Legal market overview in Ghana
Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo, in office since January 2017 after winning the 2016 election, has implemented financial reforms and taken notable steps to improve the country’s economy. A new Companies Act is expected to be passed by Parliament; the new Act will modernise the law and amend provisions of the Companies Act 1963. In the World Bank’s 2019 ease of doing business report, Ghana moved up six places from the previous year, to 114 out of 190 countries.
Energy supply and distribution are focal areas for the government and the private sector, and Ghanaian and foreign law firms alike have been kept busy on oil and gas and power projects. Power shortages between 2012 and 2016 had a significant detrimental effect on the economy, and the return of shortages in 2018 resulted in power blackouts during peak times in certain parts of the country.
Stringent local content rules were introduced to boost local businesses and create jobs in the nascent oil and gas industry, and it was later announced that the local content policy would be extended to the power sector. However, the regulations continue to cause uncertainty for international players in the sector, and law firms have been busily assisting foreign clients in this area.
Ghana’s Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity programme, a local capacity development initiative, was boosted by a $4.5m investment by Aker Energy. The programme aims to train Ghanaians and Ghanaian companies in highly technical areas to meet the demands of the industry.
Major Ghanaian law firms include Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, ENSafrica and Kimathi & Partners, Corporate Attorneys, which have leading corporate, banking and projects practices. Several international firms are active in Ghana as elsewhere on the African continent. Global firms including Norton Rose Fulbright, White & Case LLP and Clifford Chance LLP are well established in the market. London-based boutique Trinity International LLP entered the foreign firms ranking this year thanks to its impressive experience and track record in Ghana-related projects.