Foreign firms in Morocco

Ashurst

Ashurst is heavily involved in cross-border transactions and large projects in Morocco, drawing on the firm's expertise in M&A, project finance and international arbitration, as well as its sector experience in energy and mining. It recently assisted Managem, a Moroccan mining company, with its investment in the Tri-K gold mine project in Guinea, and is also a frequent adviser to Morocco's Office National de l'Electricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE). Yann Alix in Paris, who works closely with members of the London office, is the main point of contact.

Practice head(s):

Yann Alix

Key clients

Managem

ONEE

ACWA

EnQuest

Veolia Water

Woodside Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised ONEE on the structuring, tendering and awarding of Gas-to-Power Project involving the development and financing of a regasification terminal and two 600MW CCGTs.
  • Leading the project development workstream for the Tri-K gold project in Guinea, advising Moroccan mining company Managem on the EPC contract and the full suite of operating services agreements (mining services agreement, power purchase agreement and construction contracts).
  • Assisted Moroccan mining company Managem on its investment in the Tri-K gold mine project in Guinea, which resulted in an increase of its interest in the project from 40% to 70%.

Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP

The Paris office of Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP advises leading global brands on employment, finance, corporate and contentious matters in Morocco. The firm recently assisted Nokia with a diverse range of matters arising from its day-to-day operations in the country, working closely with teams in the firm's other African offices located in Tunis, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Louis. The firm also advised GE and Roche on HR and corporate matters. Farès Koussay El Heni, who handles corporate and employment matters, and dispute resolution partner Wesley Pydiamah, lead the practice. In addition, they are also deputy co-heads of the firm-wide Africa group.

Practice head(s):

Fares Koussay El Heni; Wesley Pydiamah

Key clients

Nokia

GE

Safran

Roche

Work highlights

  • Represented Nokia, the leading Finland-based telecoms and consumer electronics in employment, commercial and contract matters relating to its day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives.
  • Represented GE, the leading US-based digital industries conglomerate in healthcare, employment and commercial matters.
  • Represented Roche, the leading Switzerland-based healthcare company in HR matters with a nexus to Morocco. This included assisting Roche with management dismissal actions relating to senior employees; with legal audits of the company; and a range of day-to-day counsel.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The Africa practice group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is co-led from the Paris and London offices by corporate and projects partner Bertrand Montembault and Craig Tevendale . Tevendale is also the head of the UK energy practice and the international arbitration group in London. Litigation and arbitration are a major strand of the firm's work in North Africa, as are major projects in the energy sector. The firm draws on its in-depth knowledge of local and regional legal systems, and its first-hand experience of the energy and mining sectors in Morocco and across the region.

Practice head(s):

Bertrand Montembault; Craig Tevendale

Work highlights

  • Advising an oil and gas client on matters arising from its upstream activities in Morocco.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP is a major player in energy projects in both anglophone and francophone Africa, with Morocco a hotspot for project development and financing. Mainly focused on the energy sector, the firm is also active in projects in the telecoms sector. It is a long-standing adviser to Chevron on its joint venture with Moroccan conglomerate Akwa. Mehdi Haroun in Paris is the main contact. He is an energy specialist and focuses on project development, M&A, divestitures and the acquisition of upstream and downstream interests, as well as related dispute resolution work.

Practice head(s):

Mehdi Haroun

Key clients

Chevron International Pte Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Chevron’s lubricant business since its entry in Morocco back in 2001 and through several renegotiations of the joint venture agreements, including the last renegotiation of the agreement with the Akwa group in the context of the increase of Chevron’s participating interests in the Afriquia Lubrifiants JV and the extension of its operations to 14 countries in North and West Africa.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP garners client praise for being ‘efficient, business-oriented and professional’. It is frequently involved in large cross-border M&A involving Moroccan companies, as well as handling major infrastructure projects. Its Africa group recently assisted an insurance brokerage group with the acquisition of ASCOMA’s Morocco insurance business, and is continuing to handle the development of the $2.38bn financing of the 1,320MW Safi coal power project. Group head Andrew Jones in London and Paris-based head of the francophone Africa practice Bertrand Andriani are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Jones; Bertrand Andriani

Testimonials

‘The firm is efficient, business-oriented and professional’

‘The firm aligns all parties’ interests to make projects work and succeed.’

Key clients

MIROVA (Natixis Group)

Nareva Holding

Société Générale S.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisted a Belgian company specialised in phosphates production in Morocco, with the €200,000,000 refinancing of their existing secured facilities involving Belgian and US obligors.
  • Advised MIROVA (Natixis group) in connection with the €3,900,000,000 acquisition and financing alongside MEAG of a c. 50% stake in Indigo group, the world leading car parking & individual mobility group from ARDIAN Infrastructure.
  • Advising an insurance brokerage group on the acquisition of ASCOMA’s Morocco insurance business. ASCOMA is a Monaco headquartered and leading insurance brokerage group with locations in over 20 African countries including Morocco.

Simmons & Simmons

The Paris office of Simmons & Simmons has a longstanding presence in major power, water, mining and infrastructure projects in North Africa, as well as cross-border M&A, with Morocco representing one of the most important markets in the region. The energy, mining and infrastructure practice, which is led by Yves Baratte, also works closely with the firm's dispute resolution group to handle project-related litigation, international sanctions matters and white-collar crime. The firm recently advised development finance institutions on a loan to the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy for the country's solar plant.

Practice head(s):

Yves Baratte

Key clients

First Quantum Minerals

Globeleq Limited

Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority

De Run International

NordGold

KfW

Resource Capital Fund

Ernst & Young

MHI Vestas

Electricité de France (EDF)

Government of Guinea

Macquarie

All Luxury Suites Group

Air Djibouti

RED

Plastipak group

Vestas

Work highlights

  • Advising KfW, AFD and EIB on a concessional loan to the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) with respect to the NOOR Midelt combined CSP and PV plant in Midelt in Morocco, the biggest PV plant in MASEN’s solar programme (150 – 190MW).
  • Advising Moody’s on the acquisition of French company Vigeo and its Moroccan branch.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP 'can boast an extremely strong project finance team with excellent sector knowledge', according to one of its clients. The firm's Africa group focuses predominantly on project finance and development. Its recent work included playing a key role in the 850 MW Integrated Wind Energy Programme in Morocco, where it acted on behalf of ENEL and NAREVA. Paule Biensan  and François-Guilhem Vaissier in Paris are among the key partners. Clients describe them as 'responsive, flexible, very smart and experienced'. Senior associates Louis-Jérôme Laisney and Olivier Le Bars are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paule Biensan

Other key lawyers:

François Guilhem-Vaissier; Louis-Jérôme Laisney; Olivier Le Bars

Testimonials

‘White and Case is the only American firm that has such a very strong knowledge and experience of the Moroccan market. They have strong expertise in project, finance and M&A.’

‘Paul Biensan and François Guilhem-Vaissier are outstanding lawyers. Responsive, flexible when it comes to find accurate solutions to close a deal, very smart and experienced.

‘White & Case can boast an extremely strong project finance team with excellent sector knowledge. We are very satisfied with the way the work has been conducted and the team is very highly recommended. ’

‘Louis-Jérôme Laisney as our main point of contact has been instrumental in bringing together all the different streams and leading the transaction towards successful close.’

‘Paule Biensan is recommended for her excellent sector knowledge and negotiation skills, and senior associate Olivier Le Bars for his excellent sector knowledge and always valuable contribution. The UK team was also very helpful.’

Key clients

BMCE Bank

Banque Centrale Populaire

ENEL

NAREVA

Work highlights

  • Advising ENEL and NAREVA consortium with respect to the 850MW Integrated Wind Energy Programme in Morocco.
  • Advised BMCE Bank on the financing, design, construction and operation of a mutualized desalination plant to provide drinking and irrigation water to the Souss Massa region in Morocco.