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Morocco > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

Contributed by Hajji and Associes

2015 versus 2016 - What has changed in the last year that has impacted the way business is conducted?

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MOROCCAN INVESTMENT CHARTER

Law No. 18-95 established the Investment Charter of October 3rd, 1995 and its enacting Decree No. 2-00-895 of 31st January 2001(hereinafter the ‘Decree’) provides several incentives for foreign investments in Morocco.

Under aforementioned regulation, any foreign investor must enter into an agreement with the government of the Kingdom of Morocco, which provides for the specific incentives granted to the investor while complying with regulations.

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Legal market overview

Morocco is an important strategic market: given its location just across the Mediterranean Sea from Spain, it is effectively where Africa and Europe meet. It is a favoured hub for international law firms seeking to reach out into North Africa or, in some cases, the entire continent.

Following the 2016 general election, the incumbent Justice and Development Party leader Abdelilah Benkirane was unable to form a government. In March 2017, Saadeddine Othmani was chosen to create a coalition from six parties. Political instability has therefore muted investment and corporate activity somewhat, though there is growing activity in infrastructure projects, particularly in the renewable energy sector. The government has an ambitious strategy here, aiming for 50% of the country’s energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

The efforts of King Mohammed VI to forge closer economic ties with neighbouring countries are encouraging outbound investment as well as inbound investment from Europe and the US. Morocco also rejoined the African Union in early 2017.

International law firms in Casablanca include established names Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Norton Rose Fulbright; Dentons and DLA Piper continue to build their presence. Domestic firms such as Bennani & Associés LLP, Hajji & Associés and Kettani Law Firm maintain longstanding reputations for high-quality work, though young firms such as BFR & Associés and Belouchi Fassi Fihri are rapidly making their mark.

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