Houda Law Firm > Abidjan, Senegal > Firm Profile

Houda Law Firm
Residence Nabil, 1st Floor
Rue du Commerce
Abidjan 01
Senegal

Senegal > Leading firms Tier 2

Ivory Coast > Leading firms Tier 3

PhotoNamePositionProfile
Lilian BIASSALY  photo Lilian BIASSALY Legal Counsel 
Marine QUINTRIC  photo Marine QUINTRIC Senior Legal Counsel

Houda Law Firm is a resolutely international and diverse law firm, that operates in the WAEMU and OHADA regions of West Africa. Specialised in complex cross-border deals and with offices in Dakar and Abidjan the firm has a unique position in the subregion to assist its clients in their access to regional markets.

The clients:

The firm’s positioning across the subregion allows it to bring its uniquely diverse team to act for clients, be they based in Europe, North America, Asia or Africa. The firm’s clients include but are not limited to:

  • the regional banks operating in the WAEMU region;
  • international energy companies; and
  • regional and international development banks.

The team:

Houda Law Firm has attracted a diverse range of talents that make up its international and local teams. The members of our teams have worked in various countries including, but not limited to:

  • France;
  • Senegal;
  • Ivory Coast; and

Together, Houda’s diverse and multicultural team allow us to bring qualitative legal expertise in a range of languages including Wolof, Arabic, French and English. Houda Law Firm is thus able to assist any client, giving them a recognised legal expertise in the WAEMU and OHADA subregions of the continent.

The network:

With a team of over 50 lawyers and staff Houda Law Firm offers an access to its extensive regional network and offices. Indeed, with the opening of its second office, in Abidjan, in 2018, Houda Law Firm is able to assist its clients in the largest regional economy in franco-phone west Africa.

Our lawyers are members of regional bar and arbitration associations including as arbitrators at the regional Court of Common Justice and Arbitration.

Abidjan Office

Created in 2018, Houda Law Firm was the first foreign law firm to be allowed to open a secondary office in Ivory Coast. The firm’s Abidjan office operates as a full service law firm that aims to assist clients with the very best legal expertise on cross border matters originating in Ivory Coast.


Houda Law Firm’s biggest quality is its resolutely diverse and international team. Composed of more than 50 qualified lawyers and staff the firm can draw on a multi-cultural team of lawyers to tailor the most apt team required by our clients.

Indeed, with a capacity to speak, amongst others, Wolof, Arabic, French and English our team’s multicultural and diverse background is a true asset to the firm and its clients who can always feel at home at Houda law Firm. The firm thus has the capacity to assist both local and regional clients with any of their legal needs in the WAEMU and OHADA sub regions.

The firm is committed to seeking out the best and most qualified talents for its missions in the African sub region. As such the firm prides itself in its diverse team, almost half of our expert team of lawyers are women; and its multicultural background, the firm counts many different nationalities, amongst them Senegalese, Gabonese, Cameroonian, Lebanese, and French.

In Houda Law firm’s continued expansion and development, we remain attached to those values of diversity and inclusion which have allowed us to build a highly expert team capable of assisting our clients with all their legal needs in the African sub region.


CASE 1: Project development – Energy and Electricity

Value: 130 000 000 000 XOF

Jurisdiction: Senegal

Client: International public and private bank

Description:

The firm advises and assists lenders in the restructuring of their receivables. The firm negotiates with the project promoter and the public authorities.

This is an important case in the energy policy of Senegal relating to an energy plant with a capacity of 125 Mw and a power purchase agreement with the national electricity company of Senegal. The objective is to safeguard the operator.

The challenge is to reconcile the safeguard of the operator of the power plant while preserving the debts of the financial backers.

The power plant project is an innovative project. Indeed, it is the construction of the first coal-fired power plant in the country with the objective of converting to gas in the medium term.

CASE 2: Banking & Asset Finance – infrastructure and telecommunication

Value: 160 000 000 €

Jurisdiction: Senegal and United Kingdom

Client: Technology and telecommunications company

Description :

The firm assisted the telecom operator in the sale of assets and in the execution of financing agreements with international financial institutions.

The political, economic and social stakes were high.

The difficulties encountered are, on the one hand, the plurality of documents to be reviewed and drafted in a very limited time. On the other hand, the technical issues were new and very complex from a Senegalese law point of view.

The firm took part in the sale of assets of a major Senegalese telecommunications company. In addition, we participated in obtaining the administrative authorization as an infrastructure operator and in the installation of the latter as the first infrastructure operator following the telecommunications reform in 2018.

CASE 3 : Project Finance – Industrials & Manufacturing

Value: 100 000 000 000 XOF

Jurisdiction: Senegal and United Kingdom

Client: Cement and construction company

Description:

The firm negotiated and drafted the financing documents (financing agreement and security agreement, drafted legal opinions).

The firm advised the lenders on the legal aspects of the transaction from a Senegalese law perspective.

The firm also advised the client on the legal aspects of the credit structuring.

The challenges encountered was that the deal was supposed to be cross border, but as the procedure progressed, the transaction had to be restructured with local lenders.

CASE 4: Project Finance – Banking

Value: 132 000 000

Jurisdiction: Senegal – Cote d’Ivoire – Burkina Faso

Client: Subsidiaries of an international banking group

Description:

The firm negotiated and drafted the financing documents (financing agreement and security agreement, drafted legal opinions).

The firm advised the lenders on the legal aspects of the transaction from a Senegalese law perspective and on the legal aspects of the credit structuring.

This project has a major environmental impact for Senegal as the loan will be used to rehabilitate a wastewater collector and sanitation system in the city of Dakar.

CASE 5: Real Estate Acquisition – Government and public policy

Value: 3 900 899 235 XOF

Jurisdiction: Senegal and Canada – Ontario

Client: State

Description:

The Firm is participating to the acquisition of a land and the construction of the new Embassy.

The land was encumbered by several securities and mortgages. The firm had to ensure in a short time the lifting of these securities/mortgages.


CLIENT: Eric PHILIBERT – Associate
COMPANY/FIRM: Lamantin Beach Resort & Spa
TESTIMONIAL: « Par ce message, nous souhaitons vivement recommander le Cabinet Houda. En effet, nous travaillons maintenant depuis plus de 11 années avec ce cabinet sur différentes procédures dans différentes cours dont la correctionnelle et sommes en toute confiance car nos dossiers sont suivis avec sérieux, et tact. Nous bénéficions toute l’année de précieux conseils, et les réponses à nos questions sont rapides et justes. »

Translation: “With this message, we would like to highly recommend the Houda Law Firm. Indeed, we have been working for more than 11 years with this firm on different procedures in different courts including the correctional and are in full confidence because our cases are followed with seriousness, and tact. We benefit all year long from valuable advice, and the answers to our questions are quick and accurate”.


CLIENT: Pierre ANGLÈS D’AURIAC – General Counsel
COMPANY/FIRM: KASADA
TESTIMONIAL: « Nous avons travaillé avec le cabinet Houda sur des sujets complexes (acquisitions de 9 sociétés au Sénégal et en Côte d’Ivoire et financements de celles-ci) sur plusieurs juridictions. Maître Elodie Dagneaux a toujours fait preuve d’une réactivité, d’une patience et aussi d’une créativité remarquable. Son approche double (cabinet d’avocat et formation notariale) fait définitivement la différence dans des dossiers complexes de financement ou d’acquisition transnationale. La pratique contentieuse de Maitre Khaled El Houda vient apporter aussi une compréhension exhaustive des stratégies juridiques possibles, des obstacles à prendre en compte, ce qui est très appréciable pour un « cabinet d’affaires. »

Translation: “We have worked with Houda on complex matters (acquisitions of 9 companies in Senegal and Ivory Coast and their financing) in several jurisdictions. Elodie Dagneaux has always demonstrated remarkable responsiveness, patience and creativity. Her dual approach (law firm and notary training) definitely makes the difference in complex cases of financing or transnational acquisitions. Khaled El Houda’s litigation practice also brings an exhaustive understanding of the possible legal strategies and obstacles to be taken into account, which is very valuable for a “business law firm”.


CLIENT: Sebastien PUNTURELLO – Managing Director
COMPANY/FIRM: CANAL +
TESTIMONIAL: « Nous collaborons avec le Cabinet Houda depuis une quinzaine d’années maintenant. Nous ne pouvons que nous féliciter de la qualité de cette collaboration empreinte d’expertise, d’écoute, de professionnalisme et enfin de confidentialité. Cette satisfaction repose sur ces qualités, sur une grande disponibilité mais aussi sur la capacité de développement de cette structure tout au long de ces années. A cet égard, nous avons pu bénéficier du soin apporté à la progression structurelle de ce Cabinet au niveau de la qualité du recrutement, du développement et de la diversification des talents. Par ailleurs, le management est en permanence animé de cette volonté de doter ses collaborateurs des meilleurs outils, SI en particulier, afin d’assurer un traitement efficace et professionnel de nos demandes. Nous recommandons vivement ce Cabinet sans réserve et lui souhaitons de poursuivre sur la voie de l’excellence qui honore le Sénégal. »

Translation: “We have been working with Houda for fifteen years now. We can only congratulate ourselves on the quality of this collaboration, marked by expertise, listening, professionalism and confidentiality. This satisfaction is based on these qualities, on a great availability but also on the capacity of development of this structure throughout these years. In this respect, we have been able to benefit from the care given to the structural progression of this firm in terms of the quality of recruitment, development and diversification of talents. Moreover, the management is constantly motivated by the desire to provide its employees with the best tools, particularly IT, to ensure efficient and professional processing of our requests. We highly recommend this firm without reservation and wish it to continue on the path of excellence that honors Senegal.”


CLIENT: Jonathan PETIT – CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Kananga Resources Services
TESTIMONIAL: « Depuis plus de 10 ans au Sénégal, j’ai eu l’opportunité de travailler avec de nombreux cabinets de Dakar. Je recommanderais le cabinet HOUDA à toutes entreprises nécessitant des services juridiques de pointes. Le cabinet se distingue de ces confrères de par sa réactivité, la précision des informations fournies et le professionnalisme de ses collaborateurs. Le cabinet dispose également d’un positionnement dans la sous-région, ce qui confère un autre atout majeur pour les sociétés ayant un positionnement régional. »

Translation: “For more than 10 years in Senegal, I have had the opportunity to work with many law firms in Dakar. I would recommend HOUDA to any company requiring advanced legal services. The firm distinguishes itself from its colleagues by its reactivity, the precision of the information provided and the professionalism of its collaborators. The firm is also positioned in the sub-region, which is another major asset for companies with a regional positioning.”