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Zambia

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Editorial

Zambia’s small legal market is dominated by local, well-established practices, with firms such as Chibesakunda & Co, Corpus Legal Practitioners and Musa Dudhia & Company advising domestic and international clients on a range of practice areas. Several domestic firms benefit from close relationships with international law firms, handling high-profile and cross-border matters as a result.

Zambia has been a key target for international investment in recent years and countries such as China have invested in numerous projects in the country, although there are reports that this interest may be waning. The economy has historically focused on the copper mining industry, but with a fall in copper prices and widespread electricity shortages, the sector has seen a slight slowdown. There has been a concerted effort to reduce the country’s reliance on mining, with agriculture being one area earmarked for development; this includes a planned expansion of fisheries and realising some of the vast potential in sugar, coffee and cotton. Renewable energy has also been highlighted as a growth area, with a heightened interest in solar power projects.

The majority of recommended firms are based in the capital, Lusaka. The local currency is the Zambian kwacha (denoted as ZMW).

Chibesakunda & Co is a member of the DLA Piper Africa alliance and is a key choice for international clients. The firm focuses on corporate and commercial mandates. Mwelwa Chibesakunda is active across banking, M&A and commercial matters; Chikosola Chuula leads on dispute resolution; Chileshe S Chileshe advises on banking and finance; and Sevasti Panayotopoulos is also recommended.

Corpus Legal Practitioners has an array of ‘first-class lawyers’. Key highlights included advising the International Finance Corporation on a solar energy project in Zambia and handling Prudential’s acquisition of Professional Life Assurance. Senior partner Charles Mkokweza is experienced in energy, mining and infrastructure projects; Mabvuto Sakala, who heads the dispute resolution and corporate advisory team, is a ‘thorough and insightful’ practitioner; Sharon Sakuwaha heads the teams for banking and finance, capital marketsand M&A; Sydney Chisenga is experienced in competition work; Jacqueline Cornhill Jhala heads the corporate team; and Namakuzu Shandavu leads on real estate and construction mandates.

Musa Dudhia & Company has a ‘strong’ position in the market. It advises on a broad range of commercial disputes as well as banking, finance, corporate, M&A, employment, IP, projects, real estate and construction mandates. As part of the Africa Legal Network (ALN Group), the firm benefits from strong links across the continent. Managing partner Arshad Dudhia has notable expertise handling commercial transactions and disputes, and founding partner Abdulla Dudhia has longstanding experience in banking and finance matters. Abigail Chimuka, Gilbert Chama and Gulam Farid Patel are also singled out.

Christopher, Russell Cook & Company is adept at handling commercial matters and also has notable expertise in competition, mining, real estate and IP. Senior partner Kanti Patel is the key contact.

Mulenga Mundashi Kasonde (MMK) Legal Practitioners is active across finance, corporate, employment, tax, M&A and mining instructions. Managing partner Michael Mundashi and senior partner Mutila Mulenga are recommended.

Kitwe-based ECB Legal Practitioners is noted for its expertise in dispute resolution and commercial transactions. Managing partner Elijah Banda is a key contact.

Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners has longstanding experience in dispute resolution and advises on constitutional, tax and administrative cases. It is also well versed in commercial, IP, construction and mining mandates. Eric Silwamba stands out for his contentious expertise and Joseph Jalasi is noted for tax-related matters.

Mwenye & Mwitwa – Advocates is particularly strong in dispute resolution, where managing partner Eddie Mwitwa is regarded as ‘a key figure in the Zambian legal market’. Musa Mwenye is also a name to note.

Nchito & Nchito Advocates is experienced in commercial litigation as well as in banking, finance, insolvency and restructuring mandates. The firm’s principal contact Nchima Nchito is a renowned figure in the local market.

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