Leading firms in Ethiopia

Mehrteab and Getu Advocates LLP (MLA)

Mehrteab and Getu Advocates LLP (MLA) is one of the leading firms in Ethiopia, with a sizeable team and expertise across multiple practice areas, including corporate, employment, mining, energy, real estate and arbitration. As a member of DLA Piper Africa, the firm has access to an international network and the majority of its client base is made up of international companies. The team continues to handle some of the largest mandates in the jurisdiction, including recently assisting ACWA Power with the construction of two solar power generation sites. Principal Mehrteab Leul is a key contact, with a wealth of experience in project finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Taddesse Lencho; Benyam Tafesse; Sisay Habte

Other key lawyers:

Mehrteab Leul; Meron Kahase; Tibebe Zewdu

Key clients

Danske Bank

Sumitomo Corporation

Air Djibouti

Palladium International Limited

Bayer World Investments B.V.

Import Export Bank of China

China Development Bank

Anhui Conch Cement Co. Ltd.

Monster Energy

Seed Co international Limited /Bumper Harvest Seed Farm PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Danske Bank on a loan agreement relating to a wind power technology project in Ethiopia.
  • Advised Sumitomo Corporation on the registration of its commercial representative office in Ethiopia.
  • Assisted Air Djibouti with the renewal of its business licences and its corporate restructuring.

Mesfin Tafesse & Associates Law Office (MTA)

Mesfin Tafesse & Associates Law Office (MTA) is a prominent firm in the local market and is also a member of the Africa Legal Network, an alliance of leading independent firms in Africa. The team advises on a range of matters, from banking and finance to employment and immigration. Recently, it has developed its expertise in the power and energy sector to accompany Ethiopia’s development targets and provides assistance to both public and private institutions. Founder and principal attorney Mesfin Tafesse has significant experience in advising multinational investors in Ethiopia. Associate Haymanot Belay is well versed in handling regulatory matters, while associate Deborah Haddis focuses on M&A issues.

Practice head(s):

Mesfin Tafesse

Other key lawyers:

Haymanot Belay; Deborah Haddis

Testimonials

 

 

Key clients

Heineken

Wilmar International Limited

Miya Waters

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

DHL Express

Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Dexis Consulting Group

Zoscales Partners

MTN Group

China Electrical Engineering and Technology (CET)

Elite Agro LLC

Enel Green Power

Capital 54

Veris Investments B.V

IHS Towers

Dummen Orange

Work highlights

  • Advised Zoscales Partners on a potential investment in a company in Ethiopia.
  • Advised MTN Group in connection with its bid to obtain a telecoms service licence in Ethiopia.

Aman Assefa and Associates Law Office

Aman Assefa and Associates Law Office is able to maintain an influx of international mandates due to its alliance with South Africa-based Bowmans, leveraging the resources of its wide network. Recent highlights include providing advice to international TV broadcaster Canal + on financial structuring, regulatory and tax matters relating to launching a pay-TV service in Ethiopia. The team plays an active role in the energy, agribusiness, manufacturing and mining sectors, and has also assisted with the Ethiopian government’s recent efforts to reform the Commercial Code and insurance legislation. Firm founder Aman Assefa has experience in corporate, M&A, antitrust and banking mandates, while Bahakal Abate is a seasoned corporate lawyer who frequently advises on investment and regulatory matters and M&A. Ermias Ayalew is experienced in dispute resolution and Micael Sheul is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Aman Assefa; Bahakal Abate; Ermias Ayalew; Micael Sehul

Other key lawyers:

Mintewab Afework

Testimonials

‘Aman Assefa is a first-rate lawyer with exceptional, wide-ranging experience and capabilities. Bahakhal Abate is technically very sound and great with clients.’

‘We find the team responsive and forward looking in a jurisdiction where quality advisers are rare. They are committed to providing a first-class service and we have no issues with them with billing and technology.’

‘Aman Assefa is world class – he has broad knowledge and is very experienced in guiding businesses in Ethiopia. Bahakul Abate is strong on telecoms and tech matters and is very responsive. Micael Sehul is a fine lawyer and is very good with clients.’

‘The AA&A team (in particular, Aman Assefa, Micael Sehul and Mintewab Afework) are unique in the Ethiopian legal profession because they have a commitment to understanding our business so as to provide actionable advice, which gives our management team options with transparent risk profiles.’

‘Right from the day we engaged we them, we received immediate attention and comprehensive advice, within agreed timelines, with direct involvement from the senior partners, which was an extremely satisfying experience. We now consider them as our trusted business partners.’

‘The firm have an excellent understanding of Ethiopian law and are able to make concepts that are not common in other jurisdictions easy to understand and digestible. The firm have proved that they are independent thinkers and will give the difficult answers that reflect the position under Ethiopian law even if this is not the convenient answer. They always propose solutions when the position is at odds with the objectives the client wants to achieve. The members of the firm have gone above and beyond, working to very tight timelines to achieve deal closings.’

‘The main lawyer we have worked with is Bahakal Abate. He has an extremely calm and pleasant temperament that makes him a trusted adviser to engage with. He is able to explain concepts of Ethiopian law which are unfamiliar in other jurisdictions with precision and patience. He is diligent and patient in explaining concepts and fills clients with confidence in his command and understanding of the law. He has always been available and ready with solutions to assist at crunch points.’

‘The firm stands out amongst its peers in Ethiopia due to the quality of service, responsiveness, availability and value for money relating to the advice it provides.’

Key clients

Bollore

Bowmans

Canal+

Gebeya Inc.

Horra Trading

Netafim

Safaricom

TAL

Work highlights

  • Advised Bollore, a global logistics company, on setting up and running a logistics company in Ethiopia.
  • Advised Netafim on a construction contract, particularly in relation to a force majeure event that had forced the stoppage of works, and provided strategic recommendations to ensure business continuity and protect the client’s interests.

Tameru Wondm Agegnehu Law office in cooperation with BonelliErede

Italian firm BonelliErede has a presence in Ethiopia through its co-operation with local practice Tameru Wondm Agegnehu Law Office. The team in Addis Ababa works together with the firm’s offices in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East to advise on a range of matters, including corporate, investment, energy, IP and construction mandates. Of counsel Tameru Wondm Agegnehu is highly experienced in corporate and commercial matters, and heads the practice with Ethiopia and Italy-based Gianpiero Succi, who specialises in corporate law with a focus on African markets.

Practice head(s):

Tameru Wondm Agegnehu; Gianpiero Succi

Other key lawyers:

Seble Geberegiorgis Baraki

Testimonials

‘From my perspective, what makes this team unique is the level of advanced experience and specialisation in different legal areas.’

‘Tameru Wondm Agegnehu and Seble Geberegiorgis Baraki are some of the best lawyers that I know and I admire their efforts in my ongoing court case. It has been difficult to find a legal team as good as them, with their level of experience, quality and understanding of the matter.’

‘They are dedicated and go beyond their legal duties. They have always worked with us as partners, rather than as clients.’

‘They have given us time whenever we have needed it. They have been flexible in advising us and have made an excellent legal contribution to our industry.’

‘The team stand out for their strength and commitment.’

‘We had excellent support from Seble Geberegiorgis Baraki, in spite of various challenges during this period (including Covid restrictions).’

‘The team was prompt, professional and listened to my case with the urgency and seriousness that was needed. Many other firms I approached didn’t get back to me right away, and when they did, they didn’t seem bothered by the seriousness of the case. I felt like I was in good hands and was able to communicate with them for several months virtually as I am based in overseas. I highly recommend them.’

‘Seble Geberegiorgis Baraki is an exceptionally talented and fierce lawyer who followed through on my case with tenacity and integrity. She knows both the workings of the law on the ground in Ethiopia, and also how it relates to international laws. As she is fluent both in English and Amharic, she was able to engage with other international lawyers. She is someone I fully trust in handling a serious case and I believe she has a bright future.’

Key clients

Mediterranean Shipping Ethiopia PLC

Ethiopian Music Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Collective Management Organization

Champion Shipping PLC

Awtar Multimedia PLC

Nigiste Saba LLC

EASE Engineering PLC

AHENK Real Estate PLC

Kabana Design PLC

Henok Mehari

ELC Electrocunsult S.P.A.

Bombardier Transportation Italy S.p.A.

ICE – Agenzia per la promozione all’estero e l’internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane

Carvico S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Bombardier with its expansion projects in Ethiopia.
  • Assisted ICE – Agenzia per la promozione all’estero e l’internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane with a review of the service agreement template to be used for desks opened in Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti and Kenya, and with drafting regulations for ICE suppliers in Ethiopia.
  • Advised Carvico on contractual and tax issues relating to the construction of a factory and its daily operations.