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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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Egypt > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Legal market overview

Under the rule of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi and Prime Minister Sherif Ismail the economy of Egypt, which is the most populous country in the Arab world, has stabilised and the security situation is improving, though concerns over terrorism are still dampening the key industry of tourism. Levels of foreign investment are low, though international companies are playing major roles in the large programme of infrastructure projects announced by the government.

At the end of 2016, exchange controls were lifted and the Egyptian pound was floated, leading to a sharp devaluation and a steep rise in interest rates. For a country that is particularly dependent on imports this has been hard for many businesses, but along with new investment laws and a revised tax regime, it has helped open up Egypt to investment and enabled foreign investors to repatriate dividends more easily. Government bonds have sold well, though there is little interest yet in corporate bond issuance.

In difficult economic circumstances, the legal market faces intense pressure on fees, though firms involved in infrastructure projects remain busy. Many local firms are still family-run, led by long-serving senior partners, but large firms like Matouk Bassiouny and small, young firms such as Khalifa Associates are adopting different styles of management.

Full-service domestic firms include Al Kamel Law Office, Shalakany Law Office and Zulficar & Partners Law Firm, while some of the country's oldest firm such as Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law and Karim Adel Law Office have prominent positions in the market. International firms with a long-standing presence in Cairo include Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International) and Dentons Egypt LLC, while MHR & Partners in association with White & Case is steadily building its reputation.

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