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Algeria

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Editorial

Legal market overview

In a significant legal market development, French firm DS Avocats launched a new Algiers office in 2016 by hiring Vincent Lunel, who joined the firm after 15 years with the Algiers office of LPA-CGR.

Well-established Algerian law firms Chemloul & Associés, Ghellal & Mekerba and Hamza Law Office are usually first in line for sophisticated work, but the next generation of law firms are focused on developing their international experience and are catching up. Among the foreign law firms with offices on the ground, CMS and Gide Loyrette Nouel are valued for their strong local knowledge.

The moves occur against a backdrop of a market which has been adjusting to the slump in global oil prices. The slowdown in Algeria’s economic growth prompted the government to respond by implementing an austerity programme in December 2015, which included a 9% cut in expenditure and a 4% rise in tax revenue based on a package of price hikes. In addition, the government announced plans to allow for private investment in state-owned enterprises under Article 66 of its 2016 budget. However, Article 66 only applies to local companies – foreign companies remain subject to the 49/51 rule, which caps foreign ownership of any business entity at 49%.

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