Firms To Watch: Commercial, corporate and M&A

Gallala Law Firm has an increasing prominence in the market, particularly in the chemical, manufacturing and financial services sectors.
Mrabet Avocats had a strong showing on the franchising front over the past year, which included advising Villa Paradiso Resorts on the establishment of a Villa Paradiso rehabilitation centre in Tunisia.

Commercial, corporate and M&A in Tunisia

Caid Essebsi & Ben Salem Associés Law Firm

Caid Essebsi & Ben Salem Associés Law Firm is lauded by peers for its longstanding reputation in the market, particularly for oil and gas-related work, where it is considered a leader. The firm has also recently increased its coverage of renewable energy matters. Other strong suits include franchising, aviation and general corporate law. Salaheddine Caid Essebsi is widely regarded as a reference for oil and gas law in Tunisia. Fakher Ben Salem specialises in labour and social security-related issues. Yamen Akkari advises on franchising, energy, civil aviation law and general corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Salaheddine Caid Essebsi; Fakher Ben Salem; Yamen Akkari; Mohamed Kazdaghli

Key clients

Nouvelair Tunisie

TTS Group (Tunisia)

Anglo Tunisian Oil and Gas Company

Goshawk Aero

Clyde & Co

OLAYAN Group

Merx Aviation

Avolon

Bracewell

Herbert Smith Freehills

Work highlights

  • Advised on matters related to the franchising of Burger King in Tunisia.
  • Advised ATOG on farming out interests in a hydrocarbons field.
  • Advised TTS Group on several matters related to corporate and contract law.

Eversheds El Heni (a member of Eversheds Sutherland)

Eversheds El Heni (a member of Eversheds Sutherland)'s sizeable Tunisia offering ranks it among the largest firms in the country. Its deep bench translates into a diverse practice and it is active across the full gamut of commercial and corporate matters, with strong skill sets in M&A, foreign investment, restructuring, employment and general compliance issues. Managing partner Farès Koussay El Heni has an impressive track record in cross-border transactions and is advising RINA on a major corporate project. Raouf El Heni is noted for insurance, real estate and energy-related work.

Practice head(s):

Farès Koussay El Heni; Raouf El Heni

Testimonials

‘We value the good collaboration and availability of the team, dedication to our company, the fast response to our requests for legal advice.’

‘They are available and reachable at any time. The advice that they provide is well clarified and explained.’

Key clients

RINA

Emerson

GE

Elektron

Pathé-Gaumont

Nokia

Roche

Procovès

Work highlights

  • Advised RINA on a major corporate and M&A project in Tunisia.
  • Advised Pathé-Gaumont on the implementation of two multiplex cinemas in Tunisia.
  • Advised General Electric Healthcare on a range of specific regulatory, corporate, exchange and tax issues in Tunisia.

Ferchiou & associés

Ferchiou & associés' deep experience and close links to international law firms ensures that it has a hand in most of the high-profile corporate and M&A deals in Tunisia. Noureddine Ferchiou is held up by many as the go-to lawyer in the country for sophisticated transactional mandates. Dual Paris- and Tunisia-qualified Amina Larbi is also widely recognised as a market leader for her premier experience in domestic and cross-border M&A. Rym Ferchiou handles all aspects of business law, including M&A, competition and general corporate matters. Omar Ferchiou is dual New York- and Tunisia-qualified and routinely advises local and international clients on corporate issues.

Practice head(s):

Amina Larbi; Rym Ferchiou; Omar Ferchiou

Abdelly & Chaary and Partner Law Firm

Abdelly & Associates acts for a raft of public and private corporations, institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals on M&A deals, restructurings and ongoing corporate matters. Energy is a notable sweet spot but the group has also recently advised clients operating in the financial services, technology, telecoms and transport industries. Samir Abdelly spearheads the group and has a strong record in cross-border transactions, with an emphasis on deals in the oil and gas and insurance sectors.

Practice head(s):

Samir Abdelly; Ismaël M’rad; Fatma Abdallah

Key clients

ATOG

SINOPEC

SINOCHEM HOLDINGS CORPORATION

CNPCI

BEST RE INSURANCE

Monaco Resources

Société Tunisienne de Banque

Zurich Insurance

GFH

Tunis Bay

MAGHREB BANK

Duranven Resources

JLP .1D

Mitsubishi

Sumitomo

GROUPE LA CARTE

GROUPE MZABI

MOBILE POWER SYSTEMS

BLOOMBERG

BAKER HUGHES

CGG VERITAS

SCATEC

CHINA HARBOUR

HSBC

CREDIT SUISSE

SIEMENS

NOVA SCOTIA BANK

SW SUPPORT (aircraft spare parts supplier)

GSG LTD (on-line gambling)

SERVIER

MONACO RESOURCES

MEDCO ENERGI

GREATWALL DRILLING COMPANY

EUROMINES OIL & GAS

ENERGEAN OIL & GAS

DUNDEE BANK CORPORATION

DIVONA TELECOM

DEUTSCHE BANK

CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK

4 C

FACEBOOK

Work highlights

  • Advised Groupe Mzabi on an internal group restructuring.
  • Acted for Groupe la Carte on the cross-border acquisition of an Asian subsidiary of a European insurance company.
  • Assisted AT&T with due diligence matters concerning the Tunisian legal framework for telecoms activities.

Avocats Tunisiens Réunis – ATR

Avocats Tunisiens Réunis – ATR impresses with its ability to ‘look for the details without losing the strategic goals‘. The group has a strong profile locally due to its representation of major Tunisian and regional players, such as Groupe Alliance, Jumia and Arab Tunisian Bank. The hospitality and retail sectors provide the bulk of instructions and it also has a growing presence in the telecoms and technology areas. Managing partner Walid Ben Amor is valued for his ‘extensive knowledge of the business environment in Tunisia as well as in North Africa‘. Senior associate Jihen Maatoug heads the corporate and M&A department.

Practice head(s):

Walid Ben Amor; Jihen Maatoug; Rim Cherif

Testimonials

As a cross-border investor operating in several fields of activity, I need frequent and specific legal advice on innovative issues. I have been advised by Walid Ben Amor and the ATR team since 2017. They were always available to provide excellent guidance and answer my questions. I highly recommend ATR law firm.

Walid Ben Amor has persuasive and good negotiation skills and a very easy manner that clients appreciate. He has excellent knowledge of commercial and corporate law, as well.

The team has the capability to understand the customer’s real need and the strategic goals. The team has the ability to work on a loaded transaction and look for the details without losing the strategic goals.’

I would particularly like to recommend ATR because of the agility and ability of Walid Ben Amor and the ATR team to provide relevant answers in a responsive manner.’

ATR accompanies our company, and mutual clients, in several areas ranging from the elaboration of complex contracts for our innovative activity (such as distribution terms and conditions) to more specific issues related to the corporate restructuring of the group or the management of our company’s legal file.’

Ben Amor and ATR are particularly versatile, offering a sharp assistance that takes into consideration a global vision of our business, our innovative activity and our expansion plans including an extensive knowledge of the business environment in Tunisia as well as in North Africa.’

What we found exceptional is the engagement of a multidisciplinary team for each deal. We think that potential clients will systematically benefit from this policy and enjoy extra services as advisory tips.’

Key clients

Huawei

Vivo Energy

Jumia

Centre Financiers des Entrepreneurs (CFE)

Arab Tunisian Bank

Spatial 1

Smart Finance

Cellcom

Mubawab

Union Financière

Groupe Alliance

Work highlights

  • Advised Vivo Energy Tunisia on investment diversification projects in Tunisia.
  • Advised Jumia on day-to-day matters connected to the activity of the online sales platform, including logistics, online payments, IP, data protection and foreign exchange law.
  • Acted for Groupe Alliance on several matters, including on the acquisition of hotels and on the construction of a residential city, a golf course and the largest mall in North Africa at the financial port of Tunis.

Bennani & Associés

Bennani & Associés' multidisciplinary group finds favour for being able to provide 'in-depth legal analysis in all business areas', with its recent work spanning the auto, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and technology sectors. The group specialises in advising global corporates and law firms doing business in Tunisia and it often leans on the firm's offices in Morocco, Algeria and Ivory Coast for assistance in cross-border transactions. The 'responsive and astute' Lamia Harguem has broad expertise in advising international clients on M&A, joint ventures, foreign direct investment and public and private contracts. Associate Sarra Ben Salem provides additional support.

Practice head(s):

Lamia Harguem

Other key lawyers:

Sarra Ben Salem

Testimonials

‘The team is multidisciplinary and is able to provide in-depth legal analysis in all business areas.’

‘Lamia Harguem is a highly skilled lawyer in corporate law and pharmaceutical law.’

‘We recently undertook a Tunisian merger control filing with this firm. They did a good job despite the process being rather opaque and long. We were happy with the quality of the firm. Lamia Harguem is responsive and astute.’

‘A reliable firm in a country.’

‘The firm handled a rather complex divestiture efficiently and timely.’

‘The Team is very professional, responsive and able to work in three languages (French, English and Arabic).’

‘I worked mainly with Lamia Harguem who is an excellent professional, both in corporate and litigation matters, with a high standard of ethics.’

Key clients

Volkswagen

Pfizer

Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADQ)

Delfingen Industry

Daimler AG

Facebook

JUMIA

Solix Group AB

Zimmer Biomet

Japan Tobacco International

MAIF Avenir

STMicroelectronics

Work highlights

  • Advised Delfingen Industry on the acquisition of a 100% shareholding in the Tunisian subsidiary of Schlemmer group.
  • Assisted MAIF Avenir with the acquisition of a stake in Expensya.
  • Advised Volkswagen on merger clearance matters relating to its joint venture with Rimac.

El Ajeri Lawyers

El Ajeri Lawyers‘ membership of the DLA Piper Africa alliance ensures it is well versed in cross-border mandates and clients highlight its ‘good understanding of multinational requirements‘. The group has experience across a wide range of industry segments, with its recent experience spanning the financial, transport, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. Managing partner Mohamed Lotfi El Ajeri specialises in advising corporate clients on dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration. Mohamed Abragh handles international M&A transactions and multi-jurisdictional litigation. Amel M’Rabet focuses on transactional matters and regularly acts for major multinational clients on their Tunisian operations.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Abragh; Amel M’Rabet

Other key lawyers:

Mohamed Lotfi El Ajeri

Testimonials

Good knowledge of the industry regulations, provides valuable recommendations when it comes to anticipating authorities’ interactions. Good understanding of multinational requirements.’

Very flexible and supportive, takes the lead and is very proactive, offers valuable support in dealing with a very complicated administrative process.’

A professional and caring team.’

Individually, the people in the firm are courteous, friendly and attentive.’

Key clients

Medtronic Covidien

ECA Services

Exterran

Global Lawyers North Africa in partnership with Gide Loyrette Nouel

Global Lawyers North Africa in partnership with Gide Loyrette Nouel's practice blends local and international experience, with the local group regularly working hand-in-hand with partners in Algiers and Paris to advise on cross-border M&A. The team acts for an impressive raft of global clients, with major banks, manufacturers, life sciences companies, and food and beverage conglomerates all on the firm's books. In addition to its transactional work, the team provides supplementary support in competition and regulatory matters. Managing partner Anis Jabnoun handles a varied mix of corporate, commercial, competition and finance-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Anis Jabnoun; Samy Laghouati; Jean-Gabriel Flandrois

Key clients

BPCE

Alshaya

Laboratoires Servier

Philip Morris International Management SA

IFC

Sumitomo

BNPP

SIT SPA

Renault

Faurecia

Oracle

Roquette & Frères

Castel

Danone

VW

Saybolt

Nestlé

Legrand

MSC

Work highlights

  • Advised BNP Paribas on the sale of 39% of the 50.08% stake it holds in Union Bancaire pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (UBCI) to Carte Assurances.
  • Advised SIT on its establishment in Tunisia through the creation of a manufacturing plant of industrial components, Sit Controls Tunisia.
  • Assisted Core Laboratories with the transfer of its stake in Saybolt Tunisia to another entity of the group.

Kammoun & Kallel

Kammoun & Kallel advises clients on the full life cycle of corporate and commercial issues, from company incorporation, through to M&A and restructuring matters. The firm acts for a diverse mix of local and international names, with solid showings in the energy, transport and real estate areas. Ahmed Kallel handles all the main areas of corporate and commercial law, with niche strength in Algerian business law. Mohamed Kammoun is a key contact for both transactional work and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Kallel; Mohamed Kammoun

Key clients

TotalEnergies

BEST RE

HAMELIN

MAX STREICHER

AERO STANREW

APICORP

Corinthia Hotels

Aldiana Hotels

Marzotto Group

U-Power Group

Work highlights

  • Advised APICORP on the sale of its participation in Tankmed, a Tunisian company operating in the petroleum storage market.  
  • Advised Aero Stanrew, a Tunisian branch of UK-based TT Electronics, on the closure of its Tunisian operations.
  • Advised TotalEnergies on a range of corporate compliance matters.

Zaanouni Law Firm & Associates

Zaanouni Law Firm & Associates houses a comprehensive commercial offering, which spans intellectual property, data protection and telecoms matters. Its growing prominence in the area is evidenced by its representation of an enviable roster of technology companies, including Microsoft and Taptap Send. On the corporate front, the firm regularly advises major global corporates on local law issues. Mohamed Zaanouni demonstrates 'deep knowledge both of the local environment and international best practices'. Talented senior associate Sarra Elloumi is also noted for her broad commercial law practice.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Zaanouni

Other key lawyers:

Sarra Elloumi

Testimonials

‘Co-operative and transparent approach, focused on finding practical solutions and the most efficient options for the client.’

Managing partner Mr Mohamed Zaanouni is highly experienced, with deep knowledge both of the local environment and international best practices.’

An extremely professional team. Demonstrates availability and rigorous attention. Excellent team.

Responsiveness, availability and advice are the first and major qualities that I have discovered within this firm. Sarra Elloumi provides the perfect representation.

Key clients

Alitalia

Italcar

Taptap Send

Garcia-Munte Energia S.L.

Philip Morris International

General Electric

Dassault Systemes

IATA

Bongiorno

Pupa

Microsoft Corporation

Fiat Chrysler Automobile

Yazaki

Honoris Universities

American Chamber Tunisia

Work highlights

  • Supported General Electric group on the creation of its subsidiaries in Tunisia.
  • Advised Philip Morris International on its proposals to market electronic cigarettes in Tunisia.
  • Represented IATA in various local matters.