Firm Profile > Afrique Advisors > Casablanca, Morocco

Afrique Advisors
10 RUE AL JIHANI, ANGLE BD MASSIRA
QUARTIER RACINE
CASABLANCA
Morocco

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Afrique Advisors works in association Mayer Brown and acts for domestic clients in international litigation before various tribunals and courts outside Morocco. It represents governments, state entities, private companies and individuals in complex and multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes, and its international arbitration practice handles international commercial arbitration and investor state matters. Laila Slassi is the lead partner.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Kingdom or Morocco

H&A Invertment Holding

Sefiania

Iresen

Brookstone Partners International

Edgeboro International

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

Afrique Advisors enters the ranking having worked on a range of corporate matters last year including joint ventures and consortia, the structuring of local business entities and the drafting of transaction agreements. The firm is the exclusive correspondent firm for Mayer Brown where practice head Laila Slassi previously worked as an associate handling the structuring of high-value cross-border transactions, notably in the form of leverage-buy-outs.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Professional and available. The firm has a very good ability to move positions in a smooth way. There are always three lawyers on every topic.

They are present, they know their topics, and they know what position to push and when.

Key clients

Brookstone Partners International

Edgeboro International INC

Makalu

Procter & Gamble

Afrique Advisors is a Casablanca-based independent advisory firm with great prominence in the market and a complete and intimate knowledge of the Moroccan market.

The firm specializes in business law, tax law, and institutional relations and offers its clients, composed of both private and public entities from a wide range of industries, a global integrated assistance at various stages of their ventures, whether at the national or international level.

The team, composed of multilingual advisors from various legal backgrounds, with years of experience in different fields of business law, tax law, diplomacy and government relations, has a proven track record of success.

Department Name Email Telephone
Legal Department Slassi Laila lslassi@afriqueadvisors.com +212(0)522369462
Legal Department Hajar Benyachou hbenyachou@afriqueadvisors.com +212(0)522369462
Photo Name Position Profile
 Hajar Benyachou photo Hajar Benyachou Senior Associate at Afrique Advisors, Hajar Benyachou has a strong knowledge of…
 Meryem Lahlou  photo Meryem Lahlou Meryem Lahlou is Mid-leval associate at Afrique Advisors. She regularly assists local…
 Marie-Amélia Marques  photo Marie-Amélia Marques Marie-Amélia is Mid-level associate at Afrique Advisors. She is specialized in international…
Ms Laila Slassi photo Ms Laila Slassi Managing Partner
Partners : 2
Advisors : 6
Graphic designer : 1
Office Manager : 1
Arabic
French
English
Spanish
Portuguese
Other offices : Washington D.C.

Diversity commitments:

Over the years, Afrique Advisors has embraced corporate social responsibility and built a solid reputation thanks to our passion for pro bono work.

At Afrique Advisors, we are strong believers that the most noble way to make an impact in our community is by giving back to those in need and by supporting businesses in difficult times. Besides taking part in and organizing seminars on a variety of specific and technical law topics, generally related to legislative updates in Morocco or business law, our commitment takes the shape of pro bono undertakings in the field of education, freedom of speech, rule of law, and actions taken for human and women’s rights.

Human rights: the team recently has had the opportunity to collaborate with the UN Women as well as UN Special Rapporteur in matters relating, for instance, to the Independence of the Judiciary System.

Women’s rights: the team is strongly engaged in actions taken for women’s rights. The team routinely collaborate with local associations such as Masaktach or ATEC association in order to raise awareness about women’s rights.

Rule of Law: the team regularly cooperates with the Tafra association, which promotes respect for the rule of law and democratic values.

Education: the team is strongly engaged in actions related to education. For instance, the team cooperates with the Education For Employment-Maroc association, known as EFE-Maroc, which missions address youth unemployment by bridging the gap between labor market needs and the existing hard and soft skills of young job seekers.

Start-ups legal and strategic support and mentorship: the team also routinely provides a global, legal and strategic assistance to innovative start-ups and had the opportunity to work with The Factory, a start-up accelerator, which main mission is to accelerate collaboration between start-ups and corporates.

Finally, beyond their professional involvement, the employees of Afrique Advisors are committed in a civic and voluntary way in social and artistic areas. In order to promote initiative and talent, they have undertaken and are involved in various actions, including the drafting of publications aimed at making law accessible to the general public in a comprehensive manner and broadening the knowledge of citizens.

Firm Values:
Proactiveness: Afrique Advisors makes its services accessible and available in Morocco and abroad, ensuring a reactive, efficient and mobile treatment.

Creativity: the team is constantly looking for innovative solutions to ensure proximity to its clients in providing advice, support or representation tailored to their needs and budget.

Attentiveness: we are committed to having a real knowledge of our clients and their fields of activity in order to work alongside them to ensure a personalised service, tailored to their specific needs, all in a spirit of collaboration and exchange.

Integrity: we respect the essential principles of ethics, such as confidentiality and professional secrecy, to ensure that each client has complete trust and transparency.

Laila Slassi, Partner

Laila Slassi, Partner at Afrique Advisors, a Casablanca-based advisory firm, explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Afrique Advisors from your competitors?

The main particularity of Afrique Advisors consists on the legal and lobbying approach offered to clients. This diptych vision that we nurture and constantly work on to build, is meant for our structure to be a crossroad for our clients between Morocco and the rest of the world, a springboard for their ideas and projects to raise, blossom and thrive. We moulded the scaffold of our firm to fit the image that we have of Morocco being a hub for international trade, a meeting point between Africa and the rest of the world. Furthermore, in 2021, Afrique Advisors opened its first overseas office in Washington D.C.

Our team, composed of advisors with years of experience in the various fields of business law, tax law, regulatory, finance, diplomacy and government relations, has a proven track record of success, and offers tailor-made advisory services on the various issues encountered by clients, whether at the national or international level. This hybrid and tailor-made approach is what makes us unique players on the market.

Furthermore, the firm’s practice is coordinated globally, with the unique ability to bring together experienced practitioners who look at situations holistically and offer practical solutions on all aspects of a project with an extraordinary level of interactivity.

Finally, our firm is recognized for being creative, detail-oriented, young, modern, energetic, constantly improving and, most importantly, for having a profound sense of commitment to the quality of the advice given and loyalty to the client retained, which allowed us to forge several long-standing relationships and earn new clients through recommendations.

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

It is clear that many markets and sectors around the world have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, various M&A transactions have been cancelled or postponed. Nevertheless, and although the Covid-19 crisis is still ongoing, our team has seen a tangible and continuous increase in requests for legal support in corporate and M&A transactions, over the last few weeks. Due in particular to the consequences of the pandemic as regards the labor and employment law matter, this practice will very likely be strongly solicited.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also notably obliged companies, organizations, or institutions to rethink their activities by adopting, among others, a remote-work policy for employees and a new online and digitalized work environment. In addition, the Covid-19 crisis has continued to accelerate the development of e-commerce and also led to the development of new technologies to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (i.e. contact tracing applications) involving the collection and processing of personal and sensitive data. These various developments have clearly highlighted the importance and need to take into account and comply with the privacy and data protection law. Thus, data protection and data privacy practices will certainly continue to increase exponentially in the coming years.

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

In 2021, Afrique Advisors opened its first overseas office in Washington D.C. The Washington D.C. office, specializing in strategic lobbying and institutional relations, will most certainly offer important opportunities for its clients’ future projects, both overseas and on the African continent.

We also constantly work on evolving our practice to meet the needs of the legal market. At an early stage of our development, we have realized that general legal advice was not practical enough for a direct implementation of our recommendations on the part of the client. In the light of this observation, we created two new departments in finance and regulatory by recruiting profiles fit for that purpose. These expertises allow us to complete our advice and, for the financial expertise, to allows us, especially in M&A practice, to support points of law with a deep financial knowledge.

Finally, thanks to its increasingly frequent assistance of start-ups and investment funds and its in-depth knowledge of the start-up’s ecosystem, Afrique Advisors has decided to develop a specific comprehensive range of legal, financial and strategic services specifically designed to meet the needs of start-ups and emerging companies at all stages of their lifecycle.

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

Afrique Advisors always took advantage of the various opportunities and tools offered by technologies.

For instance, we communicate extensively with our clients to meet their needs. To do so, we provide a constant, 24/7, assistance to our clients by allowing them access to the practitioners leading their cases through groups created via platforms such as WhatsApp or Signal. Plus, early on in the process, teams are created for each prospective project in collaborative work platforms such as Teams and Slack. This structure allows for a smart and integrated approach to team collaboration and allows both the practitioners and clients to have, at any given stage, a broad overview of the advancement of the deals.

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

In Morocco, the nature of most of companies’ implies that they rarely have a dedicated in-house legal department. As a result, our clients are mainly at the top management level and their needs often go beyond legal advice to include tax, financial and strategic advice. Our clients see our team as a pool of expertises and ask us to address issues that often go beyond legal advice.

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

Clients’ need for stability and strategic direction from their advisory firm has continued to develop with the Covid-19 pandemic. To address this need, during the lockdown period, we have created a Special Advisory Unit, a multidisciplinary crisis unit, to assist our clients and our ecosystem to prepare, combat, understand, and mitigate the challenges arising from the ongoing and global Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the team noticed that Legal departments and companies, of all sizes and in all activity sectors, considerably increased their recourse to advisory firms to benefit from a global legal and strategic support for their daily business and decisions.

Afrique Advisors ambition is to be a global firm, with experience in a wide range of different and diverse areas, but not only. We pride ourselves on constantly and proactively working on our structure and our knowledge to build an integrated team where each individual is, in her or his own discipline, deeply imbued with the Moroccan market and its intricacies and is aware of its latest trends and evolutions. We seek to evolve in symbiosis with recent legal, social, economic and cultural developments of the country where we work and to be as close as possible to the reality of the environment of the clients we advise.

In three years’ time, the team strongly expects to be a Top-Tier ranked Law firm in Morocco.

MOROCCO

Afrique Advisors is a Casablanca-based independent advisory firm with great prominence in the market and a complete and intimate knowledge of the Moroccan market.

Thanks to its exclusive correspondence agreement with Mayer Brown LLP, a global law firm with lawyers all over the world and covering all practices of business law, Afrique Advisors is also a key international player. The firm also expanded that network by maintaining a privileged relationship with partner firms in the largest African business centres. The firm has the CFC Status.

The firm specializes in business law, tax law, and institutional relations and offers its clients, composed of both private and public entities from a wide range of industries, a global, integrated assistance at various stages of their ventures, whether at the national or international level. The team, composed of advisors from various legal backgrounds with years of experience in business law, diplomacy, and government relations, has a proven track record of success.

Areas of practice:

Commercial, Corporate and M&A: The team has developed a recognized expertise in the field of Commercial – Corporate Law and M&A, which constitutes the firm’s main department. The team offers a global assistance in transactions, partnerships, joint ventures and consortia, by structuring and coordinating legal aspects of the operations, from the valuation of the target companies, to the drafting the transaction agreements, and closing. The advisors are routinely involved in major projects such as M&A transactions, restructuring, commercial, financing activities, regulatory compliance, anti-bribery compliance.

Banking, Finance and Capital markets: The team created for itself a position at the helm of large-scale banking, financial and capital-market transactions in the Moroccan market.

Dispute resolution: The team has developed a strong expertise in the field of International Dispute resolution and regularly advises and represents its clients in the context of International Commercial Arbitration and Investor State arbitration before African, European or American jurisdictions. The team conducts arbitration proceedings, whether in English, French or Arabic, under major institutional arbitration rules, including the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, CCJA and ad hoc proceedings. Afrique Advisors is well known for advising states and state entities in the context of complex and multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

Projects – Public law: Afrique Advisors offers a wide range of legal advisory by assisting its private and public clients in all matters related to public law and Renewable Energy projects.

Tax: The team developed a well-established practice in the field of domestic and international tax and advises multinational companies and domestic SMEs in the context of their tax structuring and transactions, as well as start-ups, private equity funds, and companies for their venture capital and equity transactions.

The team works in all areas of corporate and personal taxation and advices international companies and groups in the monitoring of their tax position and the optimization of their overall effective rate. Afrique Advisors represents clients in tax litigations before domestic tax authorities in the context of a tax audit or a taxation following a transaction.

Intellectual property: the team is routinely involved in projects relating to intellectual property law and data protection.