Africa is one of the most active places in the world to do business. Currently, the continent accounts for seven of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies, according to a World Bank study. And with excellent prospects across a broad range of industries, we believe the outlook is exciting across the region.
New opportunities attract African and international investors alike as incipient, growth- oriented industries add vigor to Africa’s traditional trade in natural resources. A burgeoning middle class is also turning greater prosperity into growth- stimulating spending on consumer goods, financial services, technology and healthcare. As African businesses expand across borders and continents, Africa’s renaissance is already resounding loudly in the world’s financial hubs. The result is a very promising business landscape.
Three Decades of Commitment to African Business
Our lawyers have a 30- year track record of helping corporations, financial institutions and private investors meet their legal needs in Africa. African and international investors alike seek our counsel when establishing or expanding a regional or global footprint. By supporting the continent’s business leaders, we help them to achieve their goals and in turn allow the economies around them to flourish.
In addition to advising traditional investors from Europe and North America, we are also assisting the new wave of investors from the BRIC economies, along with other dynamic economies in Latin America and the Middle East.
Partnering With Local Experts to Provide Seamless Service
Our Africa group includes lawyers from our offices in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, each with extensive experience managing business challenges in the region. Qualified in multiple jurisdictions, fluent in several languages and experienced with the continent’s varied legal systems, we are able to bring results-oriented solutions that bridge business cultures.
We have developed strong links with top African lawyers and professionals who share our common values. These relationships allow us to match Dechert’s international expertise with the insight and knowledge of the strongest lawyers in Africa to deliver seamless service to our clients.
Areas of Focus
Corporate Finance and Capital Markets
Our lawyers handle all types of public and private issuances of equity, debt and hybrid securities. We act as principal international counsel for many major issuers and underwriters involved in emerging markets, and we have advised on more than 100 sovereign debt issuances in the past five years, with a combined deal value of more than US$50 billion.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Regional and international corporations rely on us when planning inbound or outbound M&A transactions, while fund managers and other investors value our practical, results-based advice. By combining legal expertise with an understanding of local enforcement policies and business environments, we resolve the most problematic M&A-related issues throughout the continent.
Major players in sub-Saharan Africa’s booming private equity and venture capital sectors rely on Dechert’s commercial advice when planning a fund formation or other investment. We advise on the entire investment life cycle, from fund formation and structuring to IPOs, trade sales and other exits.
Clients call on our Africa- focused dispute resolution team when facing intricate commercial disputes, white collar or securities litigation. We advocate our clients’ interests robustly, defending African companies against litigation arising outside the region and providing international clients with powerful representation when litigating in Africa. We have an outstanding record in disputes where the governing law, venue and parties’ places of domicile are in different jurisdictions.
Coordinated by Dechert’s most experienced partners, our Africa arbitration team has a strong grasp of the complex interplay between international treaties and local arbitration laws. With experience as both arbitrator and counsel before arbitration courts and international panels, our insights can provide a critical advantage in resolving the most intractable business disputes.
African and international corporations, financial institutions and private investors rely on us when setting up a joint venture, establishing a subsidiary or negotiating a contract. We understand what it takes to navigate the most complex legal matters in Africa. Our Africa teams deploy the full resources and insight resident in Dechert’s international network of offices when advising on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, arbitration and corporate matters.
Energy and Natural Resources
In Africa, we provide commercially driven solutions to a range of operational, regulatory and financing issues that face our clients in their day-to-day business activities. We bring a creative approach to unlocking capital, representing governments, utilities, contractors, banks, lenders and investors on a wide range of transactions, and we are fully conversant with financing projects on a limited-recourse project finance basis or by using asset-backed structures or off-balance sheet methods.
Dechert provides comprehensive legal services to a wide range of financial institutions. Banks, broker-dealers, investment managers and insurance companies all rely on Dechert teams for transactional and regulatory advice when doing business in Africa.
As a market leader in the funds space, our fund formation lawyers are regularly involved in the establishment of open-ended and closed-ended public and private equity funds, including Shari’a-compliant funds, country-specific funds, energy funds and infrastructure funds. We also advise on interactions with regulators and on ongoing compliance issues.