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Cameroon

Editorial

 

Cameroon is historically one of Africa’s largest producers of commodities such as oil and gas, metals and agricultural output, allied to which it has substantial potential in the hydropower sector, all of which gives the country solid potential for investment and growth.

Aside from the energy sector, the government has recently announced an increase in funding for several domestic infrastructure projects, most notably the development of its road and railway network; and investment in its domestic sports infrastructure as the country prepares to host the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations. In addition, law firms anticipate the revival of privatisation in the country, as part of the government’s economic and social plan for 2016.

Cameroon’s legal market is dominated by smaller, well established domestic firms but several foreign law firms are showing interest in the country’s potential as a new business base, most recently demonstrated with Centurion Law Firm opening an office in Douala. Local law firms tend to give advice on a broad range of practice areas. Of note, there is a growing interest in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for international investors in Cameroon and a number of firms are able to advise on litigation and ADR.

Five-partner firm Etah-Nan & Co has a full-service approach, undertaking a broad range of work for clients including banking, finance, telecoms, IP, natural resources, mining and environmental matters. It gives contentious and non-contentious advice to domestic and international banks, energy companies and airlines. Managing partner D Etah Akoh has a longstanding reputation in the market, particularly for telecoms and mining work. Environmental and competition law expert Paul Nan is also recommended.

Full-service firm Jing & Partners is particularly proficient in the banking and finance sector, where it acts for clients such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), African Development Bank (ADB) and HSBC. The firm is also experienced in intellectual property, privatisation, tax, M&A, employment, transport, telecoms and energy law. The firm has acted for clients such as Cameroon Railway Corporation. Firm founder Paul Jing heads the corporate and commercial practice and is well regarded, as is Laurent Dongmo.

Three-partner firm Ngassam, Fansi & Mouafo, Avocats Associés is a member of The Eversheds Africa Law Institute and has extensive experience. Notable recent work includes advising Michelin on sanctions and export controls in Cameroon, and acting for DHL International Cameroon on a range of contentious instructions. ‘Experienced’ firm head Virgile Ngassam is recommended along with Laurence Mouafo and the ‘excellent’ Hyacinthe Fansi.

With a strong footing in IP, corporate and commercial law and debt recovery, Abeng Law Firm is led by founder Abeng Roland. The team mainly acts for international clients from the energy, trade, transport and telecoms sectors.

Douala-based Cabinet Ekobo is praised for its business law expertise, where the ‘noted’ Emmanuel Ekobo is the key contact.

Senegal-originated Geni & Kebe has a robust reputation of advising across Francophone Africa and operates in Cameroon through its affiliated office in Douala. The full-service firm is well placed to advise on high-profile transactions, with strengths in corporate, M&A, banking, finance, energy and TMT work. The firm also has substantial experience in litigation and ADR. Managing partner Mouhamed Kebe is the key contact.

Originating out of a corporate law practice, Henri Job Law Firm has expanded in recent years to cover IP, tax, insurance, maritime, TMT and dispute resolution. Managing partner Henri Pierre Job is a key name in the market and is supported by ‘a strong team’.

Firms in the spotlight

GENI & KEBE
www.gsklaw.sn

GENI & KEBE was founded in 1912 and began acting as a legal adviser firm for foreign embassies and companies. From then to now on, it has been and remains the premier destination law services firm of national and foreign companies, institutions and individuals in Senegal and the Francophone African Region.

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