Firms To Watch: Foreign law firms

The Lusophone practice at CMS is led by Lisbon-based partner Alberto Galhardo Simões and works alongside Couto, Graça e Associados Limitada (CGA) in tax, investment and project finance matters.

Foreign law firms in Mozambique

Linklaters

The Mozambique-focused team at Linklaters advises on some of the region's most significant matters in the energy sector. Major project finance transactions are mainstays for the team, which works in conjunction with the global Linklaters network on cross-border matters for multinationals, international financial institutions and investors. Lusophone practice head Francisco Ferraz De Carvalho is a key name for financing projects. London-based partner Andrew Jones heads up the firm’s Africa practice and is instrumental in mining and infrastructure matters. Mozambique M&A specialist Diogo Plantier Santos made partner in 2021. Beyond the partners, Laura Nunes Vicente is a key individual and is particularly active in energy and infrastructure projects relating to the Nacala Corridor project.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Jones; Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho

Other key lawyers:

Diogo Santos; Laura Nunes Vicente

Testimonials

‘The speed of response as well as technical capabilities and the knowledge of Mozambican environments and legislation has impressed me as a core strength of this team throughout our collaboration.’

‘Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho and Laura Vicente have both impressed me, Francisco through his leading role and Laura through her hard work and determination.’

‘Linklaters LLP is a foreign firm that has a highly qualified team for the local market. It combines innovation with legal and practical knowledge that makes it a firm of excellence in structuring projects and other matters.’

‘I highlight innovation, excellence and respect for the independence of local firms. I also highlight a solid knowledge and experience about local law and practice. In personal terms, knowledge of the reality and practice of the market, technical quality .’

‘Strong team leadership and coordination of matters, practical knowledge of reality, above-average technical quality and innovation. I would like to highlight Francisco Ferraz de Carvalho for his leadership and experience in the Mozambican legal market.’

‘I highlight Laura Vicente Nunes for her versatility and mastery of local law.’

Laura Vicente is very attentive, dedicated and flexible. She does not restrict herself to her role, she offers help for any situation which occurs, and is always open to providing solutions and excellent assistance.’

‘Diogo Santos is the best legal advisor. Always helpful, and ready to assist anytime day or night.’

Key clients

Eni S.p.A.

ExxonMobil

Galp Energia

CNPC International Ltd

Korea Gas Corporation

Empresa Nacional De Hidrocarbonetos

Mizuho Bank

African Development Bank

Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised Eni, ExxonMobil and its co-venturers on all aspects of the development of the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique.
  • Advised the lenders on the project financing of the Nacala Corridor Rail and Port project in Mozambique and Malawi.
  • Advising Eni and its Area 4 partners on all aspects of the $11bn development and project financing of the ongoing Coral South FLNG project.

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

The Mozambique practice at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados sits within the firm’s wider Lusophone Africa practice and is jointly led by Lisbon-based partner Claudia Santos Cruz and André de Sousa Vieira in Porto. The team is heavily involved in many of the major securities and energy projects in Mozambique, advising on cross-border, inbound and outbound investments. Cruz, who has extensive experience on the latter, is an English qualified lawyer, and admitted to both the Mozambican and Portuguese Bar Associations. Viera is also qualified in England and Wales and Portugal, as well as being admitted to practice in Spain, and is an energy and natural resources project finance expert.

PLMJ

Gonçalo dos Reis Martins heads up PLMJ‘s Mozambique practice, which provides a multidisciplinary offering for domestic and international clients. Situated within the wider Lusophone practice and in close cooperation with TTA – Sociedade de Advogados, the firm supports clients across a wide range of sectors, including food and beverage, aviation, energy, media and banking. Martins is a finance and capital markets expert with significant experience in securitisation, asset finance transactions and financial services regulation. Managing associate Marta Pedro has a strong land, tourism and corporate practice. Miguel Spínola left the firm in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Gonçalo dos Reis Martins

Other key lawyers:

Marta Pedro; Nuno Morgado; Sónia Reis

Testimonials

‘I believe the team has a good balance of experienced lawyers and more operational staff, overall doing a good work in the context of Mozambique law firms.’

‘I found Nuno Morgado and Sónia Reis technically well prepared with a great orientation to the client.’

‘Business oriented, practical, creative, deep market knowledge.’

‘Responsive team, client orientated and providing a tailor made response to a complex problem. We did appreciate the responsiveness and availability of the team to quickly sort out the problem.’

‘Great listening capacity to understand, and a real energy to revert shortly and respect deadlines we had on this project. Special thanks to Nuno.’

Key clients

Heineken

Siemens Africa

Kenya Airways

Standard Bank

BWGroup

Movitel

Coral FLNG

FNB – First National Bank

Galp

Maersk

BCI – Banco Comercial e de Investimentos

Business Financial Solutions

Critical Software Mozambique

Work highlights

  • Advising Total Mozambique on launching a new bunker supply operation offshore in Mozambique.
  • Advising Standard Bank Mozambique on several banking matters governed by Mozambican law.
  • Advising Galp in a $53m project finance facility, in respect of the hydrocarbon storage and handling terminal in Matola, with associated facilities.

VdA

João Afonso Fialho, Teresa Empis Falcão and Tiago Marreiros Moreira jointly lead VdA's Mozambique practice. In collaboration with GdA Advogados, the team focuses heavily on the energy, real estate, and banking and finance sectors. Fialho is an international oil and gas expert, with extensive upstream and downstream project experience from inception to completion. Falcão is also a project finance expert and has a strong capital markets practice. Moreira is a name to note for tax matters, while José Miguel Oliveira has an active oil and gas-focused practice. Guilherme Daniel is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Tiago Marreiros Moreira; Teresa Empis Falcão; João Afonso Fialho

Other key lawyers:

José Miguel Oliveira; Guilherme Daniel

Testimonials

‘Diversity of skills and expertise from legal to financial to local. Tailor made solutions, process and methodology, client friendly approach.’

‘Expertise, networks, local knowledge. Delivers quality with professionalism.’

‘Competent and very well integrated global network, the standard of services is similar across its jurisdictions.’

‘Highly experienced, with profound knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

Total E&P Mozambique Area 1, Limitada

Saycr Somague

MozQuarries, Lda (MQL)

Friburge Angola

Portucel Moçambique Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Florestal e Industrial, Lda

Abreu Advogados

Abreu Advogados' Mozambique desk works closely with its local collaborators, JLA ADVOGADOS. Through this, the team offers a multidisciplinary team that can provide specialist advice in the energy, aviation, environment and natural resources sectors. Key areas of expertise for the practice include litigation and debt collection for major domestic clients. Zara Jamal leads the team in advising international development and commercial banks, and is also an advisor for the Mozambique financial regulator, and the managing partner of JLA ADVOGADOS. José Maria Corrêa De Sampaio co-leads the department and is an M&A expert.

Practice head(s):

José Maria Corrêa de Sampaio; Zara Jamal; Miguel Teixeira de Abreu

Testimonials

‘The team is very efficient because it combines the strength of the Lawyers based in Portugal with the lawyers based in Mozambique.’

‘Miguel Teixeira de Abreu and Zara Jamal are outstanding. Always available and looking for innovative solutions for complex matters.’

Key clients

Absa Bank Limited

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

Nedbank Limited

Rand Merchant Bank

Standard Bank Group

AFDB

Banco BIG | Banco BIG Mozambique

Chinese Development Bank

IDC

Limak Group

Mauritius Commercial Bank

Painhas Group

Portucel Mozambique

TOTAL

Turkish Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advising the senior creditors – Export Credit Agencies and Africa Development Bank/AfDB on the financing and development of the Area 1 LNG project in Mozambique – the Rovuma Basin.
  • Advising Portucel Mozambique regarding the establishment of forestry plantations for industrial and commercial use.
  • Advised MCB in the refinancing of an LNG to Powership project in Mozambique.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP's Mozambique team combines the expertise of its lawyers across various practice areas, and is particularly active in the renewables and oil and gas sectors. London-based partner Jeremy Connick and Dubai-based consultant Gibbs Johnson co-lead the practice. Connick maintains a strong sponsor and lender practice with extensive expertise in M&A and joint ventures. Johnson has over 20 years of experience in project financing, particularly in the electricity sector.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Connick; Gibbs Johnson

Key clients

Globeleq Africa

Proparco / Agence Française de Développement

Standard Bank of South Africa

Absa

IFC

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

Sasol

EDM

Work highlights

  • Acting for Globeleq Africa, Sasol Africa Limited and Electricidade de Moçambique as sponsors in connection with the development, construction, financing and operation of the Central Termica de Temane gas-fire power project.
  • Advising on a deal for Azura Power to purchase Sasol’s entire interest in Central Termica De Ressano Garcia.
  • Advising Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (“EAIF”) on the design, development and financing by a Globeleq controlled entity of an approximately 18 MWp solar photovoltaic power plant in Mozambique.

Eversheds Sutherland FCB

Clients come to Eversheds Sutherland FCB not just for its energy expertise but also for its wide-ranging practice, which is complemented by its association with local firm AG Advogados. João Couceiro heads the Mozambique desk and is a private equity expert. Felipe Ros and Ábida Delfina Munguambe are key names on the ground in Maputo, particularly in construction and logistics; and labour and dispute resolution, respectively. Gonçalo Mexia is notable in commercial, corporate and M&A deals.

Practice head(s):

João Couceiro

Other key lawyers:

Gonçalo Mexia; Felipe Ros; Ábida Delfina Munguambe

Key clients

SNC Lavalin

Bureau Veritas

Kuiper Group

Golf Capital

Kaeso

TechnipFMC

EDGO

IDEATE

Dentsu

Lionsteel

Elecnor

Work highlights

  • Assisting SNC Lavalin within the ambit of the sale of its oil and gas business.
  • Assisting Kuiper Group and Golf Capital with the latter’s business expansion into Mozambique.
  • Assisting Kaeso in its business expansion into Mozambique.

Miranda & Associados

Miranda & Associados and the Miranda Alliance offer expertise in the renewables, mining, infrastructure and banking sectors. Local and international investors alike come to energy and natural resources specialist and managing partner Diogo Xavier Da CunhaPaulo Pimenta of Pimenta e Associados is noted for his project and transaction expertise. The practice is particularly active in matters involving the oil and gas sector, as well as mining projects. Nuno Cabeçadas is another key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Diogo Xavier da Cunha

Other key lawyers:

Nuno Cabeçadas; Susana Pinto

Testimonials

‘Nuno provides very commercially informed advice.’

‘People are available full time and respond clearly and on time. They have a great network. They also make sure there is continuity between the team.’

‘They prepare support guides to make sure we all know what are the applicable rules.’

‘Miranda Alliance team works with seamless integration between teams located in specific jurisdictions (Mozambique, Angola) and the Lisbon based team that coordinates those markets.  Their team knows how things operate in practice, which enables them to provide practical advice and realistic expectations. this is helpful to clients. ‘

‘Susana Pinto is always available to provide clarifications and always meets the deadlines. She also has a great knowledge and gives me confidence with her information and clarifications.’

‘Very communicative, great multi-lingual capabilities.’

Key clients

Total Exploration and Production Moçambique Area 1, Lda

Gemrock Company Limited

LAM

C2 Capital Partners

Maputo Port Development Company

Grindrod Group

Raposo Bernardo

Major banks and financial institutions turn to Raposo Bernardo for advice and assistance in a range of matters, including deals involving the aviation, renewables, and oil and gas sectors. A popular choice for Asia-based investors looking to expand operations in Mozambique, the team regularly advises on solar, LNG and other forms of energy projects. Joana Andrade Correia is highly praised by clients and considered a restructuring and M&A expert in the aviation, tourism and banking sectors. Head of real estate Manuel Esteves Albuquerque also supports the practice. Edson Santos is the firm’s Mozambique local partner and maintains a focus on commercial and licensing law.

Practice head(s):

Joana Andrade Correia; Manuel Esteves Albuquerque

Other key lawyers:

Edson Santos

Testimonials

‘They have it all: the technical skills, the market reputation, the leading role when other firms are involved, and the experience in how to do it best and always attentive to new technologies in a proactive way, finding very skilled solutions through digital platforms that help us organize our work as well as access the legislation of the countries where we have intervention. Highly recommended, for sure.’

‘Our company could not be more pleased with this law firm.’

Joana Correia is absolutely outstanding, very strong analytically who is extraordinarily responsive and, more importantly, very thoughtful in her responses. She is knowledgeable about the subject matter and is excellent at client care and communication. She has a well-earned reputation for innovative thinking.’ 

‘Manuel Albuquerque is also a very confident lawyer, always available to help and hard-working lawyer. He works very closely with Joana and her team. Both are top top lawyers that should be ranked in the first positions.’

‘Raposo Bernardo is a firm 100% focused on delivering results to the client, that grant us an assuredness about their work clearly above the average. Our opinion is that it is one of the best law firms in Mozambique, which has had tremendous growth and presents a great dynamic.’

‘Our company works usually with Joana Andrade Correia that coordinates Raposo Bernardo’s office in Mozambique. She is incredibly thoughtful, fast, innovative. She is focused and we can tell that she has a lot of experience and know-how of corporate affairs of companies, knowing exactly what we need to fulfil in each transaction.’

‘Raposo Bernardo is a law firm that stands out for the high performance in the responses to each request from our teams. They are a full service firm which is an advantage for us. They have a multidisciplinary and multinational team, allowing to solve and advise with a global perspective instead of merely local.’

‘Our preferential contact is the lawyer we treasure called Joana Andrade Correia. Joana is fantastic, managing to respond to our greatest concerns, always getting involved in our affairs, giving the right answers in an exemplary way. It is clearly perceived the sophistication of her advice by the type of contractual instruments used together with her undeniable experience.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on an integrated road and bridges construction project.
  • Advising a client on a loan agreement and a pledge agreement with the public infrastructure authority.
  • Advising a client on a hydroelectric plant project.

Cuatrecasas

Well-known Iberian firm Cuatrecasas advises Iberian and international companies looking to buy and sell businesses or invest in Mozambique. The team works in collaboration with Couto, Graça e Associados Limitada (CGA) for matters that require local expertise. Cross-border project finance expert Samantha Cyrne heads up the practice, with clients such as the IFC and Strongeagle Mozambique Fund on her client roster. Sónia Queiróz Vaz has a strong Lusophone practice and was made partner in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Samantha Cyrne

Other key lawyers:

Sónia Queiróz Vaz

Key clients

Strongeagle Mozambique Fund

Veolia Environment

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Gorongosa Restoration Inc.

Roche

BSL – Comercio Internacional, SA

Work highlights

  • Advising Strongeagle Mozambique Fund on projects carried out in Mozambique, including maritime training and related services projects for oil and gas offshore companies.
  • Advising Veolia on the development of its business in Mozambique (corporate, licensing and land requirements).
  • Advising the IFC on the refinancing of a wheat and maize industrial project in Mozambique and the security guaranteeing the repayment of such loan.

Trinity International LLP

Boutique firm Trinity International LLP occupies a niche in Mozambique-facing work, advising on corporate and finance transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Founding partner and power projects expert Simon Norris regularly advises developers, investors and financial institutions. Paul Biggs and Kaushik Ray also co-lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Biggs; Simon Norris; Kaushik Ray

Key clients

KfW Development Bank

Mozambican Ministry of Resources and Energy

Standard Bank of South Africa

Azura Power Holdings Limited

Globeleq

Work highlights

  • Advising KfW in relation to the implementation of its Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (GET FiT) Programme.
  • Advising Globeleq as the sponsors of the Cuamba Solar PV Project.
  • Advising to the sponsors (including Scatec Solar and Norfund) to the Mocuba Solar Project, a large-scale solar plant in Mozambique.