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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The 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. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Morocco > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial, corporate and M&A clients in Morocco using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Managing partner Omar Sayarh and M&A and competition law specialist Mehdi Megzari are the key contacts at Sayarh & Menjra Law Firm. The firm recently assisted Uber with the expansion of its local activities and frequently consults with government departments on the implementation of new corporate regulations.

Kamal Nasrollah leads the corporate practice at Baker & McKenzie Maroc, which advises major local and multinational clients on large M&A deals, such as acting for French company Suez on the carve-out of GE Water & Process Technologies, and assisting Laureate Education with the sale of Université Internationale de Casablanca. Associate Keltoum Boudribila is a rising star.

Bennani & Associés LLP combines in-depth local knowledge with extensive experience in cross-border M&A matters, often working in partnership with international firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Bennani acted for Sweden's Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology in the negotiation of a new distribution agreement.

Clifford Chance is highly regarded for its work in high-profile M&A, joint venture and private equity transactions. Leading light Mustapha Mourahib, key partner Franck Coudert and counsel Ouns Lemseffer are all recommended. They advised growth market investor Actis on its acquisition of private engineering school EMSI Group.

Dentons climbs the ranking this year. It has experienced partners in Patrick Larrivé and Christophe Simmonet, who handle cross-border M&A, private equity deals, leveraged buyouts and corporate restructurings. The Casablanca office also has a specialist China desk. Larrivé acted for Zalar Holding in the sale of $25m in newly issued shares to Mitsui & Co.

DLA Piper is 'strongly committed to clients and its fast-growing, dynamic and young team has a positive entrepreneur-oriented attitude'. Christophe Bachelet (who has 'genuine enthusiasm for building strong relationships'), Mehdi Kettani and rising star associate Camilia Benani are the key contacts. US private equity fund Brookstone Partners is a notable client.

During the last 15 years, Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca has established itself as a key player in the M&A market. It assists local and foreign clients with major M&A transactions in Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa. Simon Auquier and star senior associate Chloé Joachim de Larivière advised Wendel on the $155m sale of its holding in Saham Group.

Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy has 'the best technical expertise, a deep local network and great credibility'. Hicham Naciri , who advised Saham Group on the $1bn sale of its insurance business, is 'by far the best lawyer in the market', according to one source. 'Very reactive' counsel Soumaya Essadaoui and senior associate Moulay El Amine El Hammoumi Idrissi are recommended.

The Casablanca office of¬†Norton Rose Fulbright¬†handles M&A deals in Morocco and elsewhere in North Africa.¬†Alain Malek,¬†Godefroy Le Mintier¬†and star senior associate¬†Sou√Ęde Messaoudi¬†are the key names. Malek advised a client on the acquisition of a food sector business.

At Benzakour Law Firm, managing partner Rachid Benzakour assists foreign clients with their investments in Morocco. He advised KT&G and Philip Morris on legal matters in the tobacco industry, and provides ongoing support to Club Med in relation to its leisure sector interests. For Belgian company Orone, he handled the sale of shares.

BFR & Associés is 'a new player in the market but is growing fast and is seen as one of the best independent law firms'. Managing partner Safia Fassi-Fihri, who is chair of the Legal Commission of the Confédération Générale des Entreprise du Maroc, and Romain Rabillard are the key contacts. The firm is exclusive adviser to Airbnb on its activities in Morocco.

Best known for its tax practice, CMS is also involved in large, cross-border M&A transactions. Its work frequently centres on the implementation of large industrial projects and joint ventures. Marc Veuillot and senior associates Matthieu Laval and Rachida Charifi acted for Gestamp Palencia in its joint venture agreement with Tuyauto.

The team at Garrigues Maroc Sarl is 'friendly, easy to talk to, easy to reach and very helpful'. Jose Ignacio Garcia Muniozguren leads the practice, which counts principal associate and rising star Jaafar Laidi among its ranks. For hotel group Barceló, the pair handled the acquisition of Moroccan company Société Financière d’Africa Palace Maroc.

Jeantet 'brings vast experience to the table and value to discussions', and climbs the ranking. Partners Philippe Malléa and Mamoune Kettani are 'always available and have strong legal and business experience'. Senior associate Mohamed Ali Khelil Charef is a rising star. The firm advised Aluminium du Maroc on commercial contracts, and 6Temik on setting up a local subsidiary.

Sayarh & Menjra Law Firm climbs the ranking having seen a flow of high-value M&A work in 2018. It has a broad corporate offering that includes niche expertise in the regulations governing technology and the digital economy. It frequently acts for funds in their investments in innovative start-up companies. Practice heads Mehdi Megzari and Omar Sayarh handled a multibillion-dollar acquisition in the energy sector.

Bakouchi & Habachi - HB Law Firm LLP climbs the ranking this year having handled significant M&A and corporate governance matters for a growing roster of local and foreign clients. Salima Bakouchi and Kamal Habachi recently acted for Attijari Invest in its MAD13m equity investment in Watec Distribution.

Belouchi Fassi Fihri climbs this year's ranking. An Africa-focused firm, it assists domestic clients with outbound investments, as well as international clients accessing the continent through Morocco. Bouchra Belouchi who advised Averda on waste management contracts with Moroccan municipalities, and Fatima-Zahra Fassi-Fihri are the key lawyers.

El Amari & Rouissi¬†joins the ranking thanks to the extensive experience of key partners¬†Mohieddine El Amari¬†and¬†Mariam Rouissi. El Amari acted as local counsel for Groupe Altice in its ‚ā¨50m acquisition of BPO provider Intelcia. He also advised Red Med Finance on the sale of the share capital of business school¬†¬†√Čcole Sup√©rieure de Commerce de Marrakech.

Hajji & Associés has a highly experienced partner in Amin Hajji, who frequently acts for foreign corporates in their investments in Morocco. The firm also has a strong track record in joint ventures and business restructuring.

Kettani Law Firm has a solid track record in corporate and M&A matters thanks to key partner Nadia Kettani, who has previously acted for French corporates including St. Gobain. She also advises international financial institutions such as EBRD and IFC on investments in Moroccan companies.

At¬†LPA-CGR, 'the lawyers have¬†good understanding of industry requirements; I appreciate their flexibility¬†', according to one client.¬†Lina Fassi Fihri, finance specialist¬†Alain Gauvin¬†and real estate partner¬†Romain Berthon¬†are the key contacts. Berthon handled numerous corporate matters last year for¬†Louvre H√ītels Group.

Highly respected as a projects firm, Mernissi - FIGES is also involved in high-profile M&A transactions and provides ongoing commercial advice to multinational corporations. Lamya El Mernissi assists PepsiCo's local subsidiary with all of its corporate matters. Key partner Mohamed Mernissi is also recommended.

UGGC & Associés is the local office of a French firm and climbs the ranking on the strength of its advice to foreign clients on inbound investments. Ali Bougrine acted for a medical device company in acquisitions in Morocco and Algeria. Laurent Sablé is also recommended.

CWA Morocco is affiliated with Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP - a relationship that sees it work on cross-border M&A transactions for foreign clients, notably in sectors such as automotive, agriculture and telecoms. Mohamed Oulkhouir is the main contact.

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