Dispute resolution in Morocco

Bennani & Associés

Bennani & Associés' team has 'broad and deep experience of assisting foreign companies working in Morocco, and that experience translates to the ability of the team to tailor advice and action to best meet those clients' needs'. Clients also note that 'when compared to competitors both in Morocco specifically and worldwide generally, the response times and clarity of response are excellent'. The practice is led by Abdellah Moustaid, and also includes Mehdi Bennani and senior associate Mahdi Yamnahaddou. It recently acted for Daewoo in litigation relating to the construction of power plants in Morocco.

Practice head(s):

Abdellah Moustaid

Other key lawyers:

Mehdi Bennani; Mahdi Yamnahaddou

Testimonials

‘The team has in-depth knowledge and experience in Moroccan regulations and laws, and it has supported our company particularly in connection with environmental regulation issues. Also, it supported our company for litigations as well.’

‘All the persons at Bennani are very quick responders, and all the feedback was given in a very short time. Prompt response and continuous updates are Bennani’s strength.’

‘The team has broad and deep experience of assisting foreign companies working in Morocco; that experience translates to the ability of the team to appreciate its clients’ perspectives, and therefore tailor advice and action in the way that best meets those clients’ needs. When compared to competitors both in Morocco specifically and worldwide generally, the response times and clarity of response are excellent; quick response is especially important when the client is an east-Asian company working in Morocco and considering the time difference with head office.’

‘The team has a broad range of professional and technical expertise, and has shown itself to be adept at dealing with various problems, including cross-border disputes which have involved awards abroad.’

‘In my seven years’ experience in Morocco, managing contractual matters on major infrastructure projects, I consider Bennani to be peerless in its breadth, ability and approach to clients.’

‘Mehdi Bennani has been our main contact, either directly handling issues or carefully delegating to ensure that we received advice and action to his own high standards. Mr Bennani was usually available at all hours, and when not he responded very promptly; he and his colleagues with whom we engaged were patient to understand complex technical issues, and to relate those issues to the political relationship which we had with our Moroccan client. Before settling on Bennani as our go-to advisor, we tried to engage with several other practices in Morocco, usually dealing initially with the practice head: Mr Bennani in his approach, quick understanding of the issues, practical advice, clear and reasonable fees, overall professionalism, careful delegation, and clarity of response made selecting his practice an extremely easy decision.’

‘Unlike other local firms in Morocco, they are responsive. I have experience with other local firms and it was not unusual not to hear back from them.’

‘Mehdi Bennani provides excellent legal services in English. For those who don’t speak Arabic or French, it would be good to communicate with someone who speaks good English.’

Key clients

Samsung Construction & Trading Corporation

Dell Group

Carlyle

Etisalat

Adidas

TUI Fly

Casatram SA (a subsidiary of RATP)

Daewoo Engineering & Construction

Imkan Maroc

ST MICROELECTRONICS SA MOROCCO

Middle East Radio Television Morocco (MRTM)

Pilot Freight Service

Work highlights

  • Acting for Carlyle, a leading global investment management firm with $217bn in assets under management, in an ongoing bankruptcy litigation procedure opened against the Moroccan refinery “SAMIR” to obtain repayment of $404m of debts owed.
  • Acted for Daewoo Engineering & Construction, a leading Korean construction company, in commercial litigation relating to the construction of power plants projects in Morocco.
  • Represented Dell Group in a labour dispute involving employees refusing to be transferred as part of a worldwide sale by Dell Inc. of its technology services business to NTT Data.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles national and international disputes spanning corporate and commercial litigation, debt collection matters, employment disputes and contentious industrial property cases. It is one of the few international law firms that can manage litigation in Moroccan courts, thanks to Mehdi Kettani who leads the litigation group. Saad El Mernissi is the head of the arbitration practice, which handles matters both in Morocco and across Africa. He has notable expertise in investment and construction arbitration, as well as acting for the government in investment and commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mehdi Kettani; Saad El Mernissi

Key clients

Casablanca Finance City

Al Amine Investissement Immobilier

Clauger SAS

Axalta Coating System Tangier

Work highlights

  • Representing Sepco, the constructor of two massive solar power plant projects in the Moroccan desert, in ICC arbitration proceedings relating to claims for indemnification of losses arising out of its subcontractor’s (Prominox) breaches of contracts.
  • Representing Waterleau Group n.v. in a dispute with its partner ( STAIP) relating to the construction of a water treatment plant, before the Moroccan Court of Arbitration.
  • Advising OLA Energy Maroc on a procedure before the Moroccan Competition Authority. The Moroccan Competition Authority launched an action against all petrol companies in Morocco, including OLA Energy Maroc. The accusations of the Moroccan Competition Council include anti-competitive practices and price-fixing allegations.

Kettani Law Firm

At Kettani Law Firm, Azzedine Kettani is regarded as one of the foremost practitioners in criminal cases and arbitration. He leads the arbitration practice and frequently sits as an arbitrator or chair of arbitral tribunals under ICSID rules. Rita Kettani is the lead partner for both commercial litigation and contentious employment matters. They advise the firm's diverse client base, which includes large domestic corporates and international banks, on contentious matters both in Morocco and across the MENA region.

Practice head(s):

Azzedine Kettani; Rita Kettani

Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy

Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy handles a wide range of high-value disputes throughout Morocco and Africa covering a broad spectrum of industry sectors, among them construction, projects, oil and gas, power, water, engineering and finance. Known for its skill in litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, the firm benefits from strong local law experience and the expertise in other jurisdictions that resides in the firm's international office network. Hicham Naciri frequently acts as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitration proceedings. Yassir Ghorbal is the head of litigation and arbitration. Counsel Naoufal Achergui is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Hicham Naciri; Yassir Ghorbal

Other key lawyers:

Naoufal Achergui

Work highlights

  • Advised Compagnie Générale Immobilière (CGI) before the Court of Cassation in relation to a dispute initiated by a shareholder listed on the stock exchange in order to engage the liability of our client for failure to publish a profit warning.
  • Advised Salam Gaz on a request from Samir’s liquidators to extend the liquidation to Salam Gaz and its directors.
  • Advised SOMAS and various shareholders (Afriquia, Total, Vivo Energy, Ziz) in relation to an action initiated against them by DIMAGAZ regarding Dimagaz’ entry into the share capital of SOMAS.

Afrique Advisors

Dispute resolution is one of Afrique Advisors' core areas of strength in Casablanca, with the firm acting for clients in large national and cross-border matters. Its international arbitration group undertakes both commercial and investor-state matters, and its lawyers frequently work closely with Mayer Brown International LLP's offices in Europe, Asia and the US. The team is led by Laila Slassi, who has extensive experience of energy, infrastructure, international litigation and private equity matters.

Practice head(s):

Laila Slassi

Key clients

Kingdom of Morocco

Brookstone Partners International

Edgeboro International Inc

H&A Investment Holding

SEFIANIA

Ministry of Trade

Work highlights

  • Advising the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Trade for legal assistance in the context of the arbitration proceedings introduced by the German company Scholz Holding GmbH (Scholz) concerning its investment in Morocco.
  • Advising the private equity fund Brookstone Partners International in all litigation matters related to its subsidiaries in Morocco: Platinum Power and Brookstone Partners Morocco.
  • Advised H&A INVESTMENT HOLDING and SEFIANIA, private investors of a Moroccan fund GNII managed by the company Global Nexus SA in the context of the litigation opposing the private investors to Global Nexus SA for mismanagement, forgery and falsification, and fraud.

Benzakour Law Firm

Benzakour Law Firm's key areas of focus on are business law, litigation and arbitration, all of which are overseen by managing partner Rachid Benzakour. His expertise spans aviation, maritime law, merger control and energy matters. His recent work includes assisting subsidiaries of the French group Castel with regulatory matters and litigation and representing Somaport in liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Rachid Benzakour

Key clients

EXIM Bank

Korean Tobacco (KT&G)

Philip Morris

Averda

Club Med

Wilo

Tik Tok

Elsewedy

BFR & Associés

At BFR & Associés, respected litigator Yasmina Baddou (a former member of parliament who was once Minister of Health) specialises in resolving disputes before Moroccan commercial, civil, criminal and administrative courts. As a member of the Casablanca bar for 30 years, she is regarded as one of the market's leading practitioners. Her work spans many areas, including tax and insurance disputes, as well as financial and commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Yasmina Baddou

Key clients

CCCC (China Communication Construction Company)

Mixta

Duet (Private Equity)

AfricInvest

Proparco

ING Bank

Google

Vantage Data Centers

Ardian

Sunpack

EBRD

Aramex

Expedia

GKC Partners

Mondi Group

Socotec group

ONDA (National office of Airports)

Mituc

Mindray

Hiliventures

Jumia Group

Saham Group

De Richbourg

Calm Group

Bosch

Bayer

Attijari Finance Corp

Global Motors

Abraaj

ENGIE

Nareva

Airbnb

Hili Ventures

UPC Renewables

Leica Geosystems

Label Vie Group

Ciech Group

Alliances Group

Dahua Technology

SoLocal Group

Ministry of General Affairs and Governance

Société Générale

Africa Capital Partners

ESL / Agence Publics (ESL AP Maroc)

EMID – Al Rashideen Group (the exclusive distributor of Philipp Morris in MENA Region)

Mediterrania Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Acting as expert witness before UK courts in relation with a litigation opened in the UK pertaining to a Finance Agreement governed by Moroccan law.
  • Representing Label Vie Group in connection with commercial litigations with suppliers.
  • Acting as a leading lawyer for Saham, Allianz, Wafa Insurance, Axa Assurances, Mamda in connection with insurance-related disputes.

Fraikech Associés

Fraikech Associés has an active practice in domestic matters before the Moroccan courts, as well as in international arbitration tribunals. Founding partner Abderrahmane Fraikech is a highly respected litigator, and clients also recommend managing partner Oussama Fraikech as 'reactive and a good adviser'. One client notes that the practice is 'singular in its multidisciplinary skills, and in its agility and capability to adapt clients'.

Practice head(s):

Abderrahmane Fraikech

Other key lawyers:

Oussama Fraikech

Testimonials

‘The practice is singular by its multidisciplinary skills and sectors, and by its agility and capability to adapt to us, as clients.’

‘We deal frequently with Oussama Fraikech, former barrister in London and lawyer in France, who is actually registered in the Moroccan Bar. We are clearly satisfied. He is reactive, and a good adviser.’

Jeantet

In the Casablanca office of Jeantet, managing partner Philippe Malléa and local partner Mamoune Kettani lead a litigation practice that acts in disputes in Morocco, the MENA and sub-Saharan Africa. Their work encompasses financial disputes, corporate litigation, contentious competition cases and labour matters, as well as cases concerning major infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Philippe Malléa; Mamoune Kettani

LPA-CGR

LPA-CGR represents clients in cross-border litigation and arbitration cases in Morocco and more widely in francophone Africa. Lina Fassi-Fihri is the principal litigation partner and her work includes major employment disputes and liability cases. Romain Berthon handles disputes relating to his core expertise in real estate matters. As part of the firm's pan-African platform, the Casablanca office frequently acts for foreign investors in disputes.

Practice head(s):

Romain Berthon; Lina Fassi-Fihri

Key clients

Total Safety Maroc

Clauger

SATEBA Vagneux Systemes

Folly Fashion

Diebold Nixdorf

UGGC Africa

UGGC Africa's lead partners are Laurent Sablé and Ali Bougrine, who work closely with the firm's Paris office to handle litigation and arbitration cases in Morocco, the MENA region and the Middle East. They also handle cases in jurisdictions covered by the OHADA Treaty. The team is best known for its involvement in international litigation cases, as well as ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings. The firm is currently representing Ciments du Maroc in an ongoing international arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Laurent Sablé; Ali Bougrine

Key clients

Ciments du Maroc

PERI

STROC

Fédération royale marocaine de football

Omnium Technologique

Work highlights

  • Advising a Moroccan subsidiary of Ciments du Maroc in an ongoing International arbitration.
  • Advising PERI on corporate and litigation matters.
  • Representing STROC and its subsidiaries in proceedings against CEMTEC. ICC Arbitration (Geneva) in the context of the claim for fees following work carried out during the construction of plants in Africa.

Bakouchi & Habachi - HB Law Firm LLP

At Bakouchi & Habachi - HB Law Firm LLP, ‘the engagement and communication are excellent and the experience in litigation is this law firm's greatest asset'. The firm frequently represents domestic and international clients in court, administrative hearings and arbitral tribunals. Managing partners Salima Bakouchi and Kamal Habachi are the names to note. They are experienced in litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Salima Bakouchi; Kamal Habachi

Testimonials

‘The team is responsive – I have tested many law firms in Morocco, HB Law remains one of the most efficient in terms of communication. ’

‘The engagement and communication are excellent and the experience in litigation is this law firm’s greatest asset.’

Key clients

Marsa Maroc

Wafa Assurance

Emaar Group

Samsung

AL OMRANE Group

Abengoa Group

Attijariwafa bank

Attijari Factoring

BMCE Bank

Lesieur Cristal

Total Maroc

(Vivo energy “Shell)

ZIZ (Energy Fields)

Wafa IMMA

AXA Assurance

Sanad Assurance

Microsoft Corporation

ALPARGATAS “Havaianas”

Magideutz

Société Marocaine des Tabacs

British American Tobacco

Wafa Immobilier

ATLAS NORD HYDROCARBURES (“Cepsa”)

Work highlights

  • Representing Pipe House/Société Marocaine des Tabac (SMT, ex Imperial Tobacco) in proceedings brought by Moroccan company called Habanos, which claimed property of the named  “Habanos” registered in the trade register.
  • Represented Attijari Factoring in a complex litigation related to the factoring agreements, the securities, the interests applied and especially the entire system of factoring in Morocco and in international system of factorin; all the documents were challenged.
  • Defending ATTIJARIWAFA BANK (ATW) and BMCE BANK against a broad array of claims involving deposit account agreements, construction loans, and mortgage loans. The firm is also represent ATW and BMCE BANK in prosecuting complex foreclosure matters involving allegations of lender liability and in negotiations workout.

Bassamat & Laraqui

Bassamat & Laraqui has ‘an organised team with a high level of experience', which is also noted for having 'the capacity to consolidate strong arguments clearly and to express them elegantly'. Bassamat Fassi-Fihri and Asma Laraqui jointly lead the practice, which is strong in financial and commercial litigation. Associate Nadia Farhat is recommended for disputes involving banking and financial restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Bassamat Fassi-Fihri; Asma Laraqui

Other key lawyers:

Nadia Farhat

Testimonials

‘An organised team with a high level of experience and satisfactory quality of communication.’

‘The firm has the capacity to consolidate strong arguments clearly and to express them elegantly.’

Key clients

Aabar Investments (Emirats)

Agt Food Canada

Covestro (Bayer Group)

Jones Lang Lasalle

Mafoder Groupe

Mansart

Novartis

Ometec

Risma (Groupe Accor)

Solve

Alma Bat (Fonds Massinassa Maroc)

Axa Assurances

Axa Credit

Banque Centrale Populaire

BMCI (Bnp Paribas Group)

Brookstone Partners

Caytas

Cbre Maroc

Coface Maroc

Credit Agricole du Maroc

Credit du Maroc

Credit du Maroc Factoring

Credit Immobilier Et Hotelier

Fives Fcb

Ghosn Ennakhil

Groupe Jma Conseil

Intralot

Jesa

Royal Air Maroc

Sefamar

Servier Maroc

Siemens Healthcare

Silver Food

Soufflet Negoce

Talem Food Beverages

Upline

Valeo Maroc

Wafa Immobilier

Wafa Bail

Work highlights

  • Representing BANQUE CENTRALE POPULAIRE in major judicial liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings concerning the only oil refinery in Morocco.
  • Representing CREDIT AGRICOLE DU MAROC and BANQUE CENTRALE POPULAIRE in a case concerning sales by auction’s legislation, focused on issues of securities enforcement.
  • Representing CREDIT AGRICOLE DU MAROC in a case concerning against a company benefiting from several lines of credit with the bank. The debtor granted a pledge on the goods financed by the bank, valued in the amount of MAD120,000,000.

Boulalf Mekkaoui Law Firm

Boulalf Mekkaoui Law Firm is equally strong in litigation and arbitration cases. According to one of its clients, the team is 'highly capable and professional, with excellent dispute resolution abilities'. Also notable is that 'the firm works tirelessly to ensure their services are consistent and timely, and they deliver exceptional client service'. Abdelatif Boulalf and Ahlam Mekkaoui jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Abdelatif Boulalf; Ahlam Mekkaoui

Testimonials

‘The communication and reactivity between the team is exceptional, and that translates to customer satisfaction; a big difference compared to other firms.’

‘We appreciate Abdelatif Boulalf’s sense of listening and looking after the interests of his clients, as well as his excellent communication. Ahlam Mekkaoui is outstanding.’

‘The team is highly capable and professional, with excellent dispute resolution abilities.’

‘Ahlam. Mekkaoui and Abdelatif Boulalf are professional, very efficient and and willing to provide their assistance without delay.’

‘The firm works tirelessly to ensure their services are consistent and timely, and they deliver exceptional client service, which is key to managing clients’ expectations. Their processes helps us improve our workflow and legal handling.’

‘Ahlam Mekkaoui and Abdelatif Boulalf have always been very courteous, pleasant and ready to help at any time. Their availability across all communication channels makes it easier for us to reach out when needed, their customer relations and improved processes makes our work easier and better.’

‘Thanks to their huge knowledge of the different situations you may face, they can really provide you a clear picture of risks and benefits, in order to better understand which are the right steps to do. They are always available, and prompt in their answers.’

‘They are very well prepared and are able to show you several roads to follow. Continuous follow up is given, in order to have a clear visibility of the situation, and in order to adjust some strategy if needed.’

El Amari & Rouissi

El Amari & Rouissi is well-versed in regulatory and financial disputes, having built up a strong track record in domestic and international litigation. Mariam Rouissi, who has recently acted in numerous cross-border matters involving foreign investors, works with Mohieddine El Amari. Rouissi's expertise in financial disputes stems from her extensive experience in assisting banks, financial and large companies with major infrastructure financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mariam Rouissi; Mohieddine El Amari

Key clients

Arma Holding

Derichebourg Casablanca

BP Oil

Work highlights

  • Representing Arma Holding in a dispute against Suez Blanca regarding the acquisition of equipment from and a delegated management contract between Arma and the Commune of Casablanca.
  • Assisting DERICHEBOURG CASABLANCA in a dispute with a supplier that improperly withheld equipment necessary for its operation.

Mernissi - FIGES

Mernissi - FIGES is highly regarded for its work in projects and public law matters, and founding partner Mohamed El Mernissi has a strong reputation for disputes arising from such work. He also has specialist knowledge of alternative dispute resolution and arbitration, having been the past president of the Moroccan Court of Arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed El Mernissi