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Africa

We are ideally placed to serve our clients by offering in-depth market knowledge and extensive experience throughout the African continent.

We have established ourselves as a premier firm for Africa-based transactions, particularly in the representation of private sector and government-owned oil and hydrocarbon and other natural resources companies. We are also recognized throughout Africa for our service to the mining, electricity, telecommunications, projects and infrastructure sectors.

Why Choose Us

  • Market knowledge – We understand the key legal, economic and political issues that surround doing business in Africa and offer a unique transactional and public policy combination to help clients achieve their Africa business strategies.
  • Risk mitigation – Successfully investing in Africa requires a keen ability to quantify and mitigate not only financial risk, but legal and political risk. Indeed, often the hardest risks to quantify – the risks most likely to prevent financing – are those largely controlled by a government. Our ability to strategically engage the public policy mechanism, in concert with our legal expertise, helps clients successfully enter markets, overcome challenges while operating there, and protect and grow their investments – something few other firms can offer.
  • Dedicated Africa Business Group – With more than 50 lawyers globally and dedicated team members in key locations including London, Paris, Washington DC, Berlin, Dubai, Moscow, Shanghai and Perth, we support clients across a range of industry sectors successfully execute African inbound investment from all major markets.
  • Common and civil law capability – The team provides both common and civil law capabilities and has the language capabilities, high-level contacts and track-record to support clients in Francophone, Lusophone, Anglophone and North Africa.

Banking and Finance

Our global team combines industry best practices with local market knowledge and includes several former regulators, and former executives and internal legal counsel at financial institutions and other financial intermediaries.

  • African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) – Advised on the development of The Afreximbank Model Law on Factoring.
  • Standard Chartered Bank – Advising in respect of a cross-border financing, which involved financing and security-related matters in various jurisdictions in Africa, including in Burundi, Djibouti, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.
  • Oceanic Bank of Nigeria – Advising in relation to a US$58 million structured term facility agreement.
  • Renaissance Capital – Advising in relation to the formation of a US$500 million private equity fund focused on investments in Sub-Saharan Africa and the acquisition of a number of mining assets.
  • JPMorgan – Advising in relation to a consent solicitation of the holders of Ghana Telecom (asset-backed) bonds following its acquisition by Vodafone.
  • Czech Export Bank – Representing the bank in relation to a US$14 million financing of aircraft engines manufactured by GE Aviation Czech Republic for Inter-Ocean Aviation Finance Corporation of Mauritius.

Capital Markets

Our lawyers have deep experience with regulatory capital requirements and regularly represent underwriters and issuers including banks, insurance companies, specialty finance companies, REITs, BDCs and other financial enterprises. In Africa we have particular experience in the mining sector.

  • Jinchuan Group – Acting in relation to the recapitalization of the Albidon Group, including the Munali Nickel Project in Zambia.
  • Luiri Gold Limited – Advising in relation to its IPO to fund its Luiri Hill Gold Project and the Nambala Iron Project in Zambia.
  • Taruga Gold Limited – Advised on its AU$6.2 million dollar initial public offering and subsequent listing on ASX.
  • Coal of Africa – Advising AIM-listed client on a number of transactions, including various capital raisings, a US$100 million strategic investment by a Chinese investor and its proposed move from AIM to the Main Market of the LSE.

Communications

Our Communications Practice has extensive regulatory and transactional experience throughout the continent and is both broad in scope and deep in expertise covering the full range of technologies including wireless, broadband, internet, mobile, satellite, fixed and submarine cables.

  • Kingdom of Lesotho – Advising on the restructuring of its telecom, broadcasting and postal sectors.
  • Botswana Telecommunications Authority – Conducting a detailed study into price control regulation for both fixed and mobile operators.
  • Communications Commission of Kenya – Assisting in development of a retail and interconnection charging model among telecommunications network operators in Kenya.
  • Government of Mauritius – Advising in connection with the privatization of Mauritius Telecom, the creation of a new regulatory entity, the award of UMTS licenses and the development of a new regulatory body for the telecommunications sector.
  • Zambian Government – Advising on legislative and regulatory issues associated with the opening of the international gateway market for voice services to competition and the assessment of various options for liberalizing the international calls market; our project involved the review of the regulatory regime and the current economic situation.

Corporate

Our Corporate Practice provides comprehensive legal services spanning all aspects of complex local, cross-border and multijurisdictional corporate matters. Our team is supported by lawyers around the world with expertise in all relevant practice areas and by the deep expertise of our multidisciplinary industry groups in key sectors such as natural resources, communications and the rapidly developing consumer goods market.

  • Coal of Africa Limited – Advising on its AU$126.4 million (£60 million) recommended takeover offer for ASX listed Universal Coal plc.
  • Tanzania Trade Development Authority – Advising on the creation of the first national branding campaign for Tanzania called “Brand Tanzania,” providing advice on trademarks and branding to develop global country of origin trademark protections and national brand development under World Intellectual Property Organization regimes.
  • Adamus Resources Limited – Advising this ASX- and TSX-listed client on its AU$600 million merger of equals with TSX-listed, Cayman Island incorporated, Endeavour Mining Corporation.
  • Lachlan Star – Advising on the acquisition of coal assets in South Africa.
  • South African broadcaster – Advising in the sale of its interests in western and central Europe and the acquisition of interests in Africa, the Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Frankfurt-listed company – Advising with investments in sub-Saharan Africa on the planned acquisition of a share in an Equatorial Guinean company.

Litigation and Arbitration

Our Litigation and International Dispute Resolution practices provide clients with strategic and creative advocacy and advice on their most complex litigation and dispute resolution needs in Africa, across a range of industry sectors.

  • Gabonese Republic – Representing in a US$16.5 million ICC claim in relation to an alleged breach of an investment contract aimed at creating a framework to attract foreign investment to Gabon in a special economic zone. The claimant dismissed the case in its entirety.
  • Gas Natural – Representing in an UNCITRAL price review arbitration against Nigeria LNG, centering on the deregulation of the European natural gas markets. The tribunal issued an award in our client’s favor for more than US$2 billion in value.
  • American University in Cairo, Egypt – Represented with regard to its construction of a new US$400 million, two-million square foot campus near Cairo.
  • Government of Ghana and the Volta River Authority – Handling numerous complex claims and arbitrations concerning power projects, smelting plants, roads and the insolvency of Ghana Airways.

Mining

Our lawyers have advised clients in every aspect of the mining and metals sector in Africa. We have advised governments and mining organizations on significant transactions across a number of commodities including iron ore, gold, coal, precious and semi-precious metals, as well as counselling in relation to complex environmental, tax and regulatory issues.

  • West African Resources Limited – Advised on its acquisition of TSX-V listed Channel Resources Limited, effected by way of a Plan of Arrangement under British Columbian law.
  • Australian-listed mining company – Drafting contracts for the turnkey delivery of a new gold mining and processing operation known as the Central Ashanti Gold Project in Ghana.
  • Russian mining company – Representing on projects related to the acquisition of rights to mine placer gold in Burkina Faso.
  • Government of the Republic of Cameroon – Serving as legal advisor regarding its interest in the Mbalam Iron Ore Project, a US$4.6 billion integrated infrastructure project comprised of an iron ore mine near the border with the Republic of Congo, 570 kilometer railway, and dedicated mineral terminal at the Kribi Port.
  • Chinese SOE – Advised on its mining project in Gabon.
  • Qatar Steel Company – Representing in a proposed mining venture in Mauritania.

Energy and Natural Resources

The energy and natural resources sector in Africa is rapidly developing and ever-changing. Our extensive experience includes power generation (conventional and renewables) plus upstream and downstream oil and gas, giving us in-depth perspective on the industry-wide and market-specific factors shaping the industry in Africa.

Oil/Gas/LNG

  • Russian oil company – Representing on issues related to the resumption of oil production activities in North Africa.
  • National Oilwell Varco – Advising on the acquisition of an oil drillings treatment business based in France, Gabon and Tunisia.
  • Jubilee Fields Refinancing – Advising the lenders on Kosmos Energy's US$2 billion refinancing of its participation in the Jubilee Field in Ghana and upstream interests in Cameroon and Morocco.
  • Delonex Energy – Advising on a guarantee-backed facility in relation to an oil concession in Ethiopia.
  • Potential purchaser – Advising on its bid to purchase equity LNG volumes from Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation from the proposed Olokola LNG Project and the sale of those volumes into North America.

Power

  • Swaziland Electricity Company – Advising on the development of the Lower Maguduza Hydro Power Project.
  • Oil and gas supermajor – Advising on the rehabilitation of a 280 MW gas-fired power station and the development of a new 650 MW CCGT greenfield IPP project in Nigeria.
  • Vestas Wind Systems – Advising in relation to their involvement in the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya; Awarded “African Renewables Deal of the Year” at the IJGlobal Awards 2014 Europe & Africa and by Thompson Reuters Project Finance International.
  • Sponsors – Advising on EPC contracts for the offshore construction of barge-mounted power plants in Nigeria.
  • Major engineering, procurement and construction company – Representing in the development of their bid to construct a new nuclear power plant in South Africa.

Projects and Infrastructure

Our multidisciplinary Infrastructure team assists major project sponsors, governments, lenders, investors, credit agencies, construction and operating companies and uses the detailed knowledge of local regulatory and economic drivers to ensure that the inherent challenges in delivering complex infrastructure projects in Africa are successfully overcome, wherever they are located.

  • Government of Ghana – Advising in relation to the development of a floating storage and regasification unit offshore Tema, Ghana.
  • Bureau of Public Enterprises in Nigeria – Acting as legal counsel on the CPCS Transcom team assisting with the reform of and private sector participation in the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
  • Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH – Advising on the construction aspects of a US$1 billion transport project to develop a network of aerial cable cars serving the city of Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Government of Ghana – Appointed as legal adviser regarding the refurbishment of its ports and the establishment of a new national airline.
  • Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) – Advising on the structuring of the Red Line Metro in Lagos.
  • Standard Chartered Bank and AfDB – Advising as lenders on the financing aspects of the expansion, upgrade and operation of the existing container terminal at the Port of Dakar, Senegal.
  • Sponsors ­– Acting on clients’ behalf regarding a US$350 million coal handling facility and port in Mozambique.

Sovereign Representation

Our reputation for cutting-edge advocacy work is founded upon the enduring relationships we have built with governments across the globe and our grasp of the intersection of business, law and public policy. Supported by a global presence in nearly all major capitals, spanning six continents, we can mobilize the right contacts at the right time.

  • African Development Bank – Advising with respect to ongoing due diligence on matters relating to the governance framework of Africa50, a new infrastructure investment platform that seeks to unlock private financing sources and to accelerate the speed of infrastructure delivery in Africa, thereby spurring Africa’s growth and prosperity.
  • Government of the Republic of Cameroon – Serving as legal adviser concerning its interest in the Minim-Martap/Ngaoundal Bauxite Project, a US$4.5 billion project involving the development of a bauxite mine, refinery, railway and mineral terminal in Cameroon.
  • African sovereign – Assisting with matters pertaining to its relations with the US government and international financial institutions while simultaneously representing a state-owned oil company before the Export-Import Bank of the United States and on other matters.
  • Government of Egypt – Representing in connection with US foreign military sales and US bilateral relations.
  • Governments of Malawi, Kenya and Uganda – Representing with their admission into the United Nations (UN) after obtaining independence and advised each nation’s permanent mission to the UN, all of which marked the beginning of our sovereign representation practice.

*some of the work listed was undertaken by lawyers whilst at other firms

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