Asafo & Co. > Paris, France > Firm Profile

Asafo & Co.
63, AVENUE DES CHAMPS-ELYSEES
75008 Paris
France

France > Industry focus: Energy Tier 2

With its unmatched network of African offices, Asafo & Co. is the go-to-firm for energy projects across the continent. The versatile Paris team works in close collaboration with its Africa-based colleagues to offer a wide range of expertise, spanning project, finance, corporate and since March 2021 public law thanks to the hiring of  Cendrine Delivré (ex CMS). The firm acts for all kinds of stakeholders, including public entities, developing banks and sponsors, and is experienced in advising on all project sizes and different energy types, from small to mid-size solar, off-grid and mini network to large-scale hydropower projects. The Paris team is highly visible in francophone Africa, with recent matters in Senegal, DRC, Ivory Coast and Guinea on thermic, power and mining projects, but also covers anglophone African countries, for example recently working on a corporate PPA project in Kenya. The practice’s strength in mining matters earns it instructions from mining companies to advise on some of the world’s largest mines, notably in DRC and Guinea. Cobalt mine projects are a mainstay of the practice. Practice co-heads Pascal Agboyibor and Simon Ratledge are highly recognised. Also recommended are Bob Bastos and Sébastien Gaudu.

Practice head(s):

Pascal Agboyibor; Simon Ratledge

Key clients

Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (“EGC”)

Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

La Générale des Carrières et des Mines S.A. (Gécamines)

MGI Energy

Opec Fund for International Development (OFID)

Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners)

African Development Bank

Attijariwafa Bank Europe

EOS Holding

MIFERSO

STOA

QAIR

CEC

SENELEC

Work highlights

  • Advising the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the development of the Inga 3 hydroelectric project, which consists of the construction of a 11,000 MW hydroelectric power plant.
  • Advising AfDB and OFID on the financing of the 120 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant developed in Malicounda (Senegal) by Melec Power Gen, Africa 50 and Senelec.
  • Advising EGC on landmark transaction aiming to transform the artisanal cobalt mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

France > Project finance Tier 2

Through its extensive network of African offices, Asafo & Co. is an obvious choice for conducting project work across the continent. The Paris team, which acts seamlessly alongside its colleagues based in the other offices, offers longstanding experience advising sponsors, developing banks and public entities. While it can cover the full spectrum of project work, from small to large projects, the firm is mostly active in the energy sector where it works on several mega hydropower projects as as well as on smaller solar and off-grid ones. The Paris office is very active in francophone Africa, and has been particularly active in DRC, Senegal and Guinea recently, but the its combined civil and common law expertise allows it work at ease anywhere on the continent, such as recently in Kenya. Key members include practice heads Pascal Agboyibor and Simon Ratledge, dual-qualified in civil law and common law, both of whom leading names in the market. Sébastien Gaudu and Bob Bastos and new partner Cendrine Delivré, who joined in March 2021 from CMS, bring complementary public law expertise to the table.

Practice head(s):

Simon Ratledge; Pascal Agbopyibor

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge of applicable international law and English and French practice, as well as local law/OHADA rules in francophone Africa. Great management of local counsel.’

Key clients

African Development Bank (AFDB)

Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

MGI Energy

Opec Fund for International Development (OFID)

EOS Holding

Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP)

The Facility for Energy Inclusion’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF)

West Africa LNG Inc.

LafargeHolcim

Work highlights

  • Advising AfDB and OFID on the financing of the 120 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant developed in Malicounda (Senegal) by Melec Power Gen, Africa 50 and Senelec.
  • Advising LafargeHolcim on the development of two photovoltaic power plants for industrial self-consumption by Bamburi Cement for its cement plants located in Mombasa and Nairobi.
  • Advising Lion’s Head Global Partners and The Facility for Energy Inclusion’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF) on the negotiation and structuring of a secured loan to BBOXX RDC, a subsidiary of BBOXX Ltd, a leading provider of off-grid solar electricity.

France > Dispute resolution: International arbitration Tier 4

Asafo & Co. has a strong focus disputes involving African jurisdictions, but also handles cases relating to other parts of the world. The firm acts for private companies from a wide sector range, with the energy, oil and gas industries as core sectors. In addition to its busy ICC caseload, the practice also handles LCIA disputes and bolstered its investment arbitration capabilities in October 2020 with the arrival of Isabelle Rouche who was trained at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. as an expert in public international law and sovereign issues. Rouche’s extensive experience in Africa-related matters, acting on behalf of states and public entities, for example representing several African states in maritime and terrestrial boundaries disputes, fits in well with the firm’s positioning. Recent work involved a successfully fought arbitration involving sensitive corruption issues. The practice is headed by Jacob Grierson and also includes counsel Thomas Granier. Both also act as arbitrators. Emmanuel Avramesco primarily acts in litigation, but also has experience in exequatur matters.

Practice head(s):

Jacob Grierson

Testimonials

‘Great complementarity of skills between the partner (English law) and the senior associate (French law, German law, OHADA law).’

‘Jacob Grierson has previous experience as a barrister and demonstrates good interpersonal skills.’

‘A really effective team: each member has their strength and contributes to produce a stronger and more balanced approach. The ability to keep abreast of technology has also been noted.’

‘Jacob Grieson is a true professional. He has approached our case with measured and articulated responses. His advice has been delivered in a calm, methodical manner and time and again proven to be the best stance to take. Thomas Granier constantly demonstrates a clear grasp of issues and contents of the many files and folders. They work as a tight team readily producing documents to support a point or to offer as evidence. It is a great comfort to have that confidence in a team.’

‘Faboulous team led by Jacob Grierson. Highly relevant on the African market.’

‘I have worked with Jacob Grierson. Apart from being a very sharp lawyer, he is also a very good team player.’

Key clients

Republic of Gabon

Republic of Congo

Republic of Côte D’Ivoire

Poxel S.A.

Republic of Madagascar

Work highlights

  • Representing the Republic of Madagascar in ICSID proceedings against two Mauritian companies regarding a telecommunications licence.
  • Representing the Republic of Gabon in a dispute with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea relating to sovereignty over the M’Banié Islands and the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the two states.

Asafo & Co. is an international law firm established to deliver a unique and integrated offering of world class legal services dedicated to Africa-related business. With experienced teams of over 150 lawyers and legal professionals in eight offices in Abidjan, Casablanca, Johannesburg, London, Mombasa, Nairobi, Paris and Washington DC, Asafo & Co. has established a unique pan-African footprint.

The team works on complex and high-impact transactions, financings and dispute resolution matters in a broad range of sectors, including energy (conventional and renewable), infrastructure, natural resources (mining, oil and gas), telecommunications, as well as banking and financial services. Asafo & Co. regularly acts for private investors, developers, commercial and development banks, development financial institutions, investment funds, states and government entities.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Project Finance; Project Development; Mining; Energy; Banking and Sovereign Borrowing Pascal Agboyiborpagboyibor@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Dispute Resolution & International Arbitration Emmanuel Avramescoeavramesco@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Project Development & PPP; Project Finance Bob Bastosbbastos@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Public Law; Project Development & PPP Cendrine Delivrécdelivre@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Project Development & PPP; Project Finance Sébastien Gaudusgaudu@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
International Arbitration Jacob Griersonjgrierson@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Banking & Finance Adrien Guidetaguidet@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Project Finance Simon Ratledgesratledge@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Private Equity; M&A; General Corporate Noro-Lanto Ravisynlravisy@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
Dispute Resolution & International Arbitration Isabelle Roucheirouche@asafoandco.com+33 1 79 35 64 64
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