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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame IconThe Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. The criteria for entry in EMEA is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted throughout the editorial.
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Regional Summary

The Legal 500 Africa


Welcome to The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Since 1991, we have been providing readers with an annually updated, impartial, third-party opinion on the leading law firms and lawyers in countries across the region, and the coverage extends to the Caucasus and Central Asia. Current rankings and information online are taken from The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa 2017 edition, which was published on 12 April 2017.

The EMEA guide provides researched coverage of 81 countries and over 2,700 ranked law firms. Law firms pay nothing to participate and so we are free to make ranking decisions on merit alone.

Our research is conducted annually, providing a detailed qualitative assessment of various factors including work conducted by law firms over the past 12 months and historically; experience and depth of teams; specialisms and ancillary services; and, importantly, opinions of law firms’ clients – each year, The Legal 500 series contacts over 300,000 clients globally to obtain feedback on which law firms meet the criteria required by today's in-house counsel and business leaders, wherever in the world their work takes them. All of this is used to benchmark each law firm versus competitors in the practice area in question.

The Legal 500 EMEA 2017 Launch date

The Legal 500 EMEA 2017 edition is now live.

What's new?

This edition introduces coverage of Afghanistan and Ethiopia. We have also added several new practice areas across numerous different countries.

Upcoming research

The EMEA 2018 research schedule and guidelines will be available in early May 2017, with research taking place in autumn (fall) 2017.

Feedback or queries

If you have queries or feedback of any kind regarding The Legal 500 series, please email your query to us at We welcome suggestions for new legal market coverage desired by our readers.

Editor, The Legal 500 Middle East & Africa

Country Spotlights


Egypt has a particularly complex legal system and its legal market includes some sizeable law firms, the first of which were established over 70 years ago. International law firms are beginning to return to the market, with White & Case LLP being the latest large international firm to launch an office in Cairo through its MHR & Partners in association with White & Case tie-up. Dentons, Baker McKenzie and Al-Tamimi & Company all have local associations.
Since his election in 2014, Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi has stabilised the country’s political situation, which has drawn some investors back. The International Monetary Fund also recently provided a $12bn loan to the Egyptian government, adding somewhat to the optimism. All is not rosy, however, and Egypt continues to have major political, security and economic challenges to grapple with in the near term.

South Africa

As the largest economy on its continent, South Africa attracts substantial and growing inbound investment and its legal market has become particularly dynamic as a result. The combination of economic stability, English language capabilities and a market-based economy makes it an obvious choice for international firms looking to establish a presence in Africa; recent new entrants include DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons LLP. Several South Africa-headquartered firms, including ENSafrica and Bowmans, are also particularly active across the continent, serving clients through associated office networks spanning Sub-Saharan Africa.

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