Foreign firms in Morocco

Ashurst

Ashurst‘s Africa group, which is based in London, has an ever-growing track record of transactions and projects in Morocco, notably in the oil and gas and renewables sectors. Lead partner Yann Alix, who is also co-head of the mining practice, handles corporate transactions and resources and utilities project development in emerging markets. Alix and Paris-based Mark Barges advised Chariot Oil & Gas on the development and financing of the Anchois offshore gas field in Morocco.

Practice head(s):

Yann Alix

Other key lawyers:

Mark Barges

Key clients

Chariot Oil & Gas

Managem

Schlemmer Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Chariot Oil & Gas on the development and financing of the Anchois offshore gas field in Morocco.
  • Advised the Schlemmer Group on the sale of its business in Africa (including in Morocco and Tunisia) to the stock listed French automotive supplier Delfingen Industry SA.
  • Advising Managem, the Moroccan mining SOE mining, on various mining projects in Africa.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has fluent Arabic-speakers and North African nationals, giving it a firm platform from which to advise on major projects. The firm’s knowledge of local and regional legal systems makes it a key adviser on energy and mining developments in Morocco, with its recent work including upstream oil and gas projects. Corporate and projects partner Bertrand Montembault in Paris and litigation partner Craig Tevendale in London are co-heads of the North Africa desk.

Practice head(s):

Bertrand Montembault; Craig Tevendale

Work highlights

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

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP's Paris office has a dedicated Africa group, in which vastly experienced partner Mehdi Haroun is focused purely on Morocco. It is regarded as a leading firm for project work in North Africa with strong experience in both French- and English-speaking countries. Haroun frequently handles deals in the energy, oil and gas and telecoms sectors, with his work encompassing complex corporate restructuring and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Mehdi Haroun

Linklaters LLP

The London and Paris offices of Linklaters are home to partners who frequently handle high-profile transactions in Morocco, among them the head of the Africa group Andrew Jones and Bertrand Andriani, who leads the Francophone Africa practice. The firm is currently advising on the $2.38bn financing of the 1,320MW Safi coal power project, and the $1.4bn Jorf Lasfar coal-fired independent power plant. ‘The firm is unique in its broad expertise on Moroccan law‘, remarks a client.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Jones; Bertrand Andriani

Other key lawyers:

Mehdi Boumedine

Testimonials

‘We have been working on several transactions with Linklaters in Morocco. The firm is unique in its broad expertise on Moroccan law, and more generally in Africa. They have been maintaining very good relationship with the best local counsels on the ground.’

‘Mehdi Boumedine is the rising star in M&A.’

Key clients

MIROVA (Natixis Group)

Nareva Holding

Société Générale S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders on a working capital facility to SAFIEC, the operator of the Safi coal-fired power project (2×693 MW) located in Southwest Morocco.
  • Advising the Lenders, MLAs and agent to JLEC 5 6 in connection with the refinancing of TAQA Morocco.
  • Advising the seller, a portfolio company of a global investment firm dedicated to strategic opportunities in digital infrastructure, on the sale of its subsidiary in Morocco operating a data centre in Casablanca.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has a long track record in high-profile mandates in Morocco and across Francophone Africa.  The practice, jointly led by Paule Biensan and François-Guilhem Vaissier, hired additional project development and finance partners in 2020, namely Amaury De Feydeau and Jean-Luc Champy from Orrick Rambaud Martel, who boost the firm’s capability in project finance in North Africa. The firm recently advised China Communication Construction Company Ltd on its $1bn investment in the development over a 2000-hectare area in Tanger.

Other key lawyers:

Amaury De Feydeau; Jean-Luc Champy

Key clients

BMCE Bank

Groupe Banque Centrale Populaire

China Communication Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC)

Ezz Steel

Work highlights

  • Representation of China Communication Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC), as part of a Chinese consortium on its participation in the company SATT (new city development company Mohammed VI Tanger Tech, Port of Tanger) which represents a development over an area of 2.000 hectares in Morocco for an investment of $1bn.
  • Ongoing post-closing representation of BMCE Bank in the bankruptcy proceedings of the Spanish company Abengoa (sponsor) in relation to the Tchouka seawater desalination plant in Morocco.
  • Representation of the lenders, including Chaabi International Bank Offshore (Groupe Banque Centrale Populaire), Société Générale and Attijariwafa Bank Europe, in relation to the $122m financing for the design, construction, development and operation of the Tri-K gold mine project located in the Republic of Guinea.