Firm Profile > Chazai & Partners > Douala, Cameroon

Chazai & Partners
Cameroon

Leading firms Tier 2

Local public and private corporations as well as multinationals and investment funds count on Chazai & Partners when it comes to matters of international business law in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2017 by three female lawyers with international education and experience, the firm added a fourth partner to its ranks in November 2019: Emmanuel Massoda joined from Cabinet Nyemb and his arrival significantly strengthens the litigation department. Flora Wamba is in charge of the insurance and transportation practice and Sarada Nya heads the corporate and compliance team, while Aurélie Chazai has a great reputation for banking and finance, PPP and capital markets issues.

Practice head(s):

Aurélie Chazai; Flora Wamba; Sarada Nya; Emmanuel Massoda

Other key lawyers:

Stéphane Essaga; Aude Du Crest

Testimonials

‘Chazai & Partners has been delivering a great and efficient team work since day one of our collaboration. They keep providing contracts and legal advice delivered with short delays and adaptability skills. They are very close to clients, listening exactly what you need, working on, and take time to explain.’

‘Chazai & Partners’ team as a whole is made out of hard-working and diligent legal professionals. They are very reactive and always available. I always feel confident that my cases are handled with the same level of care and dedication as all other files the firm handles.’

‘They delivered at the best level we are used to seeing in France.’

‘Very reactive, able to handle multiple fields of the local legal framework.’

‘Fully aware of the market practice in terms of private equity, doing the bridge between Ohada and foreign legal frameworks.’

‘As a young and dynamic team, Chazai and Partners are very professional with work ethic.’

‘Aurélie Chazai is always available and has pragmatic answers to my questions.’

‘They have been very effective in analysing, contextualizing and proposing appropriate and relevant solutions to all my concerns and challenge.’

‘They have a balanced and unique young team combining local expertise and understanding of the Cameroonian terrain with global experienced professionals,’

‘Their international experience, their procedure, their calm and mastery, added by their large team give you a safety feeling.’

‘Flora Wamba is a skilled and meticulous lawyer. She is always attentive to the client’s wants and needs, provides excellent standards of services, and meticulous and precise legal advice. Flora is generally friendly and always tries to make her clients very comfortable.’

‘Aurélie Chazai is a good lawyer and highly motivated. Very reactive, business partner mind set, aware of the risks, but always coming with proposals to mitigate the risk and be able to move forward in the business. It takes teamwork and a solid commitment to good communication, excellence, and industry best practices to serve a company in an excellent manner.’

‘They have a solid global background coupled with pragmatism to adhere to the local terrain.’

‘I like the sharpness of the analysis and the common sense no nonsense of Sarada Nya.’ 

Key clients

Solevo Cameroun SA

Air Liquide Cameroun SA

Area Assurances

Beetle Heritage Holding/Africa Food Distribution SA

BGFI Bank Cameroun

BIA Cameroun

Société Générale Cameroun

EDC Investment Corporation

Cameroon Pizza Company

Heetch SAS

Camtrack SAS

Canal Plus Group

Louis Dreyfus Company Suisse SA

CEVA Santé Animale

Parlym Cameroun

Ferrero Trading Lux SA

QG Connect

Mobile Decisioning Cameroon (DTONE Group)

Moët Hennessy

MTN Cameroon

New Age Cameroon Offshore Petroleum SA

Newrest Catering & Support

Universal Music Africa

OBT Shipping

CHAZAI  & PARTNERS is  a fast-growing business law  firm  that provides innovative and accessible legal services to local and multinational corporations, financial institutions, investment funds, Governments and other public sector entities, sovereign entities, and individual business promoters, in accordance with the best international standards and practices.

The firm also provides tax services to start-ups and high-net-worth individuals.

The firm notably advises its clients in high-profile international transactions, and represents them in litigation proceedings before the courts (in Cameroon and in France), and in local and international arbitration proceedings.

Founded in 2017 by partners Aurélie Chazai, Flora Wamba, and Sarada Nya, the firm has quickly earned a reputation for excellence, versatility, responsiveness, and integrity.

In 2019, the firm welcomed its fourth partner, Emmanuel Massoda, who is one of Cameroon’s most esteemed litigation attorneys.

Chazai & Partners is based in Douala (Cameroon) and has an office in Paris (France).

The firm also has a strong presence in the CEMAC zone, and maintains a strong international practice in Africa and in Europe (France, UK).

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner, Head of Banking & Finance Aurélie Chazai achazai@chazai-partners.com +237 697 02 62 43
Partner, Head of Insurance & Transportation Flora Wamba fwamba@chazai-partners.com +237 678 92 59 77
Partner, Head of Corporate Law & Mergers and Acquisitions Sarada Nya snya@chzai-partners.com +237 659 39 49 15
Partner, Head of Litigation & Arbitration Emmanuel Massoda emassoda@chazai-partners.com +237 699 99 62 82
Photo Name Position Profile
 Aurélie Chazai  photo Aurélie Chazai Managing Partner
Me Emmanuel Massoda  photo Me Emmanuel Massoda Partner
Me Sarada Nya  photo Me Sarada Nya Partner
Me Flora Wamba photo Me Flora Wamba Partner
Associates : Legal department
In-house lawyers : Legal department
Legal Trainees : Legal department
Operations Manager : Administrative staff
In-house accountant : Administrative stafff
French
English
Spanish
Member, Ordre des Avocats du Barreau de Paris, France
UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats
Leaders League
MCIArb
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
Operations Manager : Administrative Department

Primarily, Chazai & Partners’ approach to diversity is primarily focused on equal opportunity based on competence, work ethic and integrity, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, educational backgrounds, socioeconomic status, or country of origin.

However, as a law firm led mostly by women, we understand the importance of promoting gender equality, especially in the field of business law, which is still very masculine.

Thus, a major aspect of our recruitment policy is to offer opportunities to brilliant, skilled women, and involve them as much as possible in all aspects of the Firm’s life, be it our legal practice or our administrative organization. As a result, at all levels of our hierarchy (Trainee, Paralegal, Associate, Of Counsel, etc.), women hold positions on an equal footing with men.

Social and intellectual diversity is also a major element for us. We hire associates and grant internships to students from various social and academic backgrounds, because we are convinced that a variety of perspectives enriches our company culture and is a catalyzer to excellence at work. This cultural mix allows our team to develop the kind of understanding and empathy that are essential for teamwork and in the business world in general.

We are also committed to make sure our Firm remains a safe space where we not only accommodate, but also celebrate identity and religious diversity.

We connect with many different people and institutions at home and abroad by joining national and/or international networks, and taking part in international events promoting sustainable development goals.

Our commitment to these values and our belief that everyone deserves equal opportunity are one of our Firm’s pillars.


CLIENT: Céline DERENNES
COMPANY/FIRM: PARLYM CAMEROUN
TESTIMONIAL: “I would strongly recommend Chazai & Partners to anyone who needs an attorney! They have an excellent work ethic. I am extremely satisfied!”


CLIENT: Abel MANDENGUE
COMPANY/FIRM: SOLEVO CAMEROUN
TESTIMONIAL: “Chazai & Partners have been brilliantly responsive and available throughout our collaboration. They always answer our questions clearly and thoroughly. Their Managing Partner, Aurélie Chazai, Esq., who has demonstrated both her solid expertise and impeccable work ethic while handling our cases, has particularly impressed us. We highly appreciate working with her, as well as the rest of her team.”


CLIENT: Philippe TONGA
COMPANY/FIRM: QG CONNECT
TESTIMONIAL: “I have been working with Chazai & Partners for a while now, and it has been an overall insightful experience. Their response time and their professionalism have been and will continue to be an asset.
I have the opportunity to work with Sarada Nya, Esq., who is an excellent professional, with an innovative sense of the practice of business law. It is pleasant to see such brilliant minds, shaping the future of Africa champions.
I would definitely retain Chazai & Partners’ services in the future, and invite other entrepreneurs to do the same.”


CLIENT: Julien MERCERON
COMPANY/FIRM: HEETCH
TESTIMONIAL: “Chazai & Partners are excellent professionals. They have advised us with speed and efficiency, and made all legal matters appear simple and clear. Their attention to detail and knowledge of laws are unsurpassed, and their hard work and diligence always brought good outcomes to our cases. We do totally recommend them!”


CLIENT: Felix FON-NDIKUM
COMPANY/FIRM: MTN CAMEROON
TESTIMONIAL: “Chazai & Partners are a transparent, responsive and modern law firm. I particularly appreciate how speedily they deal with everything and their succinct emails and letters. They have a supportive, personalized and proactive approach, which I really appreciate.”


CLIENT: Brice BEUMO
COMPANY/FIRM: BEKO ADVISORY
TESTIMONIAL: “As a recent addition to the legal market, we are quite impressed by Chazai & Partners’ growth. They have been able to find their place amongst the existing competition, and become a major actor in a short amount of time. They are hardworking, diligent and dedicated. I absolutely recommend them.”

Aurélie Chazai, Managing Partner

Managing Partner Aurélie Chazai explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate CHAZAI & PARTNERS from your competitors?

We are organized in several departments headed by experts (Partners and Of Counsels). This allows us to provide a 360° service to business actors in Cameroon and abroad. Most of our competitors’ practice focus one or two areas at the most.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Banking & Finance
The Banking and Finance sector is a very dynamic, growing market, especially in Africa. African finance institutions leaders are younger than they were a decade earlier, and have had international careers that allow them to be more familiar with complex financial operations, for which they certainly need our expertise.

For instance, we are currently advising a consortium of banks on a treasury bonds issue to refinance the outstanding bank debt of a bond issue carried out by a State of the CEMAC Zone. This is quite innovative in our current financial environment. Some of our clients are contemplating securitization operations, which are also quite rare.

Private Equity
We did not anticipate that private equity would become such an interesting market for us as it has. We know that many young entrepreneurs have brilliant ideas and projects, but not enough cash to carry them out. We also know that local banks are still very reluctant to finance innovation and business creation. It then makes sense that private equity would be a solution of choice for the most serious business promoters. However, we did not anticipate that so many of our clients would ask us to explore this financing mode on their behalf, and that several investors stand ready to help them. This is certainly an interesting development, and we are very eager to keep working in this field.

Arbitration
As it appears, arbitration is becoming the favored mode of conflict resolution between companies. Several of our clients now specifically instruct us to draft arbitration clauses in their commercial contracts. Furthermore, we have advised a few clients in the context of ongoing or imminent international arbitration proceedings. We feel that this appetite for arbitration will only grow in the coming years.

IP & IT
Many business operators are slowly starting to view IP as a strategic business asset. They are starting to realize that a good management of IP assets can actually help increase profits, and that IP may be an effective tool for a company’s expansion strategy. Because of this, clients are now requesting audits and other legal services related to IP more often.

As for the IT industry, while it would be excessive to anticipate a boom in the next 12 months, the market is getting more dynamic than ever in Cameroon and in Africa. If anything, the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important this industry truly is. Its growth is inevitable. Our job as lawyers will be to make sure that it happens in an optimal and secure way from a legal standpoint.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

To cope with our strong growth and to continue to provide fast, efficient and personalized service to our clients, we have recently recruited several new associates. Regardless, we are always looking to improve our internal work organization in order to maintain the utmost quality of service.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

It definitely does. This was especially true with the current COVID-19 pandemic. During our self-imposed lockdown, we have been able conduct our business remotely without any particular difficulty, because our Firm was already largely digitalized. We have used various communication technologies to keep in touch with our clients when we could not meet them in person.

I also believe that our understanding of technology and all the possibilities the law offers in this regard allow us to provide our clients with services that they may not always realize they can access in our current business climate. For instance, although the law allows them, Board and Shareholders’ meeting via videoconference are still a thing of rarity here. Just this year, we have organized several of those, much to the appreciation of our international investor clients.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Thanks to the credibility we have garnered in the business world, we have been able to facilitate fund raising operations for one of our clients, because investors were aware of our reputation and background.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients are definitely looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firm.

It is very important for a law firm to be stable and project an image of stability. At the end of the day, a lawyer is only as good as their reputation. Standing and credibility come not just from hard work, but also from stability and steadfastness. One cannot maintain them for very long if their governance is in shambles. Instability upsets the clients, and it upsets the market. That is why we are working very hard to maintain our stability, because if we do not have to worry about internal struggles, we have all the more time to devote to our clients.

Regarding strategic direction, I believe clients are always most interested in law firms that are going places, and that is what we intend to do. In the next few years, we plan to keep growing and expanding our practice in the Sub Saharan region. We are also considering opening offices in other countries of the region in the near future.