oil & gas and power sectors.

            We have excellent and long standing relationships with all of the leading law firms in the region. We launched in September 2013 the Clifford Chance Africa Academy ("CCAA"), which provides a structured training programme that is accessible for all our relationship African counsel. For law firms in the region, we have already held four sessions in Lagos and in Accra.

              Africa regional coverage

              South Africa and Southern Africa

              Our dedicated Southern Africa group includes lawyers from across the Clifford Chance network who speak English, Portuguese and Afrikaans. They work together to:

              • provide seasoned international advice locally. Our global experience allows us to bring sophisticated advice in a local context. Current examples include:
                • gas-to-power programme in South Africa: we have brought together from across our international network a team of Clifford Chance specialists with deep sector expertise, who have been following closely the market developments and who, working alongside South African law firms, can effectively advise market participants on difficult legal issues and provide practical solutions in a cost effective manner.
                • major restructuring in South Africa: we were able to bring our international expertise in the context of the restructuring of Edcon, a highly complex capital structure, including addressing issues around five tranches of high yield notes (EUR, ZAR and USD denominated) in South Africa.
              • get the deal through. Our experts understand the local environment and put our proven methodology to use when it comes to dealing with the governments and the relevant regulatory bodies to get the deal through.
              • advice on both inbound and outbound work. We boast strong relationships with many of the leading banks and corporate institutions in the region, advising on both inbound and outbound work. For instance, we have advised South African banks (Rand Merchant Bank, Barclays/Absa, Standard Bank) on various financings and project financings in Nigeria (Azura Edo IPP), Ghana (Amandi IPP, Cenpower, Bole PV project), Central African Republic (Passendro Gold project), Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia.

              Our long experience in South Africa and the rest of the region covers a variety of industries (banking, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecommunications) and a full range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity and corporate/M&A, dispute resolution).

              Working with the top law firms in the region

              We maintain close relationships with the top law firms in the region and we liaise regularly with them, both during and outside transactions. Our team spends time with them to know them and therefore are able to provide a seamless service in a cost effective way when working together on a transaction.

              We have already delivered several Clifford Chance Africa Academy training sessions in the region sharing insights and discussing best practice with regional lawyers.

              Africa regional coverage

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              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.

              International standards

              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.

              Broad-based experience

              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 countries for 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."

              Recent highlights

              Awards and milestones

              • 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
              • Deals Legal Advisor of the Year 2018 – Private Equity Africa Awards
              • International Law Firm of the Year 2013 & 2016 – The African Legal Awards
              • Overall Legal Advisor of the Year 2013-18 – Private Equity Africa Awards
              • African Power Deal of the Year 2016 – Amandi, Ghana – PFI Awards
              • African Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2016 – OCTP, Ghana – PFI Awards
              • Africa - Multi-sourced Financing 2015 – Azura-Edo IPP, Nigeria – IJGlobal Awards
              • African Power Deal of the Year 2015 – Maamba Collieries Coal-fired Plant and Mine, Zambia – IJGlobal Awards
              • African Power Deal of the Year 2015 – Maamba Collieries Coal-fired Plant and Mine, Zambia – PFI Awards
              • EMEA Deal of the Year 2015 – Safi Coal-fired power plant, Morocco – Trade Finance Awards
              • EMEA Deal of the Year 2015 – Kenya Airways – ECA-backed aircraft financing: Trade Finance Awards
              • EMEA Deal of the Year – Kosmos Financing and Refinancing, Ghana – Trade Finance Awards
              • African ECA Deal of the Year 2015 – Ethiopian Railways – TXF Awards
              • Debt Deal of the Year 2015 – Ethiopian Railways – African Banker Awards
              • Africa Deal of the Year 2015 – Republic of Senegal CFA100 billion sukuk – Islamic Finance News Awards
              • Infrastructure & Project Finance Deal of the Year 2015 – Al Sharkiya Sugar Manufacturing Company financing, Egypt – Islamic Finance News Awards  

              Recent assignments

              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.

              Publications
               

              Directory listings and client comments

              • 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, including the full array of renewable energy sectors, 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. Sources recognise the group as "a strong adviser to DFIs," in addition to highlighting its "strong project finance background." They point to the strength it can draw on from its offices in London, Paris and Washington, DC, confirming: "Clifford Chance is a leading firm in the African power sector."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2019: Africa-wide – Projects & Energy
              • High-end Africa department representing blue-chip international and African clients on big-ticket mandates. Frequently advises PE and VC funds on investments and acquisitions, as well as restructurings and joint ventures, in sectors such as energy, mining, real estate and consumer goods. Notable activity handling corporate and M&A matters relating to infrastructure projects including renewable energy. Broad team with diverse expertise spread across a number of offices, with the practice primarily run from the London and Paris offices. One source attested to their high regard for the group: "In my experience, they are the most professional, responsive and high-quality team I've worked with. You feel like you're in safe hands."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2019: Africa-wide – Corporate/M&A
              • Hugely distinguished firm with leading expertise in banking and finance matters across Africa. Offers impressive expertise in a range of transactional concerns, with particular strength in structured finance, derivatives, project finance and a variety of restructuring mandates. The firm's capital markets practice frequently represents sovereign entities, region-wide financial institutions and major corporations. Maintains an excellent track record for its work with international and African financial institutions. One client emphasised that the firm's main strengths are "listening to and understanding the client's needs, superb client representation and their diligence and excellence in executing client mandates."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2019: Africa-wide – Banking & Finance
              • A leader in the African projects and energy market, demonstrating top-drawer capability in power, oil and gas, infrastructure and mining. Frequently mandated in these areas on corporate matters, international disputes and financings, as well as advising sponsors on the development of projects across the continent. Has notable expertise in novel IPP and power mandates. Sources acknowledge the team's prominence in the market, noting it as "a top firm" and "without a doubt very good at Africa work." One continued: "Clifford Chance in particular are deserving of a top-tier ranking. They are very good on power work."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2018: Africa wide – Projects & Energy
              • High-end Africa department representing blue chip international and African clients on big ticket mandates. Frequently advises PE and VC funds on investments and acquisitions in sectors such as energy, mining, real estate and consumer goods. Notable activity handling corporate and M&A matters relating to infrastructure projects including renewable energy. Practice primarily run from the London and Paris offices. Sources discuss the firm's experience operating on the continent: "They provide excellent legal advice and have very good knowledge of African transactions."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2018: Africa wide – Corporate/M&A
              • Hugely distinguished firm with leading expertise in banking and finance matters across Africa. Offers impressive expertise in a range of transactional concerns, with particular strength in structured finance, debt capital markets, derivatives, project finance and a variety of restructuring mandates. Maintains an excellent track record for its work with international and African financial institutions.
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2018: Africa wide – Banking & Finance
              • "Firm which is at the forefront of the projects space in Africa for its activity in some of the region's most significant and innovative projects. Has extensive experience handling IPP mandates involving conventional and renewable energy, including solar and wind. Enjoys a strong position in the mining, oil and gas and infrastructure markets, drawing on the firm's dedicated construction team."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2017: Africa wide – Projects & Energy
              • "A leading international firm with an impressive African department that represents major African and international corporations and investors. Has extensive experience dealing with complex M&A and private equity transactions and investment funds. Has a growing portfolio of corporate work relating to infrastructure projects. Regarded by peers and clients as being a leader in the field."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2017: Africa wide – Corporate/M&A
              • "Impressive firm covering the full range of financial issues in Africa. Excels on financial regulation and DCM matters, with substantial experience handling complex mandates on the restructuring of debt and loans. Represents major international and African banks on a range of financial transactions. Advises investment and development initiatives on infrastructure and project finance. Maintains a prominent Casablanca office."
                Tier One – Chambers Global, 2017: Africa wide – Banking & Finance
              • "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

              Areas of expertise

              Legal areas

              Sectors