Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists – GC Powerlist

Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists

Akshai Fofaria

Partner | Pinsent Masons

Private Practice

Based in: London Principal practice areas: Projects Admissions: England and Wales, France Languages spoken: English, French, Spanish and Guajarati A specialist in the oil and gas, natural resources and energy...

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Alain Malek

Partner | Norton Rose Fulbright

Private Practice

Number of years practice: 20+Principal practice areas: Corporate and M&A, banking and finance, capital markets, projectLanguages spoken: French, English and Arabic What is the geographical focus of your practice in...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists

Alexander Msimang

Partner | Vinson & Elkins R

Private Practice

Based in: London Principal practice areas: Project development and finance, oil and gas, M&A Admissions: England and Wales A highly regarded energy-related projects and transactions specialist, Alexander Msimang has advised...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists

Andrew Jones

Partner, head of Africa group | Linklaters

Private Practice

Number of years practice: 26 Principal practice areas: Energy, infrastructure, natural resources, telecoms Languages spoken: English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese What is the geographical focus of your practice in...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists

Andrew Skipper

Partner | Hogan Lovells

Private Practice

Based in: London Principal practice areas: Corporate Number of years practiced: 34 Previously leading Hogan Lovells’ global corporate practice and now heading the firm’s Africa practice, Andrew Skipper is a...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists

Editor Message

For over 30 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms around the world. Over the last five years, we have expanded our analysis to include corporate counsel, again, on a global scale. This has been reflected in our GC Powerlist series, recognising the leading corporate counsel in a number of markets….read more

Most recently, we have begun the development of the Private Practice Powerlist, in which The Legal 500focuses on key individual practitioners with outstanding expertise in, and knowledge of, particular jurisdictions. This edition of the Private Practice Powerlist focuses on lawyers whose practice specialises in Africa facing matters, with a particular spotlight on those based in the major legal centres.

The Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists highlights those professionals who are recognised as dedicated and capable in providing specialised, expert and transformative advice helping the continent of Africa realise its mighty potential. We have assessed a range of candidates, analysing both current practice and historical data to confirm the inclusion of individual practitioners.

To state the obvious, there is no single “African” market legal service providers operate in. In spite of the significant differences across the continent however, lawyers often face the same challenges including vast linguistic and cultural dissimilarities, lack of integration with global financial institutions and corruption, all of which risk undermining the efforts of lawyers within the continent.

That said, Africa is rich in natural resources and human talent, and investment is increasing in a variety of sectors, not just the “traditional” fields of mining, materials and energy. Banks, private equity investors and development finance institutions are becoming more comfortable with lending for Africa-based projects, and the rate of infrastructure and renewable energy transactions is increasing. Such deals are very often first-in-market, and lawyers working on them are innovating and trendsetting in terms of the practice of related law. Lawyers working in Africa in this sense are true pioneers, displaying creativity and expertise to find solutions. Whilst foreign direct investment – particularly from China – remains large, a number of intra-African investments are increasingly being made.

Many of those profiled in the Private Practice Powerlist: Africa Specialists are optimistic about the future of the continent. Crucial to this optimism was the strengthening of the legal profession. A more specialised judiciary, more “home-grown” African arbitrators, stronger legal education and local firms integrated into the wider legal community worldwide remain priorities for those seeking to improve legal practice on the continent. Africa’s growing legal maturity is exemplified through the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Corporate Law in Africa (OHADA) system, which has facilitated and simplified cross-border transactions.

Political issues also remain prevalent and there have been several leadership changes in African states in the last two years, often accompanied by pledges related to anti-corruption, economic growth and good governance. Whether this cocktail of a youthful population and the goals of increased investment and stronger institutions will have the desired effects is unclear, however what is certain is that domestic and international legal practitioners will have a huge part to play.

Jamie Rayat
Research editor, GC Powerlist series


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