Africa Teams 2016 – GC Powerlist
GC Powerlist Logo

Africa Teams 2016

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Access Bank

| Access Bank

Financials

Access Bank Nigeria has been one of the most active acquirers in the African financial sector. Among its recent deals, the bank launched an initial public offering for its Ghanaian...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Actis

| Actis

Financials

Balancing commercial risks with potential gains is a challenge for many legal teams in the investment sector, but the team at Actis – a leading growth markets investor with a...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
AFGRI

| AFGRI

Consumer staples

AFGRI is a leading South African agricultural products and processing company that offers a wide range of products and services to farmers, producers and manufacturers. The legal team, headed by...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
African Development Bank

| African Development Bank

Financials

Led by general counsel Hélène N’Garnim-Ganga, the legal team at African Development Bank is made up of experts that each bring a unique talent. Founded in 1964 to contribute to...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
AfricInvest

| AfricInvest

Financials

Founded in 1994 and part of Integra Group, AfricInvest is an investment and financial services company that operates in Tunisia. As one of the most experienced investment businesses on the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Anglo American South Africa

| Anglo American South Africa

Materials and mining

Earlier this year, in the face of weak commodity prices and a slowdown in China, mining giant Anglo American announced that it would undergo a radical restructuring, cutting more than...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Anglogold Ashanti

| Anglogold Ashanti

Materials and mining

Formed in 2004 via a merger between AngloGold and Ashanti Goldfields, AngloGold Ashanti is one of the ten largest gold producers in the world. Operating in a highly scrutinised and...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited

| Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited

Healthcare

Led by award winning Group Legal Officer & Group Compliance Officer Kurt Drieselmann, Aspen Pharmacare Holding Limited’s legal team in 10 jurisdictions, consists of approximately 30 professionals and 20 support...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Baker Hughes

| Baker Hughes

US-based industrial services company Baker Hughes has been one of the leading oil field service providers in Africa for the past 50 years and now employs around 2,500 staff across...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Barclays Bank of Kenya

| Barclays Bank of Kenya

Financials

The sale of part of Barclays’ stake in its South Africa-based Barclays Africa Group earlier this year has accelerated the pace of change many of its banks are facing in...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Barclays Investment Bank

| Barclays Investment Bank

Financials

Head of emerging markets legal Amol Prabhu leads the interaction of Barclays Investment Banking with its Barclays Africa franchise. This involves extensive co-ordination and collaboration with multiple legal teams comprising...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Barloworld

| Barloworld

Barloworld has been involved in a large number of businesses in the course of its more than 100 years in the African market, including manufacturing and mining, but has in...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
British American Tobacco

| British American Tobacco

Consumer staples

Operating in the country since 1904, British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa employs over 1,800 staff and has achieved the exclusive Top Employers South Africa 2016 certification for the past...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Chevron Nigeria

| Chevron Nigeria

The activities of Chevron Nigeria, a subsidiary of American multinational energy company, are supported by a legal team headed by Ned Mojuetan, a well-recognised lawyer in Nigeria with 20 years’...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Citibank

| Citibank

Financials

Citibank in Egypt has undergone major changes to its business strategy over the past few years. The parent company decided to take the major step of ending its retail banking...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Co-operative Bank of Kenya

| Co-operative Bank of Kenya

Financials

The second largest bank in Kenya measured by customer base, the Co-operative Bank of Kenya consists of a number of member companies and has traded publicly on the Nairobi Securities...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

| Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

Financials

Government-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia is the country’s largest commercial bank. Holding over half of the country’s deposits and responsible for more than half of all its loans, the bank...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Dangote Group

| Dangote Group

Based in Lagos and with revenues of over $2.6bn, Dangote Industries is the largest conglomerate in West Africa. As a multinational corporation it operates in diverse markets through its subsidiaries,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Debswana

| Debswana

Materials and mining

Debswana, a Botswanan mining company, which is the world’s leading diamond producer by value, controls all diamond mining activities in the country. Operating the country’s four diamond mines, whose production...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Development Bank of Southern Africa

| Development Bank of Southern Africa

Financials

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is a government-owned development finance body providing and encouraging financial and non-financial investments in a range of sectors. A team of four lawyers,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Consumer staples

Guinness in Cameroon has a history dating back to the 19th century, when European traders first brought stout to the African continent. The traditional Irish alcoholic beverage has since become...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Diamond Bank

| Diamond Bank

Financials

Nigerian financial services provider Diamond Bank is one of the country’s largest banks and forms an important part of the West African banking sector. The legal team handles a challenging...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Djezzy

| Djezzy

Telecommunication services

Djezzy is Algeria’s leading mobile network operator with over 17 million subscribers and covering 95% of the country’s national territory. Since 2013, Djezzy’s legal team has been led by Sophie...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
East African Breweries

| East African Breweries

Consumer staples

East African Breweries – which operates as a subsidiary of global drinks producer Diageo – is a Kenya-based producer of beverages including the famous Tusker Lager brand of beer. The...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Ecobank Ghana

| Ecobank

Financials

Ecobank Ghana’s legal team, led by Awuraa Abena Asafo-Boakye, consists of seven lawyers and four non-legal employees. The team has recently received acclaim for the introduction of a ground-breaking project...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Ecobank Nigeria

| Ecobank

Financials

Over the past two years, Ecobank Nigeria’s legal team has modified its focus to accelerate the realisation of the bank’s strategic objectives. The legal department now has specialised teams, which...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Elsewedy Electric

| ElSewedy Electric

The 10 lawyer team at leading Egyptian integrated energy company Elsewedy Electric is responsible for handling the legal affairs of around 50 companies. A particular focus of the team’s activities...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Engen Petroleum

| Engen Petroleum

With a slowing global economy and falling oil prices, the pressure to reduce costs and improve operational performance has been nowhere more keenly felt than in the extractives sector. The...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Ericsson

| Ericsson

Information technology

Telecoms and technology giant Ericsson’s presence in Africa is significant and growing, as it seeks to capitalise on increasing mobile phone usage across the continent. Their five person legal team...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Eskom

| Eskom

Eskom, the South African electricity public utility, generates 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and 45% of the electricity used across Africa. Zingisa Motloba, senior legal manager at...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Ethiopian Airlines

| Ethiopian Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest airline and is part of a group of large state-owned Ethiopian companies, known as the “Big Five”. As African’s most profitable airline, Ethiopian Airlines earns...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Etisalat Nigeria

| Etisalat Nigeria

Telecommunication services

The Nigerian arm of UAE-based telecoms service provider Etisalat is a pioneering force in the region, responsible for one of the first major broadband networks in Nigeria, significant investment in...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Exxon Mobil

| Exxon Mobil

One of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil has invested over $24bn into Africa, split primarily between Nigeria, Angola, Chad and Equatorial Guinea. The company continues its...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Ezz Steel

| Ezz Steel

Materials and mining

Ezz Steel is the largest independent steel company in Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa, which has a growing presence around the world. The company’s focus on customer service...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
FBN Bank

| FBN Bank

Financials

First Bank of Nigeria’s UK subsidiary FBN UK Limited has been undergoing a particularly active period lately, and a strategy of expansion into new jurisdictions has been skilfully enabled by...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
First City Monument Bank (FCMB)

| First City Monument Bank (FCMB)

Financials

The Nigerian banking group First City Monument Bank (FCMB) offers retail, corporate and investment banking services to both institutional and retail clients. The bank has captured headlines recently with the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB)

| First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB)

Financials

A subsidiary of South African banking institution FirstRand, First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) is a financial institution operating in the Botswanan commercial banking sector. The bank, through its “Pick...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
FirstRand

| FirstRand

Financials

FirstRand occupies a position at the top of the South African financial market, employing over 40,000 individual and operating with licensed status from the Reserve Bank of South Africa. In...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Fox Networks Group

| Fox Networks Group

Telecommunication services

At a time when traditional pay-TV markets are becoming disrupted by online content and changing viewer habits, the still-growing pay-TV market in Africa is becoming increasingly important to media networks....

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
GE

| GE

Multinational conglomerate GE entered Sub-Saharan Africa more than 100 years ago and today has a vast footprint in the region, which consists of over 2,600 employees, revenues of approximately $3.3bn...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Gold Fields Ghana

| Gold Fields Ghana

Materials and mining

The West African operation of historic gold mining company Gold Fields, consisting of Gold Fields Ghana Limited and Ghana-registered Abosso Goldfields Limited, is responsible for a significant portion of the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Groupe SIFCA

| Groupe SIFCA

SIFCA, one of Côte d’Ivoire’s first private-sector groups, was founded in 1964 as a merger between Société Financière de la Côte Africaine and Société Immobilière de l’Indénié. It is now...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Gulf African Bank

| Gulf African Bank

Financials

As part of the largest single economy in the East African Community, Kenya-based Gulf African Bank is notable as one of the first Kenyan banks to receive clearance to provide...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Hernic Ferrochrome

| Hernic Ferrochrome

Materials and mining

Hernic Ferrochrome is one of the world’s largest producers of ferrochrome, an important alloy primarily used in the production of stainless steel and a significant export product for South Africa....

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Housing Finance Company of Kenya

| Housing Finance Company of Kenya

Financials

The legal department of the HF Group, a major East African mortgage provider, is divided into two separate units: a commercial unit that handles documentation and a litigation unit. Reacting...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
HSBC Africa

| HSBC Africa

Financials

It is not easy to stand out as a legal team in a large global organisation famed for the quality of its legal advisers, but according to an independent survey...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Huawei

| Huawei Technologies

Information technology

As the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world, and an organisation with a truly global reach, Huawei operates a significant presence Africa and has activities in in around 40 countries...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
IHS Towers

| IHS Towers

Telecommunication services

Lagos-headquartered IHS Towers began life in 2001 as a builder of telecoms towers for mobile network operators. Since that time it has expanded into the management and maintenance of telecoms...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Investec Asset Management

| Investec Asset Management

Financials

Since it was founded in 1991, the South Africa-based asset management arm of Investec has developed a worldwide reputation for market-leading investment products. The company has grown rapidly and, as...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Keystone Bank

| Keystone Bank

Financials

Keystone Bank was established in Nigeria in 2011 after taking over the assets, including subsidiaries and liabilities, of the now defunct BankPHB. It currently operates 184 branches located across the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Lafarge Egypt

| Lafarge Egypt

Materials and mining

Operating as a subsidiary of Lafarge S.A., Lafarge Egypt is a leading producer of building materials in North Africa. The legal department, led by general counsel Ahmed Barakat, is part...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Life Healthcare Group

| Life Healthcare Group

Healthcare

The legal team at South African private hospital operator Life Healthcare Group has been particularly busy recently, as the company has engaged in a number of complex deals over the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Massmart Holdings

| Massmart Holdings

Consumer discretionary

The 20-strong legal team at Massmart Holdings – a holding company which controls a large number of diverse brands and retail outlets across a number of sectors, including high-profile brands...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Microsoft Africa

| Microsoft

Information technology

As one of the most recognisable global names in the information technology sector, Microsoft Africa has been dedicated to enhancing computer literacy in Africa through various initiatives, helping millions of...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Millicom International Cellular

| Millicom International Cellular

Telecommunication services

Luxembourg headquartered Millicom International Cellular has operations in several African countries, including Chad, Ghana, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Its products are sold under the brand name...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania (MeTL Group)

| Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania (MeTL Group)

When charismatic entrepreneur Mohammed Dewji joined his father’s trading company in 1999, it was the beginning of Tanzania’s greatest business success story. A little over fifteen years later, the company...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Multichoice Africa

| Multichoice Africa

Information technology

Multichoice Africa is a leading internet and video entertainment company with a significant presence on the African continent. The company’s legal team provides support across four distinct regions: South Africa,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Nedbank

| Nedbank

Financials

Nedbank is a financial holding company that is one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa. One of South Africa’s newest banks to be incorporated, Nedbank offers a...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Consumer staples

Nestlé Equatorial African Region (EAR) is active in 21 countries within Equatorial Africa. The legal team, led by Kenya-based legal manager Reena Shah is involved in a wide range of...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Netcare

| Netcare

Healthcare

Netcare is the largest provider of private healthcare in South Africa and, through its controlling stake in General Health Care, the owner of the largest private hospital group in the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System

| Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System

Financials

Owned collectively by the Central Bank of Nigeria and all licenced banks operating within the country, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) provides the infrastructure for the automated processing, settlement...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Nigerian Breweries

| Nigerian Breweries

Food, beverages and tobacco

The largest brewing company in Nigeria and one of the largest in Africa overall, Nigerian Breweries produces some of the most recognisable brands in Nigeria and West Africa. In November...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Notore Chemical Industries

| Notore Chemical Industries

As one of Africa’s leading fertiliser and agro-chemicals manufacturers and one of the only producers of urea fertiliser in Africa, Lagos-based Notore Chemical Industries is playing a big part in...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Novartis Africa

| Novartis

Healthcare

The Nigeria-based Novartis Africa cluster legal team, led by Vivian Osayande, received nominations from dozens of external clients across the continent. The wide geography in which Novartis operates – covering...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Oando Group

| Oando Group

The Oando Group is Nigeria’s largest independent conglomerate in the energy industry, and the first Nigerian company to achieve a dual listing on both the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges....

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Old Mutual Africa

| Old Mutual Africa

Financials

International financial services provider Old Mutual traces its business operations in Africa back to the 19th century, and though it is best known as an insurer, it today conducts a...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Orange Egypt

| Orange Egypt

Telecommunication services

The 28-strong legal team at Egypt’s major mobile phone operator Orange Egypt (formerly known as Mobinil) has produced legal opinions and vital advice that have shaped the strategic direction of...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Orascom Construction Industries

| Orascom Construction Industries

Orascom Construction Industries is an Egyptian global engineering and construction contractor, focused primarily on infrastructure, industrial and high-end commercial projects for private clients in 25 countries across the Middle East,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Perenco

| Perenco

Anglo-French oil company Perenco has been active in Cameroon since 1993, acting in conjunction with state hydrocarbon producer SNH. Perenco’s Cameroon-based legal function is led by head of legal Alexandra...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Pfizer

| Pfizer

Healthcare

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s South African subsidiary offers a leading portfolio of products and medicines across the region, as well as an innovative approach to therapeutics and research. Overseeing the broad...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Pivotal Property Fund

| Pivotal Property Fund

Financials

The Pivotal Property Fund is a property development company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Pivotal is part of the Abcon Group, which includes property developer Abland, property, facilities...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Procter & Gamble

| Procter & Gamble

Consumer staples

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has a vast international presence that spans approximately 70 countries worldwide, and its various brands enter nine out of 10 homes in Egypt. The Egyptian legal...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Rand Merchant Bank

| Rand Merchant Bank

Financials

Rand Merchant Bank is part of the investment banking group of FirstRand, one of South Africa’s largest listed financial services groups. As a leading African corporate and investment bank, Rand...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Rand Water

| Rand Water

The legal services divisions of Rand Water, the largest water utility in Africa, is part of the “Group Governance Portfolio” business unit and consists of three departments: a department for...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Rio Tinto

| Rio Tinto

Materials and mining

Rio Tinto is one of the largest materials and mining companies in the world. The downturn in the mining industry has lent a further level of urgency to the team’s...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Road Accident Fund

| Road Accident Fund

South Africa has one of the highest road traffic accident rates in the world, making the work of Road Accident Fund (RAF), which provides compulsory insurance cover to all users...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Safaricom

| Safaricom

Telecommunication services

Nairobi-based mobile network operator Safaricom is one of the leading players in the Kenyan economy and has seen consistent growth in profits over the last decade, topping approximately $375m as...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Sanlam

| Sanlam

Financials

Headquartered in Cape Town, Sanlam Insurance provides a broad range of financial products and services to a global customer base; in addition to South Africa, Sanlam have a presence in...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder

The changing landscape of regulation in Africa has seen a number of African countries adopting competition legislation, with wider regional developments like the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Sentech

| Sentech

Telecommunication services

Parastatal organisation Sentech operates as the signal distributor for the South African broadcasting sector. Executive head of legal services Zunaid Adams leads a team of two lawyers overseeing its activities,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Seven Energy International

| Seven Energy International

With a focus on the Nigerian market and extensive operations in the Niger Delta, integrated oil and gas infrastructure company Seven Energy has found itself having to negotiate a number...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
ShoreLine Energy International Limited

| ShoreLine Energy International Limited

Shoreline Energy International maintains a diversified portfolio in telecoms, energy and power, investment and trading, and infrastructure and engineering. The business is most known for its series of oil field...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Siemens

| Siemens

Siemens is an engineering company, headquartered in Germany, and is Europe’s largest engineering business. Over the past several decades, Siemens has invested immensely in Africa, striving to bring new technology,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Sonangol

| Sonangol

Sonangol Group is a state-owned business entity composed of a Sonangol EP and a large number of smaller subsidiaries. Responsible for all natural gas and oil production in the hydrocarbon-rich...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Sonatrach

| Sonatrach

As the largest company in Africa and one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, Algerian government-owned Sonatrach is a vast and complex entity. Responsible for the location, extraction,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Stanbic IBTC

| Stanbic IBTC

Financials

Nigeria-based Stanbic IBTC is an end-to-end financial services holding company with subsidiaries operating in banking, stock brokerage and investment advisory. The holding was formed as a result of the merger...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Standard Bank

| Standard Bank

Financials

Founded 154 years ago, Standard Bank is one of the largest financial service providers in Africa, operating in 20 countries across the continent and other key locations across the world....

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Standard Chartered

| Standard Chartered

Financials

Standard Chartered’s Africa legal team has responsibility for 15 jurisdictions and offers transactional support across the region, including in jurisdictions where the bank has no on-the-ground lawyers. The team forms...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Standard Chartered

| Standard Chartered

Financials

As an emerging markets bank with the vast majority of its client base located in Asia and Africa, Standard Chartered has to contend with market dynamics and risks that are...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Taleveras

| Taleveras

According to Achadu David Attah, chief legal advisor and company secretary of Taleveras Group, the biggest challenge faced by in-house teams in Nigeria is ‘the external solicitor conundrum’, namely, ‘the...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Telecom Egypt

| Telecom Egypt

Telecommunication services

Telecom Egypt has a portfolio that makes it the largest provider of fixed line services in the Middle East and Africa. The telecommunications company, which has a history spanning over...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Total Nigeria E&P

| Total Nigeria E&P

One of the seven oil “supermajors” that dominate global production, Total’s exploration and production operations in Nigeria are undertaken by Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, which...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Transnet Freight Rail

| Transnet Freight Rail

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), the largest operating division of Transnet, forms part of the backbone of the South African economy via its freight services, innovation and investment in strategic infrastructure....

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Unilever

| Unilever

Consumer staples

The African market is a significant one for Unilever’s vast and diverse product range, and Unilever has in turn become one of the most important multinationals operating on the Continent....

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
United Bank for Africa (UBA)

| United Bank for Africa (UBA)

Financials

United Bank for Africa (UBA) is one of Africa’s leading banks and has been operating in the continent since 1949. Considered one of Africa’s largest banks UBA offers financial services...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Unitel

| Unitel

Telecommunication services

Luanda-headquartered mobile telecoms operator Unitel was established in 2001, but did not appoint its first internal lawyers until 2010. Initially consisting of general counsel Tidiane Santos and two senior lawyers,...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Vodacom Group

| Vodacom

Telecommunication services

Vodacom is an African mobile communications company providing services to over 61 million customers on a range of different platforms. The company has expanded from its initial roots in South...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Vodfone

| Vodafone

Telecommunication services

Vodafone, the second largest mobile operator in the world with over 460 million customers, has maintained a long standing commitment to delivering useful and inspiring innovations to emerging markets around...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Consumer discretionary

Cape-Town based Woolworths Holdings is a retailing group with a diverse range of activities including grocery stores, clothing lines and in-store restaurants. Head of legal Mateboho Rantofi oversees a function...

GC Powerlist logo as placeholder
Zenith Bank

| Zenith Bank

Financials

Despite operating in a challenging economic environment that saw the Nigerian economy move into recession in August 2016, Zenith Bank has shown its resilience and versatility to remain one of...

For 29 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Africa Teams, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house teams working across Africa.

The GC Powerlist is a series of publications, highlighting the most influential in-house lawyers in business today.

To put together the list, we canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across the region, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow.

Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each jurisdictional list. The GC Powerlist: Africa Teams features not just information on teams that have made the list, but also practical tips for fellow in-house counsel to follow to maximise their interaction with their businesses.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper logo

All corporate counsel want to be seen as trusted advisers who understand their businesses, but in Africa it is fundamental to the role. In many African jurisdictions it is no exaggeration to say that businesses depend on the quality of their counsel.

When businesses seek to invest in Africa their first port of call is often a lawyer. Not only are these businesses looking for advice about what the law says, but critically about the range of issues they will encounter and need to prepare for. To succeed in Africa, you need people who can help you navigate the law and the processes of doing business. The teams featured in this year’s GC Powerlist Africa Teamsshowcase Africa’s best in-house legal talent and underline just how vital lawyers have become to their businesses.

It is impossible to stand out as a lawyer in the dynamic African market without a number of qualities, above all pragmatism, patience and a high degree of entrepreneurialism. Over the last few years these qualities have been embodied by the continent’s top general counsel, but they are increasingly found in their wider legal teams.

Service and professionalism have always been high among Africa’s in-house lawyers, but the continent’s leading teams are now showing they can rival lawyers anywhere in the world when it comes to finding commercial solutions to on-the-ground problems. For those of us who have been based in the African market for a long time, the evolution of Africa’s in-house lawyers has been striking.

The quality of in-house teams featured in this year’s GC Powerlist Africa Teams reflects the growing legal and commercial sophistication across the continent as a whole. DLA Piper Africa is pleased to recognise them with this publication.

Although often referred to in a homogenous way Africa is, of course, extremely diverse. Diverse because of geography, diverse because of culture, diverse because of language, and diverse because of laws. It is also home to increasingly diverse sectors, and we are pleased to see this reflected in the teams selected for this year’s Powerlist. Whilst agriculture and commodity-related work remains important, we have been impressed by the legal expertise in a range of sectors, from consumer goods to IT, and from financial services to pharmaceuticals.

It is not just the quality of in-house teams that is changing across Africa. The rising popularity of social media, communications technologies and a returning diaspora has produced an exciting cultural dynamism. The spread of ideas and attitudes from one jurisdiction to the next is helping to fashion a more demanding populace, vast swathes of which are young. As a consequence strong, successful governance and leadership will travel farther, faster.

Of course, the old concerns continue to haunt us, corruption and failing rule of law still deter many would be investors; they still ask about the ease of doing business and the application of law, especially in terms of settling disputes. Like anywhere else on earth, Africa offers some easy places to do business and some not so easy places to do business. There are many challenges, but investors who are serious about Africa can see beyond the drawbacks and appreciate the opportunities. To succeed in Africa, you need to invest in Africa.

DLA Piper has invested in the African market because our lawyers have also seen past the headlines to what lies beyond. We welcome the opportunity to be a part of the continent’s success and we believe the best way to be a success in Africa is to make a commitment, involving the right people from the outset. Our lawyers with extensive experience in Africa have spent their careers advising governments, banks and corporates on how to do business in Africa.

As any general counsel will tell you, having outstanding on-the-ground lawyers as part of the team is fundamental to advising business here. DLA Piper is the only firm to have a truly pan-African practice. It requires dedication to join up practice and sector groups across such a diverse continent. Our network of offices and member firms not only allows us to see further than any other firm, it allows our lawyers to act as conduits for information and opportunities.

Africa is home to some of the most dynamic and rapidly developing businesses on earth, but it also requires significant investment and expertise in a number of areas. That is why international business will keep coming to Africa and why DLA Piper will continue its commitment to supporting them.

And once again, a big congratulations to everyone in this year’s GC Powerlist: Africa Teams.

GC Summit Romania 2024

The second edition of the GC Summit Romania proved to be a resounding success, gracing the prestigious conference halls of Bucharest on Tuesday, April 16. Nestled within the historical ambiance of the venue, the day unfolded into a tapestry of knowledge and professionalism, underscoring the robust support and fervent interest of Romania’s legal fraternity. Attendees departed with a palpable sense of accomplishment and gratification.

The summit commenced with a riveting panel, “Legal Services Empowered by Technology,” deftly moderated by Sorin David, managing partner at D&B Law Firm. Revealing insights into Romania’s legal landscape embracing artificial intelligence and innovative law firm programs captivated the audience, sustaining engagement throughout the session.

Following suit was the panel “Strategic Legal Team Management: Navigating Modern Tactics and Industry Expertise,” adeptly guided by Ana Radnev, partner at CMS. With a consortium of esteemed legal minds, the discussion plumbed the depths of team dynamics and innovative strategies, affirming the summit’s caliber and instilling confidence among attendees.

Subsequent to a brief interlude, the discourse shifted to “Management of the Client-Regulator Interface – a Romanian Legal Counsel Approach,” moderated by the seasoned Florian Nitu, managing partner at POPOVICI NIŢU STOICA & ASOCIAŢII. His profound insights into the interplay between clients, regulators, and legal counsel underscored the imperative of harmony and compliance within the legal framework.

Mihai Mares, managing partner of Mares & Mares, then helmed the panel “Unveiling Strategies for Asset Recovery in White-Collar Crime,” illuminating the challenges faced by legal departments combating financial crimes, ensuring institutions remain vigilant and resilient.

An engaging panel discussion on “Employment Law Dynamics in Romania,” moderated by Ancuța Pop, partner at IJDELEA & Associates, shed light on the intricacies of employment regulations and the pivotal role of legal firms in safeguarding corporate interests.

Gabriel Albu, managing partner at Albu Morar, led the thought-provoking discourse on “Navigating the Legal Landscape in Cybersecurity,” unveiling strategies to fortify technological ecosystems against cyber threats, fostering innovation and resilience.

The summit concluded with a dynamic panel led by audience members and moderated by Daria Niculcea, executive director at Juridice, offering invaluable reflections and insights from general counsel, enriching the collective experience of the event.

Gratitude is extended to David Goulthorpe, our esteemed managing director, whose unwavering support has propelled the legal community in Romania to unprecedented heights.

To our sponsors, attendees, and the entire Romanian legal fraternity, we extend heartfelt appreciation for your unwavering support, eagerly anticipating the prospect of reconvening next year.

Until then, farewell and see you soon!