Legal Market Overview
Zambia’s recent run of slow growth reversed in 2017, with rising copper prices combining with generous rainfall and strong agricultural production to push GDP up by 4%. The country, which is Africa’s second-largest copper producer, remains heavily reliant on its mining industry. Mining represents around 12% of Zambia’s GDP, according to Zambia’s Central Statistical Office, and accounts for around 70% of its exports. Diversification remains a key theme as the government looks to take advantage of current stability to implement reforms and boost the economy’s resistance to shocks.
Among the key areas attracting investment, the recent energy crisis has seen a significant uptick in renewable energy projects. In 2017, the Zambian government launched the Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff strategy to provide for better investments in small-scale renewable projects. Transport infrastructure has also been earmarked for an overhaul. Most notably, the government continues to implement the Link Zambia 8000 project, which is a $5.6bn road upgrade programme.
Zambia’s compact but mature legal market is comprised of both sophisticated full-service law firms and smaller more niche outfits, with the latter usually noted for their specialist litigation expertise. Among the most well-established international facing firms, Chibesakunda & Co, Corpus Legal Practitioners and Musa Dudhia & Company are regularly sought after for their transactional and cross-border capability. For contentious work, ECB Legal Practitioners, Mulenga Mundashi Kasonde (MMK) Legal Practitioners and Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners are highly regarded. Although largely centred in the country’s capital Lusaka, some firms are headquartered in Kitwe, which is the base for several mining operations.