Africa 2017 – GC Powerlist

Africa 2017

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Abdelhaye El Kettani El Hamidi

Executive legal director | Attijariwafa Bank

Financials

Founded in 1904 and present in 24 countries today, Attijariwafa bank group is a pan-African multinational and the Maghreb’s largest banking and financial group with over seven million customers and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Adaobi Nwanze

General counsel | Landmark Africa

Real estate company Landmark Africa hired Adaobi Nwanze in 2008 to ensure the group’s compliance with local laws and regulations in Africa, as well as to maintain sound corporate governance...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Adedoyin Olowe

Manager, legal services | Zenith Bank

Financials

Adedoyin Olowe has been the manager of legal services at Nigeria-based Zenith Bank, a multinational financial services provider that has 16 years of specialising in retail banking. Despite operating in...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Adesegun Aki-Olugbade

Executive director (corporate services) and general counsels | Africa Finance Corporation

Financials

The executive director (corporate services), general counsel and chief operating officer at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the pan-African development finance institution, Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade boasts over 30 years of experience...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Agnes Tibayeita Isharaza

Head of legal | dfcu Bank

Financials

Agnes Tibayeita Isharaza leads the legal team as the head of legal and company secretary at the Development Finance Company of Uganda Bank (dfcu). She joined the dfcu group legal...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ahmed Alaa Toumlilt

Associate director - corporate legal and corporate banking | Banque Centrale Populaire

Financials

Banque Centrale Populaire is one of Morocco’s leading banking institutions, and from its headquarters in Casablanca offers a range of financial services to its customers and maintains a presence in...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ahmed Barakat

General legal counsel (Middle East and Africa) | Lafarge Egypt

Materials and mining

A construction materials legal specialist, having spent over a decade in the sector (prior to which he worked for retail company Al Bawardi Group in Dubai), Ahmed Barakat is now...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Amandine Decoux

General counsel | Nareva Holding

Energy and utilities

Described as a ‘high profile lawyer’ with ‘high analytical skills’, Amandine Decoux provides full support to a wide variety of energy projects at Nareva Holding, a Moroccan energy company and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Amany Elzayaty

Head of legal for the Near East | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Working in the legal department for multinational FMCG business Procter & Gamble (P&G) – which was recognised in The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Africa Teams in 2016 – for almost...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Amol Prabhu

Head of emerging markets legal, EMEA | Barclays

Financials

Amol Prabhu has a cross-product advisory role within Barclays’ emerging markets investment banking business across Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Anna Siakotos

Associate general counsel | Millicom

Telecommunication services

An international corporate lawyer with 20 years of experience at international law firms and multinational corporations, Anna Siakotos’ career has seen her work in London, Moscow and New York. Since...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Antoinette Absaloms

Legal counsel, West Africa business unit | Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa

Food, beverages and tobacco

Widely commended by peers for her leadership, motivation and personal drive, Antoinette Absaloms has had an outstanding in-house career of 16 years, providing legal support to businesses in 31 countries...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Aruna Radhakeesoon

Executive director, chief legal executive and company secretary | Rogers & Co

Financials

Based in Mauritius, Aruna Radhakeesoon is the executive director, chief legal executive and company secretary at Rogers & Co, a listed international services and investment company established in 1899. A...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Beatrice Njeru

Senior legal counsel, investment banking - East Africa | Stanbic Bank

Financials

Beatrice Njeru began her career at Stanbic Bank in 2004, and joined the investment banking arm of the business in 2008 as senior legal counsel and is responsible for deal...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Bidemi Ademola

Legal director and company secretary Ghana-Nigeria cluster | Unilever

Consumer products

A corporate lawyer with over 22 years of experience, Bidemi Ademola is a specialist in the practice of corporate and commercial law in Nigeria and the further West Africa region....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Bode Ayeku

Company secretary and legal advisor | Nestlé Nigeria

Food, beverages and tobacco

Nestlé’s history in Nigeria can be traced to 1961, when the company launched its subsidiary Nestlé Products (Nigeria). Today it operates a number of landmark production facilities in the country,...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Bonaventure Mbewe

Head of legal and compliance | Finance Bank of Zambia (FBZ)

Financials

Bonaventure Mbewe is one of Zambia’s preeminent in-house lawyers in the financial sector, and in his current role of head of legal and compliance for FBZ, occupies the most senior...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Brandon Foot

Group general counsel | MultiChoice

Sports and media

In November 2016 Brandon Foot was appointed as group general counsel of MultiChoice, a popular pay-television and internet platform established in 1995. Before taking this role Foot excelled for nine...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Bruce McAlister

General counsel, Global Growth Organization | General Electric

Industrials and real estate

Since July 2016, Bruce McAlister has been general counsel for the Global Growth Organization business at global industrial conglomerate General Electric (GE) and is responsible for the provision of all...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Chahed Redissi

Legal Manager | Trans Tunisian Pipeline Company

Energy and utilities

A trilingual lawyer with a wealth of experience gained over an over-two decade long career, Chahed Redissi combines his legal knowledge with an extensive understanding of commercial and business theory,...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Christine Sauzier

Head of legal affairs- attorney-at-law | Ciel Group

Financials

Christine Sauzier started her legal career with a 15 year period in the Mauritian judiciary where she was a partner in the Etude Lagesse-Sauzier law firm. Her time in private...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Christopher Garner

Senior legal counsel, private equity and investment funds | FMO

Financials

A true expert in the development of markets and addressing the needs of emerging economies, Christopher Garner is a lawyer that has carved out a specialist role in which he...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Dapo Otunla

Group general counsel | Notore Chemical Industries

Materials and mining

Dapo Otunla has been a highly successful component of the in-house legal function of Notore Chemical Industries in Nigeria for almost a decade, and has spearheaded a number of successful...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

David Bamlango

Senior director, legal affaris | Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Financials

A multilingual legal professional with experience in international law firms, David Bamlango is the current senior director, legal affairs for Trade and Development Bank (TDB) – which was previously known...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

David Nzaligo

Manager for legal services | Geita Gold Mine Tanzania (AngloGold Ashanti)

Materials and mining

David Nzaligo is an internationally-educated Tanzanian lawyer who holds legal qualifications from the University of San Francisco School of Law and University of Dar es Salaam School of Law. Having...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

David Tudor

Group general counsel | Naspers

Information technology

Founded in 1915, Naspers is a global internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Based in South Africa and with a market capitalisation...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Doxa Mbapila

Head of legal and company secretary | National Bank of Commerce

Financials

Tracing its roots to 1967, when the Tanzanian Government nationalised financial institutions, National Bank of Commerce Tanzania (NBC) is one of the most capitalised banks in the country with an...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Edwin B. Turner

Counsel | ExxonMobil

Edwin B. Turner is a seasoned lawyer, well-known known for his deep understanding of the oil and gas sector gained through serving as an in-house lawyer at Exxon Mobil Corporation...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Elamin Elahmer

Legal Advisor | Ariab Mining Company

Materials and mining

A market leader in the Sudanese and East African gold mining space, Ariab Mining Company has existed as a multinational private mining company since 1991 in Sudan and is in...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Elizabeth Tirone

Associate general counsel | CDC Group

Financials

Highly experienced, Elizabeth Tirone is CDC’s associate general counsel and works primarily with CDC’s intermediated equity team investing in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She joined CDC in September 2008....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Erhi Obebeduo

Company secretary head legal group | Guaranty Trust Bank

Financials

Erhi Obebeduo has been an integral part of the in-house legal function of one of Nigeria’s premiere financial institutions, Guaranty Trust Bank, since late 2011. Obebeduo is as comfortable in...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ewoud van Gellicum

Executive legal services | Steinhoff International

Consumer products

A global retailer with a particular focus on furniture and household goods, Steinhoff International boasts total revenues of over €8.6bn and has a portfolio of over 40 brands in 30...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Fiona Gumede

General manager corporate legal and company secretary | Engen Petroleum

Energy and utilities

Accredited with inclusion on both 2015 and 2016 editions of The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Africa, Fiona Gumede – general manager corporate legal and company secretary for oil and gas...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Francisco Simao

Managing counsel and vice president legal affairs (Angola region) | BP

Energy and utilities

‘Professional and confident’, Francisco Simão receives praise for his strong character, personality and professionalism, as well as for his ability to analyse ‘every possible angle of a situation’. Employed as...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Fred Waithaka

head of legal and secretarial services | Safaricom

Telecommunication services

Previously an associate of Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, one of Kenya’s most prestigious law firms, Fred Waithaka embarked upon an in-house legal trajectory relatively soon into his career. After earning...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Garikai Bera

Legal counsel and company secretary | ZimPlats

Materials and mining

Garikai Bera joined Zimbabwean platinum mining company Zimplats in April 2009, and in his current role assumes an important position in providing comprehensive legal support to the company that grew...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Genanaw Assefa

Vice president legal counsel and corporate secretariat | Ethiopian Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

Genanaw Assefa leads the legal team of Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest and most profitable airline. Assefa joined Ethiopian Airlines in 2008 as assistant general counsel and worked his way up...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

George Elombi

Executive vice president - governance, legal and corporate services | African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

Financials

Dr George Elombi was appointed executive vice president in April 2015, this role sees him manage the bank’s corporate governance, legal and board functions. As executive secretary, he oversees the...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Hafed Nassim Stambouli

Head of the international litigation department | Sonatrach

Energy and utilities

Leading the global provision of legal counsel surrounding all litigation matters for Sonatrach – a state-owned Algerian enterprise concerned with the exploration of hydrocarbon – Hafed Nassim Stambouli is recognised...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Helen Ibbotson

Senior legal advisor | IFC - International Finance Corporation

Financials

As a senior legal advisor for the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC), Helen Ibbotson works within a team that advises on the legalities of IFC’s debt, equity and PE funds’ investments...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Helene N’Garnim-Ganga

General counsel | African Development Bank

Financials

Highlighted in the context of her team’s work in the GC Powerlist: Africa Teams in 2016, the individual career of Hélène N’Garnim-Ganga is equally as worthy of recognition. Noted for...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Henk Crouse

General counsel | HSBC Africa

Financials

Boasting north of 20 years of in-house banking experience, Henk Crouse joined HSBC to establish a South African presence, and has successfully achieved this task by forging a compact and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Islam Shalall

Head of legal department | Huawei Technologies-Sudan

Information technology

Heading up the legal function of leading global ICT solutions provider Huawei Technologies in Sudan is the highly respected legal professional Islam Shalall. Having joined the company only two years...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Jane Christine Gundo

Legal officer | Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings

Food, beverages and tobacco

Jane Christine Gundo has impressed peers with her ability to provide excellent legal and company secretarial services to the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), a provider of comprehensive services to...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Judih Kouassi

Legal and tax director | SIFCA

Food, beverages and tobacco

Judith Kouassi has had a highly successful in-house legal career spanning over 17 years. Throughout it, she has combined legal understanding with high-level tax expertise, based on academic and professional...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Juliet Manteaw-Kutin

Head, legal services and company secretary | Anglogold Ashanti Ghana

Materials and mining

Formerly an associate at one of the most prestigious law firms in Ghana, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah and a legal counsel with MTN Ghana, Juliet Manteaw-Kutin has been head of...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Kevin Lester

Head of legal - South Africa | Anglo American

Materials and mining

Anglo American’s Kevin Lester is among the most knowledgeable and experienced corporate counsel in South Africa, boasting substantial experience of managing legal services in the mining and metals industry. Joining...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Kurt Drieselmann

Group legal officer and group compliance officer | Aspen Pharmacare Holdings

Healthcare

The legal division of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings is led by the group legal officer and group compliance officer Kurt Drieselmann, who leads the legal function across the Aspen Group where...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Lara Coker

Head of legal/external communications | Shoreline Natural Resources

Energy and utilities

Since 2013, Lara Coker has led the provision of legal advice and management of the legal framework for Nigerian exploration business Shoreline Power Company in the role of general counsel....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Larry Butler

Head legal | Nedbank

Financials

Larry Butler has managed the legal team of the capital division of Nedbank, a relatively new entrant into the banking market in South Africa, for the last 21 years, overseeing...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Luche Joubert

Head of legal and IP services | Remgro

Industrials and real estate

Previously a highly decorated in-house legal officer for British American Tobacco, Luche Joubert has been head of legal and IP services for investment holding company Remgro since 2016. His time...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ludo Tema

Group legal counsel | Debswana Diamond Company

Materials and mining

Ludo Tema is the group legal counsel for Debswana Diamond Company, a mining company and the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value. During her seven years at the Debswana...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Lynda Ait Kaci

General counsel North Africa | GE

Industrials and real estate

GE has had a major presence in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region for over 80 years, now covering 19 countries and employing approximately 9,200 people. In...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Lynelle Bagwandeen

Company secretary and general counsel | Netcare

Healthcare

Lynelle Bagwandeen is the company and secretary and general counsel of Netcare Limited, which is the largest private healthcare provider in South Africa and the United Kingdom, and has presided...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Madeleine Truter

General counsel | Setso Property Fund

Financials

Having been recognised by various legal publications, industry awards and having articles published in prominent industry press, Madeleine Truter is a truly influential and distinguished figure in South Africa’s in-house...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mahmood Shaarawy

Group legal director | Elsewedy Electric

Established in 1938, Elsewedy Electric has developed into a key energy player in both its home market of Egypt and throughout its far-reaching global operations. Mahmoud Shaarawy joined Elsewedy Electric...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mahmud Kazaure

Group chief legal counsel and company secretary | Dangote Cement

Industrials and real estate

Dangote Cement is a subsidiary of Dangote Industries, which was founded in 1981 as a trading business with an initial focus on importation of bagged cement and other commodities such...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mark Kenderdine-Davies

General counsel and company secretary | CDC Group

Financials

Mark Kenderdine-Davies is general counsel of CDC Group plc (CDC) with oversight of the company’s legal, regulatory and tax affairs. Mark manages the company’s legal/tax team and corporate secretariat and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mark Stafford

Head: legal and insurance | Life Healthcare Group

Healthcare

As the head: legal and insurance for Life Healthcare Group, nominating sources indicate Mark Stafford as bringing ‘formidable commercial knowledge and experience’ to the legal department at a company where...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mateboho Rantofi

Head of legal | Woolworths

Consumer products

Woolworths is one of the largest retail stores in South Africa with annual earnings of over $4bn and operations across 11 countries in the sub-Saharan region. Since her appointment as...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Melika Amri

Head of legal and compliance (Northern Africa) | Nokia

Information technology

International and trilingual legal professional Melika Amri is known as one of the brightest up-and-coming lawyers in North Africa, thanks to her consistently strong performance in various in-house positions. Employed...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mellisa Everton

Head of group wide functions - legal | MMI Holdings

Financials

Established in 2010, MMI Holdings is a South African holding company formed upon the merger of Metropolitan and Momentum, significant financial services players at the time in their own right....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Michael Akafia

Vice president and head, legal and compliance | Gold Fields West Africa

Materials and mining

Michael Edem Akafia joined Gold Fields West Africa in 2010, taking on a role which has seen him lead and manage all legal and company secretarial services of the West...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mirirai Washaya

head of legal and company secretary | African Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe Limited (BANCABC)

Financials

A solution-oriented and innovative lawyer characterised by her strategic approach to business and her ‘outside the box’ method of thinking, Mirirai Washaya receives praise by a source for her ‘strong...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mohamed Komara

Legal and compliance director (French West and Central Africa) | The Coca-Cola Company

Food, beverages and tobacco

Coca-Cola’s Mohamed Komara has consistently been named amongst Africa’s most talented legal managers, having demonstrated a flawless track record of establishing highly organised legal teams and developing robust policies, standards...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mostafa Abadou

Director of compliance | Société Générale Marocaine des Banques

Financials

With a career of 24 years at a leading financial institutions in Casablanca, Dr Mostafa Abadou is among the most distinguished North African corporate counsel, widely praised for his knowledge...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mouhamadou Madana Kane

Lead legal counsel | Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

Financials

Based in Saudi Arabia, IDB is a multilateral financial institution with 57 member countries across four continents. Mouhamadou Madana Kane joined the company in 2009 and since then has played...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Mustafa Tharoo

General counsel | IHS Towers

Telecommunication services

A lawyer with over 15 years of experience in project transactions and deals in several African jurisdictions spanning Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zambia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sudan and Uganda, Mustafa...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Nadia Kawtar Alaoui

Head of legal | Société Nationale d'Investissement

Industrials and real estate

Société Nationale d’Investissement is a large private Moroccan financial holding company partly owned by the Moroccan royal family. Nadia Kawtar Alaoui has served as its head of legal for the...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Natachia Moorgas

General manager, legal and governance and company secretary | Total South Africa

Energy and utilities

A highly experienced lawyer in the energy sector, Natachia Moorgas has led the legal function at Total South Africa since November 2012. She joined as company secretary and head of...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ned Mojuetan

General counsel | Chevron Nigeria

Energy and utilities

An oil and gas legal specialist, Ned Mojuetan has been working with oil giant Chevron since 2012. The esteem in which his expertise is held by this premiere international company...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ngozi Okonkwo

Chief legal officer | Oando PLC

Energy and utilities

Ngozi Okonkwo joined Oando PLC, one of Africa’s largest energy solutions providers, in 2009, as a senior legal advisor responsible for the oversight over two of the group’s upstream entities...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Nina Pendaeli Eshun

Chief officer: legal and regulatory affairs | Vodacom Tanzania

Telecommunication services

One of the most knowledgeable legal professionals in Tanzania, Vodacom’s Nina Pendaeli Eshun has worked as a lawyer for over 15 years. Starting her legal career at the Attorney General’s...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Nkateko Nyoka

Chief officer legal and regulatory | Vodacom

Telecommunication services

Harvard-educated Nkateko Nyoka oversees the legal and regulatory functions at Vodacom, the leading cellular network in South Africa with an estimated 58% share of the local market and over 23...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Nozi Cecilia Zulu

Executive head: legal and corporate secretarial services | Hernic Ferrochrome

Materials and mining

Nozi Cecilia Zulu is a talented mining lawyer, whose experience spans over nearly 15 years in-house and in private practice. Following her graduation from University of KwaZulu-Natal, Zulu joined Moss...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Olivier Decotter

Head of legal and corporate affairs and ethics officer | IBL

Industrials and real estate

Ethics expert Olivier Decotter joined IBL, the largest business group in Mauritius, in July 2010 as legal and ethics executive, focusing on the company’s everyday legal and ethics operations in...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Omowunmi Mabel Adewusi

General counsel/head of legal and HR | AXA Mansard Insurance

Financials

Omowunmi Mabel Adewusi joined Nigerian insurer Mansard in 2011 and has since navigated the company through all strategic cases and transactions, including the company’s $246m acquisition by AXA in 2014....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Paul Ndungi

Company secretary and senior legal counsel | Barclays Bank of Kenya

Financials

With a career in the financial services industry spanning 15 years, Paul Ndungi has worked with some of the most premier banks in the country, such as First American Bank...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Pieter Badenhorst

Director legal and comliance | Afgri Group Holdings

Food, beverages and tobacco

Responsible for setting up the Afgri in-house legal team from scratch, Pieter Badenhorst has been a key reason the legal department at the agricultural services company has been recognised by...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Ria Sanz

Executive vice president - group legal, commercial and governance and secretary | AngloGold Ashanti

Materials and mining

Founded in 1998, the world’s third largest gold miner AngloGold Ashanti was created through the initial consolidation of the gold mining interests of Anglo American and the subsequent merger between...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Rohan Venter

Group legal advisor and company secretary | Imperial Holdings

Transport and infrastructure

Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the South African-based holding company Imperial Holdings operates exclusively in the logistics and vehicle sectors employing over 49,000 people in Africa and Europe. Having...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Samallie Kiyingi

Director of legal services | African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

Financials

In April 2017, Samallie Kiyingi was appointed as the director of legal services for the African Export-Import Bank, which also trades under the name Afreximbank. Kiyingi is an expert in...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Samuel Eziafa Adikamkwu

General counsel | United Bank for Africa (UBA)

Financials

As one of the largest banks in Africa, UBA currently offers financial services to over seven million customers across 750 branches in 19 African countries. Its highly experienced lawyer Samuel...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Sandie Paho Handou

Diageo | Diageo

Food, beverages and tobacco

Diageo in Cameroon traces its roots to 1967, when Guinness Cameroon was created and opened its first depot in Limbe. Two years later the company built a brewery in Douala,...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Shaimaa Sebak

Director legal and corporate governance | Telecom Egypt

Telecommunication services

Shaimaa Sebak first joined Telecom Egypt as an associate in the company’s regulatory legal affairs department in 2004, and through her strengths in management and advice on business and legal...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Sophie Verdejo

Chief legal officer | Djezzy

Telecommunication services

The primary mobile telephone network operator in Algeria, Djezzy is majority state-owned and a highly important company for the country. Sophie Verdejo began her career there in April 2013, and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Teo La Mei

Group legal counsel and company secretary | Wilmar

Food, beverages and tobacco

Appointed as a group legal counsel at Asia’s leading agribusiness group Wilmar in August 2009, Teo La Mei today oversees global legal affairs across over 50 countries. Over the past...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Tiago Neto

General counsel | Sonangol EP

Energy and utilities

Created as a public company in 1976, Sonangol EP is the sole concessionaire for oil and gas exploration on the subsoil and continental shelf of Angola. General counsel of the...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Tidane Santos

Legal bureau manager | Unitel

Telecommunication services

Toby Hewitt joined coloured gemstones miner Gemfields in December 2014. Gemfields’ key geography is Africa with a number of world class assets at varying stages of development in Zambia, Mozambique...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Toby Hewitt

Group general counsel | Gemfields

Materials and mining

Toby Hewitt joined coloured gemstones miner Gemfields in December 2014. Gemfields’ key geography is Africa with a number of world class assets at varying stages of development in Zambia, Mozambique...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Uaboi Agbebaku

Company secretary and legal adviser | Nigerian Breweries

Food, beverages and tobacco

Uaboi Agbebaku started his legal career in 1995 when he joined the Lagos based law firm David Garrick & Co. Following a seven year career in private practice, Agbebaku joined...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Uzoma Uja

Company secretary and legal advisor | Diamond Bank

Financials

While serving as company secretary and legal advisor at Diamond Bank, Uzoma Uja has changed the culture of the legal department, making it more approachable, proactive and instituting a business...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Vimla Parbhoo

General manager: legal services and comliance | BMW South Africa

Consumer products

Vimla Parbhoo is the general manager for legal services and compliance for global automobile giant BMW in South Africa and the sub-Saharan African region, where she utilises 16 years of...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Vivian Osayande

Head legal, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMA) operations | Novartis

Healthcare

Formerly a transaction specialist at Lagos-based law firm Templars, Vivian Osayande has been achieving major success as an in-house lawyer for Novartis since early 2013. Here, she operated as head...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Walarick Nittu

Head legal and compliance and company secretary | Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania

Financials

In 2017, UK-based financial services company Standard Chartered Bank celebrated 100 years of operating in Tanzania. Walarick Nittu’s association with the Standard Chartered Bank’s Tanzanian subsidiary began in 2013, when...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Waleed M. Shoukry

General counsel | Ezz Steel

Materials and mining

In October 2015 Waleed M. Shoukry joined Ezz Steel as the general counsel, where he currently manages a team of ten lawyers at the HQ corporate legal department, overseeing two...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Wambui Kosgey

Group legal director | East African Breweries (EABL)

Food, beverages and tobacco

East African Breweries Limited (EABL) is East Africa’s leading branded alcohol beverage business with a number of notable brands in the beverage industry including beers, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks, and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Wintana Shimelis-Poujade

General counsel, company secretary, brand protection and corporate security | Diageo

Food, beverages and tobacco

Africa is a high-priority region for the global multinational alcoholic beverage company Diageo, which has experienced loss of market share in the US and Asia in recent years. Planning to...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Xandra (Blacklaws) Alexander

Executive legal counsel | GE South Africa

Industrials and real estate

Highly praised by a nominating source, Xandra Alexander is a well-regarded in-house legal counsel whose career history proves her to be someone who possesses huge versatility alongside other enviable qualities....

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Youssouf Fadika

Regional legal counsel (West, Central Africa and Algeria) and deputy managing director (Ivory Coast) | Citigroup

Financials

With almost 40 years in the country, global financial services company Citigroup first established a presence in the Ivory Coast in 1975, and today operates through two legal entities; the...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

Zurina Saban

Assistant general counsel (Sub-Saharan Africa) | IFC - International Finance Corporation

Financials

Zurina Saban is a highly accomplished in-house legal officer, and has an abundance of technical legal skill in a number of areas. In particular, her abilities surrounding project finance and...

#GCPowerlist Africa 2017

The last few years have seen important changes in the African business world, as the continent has been integrating steadily in the world’s economy. Both domestic businesses and regional operations of large multinationals have been adopting global industry trends and updating their internal processes to reflect new developments in technology and management science.

In line with these changes, in-house lawyers working in Africa have evolved in their role and now serve as cross-functional business units positioned at the very epicentre of commercial affairs. Expected to provide their input on issues from a legal and ethical perspective, African general counsel today contribute actively to their businesses, whether by managing financial transactions among multiple jurisdictions, responding to legislative and regulatory changes, delivering innovative solutions to complex issues or by devising strategies that enable their business to remain profitable.

In this year’s GC Powerlist: Africa we are pleased to highlight some of the region’s leading corporate counsel. To put together the list, we canvassed opinions from both law firm partners and in-house counsel in Africa and other jurisdictions. We identified lawyers who are not only technically gifted and highly trained, but have also utilised their legal knowledge strategically alongside keen business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success.

I would like to express my personal thanks to DLA Piper for supporting this publication. A special mention must also go to the in-house lawyers that took time to speak to us throughout the process, as well as to the research team that worked on this GC Powerlist publication.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper logo

Corporate counsel are playing an increasingly important role within the African market, with many businesses reliant on their counsel’s knowledge base and advice on where they invest and do business across the continent. It’s for this reason that DLA Piper is, once again, delighted to sponsor this year’s GC Powerlist Africa. Those featured in this year’s list provide an incredibly important service to businesses operating in Africa. You all do a phenomenal job and we’d like to congratulate you all on being included in this notable and prestigious shortlist.

In order to succeed in Africa, I’ve found that corporate counsel need to go beyond an understanding of the law. Having specific market awareness, sector knowledge and a wider understanding of the geo-politics of a nation (or region) are vital to giving your clients the best possible service. We find all the above qualities in the top corporate counsel operating in Africa, but we also see it reflected in their teams; which has led to many in-house African teams being able to rival the talents of any group of lawyers operating anywhere in the world right now.

Africa is, as you all know, an incredibly diverse continent. This diversity transcends culture, language and geography; it also permeates politics, economics and, most importantly for us of course – the law! Whatever sector you find yourself working in, having an understanding of the traditions and cultures of the different nations across Africa is as fundamental to success as having an excellent grasp of the legal landscape. Gone are the days of referring to Africa as a homogeneous entity, it’s now vital that our understanding of the continent operates on a micro level, whereby each region, each nation and each jurisdiction is understood on an individual basis with the nuances of that particular area respected and appreciated.

It’s this cultural diversity which is making Africa a wonderful place to do business, with opportunities available in every sector and in every nation. In recent years, for instance, we’ve seen many prospects arising in communications and information technology. This is testament to how much the landscape has changed in Africa over recent years, as these cutting edge sectors, usually associated with US, European and Asian markets, are now becoming both rooted and expansive across the entire African region. Yes, we still see the traditional areas of agriculture and energy as hugely important and successful, but this dynamic mixture of traditional and new areas of business is quickly making Africa one of the most exciting places to operate and do business anywhere in the world. We only expect to see commercial endeavours increase and diversify across Africa over the coming years, which leads me to emphasise, once again, just how many fantastic opportunities there will be for entrepreneurs and investor alike in the near future.

These new and exciting prospects for our clients also provide significant opportunities for corporate counsel to develop their knowledge base and skill set. As I mentioned previously, far from being a mere legal advisor or an interpreter of laws we now find that African focused corporate counsel are required to develop commercially driven solutions, contribute to business strategy, support in the execution of business plans, ask tough questions of clients, be an ethical sounding board and promote good governance. When you add in the traditional problems Africa still has in certain regions, around corruption and the failing rule of law, the need for excellent, on the ground, legal support is absolutely critical to success. Regardless of any lingering issues Africa faces, however, I feel it important to specify that I still believe in Africa, and I firmly believe that the only way to succeed in Africa is to invest in
Africa!

This investment is something DLA Piper and I have had the privilege of undertaking over the last several years. With the opening of our South African and Moroccan offices we are delighted to have the opportunity to work side by side with many of you in helping to support your businesses across the region, while helping Africa to fulfil its economic and business potential over the coming years.

Finally, I’d once again like to congratulate everybody who is included on this year’s GC Powerlist Africa, it’s a real honour for DLA Piper to sponsor this publication, and I’d just like to state how much you all deserve to be recognised for the wonderful work you are doing.

GC Summit Switzerland

On 23rd November, The Legal 500 was in Zurich again to host the GC Summit Switzerland 2022.

The event gathered leading general counsel and private practice practitioners from Switzerland to exchange their views on cutting-edge legal topics. The quality of the discussions was exceptional.

The Summit opened with a session, led by Fabian Martens and Nils Harbeke, of Pestalozzi, focusing on the changes brought by ESG in the legal and tax functions. The panel, which also included Eva Frehner (Sulzer), Romana Giesen (Swisscom) and Matthias Maurer (Lonza), discussed the recent shift in the weight of ESG, changing from being  “best practice” to compulsory legal obligations. Following a comprehensive introduction, the panel explained the key legal ESG-related requirements for companies carrying out business in Switzerland, with a specific focus on competition and tax law.

Daniel Raun and Beda Kaufmann, of Advestra hosted the second panel. Along with Philippe Huber (SIG) and Robert Kuster (Zurich Insurance), they shared insightful comments on how to draft term sheets accurately and the main elements that parties should focus on at this early stage of a prospective deal.

The following session was chaired by Melissa Magliana, Daniel Lucien Bühr and Matthias Gstoehl, of Lalive. The discussion covered strategies to mitigate and manage dispute risks. The speakers examined how companies can prevent disputes, optimize amicable resolutions and prepare for legal proceedings, should they arise. Both litigation and arbitration were discussed, with a highlight on climate change litigation, stakeholder claims, and greenwashing-related enforcement.

To conclude the Summit, Irène Suter-Sieber and David Vasella, of Walder Wyss, moderated a panel that explored key issues of international private law, data protection and secrecy law, and labour, tax, and social security law, which relate to remote working from abroad.

After an excellent afternoon of exceptional panel discussions, attendees continued the conversation and enjoyed a valuable networking opportunity over Swiss gin, wine and canapes.

Thank you again to all our panellists for sharing their insights, and special thanks to Advestra, Lalive, Pestalozzi and Walder Wyss for partnering with us on this enjoyable and successful event in Zurich.