Tourism and real estate in Morocco

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s real estate team is ‘responsive, professional, mastering its subject and good value for money‘. Practice head Christophe Bachelet handles cross-border M&A, private equity, corporate structuring and open bid matters with a particular focus on the real estate, energy, industrial, and consumer goods and retail sectors. His team has developed specific expertise in the development of  smart cities and eco-cities, assisting with all corporate, real estate and construction issues.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Bachelet

Testimonials

“The personality of its associates – humble in listening, responsive, professional, mastering their subjects, good value for money, a very appreciable position of the firm when there is a legal vacuum or legal confusion.’

‘Responsiveness, sympathy and a personalised relationship mean we trust trust in the quality of the rendering which facilitates the delegation simple and open exchange not picky about the time spent on invoicing: we work on a fixed price basis.’

Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca

Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca has a team of four lawyers who together constitute the only dedicated real estate team in Casablanca. Led by counsel Loris Marghieri, who is assisted by construction, development and finance partner Jean-François Levraud and projects partner Wacef Bentaibi, the group frequently advises on the sales and acquisitions, off-plan developments and the negotiation of lease agreements, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Practice head(s):

Loris Marghieri Counsel (Real Estate)

Other key lawyers:

Jean-François Levraud; Wacef Bentaibi

Key clients

Realites Afrique

Groupe Mfadel

AL MGHRIBIA LIL ISTITMAR

Société Générale Marocaine de Banques (SGMA)

ONOMO Hotels

Pestana

Air Liquide Maroc

Melia Hotels International

Casablanca Finance City Authority

IMKAN (Abu Dhabi Capital Group)

Katara Hospitality

Millennium Challenge Account Morocco-Agency (MCA)

M.H. Alshaya Co

Foncière Chellah

Immorente Invest

Société Générale des Travaux du Maroc (SGTM)

Westmont Hospitality

International Finance Corporation

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Work highlights

  • Assisting SGMA in connection with the construction project of an office tower (future headquarters of SGMA) to be erected within Casablanca Finance City area (preparation and negotiation of the land purchase agreement,  construction contract and ancillary agreements).
  • Assisting the Millennium Challenge Account Morocco, for the implementation of a public-private partnership pilot transaction consisting in the development and revitalization of two existing industrial zones and one new industrial zone to be developed and managed in the Casablanca-Settat region.
  • Assisting the joint venture between Realites Afrique and Groupe Mfadel in relation to the preparation and negotiation of an off-plan lease agreement for the development and lease to an international hotel operator of a real estate complex comprising two hotels (4 stars and 5 stars), one serviced apartments and one convention center to be erected within the Casablanca Finance City.

LPA-CGR

LPA-CGR assists local and foreign companies, institutions and development banks on major projects, including many in the hotel and tourism sector. It recently supported real estate developer Yamed with the drafting of horizontal joint ownership by-laws for the luxury Terre Océane project. Corporate and real estate partner Romain Berthon leads a ‘supportive, complementary and agile’ practice that handles all aspects of real estate and construction law, and which is known for its understanding of local regulations.

Practice head(s):

Romain BERTHON

Testimonials

‘The LPA team is homogeneous, coherent and efficient. its strength lies in its ability to adapt, which brings it close to customer expectations.’

‘The LPA team is supportive, complementary and agile. I particularly know Romain Berthon who has demonstrated, every time I have consulted him, a confirmed competence and expertise and undeniable managerial and human qualities.’

Key clients

ELSAN

OPEN GOLF CLUB

YAMED

LEONI

Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy

The ‘highly professional‘ real estate practice at Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy has expertise in real estate developments, investments, lettings, financings, funds and corporate transactions across North Africa. Managing partner Hicham Naciri and real estate and finance specialist Yassir Ghorbal lead the practice, which recently advised Office National de l’Eau et de l’Electricité (ONEE) on the securitisation of real estate assets. Counsel Lamiae El Abbouti, who is a trained architect, has managed real estate, infrastructure project development and construction projects for more than a decade.

Practice head(s):

Hicham NaciriYassir Ghorbal

Other key lawyers:

Lamiae El Abbouti

Testimonials

‘We’ve worked with Naciri & Associés with Allen & Overy on several deals in the REIT sector. The team is highly professional. I will definitely continue to recommend Naciri & Associés with Allen & Overy to my clients.’

Key clients

AUDA

CFG Bank

BMCI

SOMED

ONEE

Bank of Africa

Work highlights

  • Allen & Overy advised ONEE in connection with the securitisation of some of its real estate assets
  • Allen & Overy advised BoA in connection with transferring some of its real estate assets to a dedicated OPCI (REITS) to be incorporated by the Management Company.
  • Allen & Overy advised the Somed Group in connection with transferring some of its real estate assets to a dedicated OPCI (REITS) issuing shares to the public to be incorporated by the Management Company.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The corporate group at Norton Rose Fulbright frequently acts for foreign investors in large-scale projects in the infrastructure, transport, energy, commercial and housing sectors. It is also involved in the development of high-end hotels and resorts. Counsel Mathieu Dahan  has ‘a very good understanding of the issues‘ and partner Alain Malek handles M&A and finance transactions in the real estate sector. The firm recently advised a hotel owner on management deal with Radisson Group.

Practice head(s):

Alain MalekMathieu Dahan

Testimonials

‘The team is efficient.’

‘Mathieu Dahan : very good understanding of the issues, excellent and accurate advice; Mathieu is a very bright legal counsel.’

Key clients

Abdul Latif Jameel

Alliances

Hotels Mahd Salam (Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion du Maroc)

Label’Vie

ONCF

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Digital Economy

Work highlights

  • Assistance of the client on disposal of two major asset to OCP, i.e hotel Michlifen and Palais Jamai
  • Advised the owner in relation to the management by Radisson Group of a hotel and residences in Taghazout Bay.
  • Advised Label’Vie in relation to the securitization of commercial centers for amount of MAD430 M

ADNA

ADNA was formed in 2021 through the merger of four firms in North Africa, including BFR & Associés in Morocco. As such, the Casablanca office is involved in deals throughout the region. Lead corporate partner Safia Fassi-Fihri advises private and public companies, finance institutions, governmental agencies, as well as individual shareholders and managers. She recently handled real estate aspects of a joint venture between BMCE Bank of Africa, TMSA and China Communication Construction Company for the development and construction of Tanger Tech Free Zone.

Practice head(s):

Safia Fassi-Fihri

Key clients

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

CCCC (China Communication Construction Company)

CRBC (China Road Bridge Corporation

Africa 50

AfricInvest

Proparco

ING Bank

Google

Vantage Data Centers

Ardian

Sunpack

EBRD

Baker & McKenzie Maroc

Baker & McKenzie Maroc is rapidly developing the real estate capability in its Casablanca office. Local managing partner Kamal Nasrollah handles cross-border M&A, energy and project finance contracts, and international disputes. He recently advised international hotel brand Accor on local real estate issues and hotel management contracts. Senior associate Keltoum Boudribila also plays a key role in cross-border tourism projects.

Practice head(s):

Kamal Nasrollah

Other key lawyers:

Keltoum Boudribila

Key clients

Accor

Alpha 55

Booking

Grand Circle

Carlson Wagonlit

Alshaya

Laureate Education Inc.

Accor

CMS

CMS provides corporate and tax advice to property owners, investors and developers, among them French company Bouygues Immobilier, which develops housing, office buildings, shops and urban neighbourhoods. The team frequently handles construction issues, building acquisitions and sales, long-term leases, co-ownership and residential projects, and project financing.

Key clients

Bouygues Immobilier

French Republic – French Embassy in Casablanca

Bymaro

Bouygues Immobilier

French Republic – French Embassy in Casablanca

Bymaro

Work highlights

  • Day-to-day assistance including aspects of real estate.
  • Negotiation of professional leases.
  • Day-to-day assistance including aspects of real estate.

Dentons Sayarh & Menjra

Practice head(s):

Omar SayarhChristophe Simonnet

Key clients

Hilton Worldwide Limited

Palmeraie Group

Sanam Holding

Madaëf (CDG Group)

Société Hôtelière Réalités S.A.

Fraikech Associés

Real estate and tourism are core practice areas at Fraikech Associés, which frequently assists large domestic companies and overseas investors on major projects. ‘First-rate‘ corporate partner Oussama Fraikech recently advised a client on the drafting of development contracts with building and fitting companies for the construction of a 16-floor office building and a 16-floor residential building.

Practice head(s):

Oussama Fraikech

Testimonials

‘I have had the pleasure of working with Oussama Fraikech. He is first rate. His advice is solid and he delivers. I would have no hesitation in using him again.’

‘The team has a good understanding of the Moroccan market and the need of foreign investors. Very good insights in legal specificities related to real estate and tourism sector’

‘Oussama was very very available and responsive to all our request even for those out of the scope’

‘Individual Service Responsiveness Dedication Expertise’

‘Same as above Great professional team’

‘The team is responsive and efficient.’

‘Oussama Fraikech is an efficient business partner and a great lawyer. He can handle international transactions and is a helpful and valuable guide when it comes to interacting with Morrocan administration.’

‘We are constant return customers for several reasons. The main reason is that this firm has excellent knowledge in real estate (construction/financing/leasing….). The second reason is that FA is extremely reactive and allow us to move fast. Lastly, it is able to navigate through 3 essential languages in Morocco (French/Arabic/English) without the hassle of translations. Compared to other firms, we appreciate the “straight to the point” attitude. We often are able to safeguard our business with a 20 page contract that would have been 200 pages with some other international firms.’

‘I have been dealing exclusively with Mr Oussama Fraikech at the firm. He is able to systematically pinpoint the risks and easily converts business objectives in legal terms. The fact that he is a very nice person to work with adds to the business aspects.’

Garrigues Maroc Sarl

Garrigues Maroc Sarl has ‘an experienced team with important skills and knowhow‘. As a full-service business law firm, it handles corporate and commercial matters, tax issues, private equity investment, real estate transactions and labour law for clients in the hospitality sector. It frequently acts for Spanish and Portuguese clients, among them hotel operator Barceló. Practice head José Ignacio García Muniozguren and counsel Jaafar Laidi are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

José Ignacio García

Other key lawyers:

Jaafar Laidi

Testimonials

‘In our opinion, Garrigues Morocco offers an experienced team with important skills and knowhow. The other important thing for us is that you can find Spanish lawyers working in Morocco, that means they will understand your problems better.’

‘In our case, we have been working with Jose Ignacio García (Partner and Director). It was very easy to understand and solve the problems that we had in our offices in Morocco. It’s very useful for us to work in the country with Spanish lawyers, that means they will always understand your problems better than others.’

Key clients

Barceló

Blue Box Partner Iberia

Grupo Puma

Azinor Group

Oásis Atlântico Hóteis

Work highlights

  • On-going legal advice in their Moroccan operations for more than ten years.
  • On-going legal advice in their Moroccan operations for more than six years.

Kettani Law Firm

Kettani Law Firm is a highly regarded firm for corporate and finance transactions. Lead partner Nadia Kettani is a key adviser to domestic and international corporates on cross-border investments in the real estate and hospitality sectors. Acting for major international operators and domestic clients, it handles the financing of construction projects in cities and tourist destinations, as well as the negotiation of hotel management contracts and leases.

Practice head(s):

Nadia Kettani

El Amari & Rouissi

El Amari & Rouissi has a strong track record in landmark infrastructure and industrial projects in Morocco and is a frequent adviser to large domestic companies in both the public and private sectors. Lead partners Mariam Rouissi and Mohieddine El Amari  also act for multinational companies in regard to their local investments, including the purchase of real estate assets. They are currently advising Derichebourg Environment on a partnership with Agadir local authorities through the incorporation of a public-private entity to manage municipal infrastructure.

Key clients

SEVREX

ARMA HOLDING

DERICHEBOURG ENVIRONNEMENT

CDG CAPITAL

Mernissi - FIGES

Mernissi – FIGES has a strong practice in corporate and public law, privatisations foreign investment and dispute resolution, largely in relation to major public projects in sectors such as energy, water and transportation. Its role in major infrastructure development sees it handle large-scale real estate matters as part of public-private partnership contracts. Following the sad passing of founder Mohamed El Mernissi in 2021, Lamya El Mernissi leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Lamya El Mernissi

UGGC Africa

UGGC Africa has a diverse team of lawyers working on real estate matters, bringing together experience in sales and acquisitions, leases, construction and asset management, as well as knowledge of urban, planning and public property law. It advises investors and developers on projects, as well as handling M&A transactions and disputes in the property sector. Corporate partner Ali Bougrine leads the practice, with support from finance partner Laurent Sablé.

Practice head(s):

Ali Bougrine

Other key lawyers:

Laurent Sablé

Key clients

LAFARGEHOLCIM

SYSTRA SA

RATP DEV

Work highlights

  • Advising LafargeHolcim regarding mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, property law on the quarry system, closure of joint ventures and competition law.
  • Advised MABIOTECH on the sale of Mabiotech and Chemotech.
  • Assisting RAPT Dev in the conclusion and execution of public transport contracts.