Clifford Chance's Casablanca regional office is the leading international legal advisory firm in Morocco, a strategic hub for business across the African continent.
The Clifford Chance Casablanca office serves Morocco and acts as a gateway to the continent, in particular to Francophone North and West Africa. The Casablanca office offers strong capabilities and unrivalled experience in Finance & Capital Markets, Projects and M&A/Private Equity, advising on both inbound and outbound transactions, and is recognised as world-class in all of its practices.
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 expertise of our international network, which we are able to efficiently and seamlessly coordinate from a single hub.
Part of a dedicated Africa practice which has been active in Africa for over 60 years, Casablanca is an integral to our African expertise, which is recognised globally by our clients, all the major legal directories, as well as the business world.
The Casablanca team consists of experts combining international regulatory and transactional capabilities, speaking French, English and Arabic. We cover not only Morocco but also Francophone Africa and offer advice in Moroccan, French and English law, as well as OHADA law.
Out of Casablanca, we maintain close working relationships with African regulators, having been actively involved with authorities in the draft and implementation of major reforms to modernise business law and financial markets across Morocco and Africa.
Our Casablanca lawyers work closely with other colleagues in our Africa team, including lawyers in Paris, London, New York, Dubai, Singapore and Beijing, mobilising the firm's resources in Morocco and in our other international offices to provide optimum client service. By combining international best practice and deep local knowledge via Casablanca and our Regional Teams, we offer a unique service in Africa, considering both the "big picture" and the nuances of individual jurisdictions. In addition, in jurisdictions where the firm is not directly represented, we draw from a carefully selected network of the best local African law firms, with whom we work and meet on a regular basis.
Learn more about our activity in Francophone Africa.
Our core areas of focus in Morocco
We have a leading Banking, Finance (including Project Finance) and Capital Markets practice and offer highly commercial and practical advice across the full range of financial products.
We advise on syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, debt offerings, derivative products, securitisation (including synthetic securitisation), secured transactions, securities lending and short selling, derivatives and stock exchange, as well as project finance, financial regulatory, restructuring and Islamic finance.
Our team also has an extensive understanding of regulatory issues and unrivalled experience in drafting legislation and driving leading reforms in Morocco in the financial sector.
Our team has recently advised:
- OCP on the first synthetic securitization transaction in Morocco
- Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund's investment in a local currency capital market bond issue by Senegal's Port Autonome de Dakar
- development finance institutions on a US$108.5 million equity financing package to support the development of the healthcare sector in Egypt and Morocco
- a consortium of four international development finance institutions on a US$125 million Islamic financing facility to private healthcare company Humania (Bait Al Batterjee Group) to develop greenfield general hospitals in Morocco and Egypt
- the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the drafting of a new act on security interests over movable assets
- Maghreb Titrisation and the Moroccan Ministry of Finance in relation to the structure of the debut sovereign Sukuk issuance by the Kingdom of Morocco
- Banque Centrale Populaire on the first international Green Bonds issuance (total amount of EUR135 million with a 10 year maturity) in the banking sector in Africa
- on nearly all the financings of wind farms in Morocco: for example, on the 850 MW Wind Independent Power Project (wind farms located in Midelt, Tiskrad, Tanger II, Jbel Lahdid and Boujdour) and on the development, financing and operation of a 150 MW wind farm in Taza, Morocco
- on the 100 MW CSP tower project forming part of the second phase of the Ouarzazate 500 MW Solar Power Complex (Morocco)
- an international joint venture between Marsa Maroc, Eurogate International GmbH, Contship Italia S.p.A. and Hapag Lloyd on the financing and operation of the container terminal number 3 of the Tangier Med II port in Morocco
- the lenders in connection with the financing of the development of the Taiba Ndiaye 158MW wind farm project in Senegal
We advise on the full spectrum of corporate work, including mergers and acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, private equity, regulatory compliance, funds and general corporate advisory matters. Our clients come to us for complex, high-profile and cross-border transactions.
We understand the key drivers and deal dynamics of corporate M&A and private equity deals. Over the years, we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge on the unique challenges and risks that can arise in the Moroccan market, for the benefit of our clients.
Our team possesses a detailed, specialist understanding of industry sectors most relevant to Moroccan M&A and private equity transactions from a business, legal and regulatory perspective. We are active and experienced in the education, consumer goods and retail, healthcare, telecoms, infrastructure, real estate and financial services' sectors. Our Casablanca M&A/PE team also works on matters throughout Africa, and in particular multi-jurisdictional sales and purchases including, of course, throughout Francophone Africa.
Our team has recently advised:
- Adenia Capital (IV), AIIM and IFC in the context of their joint investment in Eastcastle Infrastructure, a new venture established to pursue build-to-suit telecom tower opportunities initially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire
- Honoris on its strategic partnership with the higher education group ESPRIT in Tunisia
- Banque Centrale Populaire on the financing of Atlantic Financial Group's acquisition of three BNP Paribas' subsidiaries
- CDG Invest on an investment in the automotive activity of Socafix (subsidiary of the Abdelmoumen group)
- on the partnership of Amethis and AfricInvest with CFG Bank
- A.P. Møller Capital on its strategic investment in grain logistics infrastructure
- Marsh group, a worldwide leading insurance broker and risk adviser, on the purchase of a stake in Beassur, a major insurance broker in Morocco
- Heidelberg Cement in the sale of a minority stake (7.8% of the share capital) in Ciments du Maroc, for an aggregate amount of EUR140 million
- Amethis Finance's investment in Groupe Premium, the pan African Industrial service supplier
- on the investment by Helios in KMR Holding Pédagogique
- on the strategic partnership of MASEN with the French industrial group Alcen and the Atomic Energy and Sustainable Energies Commission (CEA)
- African Infrastructure Investment Managers in connection with its acquisition of a 50% stake into Société d’Exploitation et de Gestion Aéroportuaires, a holding company with an established portfolio of airport investments across West and Central Africa
- The development of Islamic finance in Morocco and the wider African continent
- Utilisation de la signature électronique au Maroc
20 May 2020
- Coronavirus: Government financial aid to business - An African guide
22 April 2020
- Renewable energy in Morocco: A reform called for by operators
7 February 2020
- Clifford Chance has a well-established presence in Morocco and is a popular choice of representation among financial institutions. The firm regularly advises on credit facilities, as well as assisting with the financing of large-scale projects in the renewable energy sector. In addition, it also has extensive experience advising on banking M&A and regularly acts as issuer's counsel on high-value bond issuances and securitization transactions. "Highly experienced and skilled lawyers who are very responsive and client-focused. They have a very good understanding of the regulatory framework as well as the economic and political environment." Mustapha Mourahib is " very perceptive, both at the big-picture level and in terms of attention to detail." Ouns Lemseffer's "strengths are her rigour, intelligence and impressive legal faculties."
Chambers Global – Banking & Finance - Morocco, 2022 – only law firm in Band 1
- International law firm Clifford Chance is a hugely respected player in the Moroccan market. Its Casablanca group is regularly involved in very high-value private equity matters, and is also extremely well versed in M&A transactions arising in sectors as diverse as education and financial services. The team also offers considerable know-how in the establishment of joint ventures and strategic partnerships, and is further noted for its experience acting for clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors. "The rationale for working with them was based not only on the law firm brand but also on the reputation and track record of the team in the local market." "Very strong in terms of quality of work, timeliness, commerciality and client service."
Chambers Global – Corporate/Commercial - Morocco, 2022
- "Hugely respected player in the Moroccan commercial law market."
"The team as a whole is great, and the different lawyers complement each other well in terms of their skills."
"The key differentiator is the value-add outside the legal domain in negotiations with counterparties and proactive solution finding."
Chambers Global - Morocco, 2021
- Clients of Clifford Chance praise 'its availability, commitment, knowledge and understanding of the client' (…) Practice head Mustapha Mourahib is recognised as one of the market's leading practitioners. (…)"
Legal 500 - Commercial, Corporate and M&A – Morocco, 2021
- "Clifford Chance's Casablanca office (…) has a strong track record in innovative transactions (…)"
Legal 500 - Banking, Finance, and Capital Markets – Morocco, 2021
- ‘The practice benefits from strong local knowledge that makes its advice particularly valuable in the context of project documents negotiations and local law due diligence'. The firm excels in project finance transactions, where it acts for international and Moroccan sponsors and lenders on renewable energy projects (both wind and solar).
Legal 500 – Projects and Public Law – Morocco, 2021
- "The whole team is efficient, and they do everything to solve the problem. “Sources praise the team's "attention to detail," adding: "They are technical and responsive, and can work under pressure."
Chambers Global - Morocco, 2020
- "They are proactive, showing expertise and responsiveness." "They are subject matter experts who are responsive and have strong communication skills."
Legal 500 - Commercial, Corporate and M&A – Morocco, 2020
- Proactive and responsive, the firm has experts with strong local knowledge."
Legal 500 - Banking, Finance, and Capital Markets – Morocco, 2020
- 'Very responsive, efficient, technically excellent and very thorough'. "The firm is a pleasure to work with – always available and attentive to clients' needs." And also, "I recommend the firm for the quality of its work and its timely responses. It has strong communicators who are proactive, as well as being experts in local law."
Legal 500 – Projects and Public Law – Morocco, 2020
- Morocco Law Firm of the Year 2022 – Chambers Africa Awards
- MENA M&A Legal Adviser of the Year 2022 – Mergermarket European M&A Awards
- National Law Firm of the Year: Morocco 2021 – IFLR Africa Awards
- Regional Law Firm of the Year: Francophone Africa 2021 – Chambers Africa Awards
- Africa Deal of the Year 2018 – Government of Morocco's debut sovereign Sukuk Ijarah of MAD1 billion – Islamic Finance News Awards
We have won multiple awards across the continent – to learn more, please visit the Awards section of each African region's page.
- REACH (Race Equality and Celebrating Heritage) Continental Europe – Establishment of a committee driving multiple diversity and inclusion initiatives, both within and outside the firm with our clients and colleagues, of which the Casablanca team is a founding member and active supporter.
- Bourse Clifford Chance / AJAM – Attribution of a grant to Moroccan students with an outstanding academic track record who wish to become business law practitioners
- Africa Book Aid Program – Establishment of a long-term, cross-border program that will coordinate the donation of legal textbooks to the libraries of eligible law schools in Africa and in particular in Morocco
- Association Amani – Donation towards the creation of a library within their Centre of Excellence. Association Amani is a Moroccan organisation dedicated to the education of underprivileged children and to the accompaniment of their families