Africa - McDermott Will & Emery



Over the course of the last ten years, the continent has experienced unprecedented levels of growth. According to the World Bank, six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. Nevertheless, the resources, culture, economy, legal system and geopolitical forces in each country combine to create a unique profile. Businesses and investors wishing to establish their presence on the continent and to expand beyond their borders, should avail themselves of sound legal advice by professionals having a vision from both a national and international perspective. McDermott Will & Emery offers a seamlessly integrated team which, from our offices in London, Paris and the United States, is able to respond to challenges from jurisdictions right across/ the vast African continent.

McDermott’s experience extends to each of the key sectors of economic activity including infrastructure, natural resources, renewable energy, oil & gas, water, mining, transportation, telecommunications,/ICT, agriculture and banking & finance – including financing related to projects in these key areas. We advise in civil law as well as common law.

Our full range of experience allows us to counsel clients in both private law as well as public law, as we can rely, in particular on the experience gained in advising various Governments in undertaking sector reforms financed by international institutions.

Our Paris office offers a level of experience and know-how which rests on what is recognized as one of the historical legal practices serving the Continent. Our lawyers , boast over 40 years of experience and have had the opportunity to assist the Governments in defining their legal framework and in playing a key role in the development of such sectors as Petroleum, energy, mining and telecommunications as well as public law companies. The promulgation of the first privatization laws (Togo & Senegal), the reform of public enterprises and their access to private capital, (DCR, Togo), the holding by a foreign company of the majority of the capital of a mining company (Mali) and the drafting the first standard mining agreements and the restructuring of electricity concessions (Guinea and Niger), the establishment of the first cellular network “Telecel” in Africa (DRC) and the modification of legislation to open the Government monopoly over the fixed infrastructure to allow the installation of cellular networks by private operators and the introduction of ICTs.(DRC, Chad, Madagascar), are some examples of our lawyers’ involvement in the development of the legal framework in various African countries.

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  • Advising a US company in the development of a bauxite mining project in the Republic of Guinea and assisting it in the context of an offtake agreement with a Chinese offtaker
  • Counsel to Siparex in the merger control filing with the Moroccan Competition Council in connection with its acquisition of Syntex
  • Advising Rougier France on debt restructuring, and negotiations with lending banks in connection with its activities in the Congo, Gabon and Cameroon
  • Assistance to a US company in the context of solar power plant projects in Burkina Faso and Mali
  • Assistance to a Japanese company in the audit of its commercial partnerships with respect to anti-corruption rules (Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon)
  • Representing the government of Togo in reaching agreement, after four months of negotiation, with Ferrex Plc concerning the Nayega manganese mining project in Togo

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