The countries of Africa offer tremendous potential for domestic and foreign businesses and investors. In the past ten years, the continent has experienced unprecedented growth rates, with more than two-thirds of the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world being those of key African countries. However, each African country brings its own mix of geopolitical forces, resources, and cultural, business and legal systems. Companies seeking to enter, grow within or expand beyond the region need legal advisors with a broad perspective and in-depth, cross-border experience.
McDermott has represented large international corporations, African sovereign states, African state-owned enterprises, and African and international private equity funds, privately held businesses, family offices and high-net-worth individuals. We have advised on matters in 45 of the 54 countries in Africa in all major sectors, including oil and gas, mining and metals, infrastructure, food and beverages, agribusiness, technology and—in response to the rising African middle class—retail, consumer goods and education.
We provide coordinated legal guidance to clients in all key areas of law, including corporate investments, acquisitions and joint ventures, finance (including project finance), regulatory compliance, dispute resolution (including international commercial arbitration and arbitration under bilateral investment treaties), private wealth and tax. We work with local counsel as appropriate and over the years have built strong relationships and nurtured access to the best local expertise.
Lawyers from our London, Paris, Frankfurt, Washington, DC, and other European and US offices have particular African experience and are deeply knowledgeable in both common law and civil law. African matters are often transacted under English or French law, and we also understand how and when to operate under local laws or regional uniform laws, including L’Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).