Legal Market Overview
Morocco lies at the meeting point of two continents – Europe and Africa – separated only by Mediterranean Sea. The country’s ties to France and the rest of francophone Africa make it a perfect hub through which international businesses, including law firms, can facilitate both inbound and outbound deals between the two continents.
Head of state King Mohammed VI plays a key role in Morocco’s economic development with his efforts to build close economic relationships with neighbouring countries. This has led to an increase in outbound investment activity as Moroccan companies seek to access new markets. Saadeddine Othmani has held the office of Prime Minister since 2017, and while the intervening years have been a challenging time for the economy, foreign investment has picked up after a period of hesitancy and M&A activity and major financing transactions are now starting to pick up.
Renewable energy is a key market, with the domestic development agency Masen setting an ambitious target of producing 50% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. Energy and infrastructure project development has slowed down, but the aviation and automotive sectors are thriving.
In the legal market, there are still many firms that are run largely as family businesses and rely to some extent on a high-profile senior partner. These include Kettani Law Firm and Hajji & Associés. Nevertheless, more independent law firms are carving out their niches in the market, such as BFR & Associés and Belouchi Fassi Fihri. These firms, along with other such as Bennani & Associés LLP and Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy, are known for the high quality of their work, as are the international law firms with local offices, which include Clifford Chance and Norton Rose Fulbright. Dentons and DLA Piper are more recent arrivals to Morocco, but are steadily building strong client rosters and increasingly handling large, cross-border deals.